End-User | Network Administrator | Developer

Welcome to the Path Copy Copy documentation. It has been divided into three subsections that you can access via the links at the top of the page.
This subsection contains information for end-users looking to install and use Path Copy Copy.


Path Copy Copy is an extension for Windows Explorer (and alternative shell programs) that allows you to quickly copy to the clipboard the path of a file, folder or group of files. A file's path represents the location of the file in the filesystem. It usually begins with a drive letter (except for network paths) and is composed of zero or more directories, ending with the file's name.

Path of this file: C:\Example\Sample File.txt

Having a file's path can be useful to paste it in another program asking for a file. For example, you can paste the full path of a file in an Open dialog box to quickly open a file without having to navigate to it by hand. If you had an Explorer window already open at the file's location, you can save time. It can also be useful when launching a program from the command-line. There are other uses too; it depends on your workflow. (Note that if you are unsure if Path Copy Copy is useful for you, you can try it for a while and simply uninstall it if you don't find yourself using it enough.)


In order to install and use Path Copy Copy, your computer needs to meet these minimum requirements.
  • Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or later, Windows Server 2003 or later
  • .NET Framework 2.0. On old OSes, this can be installed via Windows Update. On Windows 8/Server 2012 or later, this can be installed by enabling .NET Framework 3.5 in the Windows features of the Programs and Features control panel (alternatively, Windows will offer to enable this for you the first time the Settings application is launched).


Installing Path Copy Copy is easy. Simply download the latest release by selecting Downloads from the list of project pages above, download the setup exe and execute it. An installation wizard will show up to help you with the installation.

The Welcome page of the Path Copy Copy's installation wizard

Click Next to navigate the wizard pages. After agreeing to the Path Copy Copy license and choosing an installation directory (the default is usually fine), you will be asked to pre-configure available commands.

Choosing which commands are available during installation

The choice you make on this page will determine the "commands" that will be visible in the Path Copy Copy contextual submenu. The default choice, "commonly-used commands only", will probably be sufficient for most users. Please note that whatever choice you pick, you can always go back later and change the commands in the settings application. Note: this page will not appear if you are upgrading from a previous version.

After the wizard finishes, setup simply disappears and Path Copy Copy is ready for use.


Using Path Copy Copy is also simple. Simply right-click on a file, folder or group of files in the Windows Explorer's window and the contextual menu that shows up will now include two things: a Path Copy Copy default command as well as a submenu containing all commands available. The submenu will also include an item to open the settings. (Note that the commands found in the submenu depend on the choice made during installation.)

The various parts of Path Copy Copy

Selecting the default command will copy the selected file's full path to the clipboard. Other path formats are available by selecting them from the submenu:
  • Just the file's name.
  • Short path format, which corresponds to the old MS-DOS 8.3 format. Note that this format guarantees that the path contains no spaces.
  • The file's parent folder path (useful to quickly navigate to that folder).
  • UNC paths, also known as network paths - useful if you have mapped network drives or files to share with others over a corporate network.
  • Internet path, using the file:// protocol and with escaped whitespaces - useful to open the file in a Web Browser.
  • Unix and Cygwin paths, using forward slashes (/) instead of backslashes (\) to separate directories - useful if you're using Unix utilities.


Choosing the Settings item in Path Copy Copy's submenu will launch an application allowing you to customize some of Path Copy Copy's behavior. This application has a tabbed interface and three buttons at the bottom. To edit the settings and save, press either the Apply or OK button. To close without saving changes to the settings, press the Cancel button.

Note: it's possible that the Settings item is not present if Path Copy Copy has been installed by your network administrator and its settings have been locked.

Commands tab


This tab allows you to choose which commands will be shown in Explorer's main contextual menu and the Path Copy Copy submenu. By default, the Copy Long Path command is shown in the main menu and other commands are shown in the submenu (depending on the choice made during installation). The checkboxes next to each command in the list allows you to change the default layout.

A command can show up both in the main menu and the submenu. Unchecking both checkboxes will cause the command to not show up at all; useful for commands that are not useful to a specific user.

Custom Commands tab


This tab allows you to configure custom commands that can decide how the path will be copied to the clipboard. This tab contains a list of all existing custom commands as well as several buttons to manipulate them. The Move Up and Move Down buttons allow you to organize the custom commands in the order you see fit. The New button will open another dialog to create a custom command (see below). The Edit button allows you to modify the behavior of an existing custom command. Finally, the Remove button allows you to remove custom commands from the available commands.

Once defined, custom commands can be configured to appear in the main menu or submenu, from the Commands tab. Also note that custom commands are user-specific - each user account has its own custom commands (except if some are pre-installed by your network administrator).

Advanced tab


This tab contains checkboxes for the following options:
  • Add quotes around copied paths: Paths copied will be surrounded by quotes (").
  • Use hidden shares when copying UNC paths: Hidden shares are those ending with a dollar sign ($). Creating such a share means it won't show up when other network users look for shares on your machine, but if someone knows the share name, it can be used to access the share. By default, Path Copy Copy does not consider such shares when looking for a share path for a file. If this is selected, hidden shares will be considered. Please note that this also includes administrative shares (\\computername\C$, for example).
  • Always show submenu: Selected by default, this option makes it so that Path Copy Copy's submenu is always shown in the shell's contextual menu. If this is deselected, you will need to hold down the Shift key while right-clicking on a file to see the submenu.

Custom Command dialog box


This dialog, spawned by either the New or Edit buttons of the Custom Commands tab of the settings application, allows you to configure the behavior of a custom command. Each custom command can be given a name that will be used to display the command in the Path Copy Copy menus. Next, there are two steps to configuring the custom command.
Choosing a base command
The first step that a custom command will perform when computing the path is call an existing base command. For example, you may want your custom command to modify the normal output of the UNC Path command. To choose the base command, simply select it in the listbox that is located in the Base Command tab of the dialog box.
Configuring options

The second tab of the dialog box, named Options, can be used to alter the path that will be copied to the clipboard when the custom command is invoked. There are several options to choose from.
  • Enclose path in quotation marks: As the checkbox says, this will cause the path to be surrounded by quotes. Note: if you also choose this option globally, there will be two pair of quotes around the path!
  • Change slashes: Causes all forward slashes ( / ) in the path to be converted to backslashes ( \ ), or vice-versa.
  • Find / Replace: Will perform a find/replace operation in the path, replacing all instances of the text entered in the Find what edit box with the text in the Replace with edit box.

Once you are satisfied with your configuration, press the OK button at the bottom of the dialog box to save the custom command. You can cancel the creation/editing by pressing the Cancel button.

Questions? Issues?

This concludes the little End-User documentation for Path Copy Copy. If you have a question regarding any aspect of the software, you can post in the Discussions section. If you have an issue (either because of a bug, a feature not working as it should or even a feature you would like to see implemented), do not hesitate to enter a work item in the Issue Tracker. If the information you were looking for is not here, you can try to look in the two other subsections, Network Administrator and Developer.

Last updated for version 9.2

Last edited Dec 31, 2014 at 4:21 PM by clechasseur, version 17