Customizing Command Prompt windows
You can customize the appearance of a Command Prompt window in several ways. You can change its size, select a font, and even use eye-pleasing colors. And you can save these settings independently for each shortcut that launches a Command Prompt session so that you can make appropriate settings for different tasks.
To customize a Command Prompt window, you make settings in a properties dialog box that you can reach in any of three ways:
- Right-click a shortcut that opens a Command Prompt window, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu. Changes you make here affect all future Command Prompt sessions launched from this shortcut.
- Click the Control menu icon in a Command Prompt window, and then click Properties on the Control menu. (If Command Prompt is running in full-screen mode, press Alt+Enter to switch to window display.) Changes you make here affect the current session. When you leave the properties dialog box, you'll be given the option of propagating your changes to the shortcut from which this session was launched.
- Click the Control menu icon in a Command Prompt window, and then click Defaults on the Control menu. Changes here do not affect the current session. Instead, they affect all future sessions, except those launched from a shortcut whose properties you have modified.
Setting the window size and position
To change the screen position where a newly launched Command Prompt window appears, open the window's properties dialog box and click the Layout tab.
The dialog box maintains two different sizes-the screen buffer size and the window size. The width for both sizes is specified in columns (characters); the height is specified in rows (text lines).
The screen buffer settings control the size of the "virtual screen," which is the maximum extent of the screen. Standard screen sizes are 80 by 25, 80 by 43, or 80 by 50, but you can set your Command Prompt session to any size you want.
The window size settings control the size of the Command Prompt window on your screen. In most cases, you'll want it to be the same size as the screen buffer. But if your screen is crowded, you can reduce the window size. If you do, scroll bars are added. The window size settings cannot be larger than the screen buffer size settings.
Because you size a window by specifying how many rows and columns of characters it should have, the size of those characters also affects the amount of space the window occupies on your display. For information about changing the character size, see "Selecting a font" below.
Setting the window size and position visually
Rather than guess at the settings for window size and position, you can drag the borders of a Command Prompt window to adjust its size and drag its title bar to adjust its position. To retain the settings for future sessions, click the Control menu icon, click Properties, and click the Layout tab. You'll see the settings that reflect the window's current condition. Click OK to apply these settings.
Selecting a font
Applications in a Command Prompt window can display only one font at a time. Your choice is limited, as you'll see if you click the Font tab in the Command Prompt window's properties dialog box.
Make a selection in the Font list first because your choice here determines the contents of the Size list. If you select the Consolas or Lucida Console font, you'll find point sizes to choose from in the Size list. If you select Raster Fonts, you'll find character widths and height in pixels.
You can set the color of the text and the background of the Command Prompt window. You can also set the color of the text and the background of pop-up windows that originate from the command prompt, such as the command history window.
To set colors, click the Colors tab in the Command Prompt window's properties dialog box. Here you can set separate foreground and background colors for the Command Prompt window and pop-up windows, such as the command history window.