Directory Listings Made Easy
by Alan German
ever wanted to print out a list of files in a Windows'
directory, or needed to save such a list to a file for
importing into a spreadsheet? If so, you may have found
this to be a difficult task, since Windows doesn't
provide a utility program to do the job. Sure, just like
in the good old days of DOS, you could go to a command
line and use a pipe to route the output of a directory
command to the printer or to a file, but who remembers
how to do this?
For non-geeks, the simpler answer might be to use
Directory Printer, one of Karen Kenworthy's Power Tools (http://www.karenware.com/powertools/ptdirprn.asp). This little utility program is
tailor made for creating directory listings. And, it's
The main program window provides tabs for either creating
a printed list (Print) or producing the list as a file
(Save to Disk). Each of these tabs offers many options
for controlling the format of the output for lists of
both files, and sub-folders contained in the directory to
be processed. For example, by checking certain optional
boxes, as shown in the screenshot, the file listings can
be restricted to just the date on which each file was
last modified, the file's name and size.
customize the listings, a drop-down menu allows for
sorting by file name, extension, size, or date. The
listing may also be filtered for common image or sound
file formats, documents, executable files, HTML or web
files. Better yet, you can add your own custom filters,
such as an entry for "Text Files" to filter for
By default, the program's output includes a number of
lines of comments, documenting the source of the listing
and providing explanations of the columnar listings. By
checking the formatting boxes, the listing may be
customized to eliminate some or all of these comments.
A sample report produced by the program is shown in the
next screenshot. The list may not be all that pretty, but
it's serviceable. And, it's easy to pull a disk file
version into a word processor to modify the text -
bold-facing items of particular interest - or reducing
the font size to make a printout that can be cut to a
suitable size, and folded, for insertion into the jewel
case or paper sleeve of a CD-ROM.
"Other Settings" tab allows further
customization of the program's operations. By default,
right clicking the mouse on a drive or folder icon will
provide an option to "Print with DirPrn". This
will allow you to print a file listing directly, without
running the program. However, the setting for this menu
option can be disabled. You can also choose to have the
program retain the settings for parameters selected on
the Print and Save to Disk tabs, and select the features
that will be displayed as choices for customizing file
listings on these tabs.
The program is very intuitive to use but, if in doubt,
you will find a context-sensitive menu system that
provides clear explanations of all the functions,
together with associated screenshots, a glossary of
terms, and links to additional information on the Web. A
neat feature of this help system is that the graphics are
interactive. Click on an area of one of the screenshots
and an associated help screen is displayed.
Karen's Directory Printer is highly customizable but,
"straight out of the box", the program produces
useful file listings very easily. Thanks Karen!
Karen's Directory Printer (Freeware)
Karen Kenworthy, Karen's Power Tools
Originally published: September, 2008
top of page
The opinions expressed in these reviews
do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.