Windows Explorer has many limitations, but one that has annoyed us for a very long time is the way it provides no access at all to the list of files that you're navigating. You might want to print out the files in a folder, or copy the listing to a document somewhere, but Explorer does nothing to help. And so you'll have to resort to command line trickery, or even worse, retyping all the details by hand.

Explorer isn't alone in this, of course - lots of programs are just as inflexible. Outlook won't print its list of email subjects and senders in a particular folder, embedded browser windows often won't let you see their HTML source, and your archive tool probably doesn't let you grab the list of files within that ZIP file you've just opened.

Don't get annoyed, though. Just install SysExporter, and most of these problems will simply melt away. The program is able to look inside the most common controls used to display text, tables, trees and more, and in a couple of clicks can then export the data as a text or HTML file, or copy it to the clipboard.

SysExporter is reasonably easy to use. If you wanted to extract a list of files from Explorer, for instance, then you'd close any other applications first, then launch Explorer and browse to the folder of interest. Once it's in view, fire up SysExporter and the program display a list of all the data controls it finds. Find the one that has a title name matching the folder you've selected, click it to see the data, then use File > Export to save it as a TXT, HTML, CSV or XML file.

Alternatively, just drag the target icon from the SysExporter toolbar, drop it on the data you'd like to view, and the program will access it for you.

And SysExporter 1.60 takes a big step forward by introducing the ability to capture data from the DirectUI control, as used in Windows 7 Explorer. So if you want to capture the files and folders listed in a particular Explorer window, just drag and drop the target icon there and the text will appear in SysExporter, where you can copy it to the clipboard in a couple of clicks.

Version 1.75:

Added 'New SysExporter Instance' (Ctrl+N), which opens a new window of SysExporter.


A clever way to access data that could save you a lot of retyping hassles in future