With the URL <file:///Library/Fonts> (for example in a note in NV) I can open the finder with the given location. Can I do something similar for the terminal? That is, if I write for example (doesn't work, that is the question!) <terminal://Library/Fonts> the Terminal.app should open a new window and cd to that directory.

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    Not without writing your own URL handler. I strongly recommend against it as it opens quite a security hole (unless you are really careful and know what you are doing). – nohillside Apr 17 '12 at 17:44
  • The term you're looking for is a "protocol handler". It looks like you might be able to achieve what you want with a bit of AppleScript to wrap Terminal.app; see this Apple Discussion thread. – Mathew Hall Apr 17 '12 at 17:45
  • Thanks to you both. While I don't mind writing code I'll put this on hold for a while. I was silently hoping for a out of the box solution. If one of you put your comment into an answer I'd be happy to mark that as accepted. – topskip Apr 17 '12 at 18:05
  • “if I write” If you write it where? In a text file? In a shell script? At the command line? – Chris Page Jul 20 '12 at 7:55
  • @ChrisPage for example on the open command line: open file:///foo/bar or (as I wish) open terminal://Library/Fonts – topskip Jul 21 '12 at 19:34

Opening a New Terminal Interactively

As of Mac OS X Lion 10.7, Terminal has a “New Terminal at Folder” Service you can enable in:

System Preferences > Keyboard > Services > Files and Folders

With this Service you can open a new terminal by selecting a folder or file path in any application and choosing this Service in the contextual menu (Control-Click or Right-Click) or the Services submenu in the application menu.

It doesn’t support “file:” URLs, but you can select the path part of the URL “/Library/Fonts” and use the Service with that.

There is also a “New Terminal Tab at Folder” Service.

Opening a New Terminal Programmatically

If you need to open it from a command line or shell script, you can use the open command to tell Terminal to open a directory pathname or “file:” URL:

open -a Terminal file:///Library/Fonts

(This is equivalent to dragging a folder, file path or “file:” URL onto the Terminal application, which opens a new Terminal at that location.)


This works from the command line:

/Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app/Contents/MacOS/Terminal /Users/ &

Where /Users/ is the directory you want to set the working directory to.

  • I don't see how I could turn this into a URL?! – topskip Apr 17 '12 at 17:22
  • Sorry, I misread what you were trying to do. You'd have to register a URL handler somehow. stackoverflow.com/questions/595481/… Looks like Terminal supports ssh, telnet, and x-man-page, but nothing else right now. – Bill Brasky Apr 17 '12 at 21:21

Try the open command:

  • open . opens Finder window for current directory
  • open /Library/Fonts opens Finder window for /Library/Fonts
  • open http://www.apple.com/
  • open ~/Documents/my-big-novel.pages

Run man open for additional options.

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