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I am used to Windows because I simply go to computer and can click my partition and see my entire file structure right there. I can go to users, and then view my documents, and I also have the handy address bar in an explorer window. I just got OS X and I can't figure out how to navigate the file system, and I never know where I am in the file system. Can anyone give me tips on these two problems?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can drag the home and root folders to the sidebar. They used to be there by default, but they were removed in 10.7.

I have also removed all of the default locations, so the root folder of column view windows is always ~/ or /.

⇧⌘G opens a Go to Folder sheet. It can also be opened by pressing ~ or / in file dialogs.

You can show the path at the bottom by checking View > Show Path Bar:

There is also a hidden preference for showing the path on the title bar:

defaults write com.apple.finder _FXShowPosixPathInTitle -bool true
killall Finder
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View->Show Path is probably the best to enable to not getting lost in the filesystem. –  patrix Dec 15 '12 at 9:56

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