How To Navigate in the File Open/Save Dialog with the Keyboard

Every geek has sometime or the other tried to impress a person who is not computer-literate or has limited knowledge of computers. It could be anything as silly as using three keystrokes on a file with open dialog.
In this article we will discuss some of the ways in which you can make use of the keys on your keyboard and amaze your audience.

How to Navigate through directory files?

This is the simples trick that any geek (or for that matter non-geek person) can use to impress.
Open a file and start the Open/Save dialog. Key in .. and press ENTER.

Navigate Up One Directory
Once you hit ENTER you’ll see that you are in up position in the following directory.

Navigate Up One Directory
Surprised, are you?

Read on to know more tricks.

How to Navigate the relative path directory?

Type ..\ to gain access to the directory that is placed over your current directory. Once you have access to this directory you will have to type out name of any folder or file.


Navigate by Relative Path

You are even allowed to key in ..\..\. You could also use various number of levels so that you can navigate your way up through the various directory files.

How to Navigate through the shell folders?

It is only in windows Vista and Windows XP that you will find the list of names of shortcuts for shell folders. In this list you can include a simple syntax like shell:desktop that will enable you to access the desktop folder.

Navigate with Shell Folders

How to Navigate using environment variables?

The Windows give you indigenous environment variables that help you quickly move from one folder to another. A very simple example is of the Program Files folder; gain access to this folder using %programfiles%.

Navigate with Environment Variables

If you open command prompt you will have access to an entire list of such variables. However, don’t forget to place the percent sign before and after the name of the variable.

How to Navigate the UNC Paths?

Many times you will not bother synchronizing drive letter maps between two computers. However, you still have the liberty to open and save them from shared folders. All you have to do is include the UNC path for the particular server. Use the syntax \\Servername\Sharename for doing this.

Navigate with UNC Paths

The system will ask you for a username and password to gain access to the folder. Use the username for the computer that you are gaining the passage to.

username and password to access the folder

How to Navigate Using FTP

Navigating using FTP is very simple. All you have to do is establish a connection to the FTP server. Once you are connected to the server you can open files using ftp://user@servername/path/ as a syntax.

Navigate with FTP

Once you have keyed in the syntax, hit ENTER. You will be prompted for FTP password. You will now have access to all FTP sites that even include the local folders.

How to Navigate using full paths?

Begin by keying in the full path to the file that you want to access.

navigate using full paths

This is a pretty long drawn method and takes time; however, the advantage of using this method is that you are in complete control of the program.



Anubha Pandey