Tech Tricks: Copying Folder and File Names from a Directory into a Word Document

I don’t know if anyone will find this useful, but sometimes there are simple tech things that I don’t do just because I don’t know I can do them. Once I find out I can do them my life gets a lot easier. For example, what if I have a directory with folders or files in it and I want to copy just the names of the folders and files into a word list? Say I have a folder with a bunch of images, and I want to send a patron a list of the file names, but don’t want to send all of the files themselves for whatever reason. I could screen shot it, but that can be annoying if I have to grab an image, scroll, grab an image, scroll, etc.

I also can’t just open the directory, select them, and do a CTRL-C because it will copy the contents of the files and folders and not just their names. But what you can do is open the location of the directory in Firefox (for whatever reason this doesn’t work in Chrome for me), copy the filenames there, and paste them into a text editor (word processing programs seem to bring formatting information that doesn’t format well for me). I’ll walk you through it (and demonstrate how far behind I am in gaming) using a folder on my computer with the caveat that usually you would use this for a lot more files.

Just navigate to the directory with the files and/or folders you want to copy the names of. The folders I’m using for my example live in my computer at C:\GOG Games.

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Click in the location bar and copy the address.

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Open Firefox (or possibly another web browser, this doesn’t work in Chrome for me) and paste in the location of the folder.

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Firefox will now show those folders and files in the browser window. You can click and go into them or open some files in your browser window, but we don’t want to, we just want to copy the names.

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So you can either drag to select some or all, or CTRL-A, and then CTRL-C to copy the names of the files and folders you want to make into a list. I did a CTRL-A so it’s going to grab everything.

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Then just paste using CTRL-V into a text editor to get rid of formatting info. This shows it in Notepad, and I usually start in a text editor no matter where I’m ultimately going. If I don’t put it in a text editor and then copy (CTRL-C) it again, it brings weird formatting information with it (tips on making it not do this are welcome).

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The image below shows the folder names in a spreadsheet program after I’ve copied it into Notepad, selected it and copied it again, and pasted it into LibreOffice Calc. From there it’s easy to delete columns with information you don’t want (file size or last modified information maybe), and sort the file names if you want to.

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That’s all there is to it. I hope it’s useful. One of those things that’s easy enough to do, if you know you can do it in the first place. Any improvements to the process, questions, or suggestions are very welcome.