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On Mac OS X and GNOME on Linux, there are commands that can be used to open files from the command line in their associated GUI editors: open and gnome-open, respectively. Is there any command like this for Windows?

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@badp: I mentioned "GNOME on Linux" not just Linux. –  Wuffers Feb 17 '11 at 2:33
Whoops, sorry. –  badp Feb 17 '11 at 2:34
@badp: No worries. ;) –  Wuffers Feb 17 '11 at 2:35
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3 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

If you are currently in the command prompt and have a file called test.png and , which are located in c:\test you can do the following:

If you are at the directory (so should say c:\test>) just type:


which would open test in the default png picture editor.

If the files name contains spaces, then simply enclose the file name within " "

 "this image.png"

You can alternatively type:


which will open the file no matter where you currently are.

Finally, you can pass the picture to another program. For example, if you have an image editor called imageedit.exe and it supports opening files through command lines (and if the program is pathed/accessible or you are in it's current directory), you can type the following:

 imageedit c:\test\test.png
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If it is a registered extension, you can use "start" as in

start WordDoc.doc
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In the Windows command prompt, you can run

edit [file_name]

in order to view batch files/logs/text files etc. This command requires QBASIC.EXE, which is by default present in Windows.

See here for other useful MS-DOS commands.

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Doesn't seem to work on Windows 7 64-bit, neither edit nor qbasic.exe are recognised. Also, this only works with plain text files. –  Indrek Sep 10 '12 at 7:06
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