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Managing MS-DOS Programs

You can use MS-DOS applications as you always did. However, whereas the old programs think they're back in 1985, you're not, and there are a few points to remember:

  • MS-DOS programs can't deal with long file or folder names. You'll have to use the so-called “8.3” filenames that Windows provides just for this purpose. You may have seen these mangled names before. They look like C:\PROGRA~1\MICROS~1.

  • For files that you will use only with DOS applications, it's best to use only short file and folder names that don't need to be mangled. For example, you can create folders such as C:\offdocs, instead of c:\office documents, and filenames such as feblist.doc instead of february resource lists.doc.

  • If you need to find the mangled name of an existing file or folder, use the dir command-line command with the /x option. This displays the short version along with the full name.

  • The mouse should work if the program is mouse-aware. If your mouse simply highlights blocks of text on the screen instead of controlling the application, right-click the window's title bar, select Properties, view the Options tab, and uncheck Quick Edit.

  • For programs that were not designed for use with the mouse, you can use the Quick Edit feature to copy text from the screen, and you can paste text to the DOS application with the shortcut Alt+space, E, P.


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