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John Paul Cook

Copy as path instead of a send to program

What do you do to capture the fully qualified name of a file from Windows Explorer? If you are using a newer version of Windows than XP, you can easily get the fully qualified file name without installing or reconfiguring anything. All you need to do as add the Shift key to the mix after selecting the file of interest.


Figure 1. Normal right-click menu option.


Figure 2. Shift plus right-click menu option. Notice the addition of Pin to Start Menu and Copy as path.

Here is what Copy as path put in my paste buffer:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL11.MSSQLSERVER\MSSQL\DATA\AdventureWorks2012_Data.mdf"

Considering that this particular path has embedded spaces, the double quotes surrounding the fully qualified file name are good to have. When there aren’t any spaces in the path or file name, the double quotes may be annoying. But the annoyance of double quotes is nothing compared to not having this functionality at all. Even on my own machine at home, I prefer Copy as path over other methods because I don’t want to install a send to clipboard program on my machine. The fewer programs that are installed, the better things are.

Published Tuesday, February 12, 2013 6:59 PM by John Paul Cook



jerryhung said:

Nice tip, learned something new :)

February 12, 2013 8:31 PM

Nick B said:

Nice tip. I'll find that useful. Much better than typing in the address bar waiting for it to auto-complete the full file name.

Instructions for removing your greyed-out 'SkyDrive Pro' context menu

February 13, 2013 6:04 PM

genkeep said:

Thanks you for sharing this cool tips , I also use Long Path Tool to copy or delete path files


October 21, 2013 8:13 AM
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About John Paul Cook

John Paul Cook is a database and Azure specialist in Houston. He previously worked as a Data Platform Solution Architect in Microsoft's Houston office. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was a SQL Server MVP. He is experienced in SQL Server and Oracle database application design, development, and implementation. He has spoken at many conferences including Microsoft TechEd and the SQL PASS Summit. He has worked in oil and gas, financial, manufacturing, and healthcare industries. John is also a registered nurse recently completed the education to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Contributing author to SQL Server MVP Deep Dives and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2. Connect on LinkedIn

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