Help for PATools File Manager

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Using the software

To use the File Manager software you simply highlight your selected cells containing file and/or folder names, select your options and click 'Run'.

You need to understand the 'rules' outlined below in order to use this effectively.

We strongly recommend that you take a close look at the demo workbook provided with the software, which you can open using the drop-down at the lower right of the PATools File Manager screen.

Please note: PATools cannot take any responsibility for your use or misuse of this software, and any resultant cost or inconvenience, for example from moving or deleting or renaming files or folders etc.


For all activities except 'Delete' you must choose a cell or range of cells from within one column, and in one contigious block (ie a group of cells next to each other).

  • For 'Create', each selected cell should contain the full path and name for the file or folder to be created. When creating files, empty files will be created by default, but you can specify text contents to be inserted from the cell immediately to the right of each selected cell.
  • For 'Delete', only the selected cells will be evaluated.
  • For 'Copy', 'Move' and 'Rename', each cell should contain the source path and file/folder name, with the new destination file/folder name specified in the cell immediately to the right of each one. If the adjacent cell to the right is left blank then the previous destination will be used. If you do not specify a path for the destination then the path of the source will be assumed.
  • For 'Rename' the path (if specified) must be the same as the original file

To identify whether the destination is a file or a folder the software applies the following logic:

  1. If the destination ends with a \ then it is a folder (eg c:\abc.txt\ will force the software to use or create a folder called abc.txt
  2. Otherwise the software looks to see if the destination exists in which case it knows which it is
  3. Otherwise the software will look at the final 6 characters of the destination - if they contain a dot then it will be a file, otherwise a folder


You can create empty zip files using the 'Create' option - simply set the filenames to end in .zip

To copy or move files into zip files simply set the destination filenames to end with .zip (and the source items of course must not). When copying into zip files you can use any of the 4 options; moving is only supported by the two Winzip options.

Supported programs are Windows zip (no additional software required), Winzip and the free 7-Zip. We recommend you only use Winzip if it is licensed otherwise you will have to maximise the Evaluation window and click the button for each and every zip. You can also use the Winzip Command Line AddOn which is faster (requires a licensed copy of Winzip but this is then free to use). Windows zipping is free and requires no additional software but has the disadvantage of being slow (due to running in a separate process - we cannot work around that); Winzip and the AddOn are fine (see but you need a licensed copy which is not free; 7-Zip is fast and free for private or commercial use (see You select your preferred option by clicking on the button and it will then validate the location of the installed zip program - if you chose a different location from the default you will be prompted to locate it.

NB When using wildcards proceed with care (we recommend you try first with a test) since Windows zipping does not generally support wildcards, Winzip and 7-Zip do, but for example they treat *.* differently.


The 'Delete permanently' option uses the standard Windows permanent deletion feature, which means the file still physically exists on your disk until Windows needs to reutilise that space. Therefore although you cannot see the file it could probably still be recovered using third party software for that purpose (search the web for Undelete or File Recovery). Only specific software for 'shredding' your files will actually completely remove files.

'Delete to Recycle Bin' again uses standard Windows functionalilty, so this software will only delete files to the Recycle Bin if Windows can do that task; normally this means only from local fixed disks, with removable media and network disks removing 'permanently' as above.




Tip: Right-click any checkbox to set the default to your preference.

1. 'Colour cells on results' simply shows you whether each cell you selected succeeded or failed - it will be filled with green if it passed, or yellow orange or red if it failed; yellow means if failed due to the source (perhaps not existing or being mistyped), orange means the destination failed (perhaps the folder path could not be created due to rights or incorrect format eg c:/abc should be c:\abc), and red means both of the above passed but Windows failed in the selected operation.

NB Green means the operation completed successfully - it does NOT mean the file/folder was necessarily copied/moved since if you are prompted to overwrite and you decline then that operation was still successfully completed.

You can easily reset all colours by clicking the link.

You can get more information on all failures by using the link to view the previous run results in Notepad. These files are stored in your Temp folder so if you empty that then these will be removed.



General Notes, Tips and Precautions

1. Although the software is well tested and written, we would recommend as good practice that any data and template workbooks be saved and backed-up before running this software, as it is impossible to protect against every possibility of system crashes, printer problems, etc causing runtime problems that may damage your data.

2. For this, as with any software, the best way to evaluate it and make it work for you is to play with it using dummy data until you become comfortable and are ready to use it for real.

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