How to save data even if an app doesn't allow it

Extract file lists and other data from Media Player and other apps

How to save data even if an app doesn t allow it

Programs regularly display useful information that they won't let you access.

The file lists in an Explorer folder or an archive, for example, the text of an error message, the list of emails or contacts in your email program, the Windows event log – you may want to take a note of any of these, but in many cases you can't even copy them to the clipboard.

And so you probably waste time taking screen grabs, or spend an age retyping the text you need. It doesn't have to be this way, though. Install NirSoft SysExporter and you can access, save and then print data from almost any application, often in just a few clicks.

No hassles, screen grabs or retyping, it just works.

1. Investigate your desktop

Step 1

You've extracted a large number of files to your desktop, and would like to make a note of their names. Windows provides no way to copy them to the clipboard, though, so normally you'd have to laboriously retype them.

Fortunately, SysExporter offers a much easier solution. Close all other applications, then launch it.

2. Find the data

Step 2

SysExporter immediately displays a list of all the windows it can find that might hold data.

Click the Title column header to sort the windows by their title, then scroll down, find and click on the window with the title 'Program Manager'. That represents your desktop, and you'll see the files it contains in the lower pane.

3. Copy to the clipboard

Step 3

Select the file names you'd like to save (rightclick the lower pane and choose Select All if you want everything).

Right-click one of the files, and choose Copy Selected Files (Regular) to copy their details to the clipboard. You can now paste them into Notepad, Word, or anywhere else you like.

4. Saving Explorer data

Step 4

Windows XP and Windows Vista users can save data from Explorer windows, too – the folders in a selected file, for instance, or results of a search (Windows 7 users can't extract data from Explorer yet, though they can use SysExplorer with other programs). Open Explorer and browse to any folder.

5. Easily target a folder

Step 5

SysExporter has an icon of a target at the far left of the toolbar. This is another, easier way to identify the folder you'd like the program to access.

Drag the target over your Explorer window (or any other application window), and if SysExporter can access its data, it's automatically selected in the list.

6. Save a report

Step 6

Select the file names you'd like to save in the lower SysExporter pane. You could copy them to the clipboard, as before, but the program can also directly save a report based on these items.

Right-click a selected file, then choose HTML Report – Selected Files to open a full report in your web browser (use File > Save As to create a permanent copy).

Or choose Export – Selected Files to save the details of your chosen files as a TXT, CSV or XML file instead.

7. Works almost everywhere

Step 7

SysExporter won't work with every program – Windows 7 Explorer windows are an issue – but in most cases you won't have any problems.

We tried extracting file lists and other data from Windows Media Player, Nero Burning ROM, Orbit Downloader, SmartFTP and many other apps, and were successful every time.

8. No more retyping

Step 8

The next time you need to make a note of text-based data, but the app concerned won't let you, there's no need to waste ages with tedious retyping.

Launch SysExporter, drag and drop its target on to your data, and you'll be able to save the information you need in seconds – far more convenient.

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First published in Windows: The Official Magazine Issue 43

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