Printing the Contents of a Directory in Windows

Windows does not have an obvious way to print the tables of a directory, but there are actually several easy ways which work for both local drives and network shares.

Printing Directory Listings Using a Web Browser

Firefox can list the files in a designated directory and then print the results (Internet Explorer will allow you to view them, but not print). To do this, open Firefox and in the Address bar, where you normally see a web address (something starting with http://www...), type in the directory that you would like to be displayed. For example, to see the tables of your space on the u: drive, type in u:\. Note that to view a given drive letter you must put a semicolon after it (e.g. u:, not u). You can move to a sub-directory by clicking on the associated folder icon. The subdirectory's tables will then be displayed. It looks much like the display in Windows Explorer, but you can click on File, Print to print what you are seeing.

Saving the List in a File

If you want to save the directory listing in a file for use elsewhere (to paste into a Word document, for example) you will need to use a different method. First you will need to get a Command Prompt (sometimes called the MS-DOS Prompt). This is done by clicking on the Start button, then Programs. If it is not in the main Programs list try under Accessories. It will start up a black window where you can enter text commands. Type the letter of the drive you want to look at, followed by a colon. For example, to go to the u: drive, type u:. Use the cd command to change directories to the one you want to look at. For example, to move to a directory on u: called DATA, type cd DATA. Next you can make a text file containing the directory listing by typing dir > filename.txt. This will send the output of the dir command (the directory listing) to filename.txt rather than to the screen. For example, to create a text file called MyDocuments2002.txt, type dir > MyDocuments2002.txt. The text file will be in the same directory and you can view it in any word processing program, from NotePad to Word.

Last Revised: 04/05/2007