Map Virtual Drives Easily, Reduce Long Paths to Just One Letter with Visual Subst

Visual Subst is a small tool that allows you to associate the most accessed directories with virtual drives. It uses the same API similar to the console 'subst' utility, but makes it easier to create and remove virtual drives in a GUI way.

Personally, I use virtual drives everywhere – I always prefer to press ALT+F1 in the file manager and switch to a project directory where hundreds of various files are kept. Using virtual drives, these files can be quickly accessed at any time.

Visual Subst

Note for Programmers

If you have the Platform SDK installed and use it frequently, it might be convenient to create a virtual drive mapped to the Samples directory. Doing so, you can easily reduce a long path like “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Platform SDK\Samples\Multimedia\DirectShow” to just one letter.

How It Works

Generally, a virtual drive is a symbolic link in the local MS-DOS device namespace. It is just one more Windows feature added for backward compatibility with old programs.

Virtual drives are therefore objects of the operating system, and Visual Subst can create, enumerate and remove these objects. All local MS-DOS device names are removed when the user logs off. To handle this issue, Visual Subst saves the list of virtual drives and loads them on the next boot.

System Requirements

Visual Subst runs only on Windows 2000/XP and newer operating systems. It doesn’t require installation. It’s fully portable because all settings are stored into an INI-file. And it’s FREE!