Starting in Windows 2000, almost every command, when invoked with the
/? argument, will display a short help screen, e.g.
For most commands, that same help screen can also be displayed using the command
HELP followed by the command's name, e.g.
When a command displays long help text, you have to use
MORE to read it all, e.g.
FINDSTR /? | MORE
That is inconvenient, as
MORE can only scroll forward, not backward.
This can be solved by using a "port" of the UNIX command
less, or by using my AllHelp scripts to create a scrollable HTML page containing all help text for all commands.
These AllHelp scripts will read the available help text for all commands, and write it in an HTML file.
The help text is read from the local computer, so it will be specific for the Windows version, ServicePack and language installed on that computer.
There are 3 versions of AllHelp: AllHelp.bat (batch file) and AllHelp.vbs (VBScript) for Windows, and allhelp.pl (Perl) for Linux.
The Windows versions both extract the help text by first invoking the
HELP command without any argument, then read the list of available commands from
HELP's output, and finaly invoke
HELP command for each command in this list.
The Linux version uses the
compgen -bk command to get the list of available internal commands and reserved words, nd the
grep commands to get the list of available core utils, and finaly invokes
help command for each command/word in this list.
The resulting text is embedded in an HTML file and saved as "allhelp.htm" (Windows) or "allhelp_bash.html" (Linux).
I started writing AllHelp.bat, which worked fine in Windows 2000.
In Windows XP, however,
FINDSTR was included in the
HELP command's output; its help text contains many < and > characters, and there is no easy way in the batch "language" to escape these characters in a text file or command's output.
That is why I wrote AllHelp.vbs later, in VBScript it is fairly easy to "escape" any character in any string.
As of version 2.00, AllHelp.vbs by default also list a lot of Microsoft command line tools not listed by
HELP, i.e. Resource Kit tools, Active Directory tools, SUBINACL, DevCon, Mark Russinovitch's PS Tools, and more.
To skip these added commands, use the new
/WHO command line switch (
|Note:||AllHelp.vbs versions 3.00 and later don't work in Windows XP Professional.
In XP, use version 2.12, which is included in the download as AllHelpXP.vbs.
|Download the AllHelp scripts and start creating your own HTML help pages|
I received several allhelp.htm files created with my AllHelp scripts.
You can view the results by clicking any of the links below:
|Windows version||Language||Script used||Requires editing|
|Windows 2000||German||AllHelp.bat (1.20)||no|
|Windows 2000 SP4||English||AllHelp.bat (1.30)||no|
|Windows XP SP2||Dutch||AllHelp.bat (1.40)||yes (FINDSTR)|
|Windows XP SP3||English||AllHelp.vbs (1.00)||no|
|Windows Vista SP1||English||AllHelp.bat (1.40)||yes (a lot!)|
|Windows Vista Ultimate SP1||English||AllHelp.vbs (3.22)||no|
|Windows 7 RC||English||AllHelp.vbs (1.01)||no|
|Windows 7 Ultimate||English||AllHelp.vbs (1.01)||no|
|Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64 bits||English||AllHelp.vbs (3.23)||no|
|Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32 bits||Dutch||AllHelp.vbs (3.21)||no|
|Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation||English||AllHelp.vbs (1.22)||no|
|Windows 8 Professional 32 bits||English||AllHelp.vbs (3.11)||yes (EDIT, SFC)|
|Windows 8.1 Professional 32 bits||English||AllHelp.vbs (3.22)||no|
|Windows 10 Pro 32 bits||English||AllHelp.vbs (3.22)||no|
|Ubuntu 14.10 / Linux 3.16.0 32 bits||Dutch||allhelp.pl (1.00)||no|
|Ubuntu 15.04 / Linux 3.19.0 64 bits||English||allhelp.pl (1.03)||no|