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Call I view all files in a folder structure (i.e., in all of the recursive daughter folders) in one window? Command line is good, too (I'm on Ubuntu or MacOS).

Scenario: I have a bunch of pdfs in directory, but I'd like to categorize them without losing the ability to easily browse all at once. I plan on using search, too, but it's nice to have the ability to see all of these pdfs in one list.

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Thanks! All great answers! After submitting I realized an easy GUI way: Search for a wildcard in the top folder, which will show every pdf in the daughters. – Richard Herron Sep 17 '10 at 18:15
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For the command line, this might be helpful:

find . -name "*.pdf" | less

In Midnight Commander (mc), Command > Find File > Filename *.pdf > check Find Recursively > OK > Panelize.

In Nautilus in Ubuntu just do a search for pdf and add the Location column to View > Visible Columns. You can further restrict the search by clicking on the plus sign and adding the additional criterion that the File Type should be PDF/Postscript.

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On OS X, you could create a custom Smart Folder to do that for you. Create it in finder to show you all PDFs. Save it somewhere, then open that .savedSearch in a text editor (its just a simple XML file).

Near the bottom you'll see a key called FXScopeArrayOfPaths. The value is an array, probably with just one <string></string> tag, that will be something along the lines of kMDQueryScopeComputer. Change 'kMDQueryScopeComputer' to be the path to where ever you want the search rooted (/Users/<username>/Documents/PDF Files).

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The tree command can do this. For example,

tree -F -A -C -P "*.pdf"

produces a nice structure like this:

├── foo.pdf 
└── SomeDir/    
    ├── Bar.pdf*
    └── Baz.pdf

Unfortunately, this is a directory listing program, so folders that do not contain a PDF will still be listed.

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If you just want a list of all the files, including hidden files you can do the following command in the shell from the highest directory in the tree you want to consider:

% find .

If you want to see just the pdf's

% find . -name *.pdf
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In the Mac OS X Finder, set the view to the folder window to as List, and the Option click the small disclosure triangle next to the folder you want to view. This will open all the disclosure triangles of all sub-folders for you.

I find (On Mac OS X 10.5) that I sometimes have to close the disclosure triangle and kbd>Option click it again to get really deeply nested folders to open,i.e. if I need to see more than 3 or 4 levels deep.

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