How to turn your Windows Command Prompt (CMD.exe) into a powerful tool.
By default, the Windows command line is not well configured: not enough
lines of scrollback, no QuickEdit mode, etc., therefore many people
don't use it. but with a few steps, some how-to-use knowledge, and tools
like Swiss File Knife and Depeche View,
working with the command line is faster than anything else.
Configure the Windows Command Prompt this way:
1. create a command line shortcut on your desktop:
- over Start/Programs/Accessories/Command Prompt,
press right mouse button, then select Copy.
- go to an empty place on the desktop.
- select Paste.
2. on the new desktop shortcut, press right mouse button,
then select Properties.
3. in the Command Prompt Properties, set
4. close Properties by clicking OK.
5. double-click on the Command Prompt icon to open a shell.
Now you have a well configured power shell:
- any command output is remembered up to 3000 lines,
so even with long directory listings, you can always scroll back.
- you may select any text you see with the left mouse button, then
click right button to copy the text to clipboard.
- once you copied something to clipboard, click right button again
to paste text from clipboard. this way you can copy/paste file-
names very quickly in the command prompt, running file copies etc.
much faster than by any explorer click-around.
- to pause a program that dumps output to the shell,
do a dummy-select of text with the left mouse button.
to continue program execution, press right button, or enter.
Automatic Command Completion
Question: how do you enter the directory VeryMuchToTypeFooBarSystem ?
Answer 1: type "cd verymuchtotypefoobarsystem"
this is actually what most users do, and it's a waste of time.
Answer 2: type "cd very" and then press the TAB key.
since Windows XP, command completion is default.
Under Win98, completion it is NOT default, but can be activated through regedit:
set the registry entry
to value 9 which is the code of the TAB key.
Using the free Swiss File Knife
Now that you're on the command line level, have a look at the multi-function tool
sfk and the realtime text viewer depeche view, and experience how power searching
and processing of whole directory trees can boost up your daily work.