Use Quick Edit to copy and paste text from the command line

Have you ever noticed that our good friend copy and paste works everywhere but the command prompt?

Okay, maybe you don’t use the command prompt that much but you should.  There are tons of useful things you can do with the command prompt and some pretty cool hacks that will make you feel like a windows ninja.

I love the command prompt because once you start using it and start feeling comfortable with a few commands you’ll find yourself getting around Windows a lot faster.

Your confidence also increases and you’ll feel smarter on dates.

Okay forget the dates thing but seriously…

One thing that really bothers me is that I can never easily copy and paste stuff in the command window.  By default you can’t just click and drag a text selection to highlight it.

Here’s how to get around this minor annoyance

Open the command prompt then right click the title bar and type the letter P to open the Properties Window.

Windows 8.1 Command Prompt Properties Window

Under the Edit Options section, on the right side of the Properties Window, put a check mark in the Quick Edit Mode box and click OK.

Windows 8.1 Command Prompt Quick Edit Properties

It may not look like anything cool happened but don’t let this innocent option fool you.

You can now select text in the command prompt by simply clicking down the mouse button and dragging your cursor over the text you want.  This automatically highlights the selection.

Windows 8.1 Command Prompt Quick Edit

Press Enter to copy the selection to the clipboard.  You can then paste it normally into notepad, an email or chat window via the Ctrl + v shortcut.

I also found that if you click the right mouse button after selecting the text this copies it to the clipboard but also has the added benefit of allowing you to quickly paste it into the command window by simply right clicking again in the new paste location.

So for example you would left click and drag the mouse over the selection to highlight it.  Then right-click in the window to deselect the text.

Next right click again by the blinking-cursor to dump the contents of your highlighted text into this new location.

This is such a useful feature I sometimes wonder why Microsoft didn’t enable it by default.

Anyway, if this helped you at all please share in the comments!



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Posted in Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista Tagged with:
  • bkorb

    This disabled crucial feature sure does make one wonder about the cranial capacities in use in Redmond. And you are required to go Googling to figure it out, given the obtuse name chosen for the “option”.