Paste Text in a Command Prompt Window

November 17th, 2013

If you’ve spent any time at all in with Linux, you’ll probably agree with me that the Windows Command Prompt is grossly lacking by comparison. One of the things that always bothered me the most was the seeming inability to copy from and paste into the Command Prompt window. How could Microsoft leave out such a seemingly useful feature–especially when competing operating systems make it so easy? The truth is that they didn’t. Like so many other useful features, copy and paste in the Command Prompt window is presented in classic Microsoft style, largely undocumented and delightfully counter-intuitive.


To copy text from a command prompt window, you will need to right-click anywhere in the window and choose Mark from the context menu. Having done that, the cursor will change from a blinking underscore to a blinking solid rectangle and the insertion point will move to the top left position in the window. Using the arrow keys, move the cursor over the beginning character of the text you wish to copy. Holding down the Shift key, continue using the arrow keys to form your selection. Pressing Enter will copy the highlighted text to the Windows clipboard.

To paste text into a command prompt window, begin by using the arrow keys to move the cursor into position where the text should be placed. Right-click anywhere in the command prompt window and choose the Paste option. The text from the Windows clipboard is pasted into the window at the cursor position.

By default, text is pasted in Insert Mode. You can change input modes by pressing the Ins button on your keyboard to switch to Overwrite Mode (denoted by a blinking half cursor).

Those who wish to use the keyboard exclusively can reach the Edit menu by pressing Alt + Spacebar and then pressing the letter E.

[donotprint] [/donotprint] Please use the trackback link when linking to this post.

Related Posts:

Add to Technorati Favorites

One Response to “Paste Text in a Command Prompt Window”

  1. Windows Scripting Forums Says:

    Paste Text in a Command Prompt Window…

    If you’ve spent any time at all in with Linux, you’ll probably agree with me that the Windows Command Prompt is grossly lacking by comparison. One of the things that always bothered me the most was the seeming inability to copy from and pa…

Leave a Reply

.htaccess Apache article articles by Nilpo ASP ASP Free automation clipboard copy desktop Dev Shed docx Internet Explorer message box Microsoft PHP registry remove script scripting text tutorial tweak tweets Twitter UAC updates User Account Control VBS VBScript vista volume Windows Windows 7 Windows Guru Windows Script Windows Script Host Windows Scripting Windows Vista Windows XP Word WScript wscript.exe WSH XP