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Please consider some improvements to the command line UI

    General discussion

  • I spend a fair amount of time in the command line - particularly using PowerShell - and would like to request that MS consider making some key improvements to the command shell UI:

    1. Allow me to select text spanning multiple lines just as I can do in any text editor, rather than just the rectangular region of the screen available today
    2. Please add an (optional) status-bar showing the cursor position in X:Y coordinates, Insert key mode, Text selection mode, etc.
    3. Allow me to have "quick select" enabled, but do NOT pause the running script if the user accidentally selects a single cell on the screen.
    4. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let me resize the window by dragging the edges and corners rather than forcing me to keep going into the properties page & changing the window dimensions numerically
    5. PLEASE consider allowing me a window-resize mode which zooms the size of the font used, rather than resizing the window viewport (e.g. shift + drag).
    6. PLEASE consider allowing me to change the font & its size without having to go into the properties window.
    7. PLEASE consider allowing me to make the window's background semi-transparent (e.g. see Console2 @ http://sourceforge.net/projects/console/) as it's often very useful to keep an eye on what's going on in a window (or other console) underneath the one I am currently working in.
    8. A multi-tab console would be nice, but PLEASE still allow me to have multiple consoles open - it's often vital for me to have multiple console windows open and visible side by side.
    9. It would be great to print the contents of a console window as displayed and also streamed to best fit the printer's current paper selection.

    I think that's enough to get going with for now? ;)

    Please consider making some of these asks happen - if you want admin's and dev's to use PowerShell more, some of these are extremely important - particularly the text selection mechanism.


    Richard Turner www.bitcrazed.com
    Thursday, October 6, 2011 7:18 PM

All replies

  • I agree. The Win32 console and Cmd.exe need to be improved. And don't overhaul them, just some incremental improvements, suggested above. How about allowing pinning of batch files and .cmd files in jump lists to a pinned Command Prompt and pinning of PowerShell scripts in jump lists to a pinned PowerShell?

    Thursday, October 13, 2011 6:39 AM
  • While we're on the topic, what are your thoughts on the way tab completion/suggestions work today?

    Friday, October 14, 2011 10:41 PM
  • Hey Ben.

    I spend 90% of my time in Powershell whilst in the console so I enjoy pretty good statement completion help, etc. using tab, but I would LOVE to see an Intellisense-like pop-up window appear when I hit tab like when using the new Powershell ISE.

    I think that the pop-up Intellisense would REALLY help people learn Powershell VERY rapidly as it would increase command discoverability enormously.

    Another useful UI cue I've enjoyed recently is in the latest Firebug for Firefox:

    1. In FF (with Firebug installed), open any page
    2. Hit F12 to start firebug
    3. Hit the console tab
    4. In the entry-box at the bottom of the page, type "document."
    5. Notice the intellisense-like window appear listing all the properties of the document
    6. Now type "cr"
    7. Notice the list of properties now shortens, but also note the "eateEvent" written in light gray to indicate what the next statement will be if you hit [Enter].

    I find this faded "pre-complete" text hint useful if I've had to hit [Esc] to close the intellisense window to see some text underneath it in order to complete my command.


    Richard Turner www.bitcrazed.com
    Friday, October 14, 2011 11:06 PM
  • No. 1 and No. 4 from Richard Turner are top priority for me too. Text spanning currently sucks as does resizing the window. Also I would like to have customizable keyboard shortcuts for all the operations. And wider font choice and wider text and background color choice. File name completion should be on by default and the key used for file name and directory completion should be configurable from cmd properties.

    Saturday, October 15, 2011 5:55 AM