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TMO Quick Tip - Finder: Copying File Name Lists

by , 7:30 AM EDT, August 25th, 2008

Copying a list of file names from a folder in Mac OS X should be easy, and it is -- but it isn't obvious how to paste that list of names in Apple's own TextEdit application.

To copy a list of file names for use in TextEdit, do this:

  • Select the files you want to include in your list.

  • Select the files to include in your list.
  • Choose Edit > Copy to copy the highlighted items.
  • Open TextEdit. It's hiding in your Applications folder.
  • Choose Edit > Paste and Match Style.

  • Paste your list in TextEdit.

That's it. TextEdit builds a plain text list of all of the file names from the items you selected. Now you can use the list in TextEdit, or copy it and use it in a different application.


File name lists, TextEdit style.

Other applications, like TextWrangler and BBEdit, from Bare Bones Software will create a text list of file names with the standard Paste command (Command-V or Edit > Paste), which seems to be a little more straight forward. TextEdit, however, will create a list of application and file icons when you use the standard Paste command.


Jeff Gamet is TMO's Morning Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

if you have tips or tricks to share, or Mac-related questions you want answered.

Jeff Gamet is TMO's Managing Editor and Reviews Editor. He lectures, teaches and speaks on Mac OS X and design-related topics, and is the author of The Designer's Guide to Mac OS X from Peachpit Press.

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