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Use path wildcards to save time in explorer and command prompt

Posted March 2007 by Steve Sinchak

When you are in explorer and are manually typing in a long folder path or at a command prompt navigating through many directories, below are two cool tips that will help you save time.

The first is one that I have been using for years.  When working at a command prompt, instead to typing in the full text of an item, just hit the tab key to bring up full items. For example, say I want to change the directory to the Windows folder. At a command prompt I would type in CD wind and then hit the tab key and "Windows" will automatically show up.  Think of the tab key as a kind of auto complete for DOS.  This same technique also works in Windows Explorer.

Another tip was sent in by Robert Warriner also has a similar effect. Instead of hitting the tab key to bring up alternatives, you can use the * wildcard. For example, the command *CD wind*\32\dri* will change your directory to c:\windows\system32\drivers. The * wildcard will also work in Windows Explorer.

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