Sorted Directory Listing

As I've said before, it's always good to know your way around the commandline on Windows (or any platform for that matter). You can get a lot done with a few short commands. Today I want to document one simple command that I use quite often with one option that I usually forget and have to look up when it's important. The command is to write a list of file and folder names to a text file. That's it. Simple, but think about how you would get this otherwise - not so easy1.

Open the commandline, navigate to the folder you want to get a listing for and type the following at the commandline.

dir /b /o:n > list.txt

The dir is a directory listing and the /b option tells it to show just the bare file (or folder) name. the /o option tells it to sort the listing and the :n modifier tells the sorting to be by name. There are other options for sorting, but you can also just leave the /o:n portion off and paste the text into Excel or use your text editor to sort the list if you need it. That's the part I always forget...

I use this because I often want to send someone a list of filenames or occasionally I want to create a batch file that renames files, so I use this to get the original filenames and go from there in a text editor or Excel.

  1. Okay, there might be a way - I admit that I didn't look very hard.