Sometimes I need to put the pathnames of many files in a document. The traditional copy-and-paste methods let you copy only one pathname at a time, so I use Ninotech's Path Copy instead. This free utility lets you copy not only file paths but also folder and Universal Naming Convention (UNC) paths. Path Copy integrates with Windows Explorer, so it's there when you need it.

You can download Path Copy from the Simtel website. To install it, you unzip the files, right-click PATHC400.INF, and select Install.

After installing Path Copy, a new context menu option named Copy Path appears when you highlight one or more items in Windows Explorer, then right-click. When you select Copy Path, a submenu appears with several options. For folders and most file types, the available default options are Copy Long Path, Copy Long Name, Copy Long Folder, and Setup.

Let's say you have the mspdb60.dll and mspmsnsv.dll files highlighted in Windows Explorer. To copy their pathnames, you right-click, select Copy Path, then click Copy Long Path. The files' pathnames are now on the clipboard. To paste them, you press Ctrl+v (or right-click and select Paste) to get results such as

C:\WINDOWS\system32\mspdb60.dll                               C:\WINDOWS\system32\mspmsnsv.dll 

Selecting the Copy Long Name option produces the filenames only, as in

mspdb60.dll                               mspmsnsv.dll 

Selecting the Copy Long Folder option provides the paths to the folder in which those files reside, as in

C:\WINDOWS\system32\                                C:\WINDOWS\system32\ 

You can use the Setup option to customize the submenu. Nine copy options are available. You can also create customized copy options. For example, you can customize the Copy Long Path option so that it encloses each pathname in quotes. Other possible customizations include replacing text, changing capitalization, and changing the type of slash. Path Copy works with Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.