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New to using the command prompt? Check out the Windows Command Prompt Beginner’s Guide

console03 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Earlier today, we looked at how to launch the command prompt in Windows and how to run it with elevated permissions as an administrator. Now, we’ll learn how to customize the user interface of the command prompt. Specifically, we’ll learn the following:

  • How to Customize the Command Prompt
  • How to run a Transparent Command Prompt

How to Customize the Command Prompt

To customize the command prompt that comes bundled with Windows:

Open a command prompt, right click the title bar, and click Defaults.

customize command prompt01 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

On the Font tab, you can customize the font and size:

customize command prompt02 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

On the Colors tab, you can customize the text and background colors:

customize command prompt03 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Click OK, close the command prompt, and open it again:

customize command prompt04 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

You can also set the color of the background and text by referencing this chart and using the color command:

command prompt011 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

For example, color F0 will result in ‘F’ bright white background with  ’0′ black text:

command prompt021 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

How to Run a Transparent Command Prompt

To get a customized command prompt, I recommend downloading Console2 by Marko Bozikovic (bozho.)

Extract the downloaded file to C:\Program Files\Console2 (C:\Program Files (x86)\Console2 for 64 bit users.)

Note: You can extract this wherever you like but Program Files seems like a logical place to me.

Add Console2 to Your Start Menu

This step is optional but highly recommended if you want quick access to Console.

  1. Right click on Console.exe and click Create Shortcut.
  2. Rename the shortcut to cmd2 and put it on your start menu.

Now, when you want to access the command line, press Winkey, type cmd, and click cmd2.

Customize the Default Look of Console

We’re not done yet; to customize the look of Console from its default:

console01 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

You can either use the format menu or modify the XML. Let’s modify the XML (it’s more fun that way.)

Go to the directory of Console, make a backup of console.xml, and open console.xml with your favorite editor (I use Notepad++ and highly recommend it):

console02 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Note: These instructions work for Console-2.00b146-Beta_32bit. As newer versions are released, these values may change.

Note 2: These instructions are to change the console to the look like the example at the top (and bottom) of this post. Of course, you can change the values to whatever you like.

Go to line 3 and change rows to 20

console config line03 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Go to line 24 and change bold to 1

console config line241 650x22 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Go to line 28, change show_menu to 0 and show_statusbar to 0

console config line281 650x13 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Go to line 33 and change type to 1, active_alpha to 200, and inactive_alpha to 200

console config line33 650x18 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Go to line 93 and change title to any title you want on the window

console config line93 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Go to line 95 and change r to o, g to 128, and b to 0

console config line95 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

The end result:

console03 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Have fun with it!

Download Console2

download64 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

Download Console2



 Customize the Appearance of the Command Prompt in Windows [How To]

About Rich

Rich is the owner and creator of Windows Guides; he spends his time breaking things on his PC so he can write how-to guides to fix the problems he creates.

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Comments

  • http://twitter.com/erickmagnus Erick Magnus

    I liked it!

  • http://richr.org/ Rich

    Aside from changing font color and background color, I know of no way to customize the command prompt, but I’m sure there are ways to do this with which I’m not familiar.


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