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Is there a feature whereby I can simply start typing inside a directory (in Windows Explorer) to select a file by it's name. Currently when I start typing Explorer behaves quite unexpected. Sometimes it will select a file that is named similar, sometimes it won't do anything. Sometimes it will select the first occurence but if I click just below it and start typing again (to find the next one, nothing happens).

When I type ABCD it should select the first file or folder that starts with ABCD but it just doesn't do it.

Any tips?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You might want to note how your files are sorted and grouped. Note that folders will get priority on these mini-searches. Also you might be typing too fast or too slow. There is some grace period where the mini search will be canceled and typing again restart the search. To start a new search, stop typing for half a second or so.

  • Typing ABCD and then EFG too fast will look for a file named ABCDEFG
  • Typing PQRS and then TUV too slow will look for a file PQRS and then one called TUV (if it doesn't it will beep)

Just discovered this program: which better visualises the type-as-you-go searches!

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I think I am typing too fast and that the cursor keys (when I change selection) doesn't reset the search. If I wait a bit after changing the selected item it seems to work better. – Patrick Klug Mar 1 '10 at 23:37
I type pretty fast myself and discovered this by accident, I wonder if there's a way to change the time it takes to reset searches. – jay Mar 3 '10 at 9:44
Pressing ESC will reset your search. – Stephen Jennings Mar 7 '10 at 1:58

Your best bet is to type the letter that the file starts with and then navigate manually. Sometimes it will allow you to match second and third and fourth letters if they are typed fast enough after the initial one, but more often then not it will simply jump to the first files starting with that second or third letter and forget (i.e. not select) the first (initial) file.

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