Monday, March 26, 2018

List Files in a Folder and its Subfolders

While trying to answer a question in the MSDN Forums, I realized although there are already a lot of examples on how to list all the files in a folder or directory, I thought this was challenging enough for me to give it a try.

The original poster's request was to allow the user to search the folder for files matching a keyword and a list of specific file extensions. Also, the search should include all files inside subfolders.

Many of the examples I have seen use a loop to go through the folder structure and list all the files in them. Since I am a bit fascinated with recursion, I thought I would give it a try using a different approach. As a result of my attempt, I have created this demo.
Click on the above image to download the demo.
To use this demo, the user selects a starting folder path and enter an optional search keyword or list of file extensions to search. The search keyword is used to match the file names, while the list of file extensions will return only the files with matching file extensions.

The demo presents the result of the search using a Listbox. Double-clicking on an item in the Listbox will attempt to open the file for viewing. This version of the demo (v1.0) currently uses a Value List in the Row Source of the Listbox, which limits the number of files allowed to be displayed. The demo can be modified to store the file names in a table to allow the Listbox to display more items. I might do this in future versions of the demo.

In the meantime, I hope you find this demo useful, or at least, find the approach a little interesting.

As usual, I would appreciate any comments or feedback regarding this demo.