Console - An Awesome Windows Command Prompt

Being a software developer, I use Windows Command Prompt (CMD.exe) a lot, and other command-line utilities such as Visual Studio Command Prompt, Windows PowerShell, Node.JS command prompt etc. Sometimes I use 5-6 command-line utilities at the same time but in that case I have all of these windows opened which is a very annoying thing.

I found an awesome utility called Console at Source Forge that makes my life much easier. So what is Console?

Console is a Windows Console Window Enhancement. Simply it is a nice-looking front end for a shell of your choice (cmd.exe, bash, etc.). Console features includes

  • multi tabs
  • text editor-like text selection
  • configurable hotkeys
  • different background types (solid color, image, fake transparency)
  • alpha and color-key transparency
  • configurable font
  • different window styles

having these nice features and more in hand, you can come up with something like this

Console New Tab

Here's how I set it up

  • Download latest Console build from Source Forge. No setup required. Just run Console.exe
  • Right-click in the main console and click Edit | Settings
  • Under Appearance, set the font and its color and size. My font is Consolas 13, Kermit Green (00FF00)
  • Under Appearance|More, hide the menu, status bar and toolbar
  • Under Behavior set "Copy on Select"
  • Under Hotkeys, change the New Tab 1 hotkey to Ctrl-T, change Copy Selection to Ctrl-C and Paste to Ctrl-V. You'll have to click on the hotkey, then in the textbox, then type the hot-key you want AND press Assign for it to stick.

Now configure tabs

Add a new tab for Visual Studio 2010 Command Prompt. Name it and set the SHELL PATH to
%comspec% /k ""C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\VC\vcvarsall.bat"" x86

Add a new tab for Windows PowerShell. Name it and set the SHELL PATH to
%SystemRoot%\syswow64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

Be aware of the SHELL PATH if you are not on x64 like I am and configure startup directory if required.

You can open a new Tab with Ctrl-T and use Ctrl-Tab to move between them. One more thing about Console, it's resizable in two directions, unlike the Windows CMD.exe console.

Another good feature of Console that all of the settings are stored in console.xml settings file. Hope this helps. Enjoy.

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