TouchPro

TouchPro is a Windows program that allows you to modify (or "touch") any, or all of a file's time & date values. TouchPro fully integrates with Windows File Explorer, appearing as an additional page of a file's property pages and also via a context menu. Using Windows File Explorer it gives you the ability to affect the timestamps of:

TouchPro - Copyright © 1996-2018 JD Design, All Rights Reserved

Installation

We recommend that you unzip the TouchPro.zip file and run the Setup.exe from your hard disk.

You need to run the installation from an account with Administrator privileges.

The last step of Setup informs you that TouchPro is installed and briefly tells you how to use it. If you're upgrading an existing version, we recommend that you log off and back on again, or restart your computer to ensure Windows File Explorer has unloaded the old version.

If your system administrator has applied the EnforceShellExtensionSecurity policy to limit the use of shell extensions to approved ones, they will need to add TouchPro to that list in the registry:

Create a REG_SZ value whose name is "{AD6C3BE1-DD8A-11ce-872F-444553540000}" under the HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Shell Extensions\Approved branch.

Administration Installation

The installer supports the MSI administrative installation options.

For example:

msiexec /jm touchpro.msi

"Advertises" TouchPro on all the machine's users Programs menu items. When a user invokes the Start->Programs->JD Design->TouchPro->Readme option, the installation of TouchPro will complete.

or:

msiexec /a touchpro.msi

Performs an "administrative" installation to a shared network location.

Files Installed

TouchPro setup installs files to the following directories:

%ProgramFiles%\JD Design\TouchProThe main installation directory.

Contains the core program files, including:

  • The TouchPro shell extension DLL
  • The filetms command line utility program
  • The TouchProp command line program
  • TouchCmd, the command line version of TouchPro.
%ProgramFiles%\JD Design\TouchPro\docThe documentation directory, contains this document, the revision history, and related image files.

Setup will also add relevant registry entries and Start menu items.

How Do You Use TouchPro?

Use Windows File Explorer and select the file(s) or the directory that you want to modify.

If you want to change the timestamps of a single file, navigate to it in Windows File Explorer, right click it and use the TouchPro context menu:

Single File Selection

Similarly, if you want to modify all the files in a directory, select the directory in Windows File Explorer, right click it and use the TouchPro context menu:

Single Directory Selection

If you want to alter all the items of a search result in Windows File Explorer:

  1. Perform the search operation (such as all files of a particular type, or all files in a date range)

  2. Select all the files you want in the search results pane

  3. Right click on a file in the selection and use the TouchPro context menu:

Multiple File Selection from Search Results

Note that for all the above, as well as the context menu, you can also access TouchPro from the Properties pages of the selected items.

The Context Menu Operations

Touch with saved setting...

This opens a file selection dialog where you can pick one of your previously saved tpsettings files to invoke those settings on the currently selected items.

Note: This option is only available with a registered version.

TouchPro...

This displays the main TouchPro dialog:

TouchPro Dialog

1. Modify these times

Select from the 3 check boxes which of the timestamp values you want to change.

The following table shows which properties are affected by which options.

Files & FoldersDocument time propertiesPicture time properties
CreatedSystem.Document.DateCreatedPropertyTagExifDTOrig (System.Photo.DateTaken)
ModifiedSystem.Document.DateSaved*PropertyTagDateTime
AccessedSystem.Document.DatePrinted*PropertyTagExifDTDigitized
 * These tags are not generally shown in Windows File Explorer

2. Options

Touch FoldersApply the timestamp value to any selected folders.
Touch FilesApply the timestamp value to any selected files.
Read-only itemsAny read-only items are temporarily changed to writable to enable their timestamp values to be changed. If you leave this off, read-only items are not altered.
Recurse into FoldersIf any folders are selected, the operation processes items in those folders (and sub-folders)
Document time propertiesApply the timestamp value to any selected "document" file properties shown above
Picture time propertiesApply the timestamp value to any selected picture file properties shown above
Save AsDisplays a standard Save As dialog allowing you to save the current settings to a tpsettings file.
LoadDisplays a standard Open dialog box allowing you to load settings from a tpsettings file.
Extra OptionsDisplays the "Extra Options" dialog box shown below.
The Extra Options dialog box

3. Extra Options

These options are personal settings; they are not saved in the tpsettings files.

The User Interface Options control the format of the time and date controls on the main dialog.

The Notification Options controls how TouchPro notifies completion and whether it displays a list of files and the errors should any operations not succeed.

Populate time fields button

4. Populate the time and date controls

From the main dialog, you can populate the time and date controls with the current time, or from an existing timestamp of the first selected file:

The following table shows the types of files TouchPro can read, and indicates the internal properties used by TouchPro:

Email message files
 "Date" propertySystem.Message.DateSentPKEY_Message_DateSent
 "Received" propertySystem.Message.DateReceivedPKEY_Message_DateReceived
Document files (Microsoft Office files and other "document" file types)
CreatedDate CreatedSystem.Document.DateCreatedPKEY_Document_DateCreated
ModifiedDate Last SavedSystem.Document.DateSavedPKEY_Document_DateSaved
AccessedLast PrintedSystem.Document.DatePrintedPKEY_Document_DatePrinted
Picture files (JPG, PNG, TIFF)
CreatedDate & time the picture was takenSystem.Photo.DateTakenPropertyTagExifDTOrig
ModifiedDate and time the image was generated *PropertyTagDateTime
AccessedDate & time of digital data generation*PropertyTagExifDTDigitized
* These tags are not generally shown in Windows File Explorer

5. Toggle between fixed and offset date/times

Using the Fixed/Relative period button you can switch TouchPro between setting a fixed time, or an offset from a current timestamp. When you switch to offset time mode, the normal time and date entry controls change to:

Time Offset Controls 

This allows you to offset the file's existing times by Days, Hours, Minutes and Seconds. This can be useful if your camera's time settings were set incorrectly.

Command Line Version - TouchCmd

Along with the shell extension GUI version, there is a command line version (TouchCmd) that gives you the same facilities as TouchPro via a command line interface - so you can easily automate any build operations.

You can find TouchCmd in the TouchPro installation directory. The default directory is Program Files\JD Design\TouchPro.

To easily use the command line version from any command window you will need to add the TouchPro installation directory to your computer's PATH environment variable. If you use the TouchCmd Command Prompt (accessible from Start, All Programs, JD Design, TouchPro), this is done automatically. You can do this for the current command prompt using the set command, alternatively, you can use the Computer Properties, Advanced, Environment Variables dialog.

Usage:

TouchCmd [/T[time] /D[date] /C /M /A /O /F /S /R /E /BJ /BD /P0|1 /H] path

/T[time]Specify the time to use or omit [time] to use current time
/D[date]Specify the date to use or omit [date] to use current date
/CCreated Timestamp
/MLast Modified Timestamp
/ALast Accessed Timestamp
/OTouch Folders
/FTouch Files
/SProcess sub-directories
/RTouch Read-only files
/E+/-d:h:m:sOffset timestamp days:hours:mins:secs
/BJTouch embedded dates in picture file properties
/BDTouch embedded dates in document properties (normally Microsoft Office file formats)
/PForce operating system mode. 0 = Windows 7 (and later); 1 = Pre-Windows 7
/HDisplays this information
path[drive:][path][filename] (wildcards supported)

Enter the time and date parameters in your regional format as set in Control Panel, Regional Settings.

Examples

To touch all the files in a directory:

TouchCmd ... /F "dirname/*.*"

To touch all the files in a directory & sub-directories:

TouchCmd ... /F /S "dirname/*.*"

To touch a directory:

TouchCmd ... /O "dirname"

To touch a directory and all sub-directories:

TouchCmd ... /O /S "dirname"

To touch all files and directories in a directory:

TouchCmd ... /F /O "dirname/*.*"

To touch all files, directories, and sub-directories in a directory:

TouchCmd ... /F /O /S "dirname/*.*"

Note that the above examples quote the directory/filename to cater for names that contains spaces.

Time Offset Usage

This changes the last modified timestamp by -12 hours:

TouchCmd /M /F /E-0:12:0:0 filename.ext

Saving and Restoring Timestamps

In conjunction with our free FileTms utility (which is now distributed with TouchPro), TouchCmd allows you to save and restore file timestamps.

1. Use FileTms to output the file's current timestamp values to a batch file using command line redirection:

c:\>filetms filename.ext -t > tpcmd.bat

The tpcmd.bat file created then looks something like this:

TouchCmd /F /C /D09/05/1980 /T01:00:00 filename.ext
TouchCmd /F /A /D24/07/2002 /T22:10:03 filename.ext
TouchCmd /F /M /D09/05/1980 /T01:00:00 filename.ext

2. Perform your file operations that result in the timestamps changing.

3. Run the tpcmd.bat batch file to restore the original timestamps.

Notes

The OK and Apply buttons on the main Property Page dialog do not perform the Touch operation.

The file's Last Accessed time may change to the current date and time after you have touched the values. Because any file access can alter the Last Accessed time, it may be difficult to ascertain that this feature works correctly. In particular, some applications have their own property sheet pages that access the file and consequently alter the Last Accessed time. Note that since Windows Vista Microsoft disabled the last access time to improve performance.

File Timestamps and DST (Daylight Saving Time) Quirks

Prior to V5.2 TouchPro converted between the file time (UTC) and local time using Windows functions that have existed since Windows NT. These functions were flawed when the time was in a period outside the current daylight saving time (DST) period. However, since Windows File Explorer (before Windows 7) also used the same functions, the result was consistent with what Windows itself displayed. Since Windows 7, File Explorer uses newer functions that correctly convert between local and UTC times in different DST periods.

From V5.2, TouchPro uses the newer Windows functions to do the local time conversion to be compatible with Windows 7 and later. V5.3 reverts back to the older ones on operating systems prior to Windows 7 so that results on all supported operating systems appears consistent (from the same operating system).

If you have access to both Windows 7 (or later) and Windows XP (or Vista) you can verify this display anomaly by copying a file (with a timestamp in the non-current DST period) between the systems and examining the file's timestamps shown by Windows File Explorer on those operating systems - you'll normally see a 1 hour difference (if your DST time change is 1 hour).

Note that even with Windows 7, the command prompt "dir" command still shows the timestamp using the older method - so it's inconsistent with File Explorer. If you want to see the same timestamp as File Explorer in Windows 7 (or later), the latest version of our FileTms command line utility (installed with TouchPro) now displays the timestamps consistently with the operating system's Windows File Explorer behaviour.

There's a Microsoft example of how to view this anomaly (in pre-Windows 7 operating systems) here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932955 - under the section "Local time conversion in Windows".

See the TouchPro FAQ on our web site http://www.jddesign.co.uk/ for other general information on file timestamps.

Registered Version Features

The registered version of TouchPro adds the following advanced features:

Registering

The easiest way to register is online using one of the secure card payment facilities on our web site.

When you receive your registration information, enter your registered name and number into the About dialog box. You can access this dialog from the main TouchPro dialog About button.

You must enter the information exactly as it appears. The case, spaces, and punctuation of the name are significant, The registration number is composed of the characters 0-9, A-F and again, the case of the letters is significant. If you register the set of utilities, be sure to use the correct registration number for each product.

You can check that registration has worked by re-displaying the About box from the main dialog. When the product is successfully registered your registration name is displayed in the About dialog rather than the entry fields.

Updates

Any updates to the current version are free to registered users by downloading the latest version from our web site. You may need to email us for an updated registration number.

Removal

Locate the "TouchPro" item in the Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs list.

Revision History

Support

We maintain a list of frequently asked questions on our web site. If you have a technical question, please check there to see if you can find an answer before contacting us.

We will post the latest versions of our utilities on our web site as soon as they are available, so please take a look to keep up to date and to see what other software and services we offer.

Web Site: http://www.jddesign.co.uk/

If you have any suggestions for improvements to any of our utilities, please contact us via email (our up-to-date address is on our web site's contacts page). It's always good to hear from people using our products, and we appreciate your taking the time to tell us.

Thanks
JD Design