Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages


Windows NT 4/2000/XP/Server 2003 Syntax


Note: The parts of this text that are displayed in magenta are valid for Windows 2000 and later only


Calls one batch program from another.

CALL [drive:][path]filename [batch-parameters]
batch-parameters Specifies any command-line information required by the batch program.

If Command Extensions are enabled CALL changes as follows:

CALL command now accepts labels as the target of the CALL. The syntax is:

    CALL :label arguments

A new batch file context is created with the specified arguments and control is passed to the statement after the label specified. You must "exit" twice by reaching the end of the batch script file twice. The first time you read the end, control will return to just after the CALL statement. The second time will exit the batch script. Type GOTO /? for a description of the GOTO :EOF extension that will allow you to "return" from a batch script.

In addition, expansion of batch script argument references (%0, %1, etc.) have been changed as follows:

%* in a batch script refers to all the arguments (e.g. %1 %2 %3 %4 %5 ...)
In Windows NT 4 a leading space is added to %*
In Windows 2000 all leading spaces are removed from %*
Substitution of batch parameters (%n) has been enhanced. You can now use the following optional syntax:
%~1 - expands %1 removing any surrounding quotes (")
%~f1 - expands %1 to a fully qualified path name
%~d1 - expands %1 to a drive letter only
%~p1 - expands %1 to a path only
%~n1 - expands %1 to a file name only
%~x1 - expands %1 to a file extension only
%~s1 - changes the meaning of n and x options to reference the short name instead
%~a1 - expands %1 to file attributes
%~t1 - expands %1 to date/time of file
%~z1 - expands %1 to size of file
%~$PATH:1 - searches the directories listed in the PATH environment variable and expands %1 to the fully qualified name of the first one found. If the environment variable name is not defined or the file is not found by the search, then this modifier expands to the empty string
The modifiers can be combined to get compound results:
%~dp1 - expands %1 to a drive letter and path only
%~nx1 - expands %1 to a file name and extension only
%~dp$PATH:1 - searches the directories listed in the PATH environment variable for %1 and expands to the drive letter and path of the first one found.
%~ftza1 - expands %1 to a DIR like output line
In the above examples %1 and PATH can be replaced by other valid values.
The %~ syntax is terminated by a valid argument number.
The %~ modifiers may not be used with %*

page last modified: 2021-01-27