Catalog View/Pane: double-click to open .txt in Notepad

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02-25-2022 09:09 AM
Status: Open
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wayfaringrob
Frequent Contributor

In ArcCatalog, selecting a humble .txt file shows a decent interpretation of the file in table form. If your .txt isn't a delimited file, it's horrendous, but the columns are actually wide enough to read what's in it, and sometimes this is good enough. You can easily double click it to immediately open it in Notepad if you really want to drill down and just see it as it's meant to be seen. Skim, get what you need, Ctrl+W, and you're out.

In Pro, there are a lot more steps involved. And in my case, swearing: the Table tab doesn't automatically select, and when you do mouse over to it, the columns are extremely narrow, so you'll need to widen them. Then, if you want to open the dang thing in Notepad, this thread indicates you can mouse over and click the hyperlink, but this only works in the pane, not the view, and doesn't actually open the file - even though it shows the file's path, it only opens the folder in which the file lives. I suppose I could try to switch to the pane, but the Pane also only shows a subset of what's easily navigable in the View (i.e. I'm limited to my folder connections and there's no address bar), and if it's only going to open the folder anyway, I might as well just copy and paste the path from the address bar, since the address bar doesn't show the path to the file like ArcCatalog did either (though I keep forgetting Copy Path exists - which is nice, but you have to open the catalog tab to get it).

At this point, you may understand why I don't bother with any of that and just keep ArcCatalog open (though there are other reasons). We have text files hiding in our folders everywhere. They may be readmes, instructions, emails, delimited files, what have you. If it is a delimited file, then the preview works great. But we have a lot of .txt files that aren't used that way. They're quick and dirty, basic, simple, convenient, small, and versatile. These are just the reasons we create them. This doesn't even speak to the fact that third party data often comes with them - again, for many reasons. We need to be able to open them just as easily as we create and open them outside of ArcGIS Pro. Another comment in this thread suggests using the folder's metadata for .txt content, which sounds like a good alternative for any new folders you create, but that doesn't really help you with existing .txt files whether they're used for that purpose or not. I really just need to be able to open them from Pro as I could from ArcCatalog.

I also think there's no reason more file types shouldn't work this way, or at least have an "Open with..." option added to the R click menu.