Tech Tip of the Week: Paste Text in Command Prompt with Ctrl+V and More

By on August 25, 2010, 6:39 AM
Being the tech-savvy crowd you are, we figure you use most or all of the standard Windows hotkeys, such as Ctrl+C for copy. It's also probably safe to assume that you use the command prompt once in a while. Despite being used almost exclusively by experienced users, the command line is frustratingly incompatible with the most basic key combinations.

Plenty of our tips require you to enter text in the command line, some of which can be a real pain to enter manually. To paste text, you either have to right click in the window for a context menu option, or more annoyingly, hit Alt+Space > E > P.

Instead of pasting text, the usual Ctrl+V keystroke gives you ^V. Fortunately we have two useful alternatives that will save you time next time you need to break out the command prompt.

Continue reading our Tech Tip of the Week.





User Comments: 17

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Guest said:

Alternate solution is to use an open source alternative for cmd.exe called Console. It can be downloaded from http://sourceforge.net/projects/console/ . Console features include: multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, different window styles

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

Thanks for the awesome tip, now you see why we have comments enabled even for guests

LightHeart said:

TAB Auto Complete

Another thing that helps me in a command shell is the TAB completion. At the prompt if you press TAB the first file/folder will be displayed alphabetically, when you press it again the next file/folder will be displayed and so on. If you type CD and then press TAB the folders will be displayed one by one for each tab press. If you enter a character or more it will filter on that.

Example:

CD T [TAB] auto completes the following on my test system. Just hit Enter and I'm in the folder.

U:\Utils>cd "This is a long folder name that is a pain #$3 to type out"

U:\Utils\This is a long folder name that is a pain #$3 to type out>

Guest said:

paste text in what ! .....the command prompt !!

what are you people, computer geeks or something?

:-D

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No, we are POWER USERS!~

*pose* =p

posermobile89 said:

@LightHeart Wow, I never knew that! That is dang useful, thanks for the tip!

windmill007 said:

Nice one Lightheart!!!

Leeky Leeky said:

Another thing that helps me in a command shell is the TAB completion. At the prompt if you press TAB the first file/folder will be displayed alphabetically, when you press it again the next file/folder will be displayed and so on. If you type CD and then press TAB the folders will be displayed one by one for each tab press. If you enter a character or more it will filter on that.

Example:

CD T [TAB] auto completes the following on my test system. Just hit Enter and I'm in the folder.

U:\Utils>cd "This is a long folder name that is a pain #$3 to type out"

U:\Utils\This is a long folder name that is a pain #$3 to type out>

Another awesome tip! Thats brilliant when your trying to navigate a large directory and can't quite remember its full name...

Been there a few times, so this will be very handy!

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Yes, Quick Edit is sweet - - be sure to modify the shortcut so you get that feature every time in the future.

Recall, it works both ways; you can COPY results from a command like ipconfig /all

but it's a tad strange ---

the selection is RECTANGULAR and not line-by-line so make sure the marquee is flush left and you drag to the lower-right of ALL RELEVANT data to be copied.

The Paste will replicate the view seen (ie break lines and wrap ), but that is easily corrected after the paste

tengeta tengeta said:

I like the right click option, I'd rather use my command prompt more like UNIX than DOS/Windows.

LookinAround LookinAround, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Windows 7 will save your QuickEdit mode preference, however if you are using an older OS version and want this to be the default behavior for the Command Prompt, use the Registry Editor (regedit.exe from Run), go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Console and set the QuickEdit key's value data to 1. That should do the trick, permanently.

Ummmm.....

There's a much simpler way to set QuickEdit as your default

Julio, you threw me off when i first read your article about needing to edit one's registry pior to Win 7

>> I've been setting QuickEdit as my Command Prompt default since Windows 2000! without ever needing to edit the registry

When you rt click on the Command Prompt window title bar, just select Defaults and then check QuickEdit as one of your Command Prompt windows defaults )

Arris Arris said:

I've been looking into some scripting using Windows PowerShell. Supports a lot of the old CMDs plus some funky things like listing processes, getting and setting folder ACLs. Seems like an update to the old CMD prompt

Guest said:

wow!

that with the TAB key is awesome!

Guest said:

leave your console up, enter commands, press F7, enjoy glory

Lokalaskurar Lokalaskurar said:

If I knew Ctrl- shortcuts were available in the com.prompt. at all, it would've saved me atleast 2 hours of my life... there is no time to loose!

Guest said:

Two things, 1) If you get to the command properties through right clicking on the title bar, after you set Quick Edit mode, and press OK, you will be prompted to either save the settings for this window only, or to modify the shortcut that opened the window. Chose that option and Quick Edit will be enabled every time.

2) if you want your command window to be wider than 80 columns, like when you want to copy text that doesn't wrap, use MODE.

mode [columns],[rows/lines]

mode 100,50

You can also do this under the window options, but this is usually faster than hunting through menus. I think mode even works in the recovery shell if you use the standard size of 80,50 for the larger size.

oasis789 said:

this is a cool tip. i hate having to go back and forth between cmd screen and browser to get the command exactly right with all the flags etc.

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