Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 04, 2016, 12:13:46 AM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?  (Read 6488 times)

Mandork

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 64
  • Hopeless or hapless?
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« on: May 02, 2007, 01:56:36 PM »
I've searched all over the web and tried a zillion different programs, but nothing quite seems to do what I want.

I have a bunch (hundreds) of files that I would like to add a "comment" to, in the summary tab of the file properties.  As far as I can tell, the only way to access this is to right click-> properties-> summary -> and type in the comment (see screenshot).  I have tried selecting several files at once, but when you do this, the summary tab is all greyed out. 

Does anyone know of a way to edit several of these at once, or at least more quickly?  Even if I could just tab to the same field in the next item on the list, like you can in Windows Media Player (for example), that would be helpful. 

I messed around with recording a macro in DoOver, but I don't know how (or if it's possible) to make it generic, so that I could just select a file and hit a hot key that would go straight to the comments field.

Kind of like tagging, only for all files, not just music or photos.

Any suggestions?
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso

mouser

  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 36,406
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on DonationCoder.com
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2007, 06:52:13 PM »
there has to be a tool for this and it's a really nice question.
anyone?

justice

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,898
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2007, 04:24:11 AM »
If you can give me the keys you press I can whip up a quick autohotkey script that you can assign a hotkey to :)
alt-enter for the properties
then right 3x for the summary tab?
then 6x tab for the commentbox?

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2007, 04:33:11 AM »
The stuff in the "Summary" pane is stored as a NTFS alternate file stream... I wonder if the format is public, and/or easy to reverse engineer. There might be some APIs or COM interface for manipulating this information as well.
* f0dder goes tinkering.

* f0dder is done tinkering:
C:\q>streams Eula.txt

Streams v1.56 - Enumerate alternate NTFS data streams
Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Mark Russinovich
Sysinternals - www.sysinternals.com

C:\q\Eula.txt:
   :♣SummaryInformation:$DATA   144
   :{4c8cc155-6c1e-11d1-8e41-00c04fb9386d}:$DATA        0

And look and behold, this CodeProject article might just be of help.
- carpe noctem
« Last Edit: May 03, 2007, 04:41:35 AM by f0dder »

justice

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,898
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2007, 04:44:44 AM »
Until there's a solution that allows you to edit multiple files at a time *winks to f0dder* you can use the following script I enclose below, including AHK source if you feel comfortable with that.

Select a file and press scroll Lock (next to pause/break and printscreen) it will navigate to the comment field.

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2007, 05:00:00 AM »
I'd prefer somebody else to write the code - I hate COM with a passion, and the various constants and such necessary for this require a lot of digging around to find.
- carpe noctem

Mandork

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 64
  • Hopeless or hapless?
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2007, 12:41:24 PM »
Thanks for your effort!  However, the scroll lock AHK script seems to just open the properties window, which is the same thing that alt + enter does.  I still have to select the appropriate tab and field for each file.

As you might have gathered from my "visitor" status, I'm pretty much a complete dunce with anything to do with code, even AHK or HTML (!) code, although I'm trying to learn.  I searched around the interweb to try and learn something about the whole NTFS multiple data stream issue, and I'm afraid I was rapidly in over my head.  Although this may be pointless technophobia, it seems that perhaps you can mess up your files if you're not careful?  I don't know about that, though.

One thing I have come across that may be of interest or shed light, however, is:

A shell add-in/utility that adds an option to add a comment to a folder to the right-click menu in Explorer (uh, what is the right term in this context?), called Hob Comment http://www.dr-hoiby....CommentExt/index.php.  This will only work for one file at a time, though--it does not appear in the menu if you select more than one.

No idea how it was done, though!
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2007, 05:49:50 PM »
If nobody else wants to do it, give me a few days to gather some strength and dive into COM hell :)
- carpe noctem

lanux128

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,258
    • View Profile
    • Coding Snacks by Lanux128
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2007, 09:13:55 PM »
by mentioning Hob Comment, you have reminded me of the ContextMenu Commander thread which is like a repository of sorts for all kinds of shell extensions.. maybe you'll like to take a peek there.. :)

justice

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 1,898
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2007, 03:21:29 AM »
Is it just me or is there no longer a way to edit any of the fields on these tabs in Vista? Would you lose information if you migrated to vista?

tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2007, 03:39:52 AM »
... the right-click menu in Explorer (uh, what is the right term in this context?)

ironically,
it's the Context Menu  :)
Tom

Mandork

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 64
  • Hopeless or hapless?
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2007, 04:35:22 AM »
Quote
ironically,
it's the Context Menu  smiley

Thanks!  I get confused in MS's documentation between shortcut, right-click, and context...they don't seem to use it consistently, probably in their quest to dumb things down for the confused.  Funny how not being forced to know the right term just makes it harder to figure things out....

Thanks for pointing out the ContexMenu Commander thread.  It looks like it's still in development...right?
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso

tslim

  • Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 211
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2007, 12:35:36 AM »

lanux128

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,258
    • View Profile
    • Coding Snacks by Lanux128
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Changing properties of multiple files in WinXP?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2007, 12:08:25 AM »
Thanks for pointing out the ContexMenu Commander thread.  It looks like it's still in development...right?
glad to be of help, Mandork.. unfortunately, it still is.. ;)