Using Automator to enable Show/Hide toggle of System files on a Mac

One of the things that irked me as a developer, was the way Apple tries to make it difficult for you to edit system files from a GUI front end.

Launch Applications -> Automator -> Service

  1. Select Finder.app from drop down
  2. Type in text as shown in image above.
  3. Save as ‘Show System Files’
  4. Change TRUE to FALSE in image above
  5. Save as ‘Hide System Files’

(Scripts will be saved in ~/Library/Services folder)

In Apple -> System Preferences -> Keyboard ->  Services ->  General

Hide System Files &  Show System Files appear.

Assign unused keyboard shortcuts.

Highlight either option and Tab I assign Shift Cmd – & Shift Cmd =

Make sure both these General Services are now checked.

Back in Finder (only this…   because of the way scripts were set to run for ‘Finder.app’ in point 1.) -> Services the checked options appear.

Now you can show/hide system files with the assigned keyboard shortcuts, which will make editing files like .profile easier.

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