I use SecureFX which can open a file only when the file is selected in the file explorer.

I want to be able to type in / paste the absolute path and the tool should open the file in a single step. Is there any tool for Windows which can do this?

Also it would be great to have support for editing of remote text files with a local app like Notepad++.

  • 1
    What OS you're after? For just opening the file given an absolute path, AFAIK any web browser would do. Depending on the extension, that would even open Notepad++ when that's registered for the file type. Though I'm not sure how to save your edit back then – but that wasn't part of your question ;)
    – Izzy
    Aug 26, 2014 at 16:04

3 Answers 3


If you are looking for a client that will allow you to enter FTP: //hostname/folder/file.ext into it and it immediately opens the file in the application associated with the file extension, then you will need to find an FTP client which can register itself as a "URL Handler".

This will allow the FTP client to launch, log in to the remote FTP server, traverse to the specified folder, download the file, then launch the Windows Application registered for the file and allow the file to be modified.

The trick is that many times the FTP client is not able to know when the Windows application has modified the file, and therefore the FTP client is not able to upload the changes back to the remote FTP server. Permissions could also prevent this from being done successfully.

I'm not aware of an FTP client application which handles all of the above. With regards to WebDrive, while it doesn't register itself as a URL Handler (although this is a great idea and we'll pass it on to the engineers), it does give you the ability to launch Windows Explorer, or a command prompt, and enter X:\folder\file.ext and have it open in the application. You can also access files remotely on the FTP server through Notepad+ directly using the File Open command, and changes are saved directly back to the remote server.

So there are a few different avenues to go, and you'll need to decide which features are most valuable to you personally and go with what works for you--there are a ton of options out there to choose from.


You could use an FTP client that maps the FTP site to a local Windows drive (assuming you are using Windows), which then gives you a path such as x:\myfolder\myfile.txt which you can paste into Windows Explorer etc. to directory access the file.

I have been using WebDrive to achieve that.

  • 1
    Welcome to SR. We want questions to be give specific recommendations - definitely not list of link or link to list of links answers. Please update to a specific recommended software or this answer may be deleted. Aug 8, 2014 at 2:40
  • okay removed link to other list of alternatives Aug 8, 2014 at 3:02
  • Thanks, I'll wait to see any other conventional style tools also exists. Mapping to windows drive woudn't allow me to use the absolute url to open files just by typing in \mountpoint\dir\file.txt
    – dbza
    Aug 8, 2014 at 17:09
  • If you map FTP to a windows drive letter and open a command prompt window, and then change to that drive (eg x:), you can paste your absolute FTP path into the DOS window and the file will be downloaded and opened in a single step. DOS doesn't need the drive letter to be in the path if it's the same as the current drive, and modern DOS's don't care whether it's a a forward or backslash in paths. Aug 9, 2014 at 6:12
  • Let me try that, will the modifications I make to the opened file be uploaded back to the server too?
    – dbza
    Aug 11, 2014 at 16:43

GNU Emacs lets you do this easily. You can edit remote files locally, browse remote file systems, and so on. You can use it on many platforms, accessing other platforms.

For more information, see the Emacs manual, node Remote Files. You can quickly access that section from Emacs using C-h r g Remote Files or C-h r i ftp (Control-h r opens the table of contents of the manual.)

You can get MS Windows binaries of Emacs here. Here is the FAQ for Emacs on Windows.

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