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Console2 – My new and improved command prompt for Windows

I am a sucker for a good looking GUI so when an opportunity presents itself to try and improve my workspace to make it more easy on the eye I will generally take it up. Recently I read a post by Scott Hanselman ‘Console2 – A Better Windows Command Prompt‘ and I immediately got myself over to SourceForge to download a copy of Console2 for myself. The project describes itself as “a Windows console window enhancement. Console features include: multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, different window styles“.

I’m not going to cover how to configure your instance of the Console because Scott’s post already does a very good job of this, however, what I do want to share with you is my own configuration and how I have made it a bit more useful for me.

First of all I have installed Console2 into my Dropbox Tools folder so I essentially have access to it wherever I need it and with the configuration I am now used to. This is easy enough to do since Console2 has no installer you just extract the files to a location of your choice so no further detail needed here. My Console 2 Settings File is attached to this post for anyone that is interested or wants to use it as a basis for configuring your own.

The next thing I did was create a new right-click menu option in Windows to “Open Console here” which basically allows me to open a prompt at any folder location in my file system and saves a bit of time since you no longer have to navigate your folder hierarchy to get the prompt to where you want. To do this you need to create a couple of entries in your registry, simply copy and paste the below into a text file, tweak accordingly and save as a .reg file. Once saved you can double click the .reg file to insert the keys into your registry. Alternatively you can just create the keys manually through regedit. It goes without saying that if you are going to fiddle with your registry please be wise and make a backup first!

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshellOpenConsole2Here]
@="&Open Console 2 Here..."

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryshellOpenConsole2Herecommand]
@="D:\Dropbox\Tools\Console2\Console.exe -d "%L""

It should be noted that these keys relate to my Windows 7 Professional installation and are untested on other versions of Windows!

Credit to Scott Hanselman for the icons and the image used in this post 🙂

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