macos - working - Open terminal here in Mac OS finder

terminal open cd in finder (10)

Is there something similar to the "Open Command Window Here" Windows Powertoy for Mac OS? I've found a couple plugins through a google search but wanted to see what works best for developers out there.

Also, you can copy an item from the finder using command-C, jump into the Terminal (e.g. using Spotlight or QuickSilver) type 'cd ' and simply paste with command-v

An application that I've found indispensible as an alternative is DTerm, which actually opens a mini terminal right in your application. Plus it works with just about everything out there - Finder, XCode, PhotoShop, etc.

Check out Open Terminal Here. It may be the most similar to "Open Command Window Here." I used >cdto and this is very similar but this seems to be a little better at dealing with Spaces... but not perfect.

What it has that is very nice is the ability to "detect key-down events at the start of the application and used them to modify the behavior of the script" allowing the script to open a new tab in the front most terminal window when invoked by holding down ⌘ key. Neat trick.

Also note PCheese's answer; it is probably more useful for heavy terminal users!

Clarification (thanks @vgm64): if you're already in Terminal, this lets you quickly change to the topmost Finder window without leaving Terminal. This way, you can avoid using the mouse.

I've added the following to my .bash_profile so I can type cdff in Terminal at any time.

function ff { osascript -e 'tell application "Finder"'\
 -e "if (${1-1} <= (count Finder windows)) then"\
 -e "get POSIX path of (target of window ${1-1} as alias)"\
 -e 'else' -e 'get POSIX path of (desktop as alias)'\
 -e 'end if' -e 'end tell'; };\

function cdff { cd "`ff [email protected]`"; };

This is from this Terminal hint.

I mostly use this function:

cf() {
  cd "$(osascript -e 'tell app "Finder" to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)')"

You could also assign a shortcut to a script like the ones below.

Reuse an existing tab or create a new window (Terminal):

tell application "Finder" to set p to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)
tell application "Terminal"
    if (exists window 1) and not busy of window 1 then
        do script "cd " & quoted form of p in window 1
        do script "cd " & quoted form of p
    end if
end tell

Reuse an existing tab or create a new tab (Terminal):

tell application "Finder" to set p to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)
tell application "Terminal"
    if not (exists window 1) then reopen
    if busy of window 1 then
        tell application "System Events" to keystroke "t" using command down
    end if
    do script "cd " & quoted form of p in window 1
end tell

Always create a new tab (iTerm 2):

tell application "Finder" to set p to POSIX path of (insertion location as alias)
tell application "iTerm"
    if exists current terminal then
        current terminal
        make new terminal
    end if
    tell (launch session "Default") of result to write text "cd " & quoted form of p
end tell

The first two scripts have two advantages compared to the services added in 10.7:

  • They use the folder on the title bar instead of requiring you to select a folder first.
  • They reuse the frontmost tab if it is not busy, e.g. running a command, displaying a man page, or running emacs.

It's a bit more than you're asking for, but I recommend Cocoatech's Path Finder for anyone who wishes the Finder had a bit more juice. It includes a toolbar button to open a Terminal window for the current directory, or a retractable pane with a Terminal command line at the bottom of each Finder window. Plus many other features that I now can't live without. Very mature, stable software.

Ok, I realize that this is a bit late... maybe this alternative wasn't available at the moment of writing the post?

Anyway, I've found installing the pos package via Fink (a prerequisite in this case, maybe there is something similar for those who uses MacPorts?) to be the easiest solution. You get two commands:

  1. posd - which gives the current directory of the frontmost Finder window (for which you presumably make an alias cdf=cd posd)
  2. fdc - which switches the current directory of the frontmost Finder window to the Terminal pwd. This is slightly different from 'open .' which always opens a new finder window.

Yes, you have to switch to the Terminal window before writing cdf, but I suppose that's quite cheap comparing to clicking a button in the Finder toolbar. And it works with iTerm as well, you don't have to download a separate Finder toolbar button that opens an iTerm window. This is the same approach as proposed by PCheese, but you don't have to clutter your .bash_profile.

There is an updated version of the very nice and slim Open Terminal Here posted by vgm64 and d0k. The change was made by james david low. He published the new version on his site. Just download, extract it, move the bundle to your Library/Scripts folder and drag it from there to your Finder toolbar.

What is special about it is that it always opens a new tab if a window is already open. Very useful! I also noted that the style of the button of the application better fits the Snow Leopard style than cdto posted by redacted did.


It's a small app that you drag into the Finder toolbar, the icon fits in very nicely. It works with Terminal, xterm (under X11), iterm.