Rob van der Woude's Scripting Pages

The START command

Start a program in a new window or session

Both OS/2 and Windows (32 and 64 bits) feature a START command to start a program in a new, separate, session.
There are some differences between OS/2's START command syntax and NT's START command syntax, though.

One feature of Windows' START command that I like in particular is its use with associations.
Some examples:

  1. START C:\MyFiles\Myletter.doc
    will open the file Myletter.doc in Word or WordPad
  2. START \\server\printer
    will ask if you want to install the printer, install the printer driver and then connect to the network printer
  3. START C:\WINNT\System32\ssmarque.scr /C
    will open the configuration dialogue for the 3D text screen saver, whereas
    START C:\WINNT\System32\ssmarque.scr /S
    will run the screen saver itself
  4. START
    will open Google's search page in your browser
  5. START
    will start your e-mail program with a message addressed to...?
Notes: (1) Don't forget to enclose whatever you start in quotes if the string contains spaces (unless these spaces separate the "command" from its parameters).
  (2) If you need to use quotes, Windows NT's START may interpret the quoted "command" string as the window's title; just add any title (may even be empty) to prevent this, e.g. START "" "C:\Users\%UserName%\My Documents\somefile.doc".

page last modified: 2021-12-18