Recently I encountered a program that required me to copy in some information that was only available through another...
program -- as text in a display box that I couldn't swipe over to copy. I had to retype this information by hand -- doubly annoying since it was a long, complicated GUID that I didn't type in correctly the first time!
Programmer Nir Sofer must have dealt with the same thing at one time or another, because his utility SysExporter was written to get around just such problems. It allows you to browse the text strings available in many display resources that normally can't be copied en masse -- list views, tree views, combo boxes and so on. Some programs can export this information, but that's up to the program itself. In the event you can't, this is a handy way to do that. Aside from being able to copy data to the clipboard, the program also supports exporting data to various file formats -- the ubiquitous plain text and tab-delimited text, but also HTML or XML files.
What are common and useful applications for SysExporter? You can open an Explorer folder, and then copy a list of all the files in it (including all attributes!) to a tab-delimited list. If you copy a tree list into a tab-delimited format, an extra column named "Indent" is added that describes how much of an indent to give that particular item, thus preserving the tree structure. (Try this with the tree-list view in Device Manager, for instance; all of the items in the list are automatically made visible.)
Some controls still aren't supported, but Mr. Sofer is adding more control support with each passing revision of the application. Version 1.2, for instance, added support for text boxes and data in Web browser / HTML-rendering controls (in Windows 2000/XP).
Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!
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