First, we need to open an MS-DOS window.
In some cases, clicking on the MS-DOS icon may
place you into a full-screen DOS session: "It's as
if the whole screen suddenly went blank on
If this happens to you, press and hold down an ALT key then press the ENTER key and finally release both keys. You can use these keys repeatedly to switch back and forth between a DOS-window and full-screen DOS.
An alternative method to get back to your Widnows session is to use the ALT + TAB keys combination (just like the ALT + ENTER keys), which allows you to select another program window. Doing so will cause a window to appear on the screen similar to this one:
If you've never worked at a DOS prompt before, you can find the program in your START, "Programs" menu as shown here:
You should now see a DOS window on your screen like this:
NOTE: See below for pictures of a Windows 2000/XP CMD Prompt window; they have no toolbar! You must either right-click on the title bar of the CMD Prompt window and then make a choice from the "Edit >" menu with your mouse, or else learn how to mark text with the mouse's left button, copy with the ENTER key and also paste with the mouse's right button.
If the words in your window are too
small, check to make sure that it is set for at least 7
x 15 in the 'font-size box' ( 8 x 12 is my favorite
setting). If you don't like what you see, just click on the little
gray button in the font-size box to select a combination that's
best for you. ( Try resizing the window too.)
Clicking on the "Font" button ( A ) will pop up a graphical display of all your font choices showing how the DOS window should appear on your screen.
The "Mark" and "Copy" buttons can be quite effective in copying some important bit of screen output from the DOS-window. This places whatever you marked (covered with the white square pattern) into the Windows Clip Board. However, for large amounts of data or repeated tasks, you should always try to re-direct the data into a file!
The "Paste" button copies whatever's on the Clip Board to the present position of your DOS cursor on the Command Line! ( This can be useful for long and complex commands; especially if it's difficult to enter some of the characters from your keyboard.)
Note: If you press the "Full-screen" button, the only way to get back to the same DOS "window," is to use the ALT + ENTER keys as described above. You can, of course, always enter the command "exit " to end the DOS-window session from full-screen mode.
You can hide or restore the TOOLBAR using a menu from the TITLE BAR as shown in this pic:
NOTE: The Windows 2000/XP "CMD" Prompt Windows have a somewhat different way of doing things; such as the Copy and Paste operations. First off, there is no Toolbar for these windows! If you "Right-click" on the Title bar, you'll see something like this:
In this case, you simply make use of the mouse to Mark text and the ENTER key to Save it to the Clip-board. Pasting is done with the "Right-click" of the mouse. Those of you who work with Linux consoles will find this rather interesting I would assume! Both the Scroll and Find features ( which are entirely new compared to the old DOS-windwos) have been seemingly ported from the Linux console as well. You will also notice that the text in the Title bar changes depending upon which functions you select from the "Edit" menu; another very helpful addition.
Location of the "Properties" and "Background" buttons:
If you click on the "Properties" button, you'll be presented with a properties box full of tabs that is a bit overwhelming for many users. We will not be covering most of these functions in this introductory page. For some brief help on any item not discussed here, either right-click on the item, such as "Allow Screen Saver" and choose "What's This?" or use the Question-Mark button (see below) to get the pop-up help box.
There's one more button left to discuss: The "Background"
selection button. This is only here for those users who need to manage their
computing resources on a very strict basis! You should always leave the
button pushed IN (normal setting) to keep whatever program you may have
started in the DOS window "running in the background" just like
any other Windows program.
If you click this to the off position, then your DOS program will not use "any system resources" (see the next pic) unless the window is active; if you minimize or set the focus on another window, it's similar to halting or pausing the DOS program when the button is in the off position. [ Note: Clicking on this button either checks or unchecks the same property under Background in the "Misc" TAB of the Properties box.]