I'm searching for an OS X program that will open a plain text box, and allow me to type either a directory path, a file path, or a shell script, and have it open/execute my input.
Are there any programs like this on the market?
App launchers and utilities like Launch Bar and Quicksilver can be pretty useful, but you might want to try learning the command line. After all, the Windows Run prompt is just a single line command prompt.
It can be a bit daunting, but you can just learn bit by bit, and after a while you'll be able to do some pretty powerful things.
To get started, open up Terminal (found in
Here are a few basic commands that you'll find useful:
openopens whatever path it's followed by. Some examples:
open /Applications/opens the Applications folder in Finder.
open ~opens your home folder.
~is shorthand for your home folder (i.e.
Documentsfolder in whatever application is set to open that file.
open -a TextEdit website.htmlwould open that file in TextEdit, and
open -a Safari website.htmlwould open the same file in Safari.
open -afollowed by an application, with no file or path specified will activate that application.
lslists the contents of the current directory, or any other directory you specify.
~, so if you specify a file without a path, the command line looks for it in your current path. But you can specify a full path to address any file in your filesystem.
cdchanges your current directory. E.g.
cd ~/Documentsmoves you to your
cd /Applicationsmoves you to the applications folder.
say "I know now why you cry, but it's something I can never do"
That's just a small fraction of what you can do with the command line, but perhaps it will whet your appetite. If you want to learn more, there are tons of resources out there for learning the command line — OS X's command line is very similar to BSD and Linux, so many resources applying to those will be helpful. There's also a big thread here on Ask Different with various tips and tricks for the terminal.
Well, for opening a file/folder and/or app I am pretty much used to Spotlight (type cmd-space).
For a shell script, well... I use spotlight as well to open Terminal, then I type my command. The only problem is that Terminal sometimes takes some seconds to launch, so this workflow might not suit you...
Take your pick: (in no particular order)
how about the finder's Go To Folder (CMD + SHIFT + G). The secret is that it does tab completion in the text box. If you narrow down to a file all it will do is open a finder window with the file selected. CMD + O to finish the job.