Explore Here

When manipulating files and directories, there are some actions that are naturally easier from the command line, and others that are easier from Explorer. For example, you might navigate to a directory using Explorer and then delete every file named foo*.txt using the CMD prompt.

I’m a big fan of the Command Window Here PowerToy as a means to get from Explorer to a CMD prompt.

But what about the opposite situation? Lets say I’ve just run a command line program and redirected the output to a file. Now I decide to attach the file in a new email message. Ideally, I’d drag-and-drop the file into the message, but I can’t because I’ve only got a CMD window.

For years, I’ve lusted after a solution to this annoyance, and it turns out that there is one. It’s amazingly trivial:

start .

Yup, that’s right: start dot. It’s obvious if you understand what the start command does, but I’ll be the first to admit I never would have though of this myself.

One perk of working in Redmond is the opportunity to steal some Windows-mojo from the folks who create it.

Update 3/28/2008:
Just discovered that the Mac OS X equivalent is:

open .

Yes that’s right: open dot. I dig the symmetry.

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4 Responses to “Explore Here”


  1. 1 Chris June 14, 2005 at 6:52 pm

    Still using the windows command prompt? Havn’t you found it a bit limited? cygwin is your friend.. or even 4NT or something.

    -Chris

  2. 2 Mark June 16, 2005 at 2:42 pm

    I never liked cygwin. I love rooted-filesystems on Linux, but in Windows it’s just weird and unnatural. All I really want is ls, grep, etc and I get those here: http://unxutils.sourceforge.net/

    Isn’t 4NT commercial…and ancient?

  3. 3 andy June 22, 2005 at 7:01 pm

    holy crap.
    Start .

    I’ll file that under “wish I had known that earlier, but glad I know it now”

  4. 4 Kevin Frei July 17, 2005 at 8:38 am

    You’re been stealing my windows mojo? AAAAAAARRRGGGH!


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