Spend less time CD’ing around directories with the PowerShell Z shortcut

Dev Tips

Everyone has a trick for moving around their computer faster. It might be a favorite shell, a series of aliases or shortcuts. I like using popd and pushd to quickly go deep into a directory structure and return exactly where I was.

Another fantastic utility is simply called “Z.” There is a shell script for Z at https://github.com/rupa/z that’s for *nix, and there’s a PowerShell Z command (a fork of the original) at https://github.com/vincpa/z.

As you move around your machine at the command line, Z is adding the directories you usually visit to a file, then using that file to give you instant autocomplete so you can get back there FAST.

If you have Windows 10, you can install Z in seconds like this:

C:> Install-Module z -AllowClobber

Then just add “Import-Module z” to the end of your Profile, usually at $env:USERPROFILEDocumentsWindowsPowerShellMicrosoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1

Even better, Z works with pushd, cd, or just “z c:usersscott” if you like. All those directory changes and moves will be recorded it the Z datafile that is stored in ~.cdHistory.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite way to move around your file system at the command line?

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