When browsing files in the dash and I click a file it opens the file. Is it possible to instead choose to view the folder of the file in Nautilus? If, how?

Here's an example to clarify. I want to rename a file that I worked on yesterday. I open the dash and view earlier files. There I find the file but the only possible choice seems to be to open the file. What I would like to is to view the folder of the file in Nautilus so that I may rename it via Nautilus.


It is intended that dragging the file over the launcher & dropping onto the 'Home Folder' icon, which should be highlighted, will open a nautilus window at the folder where the file is located

At the moment in 11.10, when doing this nautilus may only open a Home folder window instead, no matter where the file is.

If this is the case then it can be corrected by changing the Exec= line in nautilus-home.desktop to look like this (adding a %U, note there is a space after nautilus

Exec=nautilus %U

You can simply edit the existing nautilus-home.desktop in /usr/share/applications

gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop

Or of you have a custom nautilus-home.desktop then edit the Exec= in the top section, no need to add %U to any of the quicklist entries

A few usage notes -

The Dash remains open after dropping the file. To raise nautilus click on the Home Folder icon. You can open multiple files by switching back & forth if desired

  • Since this is a wiki there is no reason to add "edit" in your answer, see meta.askubuntu.com/a/831/19490 . Please just write it as one complete answer instead (edits can be tracked via the revision tracker anyway).
    – N.N.
    Dec 3 '11 at 9:55
  • It works for me in 11.10 (and the dash remains open as your also say). Does your .desktop entry contain any other changes than providing the functionality I asked for?
    – N.N.
    Dec 3 '11 at 9:59

If you are using 11.10, then dash does have a file and folders option. There are four icons representing the various options in dash: Home, Applications, Files and Folders, and Music Collection.

If you are looking to search deeper within the system though and open a file manager folder, you might want to try Desktop Search from the Ubuntu Software Center (tracker-gui) as the Google-Desktop Search is now deprecated and tracker should be able to assist.

  • 1
    I've rephrased my question to make it clearer. I don't want to browse folders but open the folder of a selected file.
    – N.N.
    Oct 27 '11 at 18:08
  • This is not possible. Oct 28 '11 at 13:47
  • Okay, what you want is something more akin to "open the folder instead of opening on the object which I clicked on."
    – freecode
    Dec 4 '11 at 3:18
  • 1
    Okay, what you want is something more akin to "open the folder instead of opening on the object which I clicked on." This was different than the original question as written. Funny that the answers provided were marked down negatively without anyone understanding that the original question had changed from the time answers were provided, but then things do change. The correct answer was provided for the question once it was altered by Doug as shown above. Verified and reproduced here as well. Very good work Doug. Have a nice day.
    – freecode
    Dec 4 '11 at 3:28

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