Make Windows Command Prompt User Friendly

Since the earlier ages of MS DOS, Microsoft have used a command line interface in all of their operating systems. In the days of Windows ME,Windows 98 and Windows 95, the primary command shell used, was command.com. But with the advancement of technology, they provided a more powerful and customizable Windows console named as Command Prompt or cmd.exe.

Tip: Pin Command Prompt in Windows Right-Click Context Menu.

Basically it acts like a DOS-like command line interpreter, which allows us to take advantage of the features of the native programs. But the major drawback of command prompt is its non graphical interface, which doesn’t allows it to be user friendly. But with the help of this article, you can customize the command prompt to a level that is quite attractive as well as easy to use.

How to enable Copy Paste feature in Windows Command Prompt

1.Well, to get started at first open command prompt by clicking Start > Run , then type “cmd” and press “Enter”.

2. This will open the console window. Left click on the top left corner i.e. the cmd icon,  and select “properties’.

3. In the “options” tab search for the “edit options” and select “quick edit mode”. Lastly click on OK .

With the help of this trick you can copy and paste any commands that are written in the command window. To copy a command just select the phase you want to copy by left clicking and dragging the cursor. After copying, right click anywhere in the console to paste that phrase or command. Now like the other text programs you are able to copy paste a long command rather than typing it again and again.

How to change the background color of Windows Command Prompt

Sometimes you may get bored of the default black background of the command prompt. With a little bit customization of background color, the command window will look quite attractive.

1. Like the previous trick, open the cmd.exe properties window.

2. Under colors tab, select screen background and choose the color that you think the suitable one for your command window. To change the text color just select  screen text and choose the color. You may change the color intensity also from the selected color values option.

How to change the size of Command Prompt window

As well as colors you are able to  customize the command prompt window size also. All you have to do is just open cmd.exe properties as before an click on the Layout option. There you can modify the window size and the window position.

Another interesting feature of Windows Command Prompt is to alter screen buffer size. If you are working with a huge list of commands then this option lets you to scroll up or down through the cmd shell. A larger buffer size allows to you to scroll off the screen.

How to see the list of commands you have typed in cmd.exe

While dealing with the command prompt with several commands, you may be in need of seeing all of them at a time. No problem, just press the F7 key and you’ll see the list of commands you have typed till then.

Not only that, by pressing the up and down arrow key you can toggle between the commands you have typed earlier. It saves a lot of time because no longer you have to type a command twice or more than that.

How to give the look to Windows Command Prompt like a Bash Shell Prompt

Windows command prompt always shows the current directory path. In case if you are working with a directory that has a long name then the command screen ends up in half way along the name. Linux command prompts ( Bash Shell Prompt ) are free from such problems. But there is a trick by which you can change the look of Windows command prompt so that it looks like a Bash Shell prompt.

To make the command prompt look like a Bash Shell Prompt in Ubuntu, open the console or command window and type the following phrase:

prompt %USERNAME%@%COMPUTERNAME%:~$$$S

and press enter.

To get the look of the Bash Prompt on Redhat Fedora, just type

prompt [%USERNAME%@%COMPUTERNAME%$S~]$$

and press “Enter”.

To get back to default look of Windows command prompt, type Prompt $P$G and press enter.

Note that this trick only works for the current cmd window. To make one of looks of them permanent you have to apply a simple Registry tweak. Here follows the instructions:

1. Go to Start > Run and type “regedit” and press “Enter’.

2. After opening of the Registry Editor, navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_ MACHINESYSTEMCurrent Control SetControlSession Manger
Environment

3. Right click on Environment and select“Export” and save the key to any location in your hard drive.

4. Go to the right window pane and right click and select string value. Name it as PROMPT.

5. Double click on the key PROMPT and fill the value data option with any one of the aforesaid syntax.

6. Reboot your system.

[Via WatchingTheNet]

All of these tricks are valid for Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7. Hope these will help you to customize your Command Prompt to a great extent. Follow Tech Tips Geek for the latest tricks on Windows.

Comments

  1. elextra :

    Hi there,

    While these tricks are all cool, I am looking to explicitly disallow such things. I.e and most importantly: prevent the user from accessing the top left corner of a DOS command window.

    Context: Users are accessing a machine via Remote Desktop. I have their rights pretty limited on that machine. But, at startup, I have to show those users some information and I do it today via a DOS window. But via the menu of this DOS window, they can change its color, potentially making it unreadable.. etc…
    I would like to prevent them from totally accessing the properties of the DOS window.
    Thanks in advance.

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