I need to see my .htaccess files for the websites i develop locally on my Mac OS X. I put all my sites in the Sites folder. Since it starts with a dot, Mac OS X treats them as system - therefore invisible - files.

I'm aware that you can tell Mac OS X to show invisible files in Finder, either via Terminal or the TinkerTool software. But this makes the Finder and desktop look cluttered.

Therefore i would like to have Finder only show .htaccess files when inside the Sites folder.

Is that possible?

  • what kind of IDE are you using? Dec 3, 2009 at 11:51
  • You could edit your code with Eclipse or NetBeans. With simple shortcuts you can request the file you need. Also .htaccess files. No need to show them in the finder Dec 3, 2009 at 16:12
  • this suggestion interests me as i use netbeans. How do you do that? I don't see the .htaccess files inside the file browser.
    – pixeline
    Dec 4, 2009 at 18:31
  • The biggest issue I find is when you select all files and the .htaccess files are ignored. Mar 11, 2012 at 8:05

4 Answers 4


I'm afraid this isn't possible. It is just all or nothing. Here are a few alternatives to make it a bit smoother:

  1. The Apple Hidden Files Widget. Toggle the hidden files with one click, works for me. Widget
  2. Use a third party app for finding hidden files. For example, Path Finder from Cacao Tech. It makes it possible to view hidden files without your finder being messed up with all those files.

Hope this helps..

  • Path Finder is great!
    – cregox
    Mar 4, 2010 at 18:02
  • Never thought I would say it but maybe Apple can learn from windows with the option "Hide protected operating system files". With this enabled you can show hidden files without the cluttered hidden system files. Mar 11, 2012 at 8:05

In Snow Leopard you can type Command-Shift-Period from an Open or Save dialog box to toggle the invisibility of files.

You could also create a symbolic link to it that is visible as long as the target doesn't start with a period.

ln -s /pathtoyour/.htaccess /differentpath/open_htaccess
  • +1 for that Snow Leopard shortcut! That makes life easier without having to show all invisibles in all Finder windows. Now if only that worked in the Finder as well as a quick show/hide... Sep 26, 2011 at 13:27

I found a couple of site which helped me to build a service using Automator which allows you to show and hide all files from the services menu (Finder > Service)

This site gave me the code: theappleblog.com/2007/04/30/quick-tip-showhide-hidden-files/

And this one told me what I needed to do to get the service to show in the menu. langui.sh/2009/11/19/building-services-using-automator-workflows-in-snow-leopard-10-6/

(sorry for no links, apparently I can only post one hyperlink until I have more reputation)

I ended up setting 'Service receives' to 'no input' in 'Finder.app' as this means that it is always shown in the services menu of Finder instead of having to have a file or folder selected.

You could probably make this work better so it only shows all files for the folder selected, but I don't know enough about shell scripting to know hoe to do this.


A workaround could be to use a FTP client and to view the folder from there by using the application itself as a finder window. Only thing you have to do is to navigate to the desired folder. From what I understand you only want to view the folder structure and wether there is a htaccess in it or not. You can also use the FTP client to open the file in your preferred editor in case edits are necessary. Advantage: your finder stays neat and clean.

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