Getting A List Of Files Names - Another Method
In a previous tip, I described method of putting a list of file names from a directory into an Excel range. Today I discovered another method that's much simpler. It uses the File protocol in a Web browser.
- Note: This method does not work with Internet Explorer. I tested it with Firefox and Chrome, and it works fine with those browsers.
It's pretty simple:
- Enter the directory path in your browser's address bar. For example,
The browser will convert this path into a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier). For example, g:\music is converted to file:///g:/music/. In addition, the files in that directory will be displayed as hyperlinks, and you can traverse the directory by clicking on directory names. Here's how the file listing appears in Firefox:
- Press Ctrl+A to select all of the text, and then Ctrl+C to copy it.
- Activate Excel, select a cell, and press Ctrl+V to paste.
The filenames will be pasted as hyperlinks with wrapped text. You might prefer to use Paste Special (with the Text option) rather than Ctrl+V. You'll get a three-column range like this (copied from Firefox):
Google's Chrome browser is actually better for this task because it doesn't precede the file names with "File:" and it puts the date and time in a single cell.
This technique works with a single directory. If you need to get a list of files in multiple directories, you must repeat the procedure for each directory.
For more flexibility, use the Filename Lister utility in my PUP add-in.
Excel has a long history, and it continues to evolve and change. Consequently, the tips provided here do not necessarily apply to all versions of Excel.
In particular, the user interface for Excel 2007 (and later), is vastly different from its predecessors. Therefore, the menu commands listed in older tips, will not correspond to the Excel 2007 (and later) user interface.
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