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


3 Answers 3


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.

  • @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?
    – nohillside
    Jan 29, 2013 at 17:24
  • 1
    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 :) Jan 29, 2013 at 19:55
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    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, 2013 at 21:18
  • Sure, I added a bit more about it being related to TextEdit in the question. Jan 29, 2013 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.
    – Ɱark Ƭ
    Jan 29, 2013 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 ...


Thanks, Zo219! I had no idea! Your "do amazing things" led me to experiment.

  1. Ctrl+Click on the filename in the title bar, or secondary click. That opens the list of "Folder Proxies" (a new term for me).
  2. Option+Click on the folder name, right under the filename. That opens up a Finder window with the current file selected.

If Finder > View > Show Pathbar has been selected, the bottom of the Finder window will show the path to the file. Rightclick on the filename at the far right end and select Copy '<filename>' as path to put the full path to the current file into the clipboard.

For my purposes, being able to copy the path is often far more useful than just being able to look at it.


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