Mac OS X – Quickly Copy Folder & File Paths

One of the most annoying things about using Mac OS X is the difficulty in swiftly copying a file or folder’s absolute path. Yes, you can open the ‘Get Info’ popup and copy the directory, but for the lazy (like me) that’s too much work for something so simple. The alternative? Automator + Keyboard Shortcuts. For the below, I’m using OS X 10.9.3.

Automator

Step 1 – Open Automator (Spotlight -> Automator) and select ‘Service’ as per the screenshot below.

Select 'Service' from 'Choose a type of Document' screen.
Select ‘Service’ from ‘Choose a type of Document’ screen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2 – Search for ‘copy’ in the ‘actions’ list and drag ‘Copy to Clipboard’ to the right panel.

Select Copy to Clipboard as an action.
Select Copy to Clipboard as an action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3 – Change the ‘Service receives selected’ to ‘files and folders’ and in to ‘Finder’.

Change the settings to the above
Change the settings to the above

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4 – Save the service (File -> Save) and name it ‘Copy path to clipboard’ or something else you deem relevant.

Now we need to create a keyboard shortcut for this newly created service.

 

Keyboard Settings

Step 5 Go to ‘Keyboard’ in the ‘Settings’ menu and select the ‘Shortcuts’ tab.

Configure the Keyboard Shortcut for the new Service
Configure the Keyboard Shortcut for the new Service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6 – Select ‘Services’ from the left list and look for the newly created service in the list on the right. Once you find it, I named mine ‘Copy Paths as Text’ assign a keyboard shortcut to it.

Configure the keyboard shortcut for the newly created service
Configure the keyboard shortcut for the newly created service

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you can select any folder/file, press the keyboard shortcut combination and paste the absolute paths anywhere needed. Mind you, with this service you can select multiple folders/files and get all their paths.