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When I save a file from textedit, it typically gives me a very limited list of directories I can save it in. A few standard places like Documents, Downloads, and so on, plus five "recent places."

Is there a way to get it to let me browse to an arbitrary directory?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

EDIT: after comment
OSX save dialogs have two modes. Simple only has the few directories and otherwise has the browser as I explain below.

To switch between modes hit the down arrow at the right have end or the file name.

With full directories the save dialog starts in the directory you last saved in and should give all directories under that.

The sidebar shows devices (e.g. drives) and then Places

Places can be changed by going to Finder.app and dragging directories to the places part in Finder's sidebar

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For example, if I pick "documents", there is no way to browse further to a subdirectory. –  William Jockusch Feb 14 '11 at 23:44

You actually have several ways you can move around -- after you hit the arrow button beside the filename textarea. Do this first.

Double click on a folder and it will open.

Highlight a folder and type Command-down-arrow to open it.

Type Command-up-arrow to move up a directory level.

Switch to Columns view (click the button or type Command-3).

In the Spotlight search field beside the current directory name, type a folder name. I find this one flaky but sometimes it will present you with the folder you wished to find. Double click (or use any of the above methods) to open it. Note that if you highlight an item, at the bottom of the results list you can see the path to that item. You can double-click on any of the folders to go there.

If you have a Finder window open and visible, you can drag something (a folder or a file within it) and then that directory will become the save location. If you click and hold on the window icon (in the top bar beside the folder name, you can drag that as well. You have to hold the click until it goes dark. If a document is open nearby, you can even drag its icon from its document bar. The directory that the document is saved in will become the save location.

Command-Shift-G offers a 'Go to the folder' option. You can type any path (you even can use auto-completion) and then clicking Go will make that the save directory. This works even if you don't change the Save dialogue's mode.

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William, verify that you have the appropriate permissions to browse the desired folders: You (and the "staff" group for the Textedit application to remember your Save folder) need Read & Write (to browse and to save your files) permissions on those folders. You can change this behavior by opening a Terminal and type something like:

chmod -R +w /path/to/desired/folder

And for the "staff" group (or whatever your group name is):

chmod -R g+w /path/to/desired/folder

If you're not keen on typing on a terminal, you can perform this same task by opening Finder, navigate to the desired folder, right click on it (ctrl + click) and select the "Get info" option. Then expand the section "Sharing and Permisions". There you can assign the permissions you consider appropriate.

If you cannot see the folders on a Terminal nor on Finder you may need to log in as Root and perform the previous actions.

Hope this helps.

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I had this problem in textedit under Mountain Lion. I found that the complete folder hierarchy is available in column view by clicking on "other" at the bottom of the "save" location list.

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