The Command Prompt
What is the command prompt?
To understand what the command prompt is requires a little background information. On each occasion that a user clicks on the user interface a command is executed. This may be for something as trivial as opening an application. Clicking on some area of the screen using graphically pleasing menus or buttons, is easier for the user rather than typing lines of commands. However the option is there for the user to type commands rather than use the GUI(Graphical User Interface). This is the command prompt. There will be occasions when it may be more benefical to type the commands at the command prompt rather that use the predefined commands behind the menus or buttons.
To open the command prompt, from the start menu select start->programs->Accessories->command prompt .The procedure can be seen below.
Alternatively you can start the command prompt by selecting run from the start menu
Once you have launched the command prompt it should look like the following.
You are now free to type commands and press return to have them executed.
Command prompt tips and Tricks
To change from window to full screen mode do the following.
How do I change the appearance of the command prompt?.
How do I change the command prompt?.
Top ten Commands
One of the main problems that users experience with entering commands straight from the keyboard is that they are difficult to remember. So here are some of the commands that you may encounter.
CD (Change Directory) is a command used to switch directories.
dir:View contents of directory
The dir command allows you to see the available files in the current and or parent directories.The dir command is built into the command.com which means this command is an internal command and is available in 98/95 nt and 2000
Allows the user to copy one file from one source to another.
Del which is short for delete and is a command used to delete files permanently from the computer.
Allows you to move files or directories from one folder to another or from one drive to another.
Ren: rename File
Used to rename files and directories from the original name to a new name.In earlier releases of MS-DOS instead of using ren or rename you need to use the move command to rename your MS-DOS directories or files.
cls: clear screen
Cls is a command which allows the user to clear the complete contents of the screen and leave only a prompt.
deltree: delete file tree
Deltree which is short for delete and is a command used to delete files permanently from the computer.
format: Format Drive
Format is used to erase all of the information off of a computer diskette or fixed drive.
edit: edit computer files
Edit allows a user to view, create and or modify their computer files.
If you are unable to get this program to run work try typing
in "path c:\windows\command" if you have Windows95/98 or type in "path c:\dos", if you
have Dos 5.x/6.x/7.x or Windows 3.x and try again if still you are not able to get edit
to work it may not be on the hard drive type in dir edit.com /s at the c:\> if it says
that the file is not found you may not have this feature.
If you are running a MS-DOS version 4.x or lower or you are unable to find
edit.com on your hard disk drive you can also use the following command to create a file.
Department of computer science and information systems
University of limerick, limerick, Republic of Ireland
Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick, Limerick, Republic of Ireland