How to Copy File Names into Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Copying file names into Excel might sound like a task reserved for tech wizards, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. It’s a nifty trick that can save you a lot of time, especially when you’re dealing with a long list of files. So, let’s dive in and get those file names into Excel, shall we?

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Copy File Names into Excel

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what we’re aiming for here. By following these steps, you’ll be able to create a list of your file names in Excel. This can be super useful for inventory, organizing, or even just to have a better overview of what’s in a folder.

Step 1: Open the folder containing the files

Open the folder where the files you want to list are located.

When you open the folder, make sure you can see all the files you want to copy. If you have a lot of files, you might need to scroll down or change the folder view to ensure nothing is missed.

Step 2: Select all the files in the folder

Press Ctrl + A to select all files in the folder.

This shortcut is a lifesaver when you have a bunch of files to select. Just one quick combo and voilà, everything’s selected. If you need to exclude some files, you can hold down Ctrl and click on the ones you want to deselect.

Step 3: Copy the file names

With the files selected, press Shift + Right-click and choose “Copy as path”.

This step is crucial. The “Copy as path” option copies the file names along with their full path, which means you’ll get the folder name and the file name. If you don’t see the “Copy as path” option, make sure you’re holding down Shift when you right-click.

Step 4: Open Excel and paste the file names

Open a new Excel document and paste the file names into the first column.

After copying the file names, hop over to Excel and simply paste them into a new sheet. You’ll see the full path of each file listed neatly in column A. If you only want the file names without the path, don’t worry – we’ll cover that in the tips section.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the file names will be neatly listed in Excel. This makes it easy to sort, filter, or use them for other purposes, like creating labels or inventories.

Tips for Copying File Names into Excel

  • If you only need the file names without the full path, use Excel’s text functions, like RIGHT, LEFT, or MID, to extract just the part you need.
  • To avoid errors, make sure Excel is set to display the paste options button, which allows you to choose how you want to paste the copied paths.
  • If you’re dealing with a mixed bag of files and folders, and you only want to list files, sort them by type before copying to make selection easier.
  • For Mac users, the process is a bit different. You’ll need to use a terminal command or a script to copy file names.
  • If your file names contain commas, Excel might split them into multiple columns when pasting. To prevent this, ensure that Excel’s default delimiter is set to tabs, not commas.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I copy file names if I don’t have the “Copy as path” option?

If you’re using an older version of Windows that lacks this option, you can use a command prompt method or third-party software to copy the file names.

Can I copy the file names with their respective file sizes into Excel?

Yes, you can. However, this requires a more advanced technique using the command prompt or a PowerShell script to extract both names and sizes into a text file, which you can then import into Excel.

What should I do if Excel splits my file names into multiple columns?

This usually happens if your file names contain commas. Change Excel’s default delimiter to tabs to solve this issue, or replace commas in file names with another character before copying them.

Can I automate this process if I regularly copy file names into Excel?

Absolutely! You can write a batch script or use macros in Excel to automate the copying and pasting process.

Is there a way to copy file names into Excel on a Mac?

Yes, but the process is different. You’ll need to use a terminal command or a third-party app designed for Mac.


  1. Open the folder containing the files.
  2. Select all files in the folder.
  3. Copy the file names with “Copy as path”.
  4. Open Excel and paste the file names.


So there you have it, the simple yet incredibly handy process of copying file names into Excel. It’s a skill that comes in handy more often than you might think – whether you’re an office manager keeping track of documents, a photographer organizing photos, or just someone who loves to be organized. The steps outlined above will help you achieve this task with ease, and the additional tips will ensure that you’re prepared for any little quirks that might come up along the way.

Remember, technology is here to make our lives easier. With a few clicks and keystrokes, what used to be a tedious task of typing out file names one by one is now a quick and painless process. So go on, give it a try, and revel in the satisfaction of a beautifully organized Excel sheet displaying all your file names. Who knew such a simple task could be so fulfilling?

Join Our Free Newsletter

Featured guides and deals

You may opt out at any time. Read our Privacy Policy