Windows 10 Tutorial #4 – Command Prompt (Part 1)

Windows 10 Tutorial #4 – Command Prompt (Part 1)
Command Prompt Tutorial - Part 1

Command prompt Windows 10 – Introduction and Settings

The command prompt, cmd or cmd.exe is a powerful Windows OS utility app. It is a command-line interface (CLI) application present in the Windows Operating System since the existence of MS-Dos. The present Windows OS has GUI and  ‘power shell‘ along with the command prompt application. 

Like other Microsoft inbuilt apps, it is also located in the system32 folder. The full path of this app is given below:

C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe

This command prompt tutorial is divided into the following four parts.

Part 1 – Cmd – Introduction, and Settings

Part 2 – Cmd – Must know Commands

Part 3. – Cmd – A useful List of Shortcuts

Part 4 – Cmd – Batch file programming

We will start with:

How do I open a Command prompt Window?

To open this app, follow one of the following methods:

Method A:

  1. Press the ‘Windows‘ logo key.
  2. Start typing ‘cmd‘. The cmd app icon will appear.
  3. Click on it or hit enter to open it as a user. If you are the administrator of the PC you can open it with admin privileges by right-clicking the app icon.

Method B:

  1. Press the ‘Windows + R‘ key to open the ‘run‘ command.
  2. In the run command console, start typing ‘cmd‘.
  3. Click ‘OK’ or hit enter.

Method C:

  1. Go to the location of a folder from where you want to open the ‘Command Prompt‘ window.
  2. Press ‘Shift‘ key and ‘right-click‘ on the page.
  3. Inside right-click menus find the entry ‘Open command prompt window here‘.
  4. Click on it and your command prompt window will open in the current folder location.
Note:- If you have your default shell as ‘power shell’ then, in that case, the power shell window will open instead of command prompt.

To follow this tutorial it would be better if you pin the cmd to the taskbar.

press win logo key > type ‘cmd‘ > Right-click on the app icon > select ‘pin to taskbar

Now you can access the cmd from your taskbar.

Command Prompt Settings

Before familiarizing and changing the look and feel of the cmd window we will first learn about ‘Defaults’ and ‘Properties’ options. 

‘Defaults’ and ‘Properties’ options in cmd

Right-click on the title bar, you will find two of the options are. 

  1. Defaults, and
  2. Properties

Both options are used to change the layout of ‘cmd’ window.

Click on both of them, of course, one by one 😀 

You will find two similar looking windows and the same five tabs appear in both the options. Why are there the same options for both defaults and properties?

Observe the title bars of both the windows. For ‘defaults’ it reads: ‘Console Windows Properties‘ whereas for ‘properties’ the title bar reads: “Command Prompt” Properties.

This means that – to change the default settings use “defaults’, Whereas ‘Properties’ will change the settings for an opened instance of the cmd window. If you open the cmd again from the start menu it will open with default settings, not with the changes you made within the ‘Properties’ settings.

We will practice changing all the settings using ‘Properties’ options and not the ‘Default’ because of two reasons:

First- our aim to familiarize ourselves with all the available options will be fulfilled as both have similar kinds of selection-settings.

Second- it won’t be messy if you accidentally select any odd combination of color or settings (described below) which you don’t like. And, you are unable to get back to the defaults. So in that case just relaunch the cmd window and will be good to go.

To change the settings of all the followed command prompt windows, do all the steps mentioned below using the ‘Defaults‘. 

Change the background color of the command prompt

If you don’t like the black background of ‘cmd’ and want to change it to another color, then:-

Right-click on the title bar > select properties 

A ‘command prompt properties’ window will appear with five tabs on it.

Click on the ‘Colors‘ tab > select the desired background-color > click on the radio button before the ‘screen text’ and select the text color also.

How to change the background color of cmd

Close the app and launch it again from the taskbar (recall we have pinned it in the taskbar). You will find a new look at your command prompt interface.

changed back ground color of command prompt window

The second way of changing the background color is by writing ‘color’ command.

open cmd > type ‘color help or ‘color /?‘ 

the following text will appear.Command prompt background change commands

to change the background and text color we need to input two hex digits along with the word ‘color‘. For example ‘color 0A‘.

(Color attributes are specified by TWO hex digits — the first corresponds to the background; the second the foreground. But remember the cmd background will set back to default. To change the default we need to change it in the ‘Defaults‘) 

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Command Prompt layout settings

To change the layout of the cmd window, use the steps below:

right-click on the title bar > select ‘Properties‘ > select Layout tab > you can change screen buffer size, window size, and window position as per your choice.

How to change the layout of the command prompt window

Font-size and Font-Family selection

right-click on the title bar > select ‘Properties‘ > select Font tab > change font size and font family.

Change the Title of the CMD

Open cmd > type ‘title My Command Window

The title of the command prompt window will change into ‘My Command Window’.

command prompt - changing the title

Clear the screen and Exit CMD

If the command prompt window clusters with lots of commands and texts then to clear the screen type — ‘cls’ – it will clear the screen

Type — ‘exit’ – to close the cmd window and exit.

Change the cursor type in Command Prompt

right-click on the title bar > select ‘Properties‘ > select Terminal tab > select any from the five types of cursors.

Disable scroll forward in CMD

To scroll down the Cmd Prompt screen beyond the last text, enable the scroll forward. Or disable it if you don’t want to scroll down the last text. For this setting:

right-click on the title bar > select ‘Properties‘ > select Terminal tab > go to terminal scrolling > check or uncheck the box.

How to disable scroll forward in command prompt

Changing the opacity of the Cmd Window

It may be possible that you are typing some commands in Cmd while watching a video tutorial on your screen. To avoid switching the windows or pausing the video, reduce the opacity of the Cmd window.

This option is also handy while you are typing some commands from an image on the screen (from where you cannot copy and paste the text into cmd window).

To reduce opacity do the following:

right-click on the title bar > select ‘Properties‘ > select Colors tab > under  opacity > slide the adjuster to change transparency.

change the opacity of the command prompt window

The screen may look like this.

How to change the opacity of the command prompt window

Drag and drop a file to open it

Try to drag and drop the icon of any file, folder or application inside the Cmd Prompt window. It will show the full path of that file or folder.

Hit enter to open the selected file, folder or program.

This is the end of the Part-I tutorial.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this tutorial. Comment below for any query, question or suggestion.

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About The Author

"A graduate of B.E, freelancer, and founder of Aiye Samjhein. He teaches concept driven writing, disciplined creativity, and communication of ideas."
Arun Singh - founder of Aiye Samjhein
Arun Singh
Educational Blogger

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