Selecting a Random File from a Directory and Outputting its Contents
By Avi N.
Hello! For my Web site I have a number of directories that contain a number of text files with various
bits of information that I wanted to display on my ASP pages. Ideally, I wanted to be able to call a function
specifying the path to one of these folders; the function, then, would randomly choose one of the text files
in the specified folder and return its contents. Therefore, to display the contents of a random text file in,
/MyFiles directory, from my ASP page I could simply do:
Note that the
ReadDir function's sole parameter expects the folder's physical path. So I used
Server.MapPath to convert the Web path (
/MyFiles) to a physical path
C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\MyFiles). To learn more about
Server.MapPath be sure to read:
The code for the
ReadDir function can be found below. There are numerous comments (and links) in
the code, so hopefully those comments and links will help clarify any doubts you may have. (If you expect to use
this function on a number of ASP pages it would make sense to place this function in a server-side include file
and simply include the file in the ASP pages that need it. For more information on server-side includes be sure
to read: To Low-Down on
There is also a
live demo that you can try out.
'Start by creating an instance of the FileSystemObject
'For mpre info on FSO see the related FAQ category
Set objFSO = Server.CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
'Make sure the specified folder exists
If Not objFSO.FolderExists(FolderName) Then
ReadDir = "Folder does not exist.
This can be changed to " & _
"a default message or nothing."
'Create a Folder object for the folder path we are interested in
Set objFolder = objFSO.GetFolder(FolderName)
'Here we want to populate an array with all of the file names for text
'files in our folder object. Note that we incrementally resize the
'array for perf reasons (see this user tip for
'an explanation on why we want to do it this way...
Dim I : I = -1
'Loop through each file in the folder
For Each objFile In objFolder.Files
'Since we only want to work with text files...
If Right(objFile, 4) = ".txt" Then
I = I + 1
'Do we need to redim our array?
if I > UBound(arrFile) then ReDim Preserve arrFile(I + 20)
arrFile(I) = objFile.Path
'Make sure arrFile is the right size
Redim Preserve arrFile(I)
'What if we didn't find any files in the directory?
If I = -1 Then
ReadDir = "No text files in this directory. <br><b>This can be " & _
"changed to a default message or nothing.</b>"
'Choose a random file from the array
Dim RanFile : RanFile = Int((UBound(arrFile) - 1 + 1) * Rnd + 1)
Dim strOutput : strOutput = ""
Dim strFileName : strFileName = arrFile(RanFile)
If objFSO.FileExists(strFileName) Then
'Open the file and dump its contents into the strOutput variable
Set objTextStream = objFSO.OpenTextFile(strFileName, 1)
Do While Not objTextStream.AtEndOfStream
strOutput = strOutput & objTextStream.ReadLine
ReadDir = "File does not exist. <br><b>This can be changed " & _
"to a default message or nothing.</b>"
ReadDir = strOutput 'Finally we have the file's output! Return it
Set objTextStream = Nothing
Set objFolder = Nothing
Set objFile = Nothing
Set objFSO = Nothing