Getting A List Of Files Names - Another Method

Category: General | [Item URL]

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:

  1. Enter the directory path in your browser's address bar. For example, g:\music.

    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:


     
  2. Press Ctrl+A to select all of the text, and then Ctrl+C to copy it.
     
  3. 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.



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