The Windows Commandline Interface
All about CMD.EXE

Starting with Windows NT and continuing with its successors (Win2000, XP, etc), the CMD program provides a greatly enhanced successor to the old DOS COMMAND.COM.  Features include, but are not limited to:

Syntactically backward-compatible with COMMAND.COM, but with many extensions
Far more configurable regarding fonts, colors and window geometry
File and directory name completion (using TAB starting in XP)
A capability comparable to the Unix shell backtick `
Many other new features.  To find out about all of them, type  CMD /? | more  from a Windows CMD prompt , or see Microsoft's "man page" for CMD.

CMD is still far less capable than the Unix shells, and the syntax is considerably less consistent, and sometimes rather awkward.  However, CMD is vastly more capable (and robust) than COMMAND.COM, and can be used to write complex scripts, perform powerful actions from the commandline, and to automate many administrative tasks.

To see the GUI-managed options for a CMD window (such as fonts and geometry), right-click on a Command Prompt icon in Windows.  You will see options for setting fonts, colors, layout, cursor size, and a number of other attributes.


This script provides a brief example of some of the features mentioned above.

To view an example CMD startup file, click here.

I have configured my Command Prompt icon to run this file, by setting its Program field to  CMD.EXE /K "C:\Program Files\local\lib\cmdprmpt.bat"