Windows 7 / Getting Started

Using the Console Window

Normally, command prompt programs run in a normal window that has a title bar, resize points, a close button, and scrollbars.

Unlike a true DOS screen, in a console window, you can peer back in time to previously typed output using the scrollbars.This is particularly handy for programs that print more output than can fit on the screen at once.You can also halt a program's output momentarily by pressing Ctrl+S.When you've caught up with your reading, press Ctrl+S to let the program resume typing.

For better visibility, or to make a program look more like it's running with DOS, you can press Alt+Enter to run the program in full-screen mode. If you run a DOS graphics program, this happens automatically. In this mode, the program takes over the whole screen and all other Windows features disappear.You can press Alt+Enter again to bring back the Windows desktop.

You can set the screen mode and the number of lines that the window can scroll using the window's Properties dialog box. You can also set the window's colors and font. Usually, you don't need to adjust the font. It's best to simply resize the window in the normal way;Windows sizes the characters accordingly.

A Command Prompt window's Properties dialog box lets you select the screen mode, scroll length, editing properties, and screen colors.

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