When working at the terminal, I often use the open . command to open a finder window showing the current working directory. But if the current directory is actually a package, like a .app application or a .vmwarevm virtual machine, open . launches the application or the virtual machine instead.

How can I open a finder window showing the contents of a specified package?

I’ve tried open -A /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app ., but that didn’t work.

  • Not at a Mac to test, but have you tried simply using cd /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app? If it doesn't work, I'll remove the comment.
    – stuffe
    Sep 26, 2013 at 15:07
  • I'd wager a guess open -a Finder . doesn't work because when you double click on an App Bundle within Finder, it launches the app :). Oct 1, 2013 at 18:48

5 Answers 5


Using open -R for the first file in the bundle would work even if the bundle doesn't have a Contents directory:

reveal() (
  shopt -s nullglob
  for f; do
    [[ -d $f && ${#a} != 0 ]] && open -R -- "${a[0]}" || open -R -- "$f"

It might be easier to just type open -R and the path of some file inside the bundle though. You can bind menu-complete in .inputrc to make it easier to insert the path of the first file.


You can simply cd into the package to open it in Terminal, then open Contents to open the contents in Finder.

For example, to open the contents of Safari.app in Finder, you can run the following:

cd /Applications/Safari.app
open Contents
  • 1
    Nope, not all packages have a Contents folder—.vmwarevm virtual machines sure don’t.
    – andrew
    Sep 26, 2013 at 15:42
  • Just files.
    – andrew
    Sep 26, 2013 at 16:29
  • Another kind of bundle with no Contents folder is the .xcodeproj bundle. You can get an example here.
    – andrew
    Sep 26, 2013 at 19:20
  • 2
    The Contents bit is just an example, performing a cd into the .app file is what you are looking for, regardless of the app bundles eventual contents.
    – stuffe
    Sep 26, 2013 at 21:13
open -R *

opens the package in Finder. But beware: it also selects every contained file and folder. In general this might be OK for you as most of the times it's just Contents.

Looks like this: Schalalalalala

  • 2
    Opening * seems like a very bad idea, especially without cautioning people on what it would do in the wrong directory (and how would someone that doesn't get directories even know which one they are in). Should this perhaps be a comment on this other answer?
    – bmike
    Sep 26, 2013 at 17:15
  • @bmike I guess you forgot the -R option...
    – bot47
    Sep 26, 2013 at 18:02
open -R .


man open

-R, --reveal Selects in the Finder instead of opening.


From the finder, right click on the application and choose 'Show Contents". The opens the app and you can then navigate thru the enclosed folders.

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