Windows 7 / Getting Started

Copy and Paste in Command Prompt Windows

Although console programs don't have the display windows and menus of ordinary Windows programs, you can still use the mouse to copy and paste text to and from Command Prompt windows.

To copy text to the Clipboard, you have to extract a rectangular block of text-you can't select text line-by-line as you're used to. Position the mouse at the upper-left corner of the block of text you want, drag it down to the bottom-right corner, and then press Enter.While you're selecting text, the word Select appears in the window's title. Command Prompt window looks White when selecting text.

You can also select text using the window's System menu. Click the upper-left corner of the window or press Alt+space, and then select Edit, Mark. Use the arrow keys to move the cursor to the upper-left corner of the desired area, and then hold the Shift key down while moving the cursor to the lower-right corner. Press Enter to copy the selected text.

You can paste text into a Command Prompt window using the same menu, except to paste, select Edit, Paste.To paste to a Command Prompt window, however, the program running in the window has to be expecting input.

Tip: The keyboard shortcut for Paste is worth memorizing: Alt+space, E, P.

By the way, "cut" isn't available-after something is typed in a Command Prompt window, it's typed and can't be removed.

If you need to run a mouse-aware MS-DOS program in a Command Prompt window, you want to disable the Select feature so that mouse movements are sent to the program rather than being interpreted by the console program window.To disable the use of the mouse for copying text, select the window's Properties dialog box and uncheck Quick Edit.

[Previous] [Contents] [Next]