I've no knowledge regarding cmd programming syntax. I have a text file containing user IDs which I need to delete using curl command and for that I need to extract first character of every user ID and then pass to the curl command. I know the curl command which I will require two variables:

  1. 'UserID' - Read from the text file.
  2. 'firstCharacter' - Extracting first character from the User ID.

Below is the code to fetch user IDs from symantecUsers.txt file:

@echo off
for /f "tokens=*" %%a in (symantecUsers.txt) do call :processline %%a
goto :eof
echo %*
goto :eof

Please help me with extracting the first character from the read User IDs. Thanks.


You can get a substring by using the ~n,m syntax on a variable.

Setlocal EnableDelayedExpansion

for /f "tokens=1" %%a in (symantecUsers.txt) do (
    set userid=%%a
    echo The first character is !userid:~0,1!
  • This works for echo but how do I store this in a variable? – Jineet Vora Apr 26 '16 at 7:31
  • The same way: set firstchar=!userid:~0,1! – Berend Apr 26 '16 at 7:42
  • @erreka That probably depends on how you define DOS :-) – Berend Apr 28 '16 at 10:23

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