Import the results of Windows XP's Tree command into Word

Using the Tree command to research your folders on your Windows XP hard disk can give you results fast—too fast for your eye to catch. Here's how to use Word to create a Tree you can read in detail and at your own pace.

To find out how many folders there are on your Windows XP hard disk, you can open a Command Prompt and use the Tree command. You'll get a very nice looking graphical tree structure showing all the folders on your hard disk. The only problem is that the display will scroll by your screen so fast and exceed the buffer size, so you'll never be able to see it.

Instead, try using the old MS-DOS pipe to funnel the output of the Tree command to an RTF (Rich Text Format) file. You can then import that RTF file into a specially formatted Word document and have the same graphical tree structure showing all the folders on your hard disk in a document. Here's how:

  1. Open a Command Prompt window.
  2. Use the CD \ command to access the root folder.
  3. Type Tree > Tree.rtf
  4. Close the Command Prompt window.
  5. Launch Word and open a new document.
  6. Go to File | Page Setup.
  7. In the Page Setup dialog box, choose the Landscape Orientation, and set the left and right margins to 0.
  8. Click OK and click the Ignore button in the margins warning dialog box.
  9. Go to Insert | File.
  10. In the Insert File dialog box, locate the Tree.rtf file and click the Insert button.
  11. In the File Conversion dialog box, select the MS-DOS option and click OK.

You can save the document and then scroll through the graphical tree structure showing all the folders on your hard disk.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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