Given that the Finder is central to many tasks in Mac OS X, I’m surprised that there is no global keyboard shortcut to call up a new Finder window. Well, that’s not strictly true — there’s alt-cmd-space, which will bring up a new window to start a Spotlight search. But most of the time I want to open my home directory, so I’d rather have a shortcut which jumps straight there.
Googling for the answer to this problem turned up lots of out-of-date suggestions to use Clearsilver and the like, but it seemed to me that a solution could be found using only what OSX provides. And indeed it can. The following has only been tested in 10.6 Snow Leopard.
The basic premise is to create a new Service to perform this task. Because Services are available globally, if you assign a shortcut to one, it should work in any application.
- Open the Automator application, and create a new workflow based on the Service template:
- In the Library pane, select Utilities, then find the action Run AppleScript and drag it into the workflow:
- Replace the line:
(* Your script goes here *)
tell application "Finder"
make new Finder window to home
- Save under the name “New Finder Window Home” or somesuch. Whatever name you choose, make a note of it. Also bear in mind that if you choose a name that matches an existing menu entry in any application, that menu entry will be selected in preference to yours… if you just call it “New Finder Window”, then when Finder is the active application, its own menu entry by that name (in the File menu) will be chosen when you hit the shortcut key combo. It may be that it will have exactly the same effect, but it depends on how you have Finder configured, so to avoid confusion, give it a more specific name.
- Go to System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > Application Shortcuts. Click the + button to add a new shortcut:
- Enter the exact name that you saved it as earlier (ie New Finder Window Home, if you used the same as me), and your desired shortcut key combo.
- It seems you have to quit System Preferences before the shortcut key will become operational. But it’s not necessary to restart other applications.
You can make the new Finder window open to somewhere other than your home directory by replacing home in the AppleScript with, for example, folder "Applications" of startup disk.