Mac Users: How do you handle your files?

On OS X 10.7, whenever I create something in Inform 7 (6L38), the file winds up somewhere completely inaccessible to normal file-handling. When I do a file search in the finder, or in a pop-up menu in another application (for instance, when browsing files to attach to a post in this forum), the file will never show up in the search even if I type the exact file name.

The only solution I’ve ever found has been to copy the original file to a more public location (like my Documents folder) and then find it from the web form, but this seems bad, both because it’s inconvenient and because it can desynchronize the file I’m sending from the one I’m working on.

Do any Mac users have better solutions for file handling, so the Finder and other file search windows will be able to find the files I’m working on where they get saved?

What kind of file are you creating? Are you creating an I7 story, or an I6 story, or an I7 extension?

Do you mean you want to find the newly created file before you save it?

When I save an I7 story, on Mac, I can choose what folder to save it in.

This time I’m creating an extension… I’ve had similar issues with I7 stories, though that might just have been a poor choice of initial location to save in.

Can you find the regular extensions? I think they’re in a subfolder of Library/ in your home folder.

Those extensions are also all invisible to the search functions.

However, now that you mention it, I can go through the file path on this browser window (at least) and find the extension that way, rather than search on the title. I wish I could use the search function but this should do for me for now. Thanks!

Are you using the Mac App Store version of the I7 app? (There are two at The MAS version may use funny paths buried in app sandboxes.

I have little experience of this; I use the other one.

No, I’m using the one from the inform7 website. I think it’s just that the Library is hidden. (I think there’s a Terminal command to do something along the lines of exposing the Library to searches, and I thought I had run it, but maybe not.)

Which one from the Inform7 website?

Oh right, they’re both there. I’m almost positive it’s not the Mac App Store one, though; I have a disk image called “I7-6L38-OSX.dmg” on my hard drive and not one called “I7-6L38-OSX-MAS.dmg”, which I think means that I had the original download rather than the Mac App Store one.

Yes, Library is frustratingly hidden on OSX. Best thing is to go in the Inform IDE to File and “open extensions folder”

If you create an extension it puts it in there first. I usually make a game first to create an extension, then save it as an extension later after I change all the headers.

Also, when you create a new project from the bare front-end screen of Inform 7, it lets you specify a file location.

Extra tip - Navigate to the Extensions folder once, back out to the folder enclosing it, then drag the Extensions folder to your sidebar so you can open it with 1 click anytime.


Those are good tips, and I’ve done what you said with the Extensions folder, but the critical issue was not so much being able to open up stuff from the desktop as being able to get to stuff from search windows (for instance, in the file dialogue box that pops up when I try to attach something to a post in this forum, or when I try to upload something to a web form like the ParserComp entry). Having the Extensions folder in the sidebar doesn’t seem to make the extensions available to those search functions, or let them show up in All My Files which is something I often use to find the most recent thing I was working on.

It does make it easier to navigate it directly to them, though, so that’s good. I just have to change my habits for how I attach things.

OK. You can do a search including system files but I haven’t tried integrating this permanently into Spotlight.

Here’s how to do a one-off search.

In the Finder:

  • press Apple-F
  • With luck you will see a line that has 2 dropdown menus saying ‘Kind’ is ‘Any’. If you don’t have a line, click the + button to make one.
  • Now, change ‘Kind’ to ‘System files’
  • The default option is ‘aren’t included’. Change to ‘are included’
  • Now type your search term in the search box that is a part of this window - NOT the top corner spotlight box. This can locate files in Inform Extensions folder, etc.

Once you’ve done that once, you’ll find it’s not as fiddly as it sounds above. But you could further experiment with Spotlight’s preferences in ‘System Preferences’. For instance there is a tickable ‘Other’ box, which I haven’t verified what it does yet. There is also a tickable ‘System Preferences’ box, but I’m not sure if that is literally just the preferences folder (it probably is) or a broader System Files preference. And when you change overall Spotlight prefs like this, it helps if you let it start indexing before you test the search.


You can make the Library folder visible in Finder by opening a Finder window on your home directory and hitting “Show View Options” (cmd-J). There’s a checkbox for “Show Library Folder”. I suspect this doesn’t affect search behavior though.

Hmmm, I’m not getting that–maybe it’s not in OS X 10.7? Anyway I can see the Library folder in Finder; maybe that was what I did with the command line.

(However, when searching the Help files for this, I found out how I could get Software Update to stop bugging me about the new version of iTunes I don’t want to download. Serendipity!)

Yeah, sorry – that option showed up in 10.9, looks like.

(Through 10.8: … os-x-lion/ )

Yeah, that looks like the shell command I ran. Thanks, though–now I’m pretty sure what I did and what effect it had!