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Picture of Very Basic Batch Tutorial
If you already know the essentials of Batch the you DO NOT need to read this instructable continue to Not So Basic Batch Tutorial.

NOTE!: Whenever something is in quotation marks ("example"), do not include the quotation marks (if you see that you must just type: example)
 
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Step 1: So, what is Batch

For those who don't know, a Batch file is a text file containing a series of commands to be executed by Command Prompt (CMD). When a batch file is run, CMD reads the file and executes its commands.

To open your CMD, click START > RUN > type "CMD" > OK
(some of you may need to type "CMD.EXE")
(or you can click START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > COMMAND PROMPT).

Step 2: Now what?

These are some VERY basic commands you need to know:
(please try out some of these commands in your CMD).

@echo off - This gets rid of that "c:\documents...etc"

echo - This displays a message, (e.g "echo hello" = "hello") because if you type "hello" into CMD it will interpret "hello" as the command

cls - Clears the CMD of all text.

color - Changes the color (type "help color" for a list of colors).

goto - Goes to a particular word in your text (you will learn more later)

pause - Pauses the command prompt and displays the message: "Press any key to continue..."

and there are a few more we will learn about later.

Step 3: But what if I want to run a lot of commands.

Picture of But what if I want to run a lot of commands.
That is where BATCH comes in.

Try copying this into your notepad (NOT Microsoft Word) and save as BatchFile.bat
Notepad is in accessories
NB: You must save it as .BAT or it won't work.
P.S (copy BETWEEN the stars, don't include them)
***********************************************************
echo If you type echo before a sentence it displays it as a message!.
echo Wow, thats pretty cool!
***********************************************************
copy that into notepad and save as .bat
Double-click on the .bat file...cool hey!
NOPE. It went too fast...try adding a pause at the end, like this:
***********************************************************
echo If you type echo before a sentence it displays it as a message!.
echo Wow, thats pretty cool!
PAUSE
**************************************************************
There it worked, but its quite hard to read with all those file paths in the way...
thats why we add an "@echo off" to the top;
like this:
***************************************************************
@echo off
echo If you type echo before a sentence it displays it as a message!.
echo Wow, thats pretty cool!
PAUSE
*******************************************************
There! that worked perfectly, you have now written your first batch file!

Step 4: The GOTO command

Picture of The GOTO command
Now we will learn how to use the GOTO command.

The GOTO command jumps to a certain part of your text.
Example:
if you type "goto fish"
then it will goto the place that you have typed in ":fish"
NB: you must always have a colon (:), before a word that is going to be GOTO'ed

Example:
you know the drill, copy into notepad and save as a .bat file.
(do not copy the stars)
**************************************************
@echo off
:fish
echo This is only one message being repeated over and over; Press Ctrl+C to stop
goto fish
**************************************************
*Note: Ctrl+C is the universal way of stopping a batch file

What happened was that every time it typed "Press Ctrl...etc"
the GOTO command made it go to the top.
Pretty nifty eh?

Step 5: The START command

The START command starts something.
Not much to explain here.

For example:
open your CMD and type:
"start www.instructables.com"
This opens your default explorer and goes to the Instructables site.
OR
"start itunes"
OR
You can also open files or folders:
"start desktop\foldername

**NOTE: To access a file\folder which has spaces in the name, put quotation marks (" ") around it.
e.g start "C:\desktop\folder name"

Step 6: Done

Well done! Please continue to the Not So Basic Batch Tutorial for some cool Batch commands!

If you want to try something offline, I recommend getting Learn Batch File Programming! by John Albert, really simple, easy to follow and great if you want to get better!

admin7 years ago
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MatthewF73 months ago

yes thank you fellow data traveller.ressspek.

bmlbytes6 years ago
Ahh! The evil GOTO command!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Make it go away! Try using this in school for a real programming language. The professor will tell you to just leave and never come back. GOTO is evil in all cases.

Well, the trouble is, MS script does not have the command structures that allow programmers to avoid the GOTO statement, such as the WHILE statement. Which I think is unconscionable, since the GOTO statement is indeed evil, and destroys the structure of your programs.

FORK BOMB FTW!!!!
Indeed
 It doesn't seem to work for m, I made a batch subsystem which is incomplete and it does not seem to work wah...

Then your professor should not be teaching programming. The goto command must not be over-used, but it stops your programs from being linear. That is very useful, as your professor doesn't realize.
NightRaven975 months ago

It says:

^CTerminate batch job? <Y/N>

...and it doesn't go to the top! :(

tabascow3 years ago
@ echo off
echo :press a key to go to ???
pause
start www.instructables.com
RomanB1 tabascow8 months ago

Remove the second line as pause will already say press any key to go.

himanshu161 year ago

that's give big help

Regulators1 year ago

this is cool, but i made my own batch file, that allow you to download file from internet, just like download manager. please visit this instructables

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-download-File-on-internet-using-batch-file/

thanks dude!

will4215 years ago
I learn my first batch stuff here and and looky me! I understand every command from TAT`s batch... file... mega... subsystem I think? Or is it just system? OH WELL!
sinxxx5 years ago
ee
Mr. Qwack6 years ago
u dont need the @ in front of the echo if u type in echo off or echo on
 You do if you want a clean file. What I mean is that the command turning echo off will show up at the top. You don't want one code to show up and then have it be all clean, you either put the @ and make it all clean or forget that command and deal with the extra stuff.
redmaker6 years ago
coooooool i put color 4d
You like pink when your username is redmaker!??!?!??!?!??!??!
will421 will4216 years ago
Okay that is kinda cool....
haha
no i hate pink but i didnt knolw wat to put so i radomly pressed 2 keys
comno6 years ago
Can you do this with programs or documents
comno6 years ago
Thank you much
Beverly58766 years ago
Batch is a new language for me. I'm still not sure what all it is or how far I'll get with it but, I do love a challenge and learning something new. In fact...I always did want to learn a new language. LOL Thanks.
Eirinn6 years ago
Thank you, just what i needed for some basic shortcut stuff!
Great!!
Sejma (author)  HardCoreHacker7 years ago
ty man
altondoug7 years ago
I've been programming for a few years and I think its very informative for the newbies . Most of us won't take the time to explain the little stuff that we take for granted knowing..
Sejma (author)  altondoug7 years ago
NMice to hear some positive feedback, thanks :)