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Windows 7: Copy And Paste In Command Prompt

Although Windows command line processor (cmd.exe) allows copy and paste function, it is not user-friendly, be it in Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, etc.

With the cmd.exe default setting, the copy and paste in Command Prompt window are as follow:

1) To paste text into Command Prompt window, right click and select “paste” option.

2) To select and copy text from Command Prompt window:
  1. Right click and select “mark” option,
  2. Uses mouse pointer to highlight / select the text in Command Prompt,
  3. Press ENTER key to copy the selected text (to Windows Clipboard?).
  4. To paste the copied text from Command Prompt (to Notepad, for example), just press CTRL+V or paste option from context menu.

As you can see, there are “too much” mouse clicks to get thing done. So, you should change the Command Prompt default setting to speed up copy and paste function.

Fine tune Command Prompt Copy and Paste functions in two steps:

1) Open Command Prompt window and right click the window title bar to select Properties.

2) In the Properties dialog box, tick the “Quick Edit Mode” check-box, and click OK button to exit.

Tweak Command Prompt copy and paste function in Windows 7.

That’s it. With my recent test in Windows 7 Ultimate, the tweaked cmd.exe setting is persistent, even after Windows restart.

If it’s not persistent in your case, then create a shortcut to cmd.exe first before applying the 2-step above. Thereafter, use that shortcut to open Command Prompt window.

Using Command Prompt copy and paste function after tweaking the default cmd.exe setting:


  • To copy text from cmd.exe, use mouse pointer to select and press ENTER key to copy to Windows Clipboard.
  • To paste copied text into cmd.exe, just right click on it!

As compare the before and after tweaking cmd.exe setting, isn’t it simple to do copy and paste in Command Prompt window after enabling the “Quick Edit Mode”?

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  1. Jeff Rubinoff 06-08-12@20:50

    Thanks! Now, if MS would let you toggle between Select Block and Select Line in the command prompt, instead of only allowing you to select blocks…

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