Path Editor

At some point in your career as a developer or an administrator, you’re going to care about the value of the Path environment variable.

For most people, it looks like this:

Edit System Variable Interface

The default tool for manipulating the variable is painful to use. It forces you to manipulate the value as a string, it performs no validation on the input, and it won’t even show you the whole value you’re working with.

I shouldn’t have to manipulate the Path as a string just because it’s serialized as one. Logically, the Path object is a sequence of directories.

With Redfern Place’s Path Editor, you can edit the Windows Path environment variable with an interface that better reflects the logical model.

For me, the Path looks like this:

Path Editor Interface

To insert a new item, context-click below the existing list entries and click ‘Insert New Item’:


Type in the new expression to add to the path:

Type Item Name

Here, I’m adding Java binaries to my Path by using the JAVA_HOME environment variable I defined earlier. Because I’ve referred to the value of another environment variable by name, the shell will evaluate the Path variable at execution time to derive the true absolute path.

This means if I change JAVA_HOME because I change my version of Java, then I just have to update JAVA_HOME and the Path is updated for free!

Path Editor validates my input and shows me a green tick:


So I know I did it right.

Hit ‘Save to Registry’ (it can take a few seconds to finish saving), open a new Command Prompt, and type ‘java’ to test:

C:\Users\Iain>java -version
java version “1.7.0_09”
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.7.0_09-b05)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 23.5-b02, mixed mode)



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