As a Windows user who is forced to use Explorer very often in Windows 7 and Windows 8, I am trying to make it more convenient than it is out of the box.The main issue with Explorer is that it's not customizable, as it was in Windows XP. Even though Windows 8 has the Quick Access toolbar, it has very small icons and does not allow any custom buttons. While it is possible to add any desired command to the command bar of Explorer in Windows 7, they can only be text buttons, without icons. So I decided to install the awesome freeware, Classic Shell.
The Classic Shell application provides a wide set of the customization options for Explorer, Internet Explorer and brings a highly customizable, skinnable Start menu replacement with outstanding search capabilities. For making Explorer better, I use the Classic Explorer toolbar, where I placed all of my frequently used commands.
My theme in the screenshot above is an unofficial one, Windows XP "Luna" theme ported to Windows 7 which I like more than glossy Aero theme, so don't be confused by the screenshot. It still is Windows 7.
The one thing which I miss in Classic Shell is ability to add a "Copy as path" toolbar button natively. Fortunately, it allows adding custom commands of your choice so I decided to add my own Copy as path button. Let's see how.
- Open Classic Explorer Settings and switch to the "Toolbar Buttons" tab. There you will see two columns with various commands. The left one is your current toolbar, and the right column is the available set of commands which you can add.
- You will see a "Custom" item in the right column if you scroll down. Add this new Custom item to the left column by dragging it from the right column to the left or by double clicking it. You can reposition it anywhere you want after you add it to the left column.
- Double click the Custom button item and an "Edit Toolbar Button" dialog will appear on the screen:
- Use the following text for the Command field:
cmd /c echo|set /p="%2"|clip
This will copy the path of the selected item in Explorer to the clipboard, without inserting a new line character. See this article: How to make the echo command without new line in Windows.
- Now specify the tooltip in the "Tip" field and a label, optionally if you want the button to show a text label. You can assign some nice icon of your choice for your button. I used the genuine icon for Copy path command extracted from Windows 8's Ribbon icons.
- Click OK and you are done.
That's it. With Classic Shell, you now have a button in Windows 7 which allows you to copy the path of the selected item in Explorer.
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