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GUI Shortcuts

The first set of essential command-line programs aren't actually command-line programs at all—they're standard Windows Graphical User Interface (GUI) programs. However, I've added them here to illustrate an important point: If you enter the name of a GUI program file on the command line, Windows runs the program in the normal way. So, when you're working at the command prompt, if you know a GUI program by name, you can spare yourself a lot of poking around on the Start menu. Six commands that you'll find handy to know are listed here:

  • calc. Runs the Windows Calculator accessory.

  • control. Opens the Control Panel. I'll discuss this command in more detail in moment.

  • mmc. Opens the Microsoft Management Console. From the MMC menu, you can click File, Add/Remove Snap-In to add any MMC tool that you'd like to use.

  • notepad. Runs Windows Notepad. To edit a particular file, type the file's name after notepad.

  • regedit. Runs the Registry Editor, which is not normally found on the Start menu.

  • start. Followed by the name of a file, this command launches the associated application and opens the file. For example, start somefile.xls will launch Microsoft Excel and open somefile.xls. For many registered programs, start programname will run the program even if the program file isn't in the search path. For example, start excel and start winword open Excel and Word, respectively.


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