Tip

Use command-prompt properties to increase screen buffer

Use command-prompt properties to increase screen buffer
Tony Hallihan

This tip is excerpted from the Microsoft web site.


As good as GUI interfaces are, many professional people in Computer Support and Information Technology would rather live on the command line. Many utilities, though, use all sorts of esoteric switches that can be hard to remember.

One way to find out those switches is by using "program_name /?", but often you'll get back more information than the screen buffer can hold. [It happens in other situations, too, such as directory listings.] One solution is using "program_name /? | more". Another solution is to dump the output to a text file using program_name /? > text_file_name.txt.

A better way in Windows 2000 (also in Windows NT 4.0) is to change the command-window Properties.

Here's how:

  • Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, then click Command Prompt.
  • Right-click anywhere on the title bar of the Command Prompt window, then click Properties.
  • On the Layout tab, under Screen Buffer Size, increase the Height value. 100 seems about right for me. Click OK.
  • In the dialogue box that then appears, choose "Modify shortcut that started this window" to make this change permanent for future Command Prompt windows started from the Command Prompt icon on the Start Menu.
  • Click OK.
You now have a scrollable command window.


Tony Hallihan is a division

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manager at DBS Computer & Support Group, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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This was first published in February 2001

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