DevLog

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Windows Explorer file sorting problem help

I was getting really annoyed by Windows XP's method of sorting files. As a programmer, I often work with documentation files that are named with strings of numbers. I'd like the sorting of those numbers to look like this.

  • 00111.txt
  • 25.txt
  • 3.txt
  • 92.txt

Instead of that, I get this.

  • 3.txt
  • 25.txt
  • 92.txt
  • 00111.txt

In a way, this makes sense. Files are sorted by number instead of their text contents. Unfortunately, when looking through a longer list of files, this makes things difficult. It's much easier to look for files starting with "00" than to find the number "111". I did some searching and found this registry modification. It will add a new option in your folder settings. Save this text to a file called "sort.reg" or something. Double click it and apply the patch. Open an Explorer window and go to Tools->Folder Options->View->Files and Folders. Scroll to the bottom of the list and check the "Use textual file sorting" entry. The first time you change this setting, you may have to log out, then back in for the change to take effect. Who knows? Maybe I'll be using Gnome at work sometime soon and won't have to worry about Windows hacks anymore ;-)

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\List Order]
"Type"="checkbox"
"Text"="Use textual file sorting"
"ValueName"="NoStrCmpLogical"
"CheckedValue"=dword:00000001
"UncheckedValue"=dword:00000000
"DefaultValue"=dword:00000000
"RegPath"="Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Policies\\Explorer"
"HKeyRoot"=dword:80000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer]

"NoStrCmpLogical"=dword:00000000

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