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Print Folders And Subfolders – How To Print Directory List

How To Print Folders And Folder Tree?

Printing Folders – What Makes It Difficult?

Usually, it is easy to print several folders that are visible on the screen by taking a screenshot and using an image editing application. You can also use the screen capture application itself to print the image. Unfortunately, if you need to print the entire folder tree and it contains tens or hundreds or more sub-folders the task becomes quite hard.

I will provide several solutions that will help you to print the folder tree.

Print Folders By Taking A Screenshot

As I already mentioned, it is easy to use Windows Explorer to take a screenshot of the folder tree. You can use the screen capture tools that are built-in in Windows to capture and print the desired region. Try also the “Prt Scr” button to capture the entire screen and you can paste it in your favorite image editing application simply by pressing CTRL+V. You should crop the captured image as it includes the entire screen. If the folders that you want to print can not fit on the screen, you can make multiple captures and print them on separate pages.

Printing Folders Explorer

Print Folder Tree

Above is an example where very long paths take too much horizontal space and such an approach may not always be convenient.

Printing Folders From Command Line

There is also the possibility to print the folders from a command line using the DIR command. From the above example you can list the Unicode folder using the command below:

dir /s /AD unicode

In order to do this press WIN+R (RUN) and type CMD in the edit-box.

The dir command lists all files and folders in the current folder. Use the /S flag as it denotes that all sub-folders of the specified folder should be listed. Set the /AD flag to denote that only the FOLDERS should be listed without the file names that are contained inside. The command lists the folders, but the output is not very readable. Furthermore, the UNICODE folder names are not listed properly and question marks are printed instead, which is very strange to me. In the screenshot example above it is visible that those test folders include some non-Latin letters for test purposes. So if you need to print non-Latin file names this may not be a proper solution for you.

Print Folder Command Line

Command Line Print Folder

You can extend the same command to print the content of the folder and all its sub-folders to a text file instead of listing them in the console:

dir /s /AD unicode > FoldersList.txt

Execute the modified command and the results will be saved in a file named FoldersList.txt which is stored in the same folder. The file is in text format hence you can load it in Notepad or Word in order to print it.

Print Folders From Command Line Using The “Tree” Command

Another much better solution for printing the folders is to use the Tree command. Modify the command as follows:

tree unicode > FoldersList.txt /A /F

Tree Command OutputAs a result, the list is much better and the folder structure is easy to understand. Similarly to the last command that we used, the Unicode symbols are replaced with question marks. That is a real mystery to me as Windows should be able to handle those. I will dig this deeper and post an update regarding the problem. If you have a clue, please post it in the comments.

Print Folders With Folder Size

Folder Size is a very powerful tool that can list all folder and file sizes on your computer or network. Printing folders and files is the least that it can do for you. It will handle all the issues that we have faced in the other methods that I described. Folder Size is available for free, but printing folders and files is available only in the licensed version. You can use the free version to visualize the distribution of your disk space and remove unused large files. Use the beautiful charts and the folders and file lists that are sorted by size to easily spot the space hogs.

Print Folders

Print Folders Using Folder Size

While Folder Size is a great free utility we will focus on its folder printing capabilities.

Step By Step Instructions For Printing Folders

  1. Use the scan buttons or file menu in order to scan the desired folder or drive. The tool can scan network locations and external drives too.
  2. Right-click the desired folder and click “Expand All Subfolders”. There are filtering options and an option to remove a folder from the tree. Therefore you can adjust the results in order to print only the data that you need.
  3. Click File->Print Folder Tree
  4. This will display the Print Preview window where you can apply modifications to how the printed folders will look like. Here is the preview window itself:

    Print Folders

    Print Folders Using Folder Size

  5. If the folder tree is too large the folders list will not fit on a single page horizontally. Therefore the application will automatically expand the print area for you and will distribute it over several pages horizontally. There is an option to limit the print area to one horizontal page too.
  6. Tweak the options and set things the way you like them. Finally, you can store the result as PPV (Preview File), PDF File, multi-page TIFF file or print it on paper using the print buttons.

Print Folders – Export to CSV, XLS or TXT File

Folder Size provides robust features for printing the contents of a folder, but if you need to provide extra formatting or apply special changes to the list, the best thing to do is to export the results. You can then edit them in external applications like Microsoft Excel or your favorite text editing application.

There are multiple export options in Folder Size. It can export both folders and files or a mix of both. Exporting the charts as an image is also available.

Use “Export As…” to export all the data that is listed in the application. This includes both files and folders. If you do not need the list of files, you can disable it in settings prior to running a scan. You can limit the depth of the scan to certain level if necessary.

“Export Details View…” will export the list on the right side of the application. It includes all the files and folders in the currently selected folder from the tree view on the left side. You can configure the details to list “Largest file”, “Largest folders”, “Largest files and folders”, oldest and newest files and folders, and the items with the longest paths.

Folders List and Files List Filtering

Folders List and Files List Filtering

The combinations and possibilities are endless if combined with the filtering features which include filtering by folder or file name, sizes, dates, attributes, and every other property that a file or folder has.

Print Folders – Save Folders List

Another feature of Folder Size that may come handy for you is the fact that it can save all the scanned data in an internal project file. The project files are very compact and internally compressed and can hold information for millions of files without occupying too much disk space. As the file and folder structures are changing constantly, if you can not print the current state immediately you can do it on a later date by storing the snapshot of the current state of the drive, in a project file. You can remove folders and files from the tree or apply filtering options before running a scan. Therefore, the stored project file will contain only the files and folders that you need.

You can use the project files to catalog the file and folder structure or to monitor changes to the file system. The project file contains also information about the file and folder sizes, which makes it easy to spot rapidly-growing folders.

Final Thoughts

Above all Folder Size is free and you can download it to check if it will suit your needs. You can use it to find and list all file and folder sizes. Even more, if you do not want to pay for the premium features like printing or network scan, it will do a very good job and help eliminate unused large files. The features included in the free version are sufficient in order to organize the disk space.

Did you discover an easier way to print folder trees or file lists? Message me in the comments section below – I will be glad to hear your solutions.