Software & Finance

Visual C++ - List files from a directory - wild card search

The function GetFileList takes searchkey as an input parameter. The search key can use a wild card, like *.txt or *.xml, etc along with the folder name. The return value for the function GetFileList is the collection of strings containing the filenames.


FindFirstFile takes searchkey as input parameter and WIN32_FIND_DATA would be a out parameter. The return value is a handle that would be used in subsequent call to FindNextFile. If it is INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE, then there are no files found. FindNextFile returns false, if there are no more files found with the selected search criteria.


#include <string>

#include <vector>

#include <windows.h>


// searchkey = "c:\\kathir\\*.txt";

int GetFileList(const char *searchkey, std::vector<std::string> &list)


    WIN32_FIND_DATA fd;

    HANDLE h = FindFirstFile(searchkey,&fd);




        return 0; // no files found







        if(FindNextFile(h, &fd) == FALSE)



    return list.size();




void main()


    std::vector<std::string> list;

    int count = GetFileList("c:\\kathir\\*.txt", list);


    // Using Index Based Accessing

    for(int i = 0; i < list.size(); i++)



    // Using const_iterator

    for(std::vector<std::string>::const_iterator it = list.begin();

        it != list.end(); ++it)