How to see hidden files

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by G3-Pwnz-G4, May 18, 2004.

  1. G3-Pwnz-G4 macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    i need to find a hidden file. i know it's there because i saved it, but i accidentally put a "." in front of the name, so it automatically became hidden. is there a way to "un-hide" it?

    i know i could just re-save, but this has happened before and it's getting annoying. i have very clumsy fingers.

    any help would be appreciated.
  2. HexMonkey Administrator


    Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2004
    New Zealand
    Open Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal). Then type in "cd [location of folder enclosing file]", eg if the hidden file was located at /Folder A/Folder B/.file then you would type in "cd /Folder A/Folder B".

    Finally, type in "mv [old name of file] [new name of file]", eg if the file was called ".file", then you would type in "mv .file file", which would make the file visible.
  3. riceforlife macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2004
    also, in the future, to see those hidden files from the terminal, try the command "ls -a"
  4. dragula53 macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2003

    you can do the terminal window stuff

    or you can download the most important software that apple failed to include... tinkertool

    it has a "show hidden items in finder" clicky box

    it will annoy the crap out of you very shortly though, because there are hidden files on the desktop, etc.

  5. G3-Pwnz-G4 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 5, 2003
    thanks a bunch guys. i went with the terminal route as i don't really like installing extra utilities onto my comp.

    again, thanks :)
  6. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    except that in Terminal you can't get to 'Folder B' by just typing /Folder B because the space before the B will stuff it up, so it will go to the item named Folder. to get to Folder B, you'd have to do /Folder\ B, so something like "cd /Folder\ A/Folder\ B" will get you there.

    that really annoyed me when i first started using the Terminal, couldn't figure that out until i just dragged a folder to Terminal & it showed the path. :p
  7. dedanno macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2004
    You can drag and drop in terminal?!! And I've been doing it all manually :eek: . Thankyou cb911. You just made terminal 100% more usable for me.
  8. sonofslim macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2003
    and of course, you can always type in the first few letters of whatever folder/file you're entering and then hit tab to auto-complete the name. so if you need to access "~/some long folder name/an even longer subfolder name because you're wordy/really long file name because you just don't know when to stop typing.txt"

    you can just enter "~/so[TAB]/an[TAB]/re[TAB]" and let the terminal do the typing. which is great if you've got a lot of spaces in a filename, because terminal will automatically escape them.

    note that hitting tab won't auto-complete a file name unless you've entered enough to uniquely identify your target. so if you've got two files in a directory, called "really long filename" and "realistically no one would use such long filenames", you'd have to type reall[TAB] to get the first, and reali[TAB] to get the second.
  9. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    cool. glad i could help. :p

    TAB complete is also another great thing, something that i forget to use all the time as well.

    another interesting think i found out about Terminal (this might deserve it's own thread, but here goes anyway):

    you can access Terminal even on a Mac where you dont' have permissions to open it by typing in Safari, (or IE) "telnet:" minus the quotes. that open telnet, which we all know runs in Terminal, thus opening Terminal. :D

    and if you dont' have the permissions to open iChat, you can just type "aim:" to get iChat to open as well.

    even futher, to open any app that you're blocked from using, from terminal type "/Applications/AppleScript/Script\\ Editor" for example, or change the path for any other app, then it opens and runs! :D

    also, i should mention that i first saw this at yes, i didnt' just discover this by myself. :p
  10. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    This feature/bug is, of course, the source of all the recent security hulabaloo about web browser-based exploits; several protocols will hand data or commands off to programs without paying much attention to where the command or data came from or what it might be doing.
  11. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    yeah, i was thinking that as well. so i guess you won't be able to do that for much longer anyway...
  12. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    to see invisible files in Finder
    open (located in /Applications/Utilities/)
    type in the following
    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
    To undo that type in
    defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO
    Mind you, its case sensitive iirc.
    btw, seems like the finder pref to show all files is it just me? or was it in the developer betas of panther? Bah.
  13. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    thanx uber, that will go into a script nicely

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