Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Very basic question - I am editing a file using the basic system TextEdit app. As I actually have the file in question in several locations, how can I tell what directory the one that I am editing is actually residing in.

In Linux and Windows I can find this out easily but this does not seem obvious on my Mac.

This is using the basic TextEdit on my Mac and my Mac is OSX Lion 10.7.5

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Hold down the Command or Ctrl key and click on the icon or file name in the center of the title bar of text edit's document window.

Text edit screen shot showing the document's filesystem path

Be sure to click on the title itself. The containing directory structure will be shown in reverse-hierarchical order.

share|improve this answer
@Mark, Michael's answer is correct (even though I don't understand why he asks and answers it himself) in general. Which editor are you using? – patrix Jan 29 '13 at 17:24
patrix, I did this because I find it hard to 'guess' this, the answer was not obvious and I had to ask a co-worker to find it out. Once I know the answer I utilized the 'answer your own question' feature as I write the question. I did this so that other people with the same question will have an answer and not be mystified the way I was :) – Michael Durrant Jan 29 '13 at 19:55
Great work @MichaelDurrant - It's a hard line to judge what phrase will work for someone who doesn't know the answer of a question. Sometimes the person with the knowledge to answer can't be a good judge of how the issue presents to another. +1 on both Q and A and editing in deteils. – bmike Jan 29 '13 at 21:18
Sure, I added a bit more about it being related to TextEdit in the question. – Michael Durrant Jan 29 '13 at 21:35
I usually tell people to Command click to do that. I was surprised that control click works too. Thanks, I learned something today. – Mark Jan 29 '13 at 21:40

They're called Folder Proxies, and do amazing little things.

Hold down the Option key on a Proxy, it turns dark and become dragable, to movie, copy, make an alias.

Related: In Safari, holding down Command on the title reveals the path up the site.

I'm sure there's more ...

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.