Like many modern operating system Mac OS X systems can have files that are hidden from view under normal circumstances. These files are normally used by the system itself and there is no need for them to be accessed or modified.
There are many times, however, that these hidden files need to be changed or modified by power users and those desiring more control over their Mac. It is also possible that some files that were not intended to be hidden are hidden due to the format of their file name.
Revealer was developed by TRC Data Recovery as a very simple freeware app that can show or hide all files on your Mac instantly. It was developed by our team in response to a direct request from a partner of ours to provide a method of viewing downloaded files from a web server without having to do anything within the Terminal command line. Revealer packages a very simple shell script into a user friendly GUI for just this purpose.
TRC Data Recovery have been using Revealer internally and distributing it to our partners but we have recently decided to release it free of charge to everybody.
Many files are hidden by a Mac that are not supposed to be, web developers will be familiar with this if they have ever downloaded the .htaccess file from a server. In Mac OS X conventions a file with a '.' in front of the name is hidden by default such as in the case of .DS_Store and many other operating system files.
There are also many parameter files that are commonly edited to achieve power user's goals. It is possible to customise various aspects of the OS through the manipulation of parameter files hidden within the bowels of OS X, Revealer can help you to achieve this.
With the introduction of OS X Lion the Library folder within each user profile is now hidden by default. This folder contains hugely important files that store the configuration and user data for many OS X applications, the program Mail keeps your mail items and custom stationery within this folder, your Keychains are stored here as is your Address Book data and many other bits.
If a system corruption occurs or this data simply needs to be backed up outside of Apple's Time Machine software, accessing this folder can be critical.
New: Version 2.0 of Revealer now includes the ability to change the file system flag that makes the folder hidden. From within the new tab in Revealer you can set the status to shown or hidden. No other system files are affected and no Finder relaunch is required.
Revealer can be downloaded from the following link: