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This is one feature of Windows 7 Start menu that I haven't been able to replace in OS X ML. In Windows:

  1. Press Windows key
  2. Start typing, for example: H:\folder\phot
  3. Use arrow keys to highlight the "search-complete": H:\folder\photos
  4. Press Enter and voila, the folder is opened in Windows Explorer. Similarly for files.

I know that Alfred Powerpack can navigate by keyboard-only, but it is not as intuitive and fast (it doesn't have "search-complete", and it's cumbersome for mounted folders e.g. typing out \Volumes\H\folder\photos).

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Have you tried Quicksilver? At the risk of regurgitating prior gushing, this "old" app should handle what you're asking with even less typing than Windows. –  duozmo Nov 14 '12 at 6:06

4 Answers 4

Finder offers the Go to Folder function (found in the Go menu, or by pressing ⇧⌘G), which allows you to type in a path, and has tab-completion (i.e. typing /us TAB r TAB doc TAB gets /Users/rob/Documents/).

It's not perfect, the main downfall is that it doesn't present multiple options, it just chooses the last alphabetical match (i.e. if you type do, in a folder with Documents and Downloads, it will auto-complete as Downloads), but it is a decent built-in functionality.

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If you have the Alfred Powerpack, you can also assign shortcuts for opening the file browser in specific folders.

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Just to add a terminal option, you can open the terminal (I use iTerm2) and navigate folders with auto-completion.

I have the following command in my ~/.inputrc file so that auto-complete is case insensitive.

set completion-ignore-case on

You can then, depending on how it is configured, tab complete folders and files and double tab to list available options when there is more than one match.

To quickly open a folder in finder using this approach

  • Use a quick way to open the terminal (e.g., using Alfred, or Spotlight, etc.)
  • Navigate to the folder using tab completion
  • Enter open . to open the working directory in Finder
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1  
Thanks! I use the terminal for almost all my navigation, but I didn't know about the case-insensitive option. –  octern Nov 8 '12 at 14:36

for example: H:\folder\phot

With Finder

As you like the arrow key approach with Windows, you might like arrow keys with OS X.

To reach, for example, Macintosh HD/Applications/Contacts:

  1. Command-Shift-C
  2. Command-3
  3. ma
  4. ap
  5. co

Much shorter approaches are possible but if you like arrow keys, then generally: Command-3 is your friend.

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