Weekly Computer Tip # 271
6 June 2009

Quickly rename or copy a file or folder name

This week's tip is inspired by Lorenzo Dal Bianco who told me and his fellow course participants he uses F2 to rename files in Windows Explorer. Quite some time ago I told you about the F2 tip in Excel and Access (see tip_53.php and tip_196.php) but I never thought of using it to rename a file. (Thanks, Lorenzo ... love it!)

Thinking about it a bit more I decided that, apart from it being a great way to quickly rename an item, it's also a nice trick to copy its file name (or even the complete file path where it's stored), so you can quickly copy the name, say, in an email or Word document.

Here's how:

  1. Click the file or folder to select it.
  2. Press the F2 key on your keyboard.
  3. To rename the file or folder, simply type its new name (no need to press the Delete key first). OR
  4. To copy the file or folder name, press CTRL+C and paste as normal.

For those of you who do a lot of work in the Run dialog box (WIN+R ;-) it's also a quick and convenient way (that is, if you love keyboard shortcuts ;-) of copying the full path name on the clipboard:

  1. Click anywhere in the Windows Explorer Address bar.
  2. Press the END key on your keyboard.
  3. Type backslash \ and press CTRL+V to paste in the name.
  4. Press SHIFT+HOME, followed by CTRL+C.