Command Prompt Integration

Now that you know how to use the Command Prompt, you’ll need to find ways to get to it quickly, so that it can be as useful as possible.

Turn the Address Bar into a Command Prompt

If you select Run from the Start Menu, the box that appears is essentially a limited command prompt; you can execute any program, open any folder, or launch any Internet URL simply by typing it here. Explorer and your taskbar also have the Address Bar, which essentially accomplishes the same thing as Run.

The problem with both the Run command and the Address Bar is that they can only be used to launch programs; they don’t understand intrinsic DOS commands, like dir and copy (discussed earlier in this chapter). However, there is a way to have the Address Bar mimic all the functions of the Command Prompt and therefore have a true command prompt always within reach:

  1. Start by making the Address Bar visible, if it’s not already. Right-click on an empty area of your taskbar; select Toolbars and then Address Bar.[2]

    Your taskbar will then contain the Address Bar, which is dockable, resizable, and removable: you can move it around the taskbar or even tear it off by dragging it. Your taskbar will look something like Figure 10-1.

    The Address Bar can be put to good use as a handy command prompt

    Figure 10-2. The Address Bar can be put to good use as a handy command prompt

  2. You’ll immediately be able to run programs, open folders, and launch URLs simply by typing ...

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