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Directory Listings Made Easy

by Alan German

Have you 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 ( This little utility program is tailor made for creating directory listings. And, it's free!

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.



To further 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 *.txt.

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.



The "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!

Bottom Line:

Karen's Directory Printer (Freeware)
Version 5.2.6
Karen Kenworthy, Karen's Power Tools

Originally published: September, 2008

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