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CopyFilenames extends hidden Explorer functions in Vista, XP

With CopyFilenames 2.0, administrators running earlier versions of Windows will be provided with the same 'Copy as Path' functionality (and other functions) for Explorer that's available in Vista.

One of the cooler "hidden" features in Windows Vista, the Shift-Right-Click context menu in Explorer, exposes a number of options not normally found in the Vista shell. "Copy as Path" is the one I get an inordinate amount of use from: It's a terrifically handy way to copy the name and path of one or more files, in plain text, to the clipboard without hassles.

This is great for Windows Vista environments, but what if you're still running an earlier version of Windows? As it turns out, a shareware program called CopyFilenames from ExtraBit Software has a solution to this exact problem. In fact, it sports a great many more features that are not available through the same functionality in Vista, so Vista users can benefit from it too.

When installed, CopyFilenames adds three new right-click context-menu entries for Windows Explorer: Copy Filenames, Copy Filename and Delete and Paste Filename.


  • Copy Filenames (as you can imagine) copies the names of each selected file in a list that can be delineated in a manner of the user's choosing.

  • Copy Filename and Delete and then Paste Filename allows you to copy the name of the selected file before deleting it, then apply the name to another file. The two don't always have to be used in conjunction, but they can be.

CopyFilenames also has a wide range of behavioral options. Admins can set the attributes to copy not only the file name, but also the full path, its size, modified date, sort order and whether or not to offset filename with delimiters (e.g., quotes). This makes it possible to copy a set of filenames and paste it into an application that recognizes formatted lists, such as a spreadsheet application. The program also lets you add file or folder names to the current clipboard list from, say, an entire directory tree, or only add files/folders that match certain wildcards.

About the author:Serdar Yegulalp is editor of Windows Insight (formerly the Windows Power Users Newsletter), a blog site devoted to hints, tips, tricks and news for users and administrators of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Vista. He has more than 12 years of experience working with Windows and contributes regularly to and other TechTarget sites.

This was last published in October 2007

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