SysExporter - How to grab text data from a window when Windows doesn't let you

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Posts: 6,429   +186
SysExporter - How to grab text data when Windows doesn't let you COPY

Did you ever see text in a window that you wanted to copy? But couldn't?
When you tried, you discover
  • Right clicks are disabled in the window. You can’t get a context menu to Select All then Copy
  • Windows doesn’t even allow you to click and drag your cursor to select text in the window

An example: Device Manager. You open Device Manager and see a list of devices but you can’t copy the device list! So, now download and run this: SysExporter. Figure 1 below shows Device Manager on the left. SysExporter on the right.
SysExporter has an upper and lower pane display. Use column info in the upper pane to find the window you want. Click any column header to sort that column. Upper pane columns include:
Title – Window Title​
Items - # of items grabbed from the window (not including constant items)​
In our example, we’re interested in
  • Windows Title = Device Manager as it’s what appears in the upper left hand corner of the window
  • Items= 115. We know there are a lot of device item entries so appears like the right number
We click the entry in the upper pane and then see the items in the lower pane. And that is exactly what we want!

[CENTER]Figure 1 - Device Manager / SysExporter[/CENTER]

In lower pane, use the right click context menu to select the items you want to copy (see Figure 2 below) You can the decide among several formats when you save the items

I prefer Copy Selected Items (Tab Delimited) as these are saved in a text file with file extension .txt I can later import it to Excel to get the columnar data back to work with

Figure 2 - Device Manager / SysExporter

A couple notes and you can experiment with the rest of SysExporter’s options
  • If the Windows on your screen change, click Options->Refresh to refresh SysExporter’s list
  • When looking for text to grab, one might just hunt in Window Title order. But try clicking on Items column header. Now the items in each window are numerically sorted such that those windows with most items appear toward the top. Focus your attention on entries where items not equal zero
  • Note the indent column in lower pane. Use this to re-establish any indented relationshiop between items
As one last example: Note the device instance id in Driver Details in image on left. In SysExporter image on right we select in upper pane the window title with the item and we see the Device Instance ID displayed now in lower pane so we can copy/paste it elsewhere


Posts: 6,429   +186
oh yea. once you know about it.. you'd be surprised!

Another example, if you ever Search for files, Windows Search in XP also has no method to copy/paste the file list it displays! Sometimes i find it handy to save the file list search result in a text file for future reference. SysExporter is the only method i know of to do that in XP
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