Microsoft

Quick Tip: Copy both the path and the file name to the clipboard

In Windows Vista, 7, and 8, with an extra keystroke you can copy the full path to a file and save time finding it when you need it.

I don't know how I missed this little trick, but it would have saved me a significant amount of time over the years if I had been using it. If you do a lot of linking, moving, and managing of files, there is a good possibility that this quick tip will do some good for you too.

Note: This tip applies to Windows Vista, 7, and 8, but not to Windows XP.

Here is our example file (Figure A). It is a typical file that we may want to print or fax or send to someone as a link so they can find it on a shared folder, etc.

Figure A

Our example file

More than copy

Under normal circumstances, right-clicking on a file name (Figure B) will give you access to several operations you can perform on that file, including the option to copy the file to the Windows clipboard.

Figure B

Menu options with a right-click
However, if we hold the Shift key down and then right-click the file name we get a few more operations (Figure C), including the option to Copy as Path to the clipboard.

Figure C

More menu options with a Shift right-click
When you use the Copy as Path option, the information copied to the clipboard includes not only the name of the file but the folder path where it can be found (Figure D). This can save you time if the next procedure you are trying to complete has a dialog box, which asks you to find the file in your folder hierarchy before it performs its function.

Figure D

The full path revealed

More tips

I know some of you may have been aware of this little trick, but somehow I had missed it for all these years. I guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks. Do you know any other little timesaving gems that toil in obscurity deep in the Windows 7 feature set? Would you care to shed some light on them so that we might all benefit from your superior knowledge?

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About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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