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One of the reasons why I sometimes envy Windows users is that under Windows, most applications use the native file chooser, which is quite usable.

Under Linux, this depends on the toolkit. For Qt/KDE programs, I get something reasonable with a user interface I understand. However, for GTK programs (e. g. Thunderbird), I get this abomination:

GTK file chooser example

There are two things that make it an absolute pain for me to use:

  • The address line at the top is not editable. So I cannot quickly type or paste a path like in other file choosers. Sometimes with these breadcrumb-style navigation bars, you can click in the empty area of the line to get a simple text input instead, but this doesn't work here. Also, there's no context menu if I right click anywhere.
  • If I just type some letters, I expect to jump to the first file in the current view that starts with these letters. The GTK dialog instead thinks it has to do a recursive search for the typed text. For me, this usually takes too long and it's also not helpful in many situations.

I would like to know there is some trick to using this dialog that I'm not aware of. My usual use case is that I already know the full path and usually have it available for copy & pasting in an open terminal window.

Things that I'm not looking for:

  • I know that you can add favorites to the left navigation bar, but to me that's just more work in managing them.
  • I know that many programs allow you to specify a file to edit/open on the command line. I already do that whenever possible.
  • Navigate file easily in Linux GUI Apps? is too generic and the GTK file chooser shown in one of the answers seems to be different from what I get.
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    To edit the address bar you can use Ctrl-L, is that enough? Feb 8 '20 at 10:19
  • @MunzirTaha: That's amazing and exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. Care to make it an answer?
    – wrtlprnft
    Feb 8 '20 at 15:49
  • Pleased to see this solved your issue. I also added more shortcuts to the answer. Feb 8 '20 at 20:06
  • Pleases don't forget to accept the answer since it resolved your question.
    – MountainX
    Feb 8 '20 at 20:29
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There are known shortcuts to edit the location bar: Ctrl+L, /, ., ~.

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