File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Using Fetch for Macintosh

Download site for Fetch:
(You will need to apply for the free educational license)

Fetch is a simple tool that transfers files between a Macintosh and a network server. Fetch Icon

Find and run the Fetch program. If the New Connection dialog box does not appear, choose New Connection from the File menu. You may want to place an alias for Fetch on the desktop, on your Apple menu or on the Launcher.

Once Fetch is running, you will see this screen:New Connection Window

  • Host is the name of the server you want to connect to. *
  • User ID and Password are issued to you by
    WITS for both personal and department web publishing accounts.
  • Directory is usually blank for department accounts. For personal accounts, enter public_html (this directory must exist for publishing personal web pages).

* If you are not connected on campus or via Willamette PPP, you will have to enter the complete host name: where host is home for personal accounts or FTP for department accounts.

Enter the appropriate information, then click on the OK button or press return. Fetch will now display your space on the network server.

Create A Directory

  • Click on the Directories menu item then select Create New Directory. A window will appear asking you to enter the name for the new directory.
  • Click on OK
  • Double-click on a directory (folder) to open it.

Upload Files

  • Put FileClick on the Put File... button. A window will appear asking you to select a file to upload.
  • Select a file and click on the Open button. will ask you to specify a name and format for the file, with a default name and format already appearing, as shown to the right. You can change the name by entering a new file name.
  • Make sure the appropriate file format is selected. Use Text for text-only files (this option will be grayed out for more complex files). Use Raw Data for graphics files.
  • Once the name and format are entered click on the OK button or press return.
  • You can upload multiple files by selecting Put Folders and Files from the Remote menu.


You can move files by dragging them between a folder icon on your computer and the Fetch window.

To Download Files

  • Select the files you want to download (hold down the command key to select multiple files).
  • In the lower middle of the Fetch window are three buttons. For most downloading you will want the Automatic option. If you are downloading a graphic file, select Binary.
  • Click on the Get File... button to begin downloading. A window will appear asking you to select a destination folder.
  • Once you have selected a folder click on the Save button or press return.
  • You can download multiple files by selecting Get Directories and Files from the Remote menu.

Configuring Fetch

Fetch can be configured to simplify the connection for a particular account name. Configuring Fetch is done by creating a shortcut.

  • Start Fetch.
  • Choose New Shortcut from the Customize menu.
  • Enter a name for your shortcut in the Shortcut field at the top of the dialog box.
  • Enter the Host: and User ID:.
  • (You can include your password in the shortcut, but this is not recommended.)
  • You can also specify a different default directory.
  • Click the OK button.
  • The next time you use Fetch, select your shortcut from the pull-down list at the bottom of the New Connection dialog box. The information as specified in your shortcut will be automatically entered in the fields.
  • You should also configure the following preferences (choose Preferences from the Customize menu):
    • Click on the General tab.
    • Choose a Default shortcut (most likely the one you created above.)
    • Click on the Upload tab.
    • Set Default non-text format to Raw Data.

More File Management Using Fetch

Viewing Files

To view the contents of a file, first select it by clicking once on the filename. Click on the Remote menu item and select View File.... You will not be able to edit the file while viewing.

Renaming Files

To rename a file, first select the file by clicking once on the filename. Click on the Remote menu item and select Rename File.... A window will appear where you can type a new name. Remember that Unix names cannot contain spaces.

Deleting Files and Directories

To delete a file, first select the file by clicking once on the filename. You can select a range of files by holding down the shift key and dragging over the range of names (they must be contiguous).You can select multiple files by holding down the Command key and clicking on each filename. Once selected, click on the Remote menu and select Delete Directory or File.... A window will appear asking if you are sure you want to delete. Click on the Delete button to delete the file, or on the Cancel button to abort the delete request.

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