Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages

Getting started with batch files

The interpreter is the "engine" that executes scripts. For batch files, the interpreter is included with every DOS, Windows and OS/2 operating system: cmd.exe and/or (the "MS-DOS prompt" or "Command Prompt").
Development software:
EDIT (MS-DOS), Notepad (Windows), E (OS/2), or any other ASCII editor will do.
Basically, a batch file is just an ASCII text file with a ".bat" extension, containing (DOS) commands.
The closest to a batch file IDE is Dr.Batcher, but by the very nature of the batch language it does not (and cannot) come with a debugger.
Several "batch-aware" editors are available.
For debugging batch files without advanced tools, read my batch debugging page.
Help files:
In Windows 2000, on the command line, type HH windows.chm::ntcmds.htm, or in Windows XP, type HH ntcmds.chm.
For MS-DOS 5 and later, Windows 95 and later, or OS/2 2.0 and later, on the command line, type HELP for a list of available commands.
To get help for any of these commands, type HELP followed by that command.
For Windows NT 4 and later I wrote AllHelp.vbs; run it once to create an HTML file containing all available help text for every command available in your Windows version, and in your system's language.
I compiled a list of books on batch files and (DOS) commands.
Start by examining sample batch files and exploring other batch related sites.

Have fun!

page last modified: 2016-09-19