If you are a serious Mac user or (more likely) admin Mac servers you may need to be able to switch back and forth between showing and hiding files that would normally be hidden by default. The .htaccess file on web servers is a greta example of a hidden file you might need to see and then hide again.
There are a few approaches. Probably the most common is to just use native commands in Terminal, but this is time consuming. Another is to use Automator to create a script that toggles back and forth. Another approach involves setting up some very streamlined commands that can be called from Terminal.
This post takes a deeper look at the different ways to show/hide hidden files on Max OS X.