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hit ^l in nautilus.

It's CTRL+L on my keyboard. In addition to Nautilus and all the file dialogs it also works in browsers and even in Windows's "Explorer" file manager.

I use Gnome 3.4, though. Did the Gnome developers remove this shortcut from 3.6?

You can just start typing a path. Typing / shows an input field, and it has tab completion too.

> file dialogs

As in the "Open File" or "Save File" widgets in GTK3 (at least I assume it's GTK3 and not GNOME3).

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