Command Prompt – The Windows Console

keep-calm-and-learn-your-command-words

A console, in the context of an operating system, means a textual interface (like MS-DOS that we used to have many years ago), instead of a graphical one (like Windows).

Windows does have a textual interface called Command Prompt, and while it looks pretty gray and ugly and basic, it has actually been through some nice helpful changes when Microsoft created a new version of it for Windows 10.

What can I do with it

I think a good rule of thumb would be that if you don’t know what you want to do with the command prompt you probably should do anything with it 🙂

However, it is mostly used to perform actions on files (move, copy, remove, edit – if it’s a text file), either on your local computer or on a remote computer that you can connect to with network protocols like SSH.

And you can play with it if you want to feel like an old school hacker person. But try not to ruin anything.

How to open Command Prompt

Hold Windows Key and press the R key, then type “cmd” (without the quotation marks) into the box that opens up on the bottom left of your screen. Press Enter.

cmd in run window

What’s new in the Windows 10 command prompt

  • The craziest change is one that Microsoft was enthusiastic enough about to demonstrate on stage at the Windows 10 Announcement event. It’s the ability to paste with Ctrl+V, like you can do in any other Windows program! Believe it or not, it was not possible until now. Now you can copy text from a different window inside Windows and paste it in the command prompt with Ctrl+V. MADNESS.
  • The new properties dialog, accessed by right-clicking on the icon and clicking properties, finally enables you to change the size and color of the font and screen, turn line wrapping on and off, and more.

 Properties Accessproperties color

  • Also, keyboard shortcuts!

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ctrl + M will put you in the new “Mark Mode”, which allows you to click or drag your mouse inside the command prompt window, like in a word processor. Actually, the name “Mark Mode” explains it quite well!
  • You can now use Shift to highlight text just like you do in Word. Shift + Up/Down/Right/Left (or Shift + Page Up/Page Down to highlight and jump the entire height of the screen, Shift + Ctrl + Left/Right to highlight and jump whole words instead of single letters).
  • Press Ctrl + Up/Down to scroll one line up or down inside the window.
  • Press Ctrl + F to find text inside the window.
  • Press Ctrl + Home / End to jump all the way up or down inside the chunk of text you are currently editing. You can also do that while holding Shift to select that whole chunk.
  • Ctrl + A will
    • Select all the text in the line you’re currently in.
    • Select all the text in the window if the line you’re currently in is empty.
  • Crtl + C or Ctrl + Insert will copy the currently selcted text to the clipboard.
  • Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert will paste the text from the clipboard.
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