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I find that often when I'm doing stuff I need both a command shell and an explorer window open at the same directory. I use Windows 99.999% of the time.

Are there any variants of command line shells (eg bash, cmd.exe, etc.) that allow the displayed text to be active or intelligent in some way?

For example, any urls that appear should be a real hyperlink, not just text; any file names from a directory listing can be clicked on (as text) and the normal explorer type functions should be available; you can drag and drop into or from the text window as your current directory, etc.

I'm not looking for Midnight Commander or anything like that; I'm just looking for added functionality to the text that shows up in a regular shell like bash or cmd.exe.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 17 '11 at 16:59

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I don't know how much/little it will help with your specific desires for the program, but AlternativeTo.net is a useful way to find options. alternativeto.net/software/windows-command-prompt-cmd/… –  asfallows Aug 17 '11 at 16:48

2 Answers 2

In Linux terminals URLs are hyperlinks automatically. I don't know if you can get this to work on Windows terminal because its very limited (you can't even resize it horizontally...).

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Command interpreters and shells are not in charge of handling console display. m0skit0 mentions Linux. This notion isn't even true there. On Linux the display (at least for software emulated terminals that appear on X displays) is handled by programs such as xterm, gnome-terminal, konsole, et al.. These aren't shells. (And they don't all necessarily do the URL inference, either. This is not a feature of every single terminal emulator.)

On Windows NT, the program that handles the display of a console is Microsoft-supplied, and not user-replaceable (in part because Microsoft doesn't publish the IPC protocol used). It's conhost on Windows NT 6.1, and csrss on earlier versions of Windows NT.

The best that you are going to get is something like Midnight Commander, where the command interpreter presents a TUI of its own, which it can make as responsive to the mouse as it likes (since consoles receive mouse events), and attempts to scrape the output of other programs after they have finished running. And at best this is going to happen heuristically (just as on Linux, in fact) because you're not going to get a program that magically knows that a sequence of characters on the console, output by another program, were actually a filename (and where that filename begins and ends).

The closest that I know of to this is JP Software's Take Command, which looks like this; but its command input/output panes can only receive drop operations, not initiate drag operations.

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