Working With DIR Command

I worked with tons of files and I needed to sort them into an Excel file. It was almost impossible to do it manually and would take hours or even days to complete.

So basically, this what I did:

  • I collected them into a single folder let’s say Foldera. The full path is in D:\Foldera. It contains 1000 script files.
  • Opened my command prompt (I was working on Windows 10) and moved to D:\Foldera.
  • Type this without bracket [dir > filenamelist.txt \b \o]
  • Looked for filenamelist.txt in the same folder, I got what I needed. Just copied them into my Excel. Finished.

I knew dir command to sort out all files in a folder since years ago. I learned it when everything was in command prompt, school days, no interface, working with diskettes. But when you only use “dir” and listed them into a text file without any parameters, it would a bit mess because it contains file size and last modified. What I needed was only filenames and their extensions so I put \b and \o.

For your curiosity, here is the list of options that you may use together with DIR command (to show this just type “dir help” on your command prompt window):

Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.

DIR [drive:][path][filename] [/A[[:]attributes]] [/B] [/C] [/D] [/L] [/N]
[/O[[:]sortorder]] [/P] [/Q] [/R] [/S] [/T[[:]timefield]] [/W] [/X] [/4]

Specifies drive, directory, and/or files to list.

/A Displays files with specified attributes.
attributes D Directories R Read-only files
H Hidden files A Files ready for archiving
S System files I Not content indexed files
L Reparse Points – Prefix meaning not
/B Uses bare format (no heading information or summary).
/C Display the thousand separator in file sizes. This is the
default. Use /-C to disable display of separator.
/D Same as wide but files are list sorted by column.
/L Uses lowercase.
/N New long list format where filenames are on the far right.
/O List by files in sorted order.
sortorder N By name (alphabetic) S By size (smallest first)
E By extension (alphabetic) D By date/time (oldest first)
G Group directories first – Prefix to reverse order
/P Pauses after each screenful of information.
/Q Display the owner of the file.
/R Display alternate data streams of the file.
/S Displays files in specified directory and all subdirectories.
/T Controls which time field displayed or used for sorting
timefield C Creation
A Last Access
W Last Written
/W Uses wide list format.
/X This displays the short names generated for non-8dot3 file
names. The format is that of /N with the short name inserted
before the long name. If no short name is present, blanks are
displayed in its place.
/4 Displays four-digit years

Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable. Override
preset switches by prefixing any switch with – (hyphen)–for example, /-W.


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