Windows Vista Secret #2: Copy as Path

Ever wanted to copy a link from a network file share into an email, and wound up having to traverse the path, click on the address bar, copy the details out, paste it in and then type the filename itself (with the appropriate quotation marks?

With Windows Vista, there's an easier way. In the same hidden context-sensitive menu I mentioned in the first secret, there's another helpful shortcut: Copy as Path. Unlike the command prompt trick, this menu item appears both for files and folders, so you can use this anywhere you want to quickly grab a shortcut to send someone else.

Comments (17)

  1. jwismar says:

    Glad to see the "copy as path" command making it into the OS.  I wrote a context-menu-handler shell extension to do that in 2000 and XP, and I use it pretty much every day.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nice tip! I have always used ClipPath for that, but now that it is part of the OS I don’t need it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    That’s nice 🙂

    I just installed RC1 to try Vista out properly, and here’s a secret I’d really like you to share: how do I get the "go to parent folder" button back onto explorer windows?

    Seriously, if there’s a way to do this, even if you have to write some explorer extension, I want to know how.  Not having that button is the single most annoying thing about Vista so far, and whoever decided the other methods are just as good wasn’t paying attention to how people use this feature.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    Btw, soon after I installed Vista, it told me that one of my hard drives was about to die (via the S.M.A.R.T. info)…now that was cool!  But sad in another way :-(…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff, Tim, thanks for letting us know!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath vient de publier 2 astuces pour Windows VISTA:Open Command Prompt Here Copy as Path Je dois…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath (Windows Vista Technical Evangelist) has reveled THE Windows Vista function that should be…

  7. Garry Trinder says:

    Tim (not Dr. Sneath), just click the button in the breadcrumb bar. The parent folder is always to the left of your current path.

  8. Tim Sneath says:

    And in response to the same Tim that n4cer responded to…

    Alt + Up Arrow is the keyboard shortcut for "parent folder", which does exactly what you’re looking for.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the suggestions, but:

    "Alt + Up Arrow is the keyboard shortcut for "parent folder", which does exactly what you’re looking for."

    I knew that – but it means taking my hand off the mouse. Super annoying. (Maybe I can bind a mouse button to do this though.)

    "Tim (not Dr. Sneath), just click the button in the breadcrumb bar. The parent folder is always to the left of your current path."

    I knew that too, but this is then a moving target.  See Fitt’s Law etc.

    It’s perhaps instructive to note that I use the ‘parent’ button like this:

    I’m ‘drilling down’ (gak) into folders, or have just opened a folder directly via a search etc, then I want to back up to a certain level.  On, eg. XP I just click ‘go to parent’ repeatedly until I see the folders I’m looking for.  If I overshoot, I click the ‘thumb’ button on my mouse to go ‘back’.  Notice that:

    [a] I don’t have to move the mouse between clicks.

    [b] I don’t *know* which folder I’m looking for – I’m looking for the folders within that folder that I recognise.

    [c] Back is not always the same as ‘go to parent’, so I can’t use back without getting annoyed/confused.

    On XP etc, this operation is really quick and easy.  On Vista it’s clunky and distracting and annoying.  And I do this operation a *lot*.  That’s my point.

    And don’t get me started on the fact that the ‘Burn’ button (which I must use, oh, once a week, maybe) is always there, and thus considered more important than ‘go to parent’ (which I would use many times a day, if it was there).

    I can just about forgive all this in return for the super useful Start menu search box.  Maybe.  Actually, no, I’d still like the ‘go to parent’ button back 🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath is on a roll with his series of Windows Vista Secrets posts, and rumour has it he has something…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Awsome tips! I was afraid MS was going to ignore those of us who prefer the command prompt 🙂

    PS: Tim – I’ve been seriously using Vista for about a week , and I still find myself clicking to the right of the "forward" button in a vain attempt to go up a level in Explorer…

    The keyboard shortcut will help, but that button should really be there.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Some of you may be using my CopyPath Shell Extension in Windows XP. This shell extension allows you to

  13. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneathが彼のブログで「Windows Vista Secret」という連載(?)をやっています。役に立ちそうなものもあるので、ここでタイトルだけ日本語化して紹介します。詳細は(英語ですが)リンク先を見てください。

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree with tim and CertifiableX

    .  We really need the parent folder button.  I want vertical not horizontal.  

    Interesting OS so far and the search feature is great.   I couldn’t find the run button so i typed either "cmd" or "run" in the search and got exactly what i wanted.  I also turned off my sidebar completely.  I couldn’t figure out how to turn it back on.  I typed sidebar in the search and presto my sidebar started up again.  

  15. Anonymous says:

    Tim Sneath hat einige sehr hilfreiche Windows Vista Secrets veröffentlicht die euch das Leben mit dem…

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