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Printing a File List

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Printing a File List.

Users of WordPerfect may be familiar with the feature that allows you to print the contents of a directory. Indeed, it can be very handy to have a printout of all the documents in a directory. Unfortunately, Word does not have an intrinsic command that allows you to accomplish the same task. There are a couple of ways you can approach this problem, however.

The first is the old tried-and-true DIR method, which has been used by "techies" since the days of DOS. Simply open a command prompt (MS-DOS) window, locate the directory for which you want a list, and then type the following command:

dir /b > mydir.txt

This creates a text file (mydir.txt) that contains only the names of the files in the directory. You can then locate the file in Word and load it as a document. While this approach is not a single step, it is not particularly difficult, either.

If you would like a macro solution to the problem, you can use the following. It displays the standard Open dialog box, in which you can browse for the directory for which you want a list. When you select a file in that directory and click on Open, the macro creates a new Word document that lists all the files that the directory contains. Note that you must select a file from the directory.

Sub ListFiles()
    Dim PathWanted As String
    Dim Temp As String
    Dim i As Integer

    With Dialogs(wdDialogFileOpen)
        .Name = "*.*"
        If .Display = -1 Then
            PathWanted = Options.DefaultFilePath(wdDocumentsPath)
            Selection.TypeText "Files in " & PathWanted & ":" & vbCrLf
            With Application.FileSearch
                .LookIn = PathWanted
                .FileName = "*.*"
                If .Execute > 0 Then
                    For i = 1 To .FoundFiles.Count
                        Temp = .FoundFiles(i)
                        While InStr(Temp, "\") > 0
                            Temp = Mid(Temp, InStr(Temp, "\") + 1)
                        Selection.TypeText Temp & vbCrLf
                End If
            End With
        End If
    End With
End Sub

If you want to limit the files returned by the macro (for instance, to only those ending in .DOC), then you can change the file specifications ("*.*") in two of the program lines.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1148) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Printing a File List.

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