I Love Quicksilver’s quick file path retrieval
Why would I need this?
How many times do you need a file path? Formatted a specific way? POSIX for Terminal, Mac for AppleScript, and URLs for the internet.
Enter Quicksilver‘s realm, where one application gets you your file path in whatever format you like. (It’s nirvana.)
How do I …
Get An Absolute POSIX Path
Quicksilver‘s default is an absolute POSIX path. In fact you don’t even have to explicitly request it. For example, below, we’ve chosen a file. (If your Quicksilver looks different, I’m using the default interface, but I’ve changed the colors in
Preferences > Appearance.)
tab over to the second pane and type
paste until the
Paste action appers. (We only had to type
p in this case.) Then we’ll press
enter and Quicksilver will paste our file path into the current application. If it can’t, Quicksilver will bonk at us.
We started Quicksilver while in TextEdit, and that’s where Quicksilver has put our path.
If we were pasting this into Terminal, we would definitely want to type a quote before activating Quicksilver, then type a closing quote after pasting because there are spaces in our file path.
Get A File URL
Starting from a TextEdit document, we activated Quicksilver, selected a file in our first pane, pressed
tab to go to our second pane, then typed
furl to select the
Get File URL action.
When we press
enter, Quicksilver looks like it’s done absolutely nothing at all with our command:
It has performed our command, but we have to do something with it to see it. (Bad UI!) We could copy it to the clipboard by pressing
tab to go to the second pane, typing
copytoclipboard or some part thereof (below, we used
clip), and then pressing
That’s one option you probably won’t need often, as the
Paste action takes care of most scenarios where you would need to copy and paste.
Instead, we’re just going to paste it into our waiting TextEdit document. To select a different action than
backspace and then type
backspace deletes what you’ve already typed so you can type something new.)
And there’s our encoded file URL.
Get POSIX Paths (Absolute and Relative)
Again, while in TextEdit, we activated Quicksilver, selected a file, pressed
tab to go to our second pane. Even though Quicksilver’s default is an absolute POSIX path, there is a
Get Absolute (POSIX) Path action, which we’ve selected by typing
When we press
enter, Quicksilver returns with our path as text in the first pane. In the screenshot below, we’ve already moved into the second pane and selected the
enter gives us the absolute POSIX path.
To get a relative POSIX path, we’ve again selected a file, pressed
tab to go to our second pane, and this time we’ve typed
get and pressed
down arrow to see the results. (Waiting a little will also display the results.)
We resized the results display to see more. There are quite a few actions related to getting file paths. (There’s even a
Get Info action, which is the same as
Finder > File > Get Info.) Each action has a little description below it, describing what it does. We’ve selected
enter puts our file path as text into the first pane. Below, we’ve already moved into the second pane and begun typing
paste, getting as far as
p. (Gotta love an app that reads your mind.)
And when we press
enter, Quicksilver adds our path to our TextEdit document. (Note that we had to add the line break ourselves. Quicksilver will not automatically do that.)
Get A Mac/HFS File Path
I find myself using this type often, mostly for AppleScript. This time, instead of activating Quicksilver while in TextEdit, we’ve done so from AppleScript Editor, after typing an opening quote (because we’ll need to enclose the file name in quotes).
Below, you can see we’ve selected a file, typed
tab to go into the second pane (you can also click the pane with your mouse or trackpad), and typed
gloc to select the
Get File Location action.
When we press
enter, our file path is entered into our waiting script. Typing another quote encloses it; we’ll assign it to a variable later.
Quicksilver. What can’t it do?
Why doesn’t it work on my Mac?
Note that in order to use these actions, you need to install the following plugins and you may need to change your Quicksilver preference settings:
- (No plugins needed.)
You may need to enable certain actions via
Preferences > Actions. Below, we’ve chosen to view actions by
Type, and further filtered for
Files & Folders actions. We also searched this filter for actions containing the word
Quicksilver may not have all of these actions enabled by default. You will want to enable the actions you plan to use.