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Another Way to Quickly Copy File Paths

In the Reader to Reader article “Hidden Option, Free Utility Can Be Real Time-Savers Reader to Reader If You Copy File Paths Often” (November 2007, InstantDoc ID 95953), Alex K. Angelopoulos shows how to use Windows Vista’s Copy as Path option and Ninotech’s Path Copy utility to copy file paths that appear in Windows Explorer. There’s another way you can copy file paths. If you open a command prompt window and drag and drop a file into that window, it will paste the full path onto the command line. Windows has had this feature since Windows NT, so Alex could use this filepath copying technique on pre-Vista machines that don’t have Path Copy installed. For Vista, however, he’ll have to use the Copy as Path option (right-click while pressing Shift, then select Copy as Path) because Microsoft decided to remove this functionality from Vista (and probably from Windows Server 2008 as well).

Because I do most of my work from a command prompt window, I rarely open Windows Explorer. When I need a Windows Explorer window opened pointing to the current directory in a command prompt window, I type

 start .

I find this to be a lot faster than opening My Computer and navigating to the folder, especially if you use filename completion when navigating at the command prompt. You can also open a specific folder by passing the path instead of a period. (The period stands for the current folder. You can also use two consecutive periods to stand for the parent folder.)

—Toby Ovod-Everett

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