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Beginners Guides: Windows Command Prompt
Beginners Guides: Windows Command Prompt - PCSTATS
Back in the heyday of text-based operating systems like Unix and DOS, the command prompt was the operating system.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Mar 05 2011   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Switches and Command Help

Instructions are available for every command prompt command, and can be accessed simply by typing the command followed by ' /?'. For example, to obtain a help listing for the CD command,

type: cd /?

Note there is a space between the command and the switch. These help files will give you a quick blurb on the command's purpose, a guide to the proper syntax for using it, and a list of switches and other options that can be used with the command.

Switches are optional extra settings that can be used with command prompt commands to make them behave differently. For example, by default, the DIR command will list the contents of your current location in one continuous scrolling list. If you are in a directory that contains many files, like C:\windows\system32, this is not very useful. By adding the /p switch, you can make the list pause after every full screen of information is displayed, making the results easier to browse. In a similar fashion, 'DIR /w' will cause the folder contents to be listed in several columns, so you can fit more on a single screen. Switches come between the command itself and the target, like this;

type: dir /p windows\system32

More than one switch can be used with a command, like this;

type: dir /s /w /p windows\system32

Use the help (/?) switch for each command to find more useful switches and options!

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Windows Command Prompt
 Pg 2.  Part 1: Entering and using the Windows XP command prompt
 Pg 3.  Moving Between Folders
 Pg 4.  — Switches and Command Help
 Pg 5.  Creating and Deleting Folders and Files
 Pg 6.  Command Redirectors
 Pg 7.  More Handy CMD Commands
 Pg 8.  All About IPConfig
 Pg 9.  Tree and Netstat
 Pg 10.  Tasklist and SystemInfo

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