Use File and Directory Name Completion in Command Prompt

Administrator Tip: Use File and Directory Name Completion in Command Prompt

Use File and Directory Name Completion in Command Prompt
By The Windows 2000 Development Team

If you work with the command prompt frequently, you can speed your navigation through the directory structure and file lists by enabling File and Directory Name Completion. Enable Completion by typing either of the two control characters (CTRL+D for directory names, CTRL+F for file names) at the command prompt. Some examples of how completion may be used include:

  • Type the first few characters of a command executable, then type CTRL+F to cycle through the files that begin with those characters.
  • Type CD, then type CTRL+D to cycle through all of the directory names in the current path.

A couple of other tidbits:

  • To move backward through the list, press the Shift key with the control character.
  • If file completion is used on any of the built-in directory commands (CD, MD, or RD), directory completion is assumed.

To enable File and Directory Name Completion for a single command-prompt session:

  • Click Start, click Run, in the Open box type cmd /f:on, then click OK
    or
  • Start a command-prompt window and type cmd /f:on, then press Enter.

To enable File and Directory Name Completion for all command prompt sessions:

  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, then right-click Command Prompt and choose Properties.
  • Under the Shortcut tab in the Target box, type %SystemRoot%system32cmd.exe /f:on.
  • Click OK.

The Command Prompt shortcut on the Start menu will now start Cmd.exe with File and Directory Name Completion enabled.


This was first published in December 2000
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