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Quickly creating a list of files in a folder



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hi everyone welcome to Matt's detectives

the email series about utilizing

technology to be more efficient and

productive in your you're a business

this week's tip is a simple way to throw

together a list of all the files that

you've collected from a client when we

start a new project we received a lot of

new data from the client sometimes we

collected ourselves sometimes the client

will send it to you via email and maybe

they'll show you a Dropbox link with you

with the folder full of all the files in

any case we end up with a large list of

files typically and if you're like me

your first task is sort through the

files and determine what you have

received but more importantly what

you're missing from the data so let's

jump right in so to start you're going

to want to navigate to the folder that

has all the files that you're looking to

create a list from so here I have a

large list of files that I've received

from a client I suggest starting off by

sorting the files and whatever way makes

most sense to you it could be by name

date modified the size of the file or

the type the elements will remind by the

type files so now I have all my PDFs my

Excel files and my word documents all

grouped together now the next step is to

select all the files in the folder so it

cooked a single file you're selecting

that file to select all of them on a

select single file hit ctrl a that's

going to select every file that's in

that folder and the next step is the

secret step so if you were to

right-click on a file right now you get

the standard options you get cut copy

delete those sorts of things but we want

is a non-standard option so to get to

that you're going to want to have all

the file selected you're going to want

to hold alt then shift and then right

click on a file so what that's going to

do is open up a new menu with a new

option copy as path this option will

copy the full file path of the file that

you have selected in this case we have

all the files selected so you want to

select copyist path and once you do that

you're going to want to jump over to a

new sheet in Microsoft Excel select a

cell and paste what you have copied now

you're going to see that you've got all

of the files pasted and their full path

whether on your PC this by itself is

pretty ugly and you the list isn't

really usable so what we're going to do

is get rid of everything except for the

file name which is what we're interested

so from there I'm going to select the

column that has all of your data in it

you're going to want to go to the data

tab and then click text to columns the

first screen that pops up you're going

to want to select delimited you'll

notice that we have a backslash

separating each little section of our

file path that's what we want to

separate the data based on so select a

limited click Next

then you want to select other and you're

going to make sure that a backslash is

entered in this input cell here and

you're going to click finish and what

Excel is going to do is going to split

up all the text from that file path

based on those back slashes so we're

only interested now in the very last

column of data so we can just get rid of

or hide these first columns here or just

delete all the stuff out of it so what

you have now is a full list of all of

the files that were in that folder just

the file names with the file extension

on the end of it so whether it's dot PDF

dot excel file dot docx however it is so

you can use this list for a variety of

things if you just want to copy over to

a tracking document in Word or know

something like that what I use it for

quite often is to take this list put it

into an email and send that back to the

client just to give them an idea of what

we have received from them and what

we're still missing in terms of the

files that they need to send us so I

hope this tip becomes useful for you

guys and until next time thanks