I have found a very useful script here that will parse in arguments to a batch file and process them as follows:

BatchFile.btm /a /b:22 /longopt Parm1 Parm2 /quotedArg:"long quoted arg"
   - OPTION_a will equal 1.
   - OPTION_b will equal 22
   - OPTION_quotedArg will equal "long quoted arg"
   - OPTION_longopt will eqal 1.
   - PARAM_1 will equal Parm1
   - PARAM_2 will equal Parm2
   - PARAM_0 will be set to the number of parms, so 2 in this case

However, this script is written for .btm files and doesn't seem to be suitable for the DOS emulator or more recent versions of Windows. Can anyone translate this or know where to find an up-to-date equivalent that will work in DOS emulator in Win7/Svr2003?


I have managed to translate the majority of this script to work in a Windows 7 batch file. I have not tested this against any other version of Windows.

This program scans the command line sent to it and sets various environment variables that coorespond to the settings.

It sets an OPTION_arg variable for each arg on the command line. If a switch, the env var is set to 1. If a value is given via the colon sign, it's set to that value. Note, there can not be any white space around the : [Modification] This modified script also cannot handle option or parameter values containing spaces, even when encased in parenthesis. [/Modification]

Use If defined OPTION_arg or if /i "%OPTION_arg%"=="value" to test for options

It also sets a parameter variable for each paramater entered: PARAM_1 to PARAM_n and PARAM_0 is a special value that contains the number of PARAMs. Useful for looping through all of them. For example for /l (1,1,%PARAM_0%) do ...

In your batch file call getopt as call GetOpt.bat %*

I also recommend setting setlocal and endlocal in the host batch file so that the option and param variables do not stick around after the host batch files exits.

Example usage:  HostBatchFile.bat /a /b:22 /longopt Parm1 Parm2
   OPTION_a will equal 1.
   OPTION_b will equal 22
   OPTION_longopt will eqal 1.
   PARAM_1 will equal Parm1
   PARAM_2 will equal Parm2
   PARAM_0 will be set to the number of parms, so 2 in this case

The parts I have not translated are:

  1. Incorporating any kind of DEBUG flag for screen output
  2. Being able to handle "strings with spaces" for either options or parameters as the initial separation of arguments fed in are split using <SPACE>

Here is the translated script.

@echo off

set getopt_ParmCounter=1
set paramc=1
set DEBUG=1

set argc=0
for %%x in (%*) do Set /A argc+=1
echo Number of arguments: %argc%
echo %*&echo.

set _myvar=%*

rem Loop through all command line arguments one at a time
set isparam=1
for /f "tokens=1*" %%a in ('echo %_myvar%') DO (
   set getopt_Parm=%%a
   set _myvar=%%b
   call :paramtype

   rem shift along arguments and rerun loop
   if NOT "%%b"=="" goto varloop
goto :eof

rem If first character starts with a - or / it must be an option
if /i "%getopt_Parm:~0,1%"=="-" call :option
if /i "%getopt_Parm:~0,1%"=="/" call :option 
if /i "%isparam%"=="1" call :param
goto :eof

   set isparam=0
   rem Set the Equal Index to the position of the colon.  0 means none was found
   for /f %%j in ('findstring %getopt_Parm% :') do set getopt_EqIdx=%%j

   rem If the index is GE 0 then we must have a colon in the option.
   if /i "%getopt_EqIdx%"=="0" (call :nocolon) else (call :colon)
   goto :eof

         rem set the OPTION value to the stuff to the right of the colon
         set /a getopt_ParmNameEnd=%getopt_EqIdx%-2
         call set getopt_ParmName=%%getopt_Parm:~1,%getopt_ParmNameEnd%%%
         call set getopt_ParmValue=%%getopt_Parm:~%getopt_EqIdx%%%
         set OPTION_%getopt_ParmName%=%getopt_ParmValue%
         goto :eof

         rem This is a flag, so simply set the value to 1
         set getopt_ParmName=%getopt_Parm:~1%
         set getopt_ParmValue=1
         set OPTION_%getopt_ParmName%=%getopt_ParmValue%
         goto :eof

   rem There was no / or - found, therefore this must be a paramater, not an option
   set PARAM_%getopt_ParmCounter%=%getopt_Parm%
   set PARAM_0=%getopt_ParmCounter%
   set /a getopt_ParmCounter+=1
   goto :eof

%* for every parameter. You might also find these useful:

%0 - the command used to call the batch file (could be foo, ..\foo, c:\bats\foo, etc.)
%1 is the first command line parameter,
%2 is the second command line parameter,
and so on till %9 (and SHIFT can be used for those after the 9th).

%~nx0 - the actual name of the batch file, regardless of calling method (some-batch.bat)
%~dp0 - drive and path to the script (d:\scripts)
%~dpnx0 - is the fully qualified path name of the script (d:\scripts\some-batch.bat)

More info examples at http://www.ss64.com/nt/syntax-args.html and http://www.robvanderwoude.com/parameters.html

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/357315/get-list-of-passed-arguments-in-windows-batch-script-bat

  • These are my usual approaches but I am looking for something more dynamic to use almost globally on different batch files. The script in the link I provided doesn't require knowing the expetant number of arguments %0 %1 %2 etc, it doesn't require SHIFT because it reads in %* and processes it as a whole. It can also differentiate between switches /a and arguments, or parameters /value:"Any String" or /d:250 and auto assign these to variables – Ghandi Manning Aug 27 '13 at 9:46
  • you mean, you want this? – Gizmo Aug 27 '13 at 20:29
  • Unless I'm missing something obvious, that doesn't even remotely help. Where is there any code that will dynamically process N arguments depending on how many are passed in? This is what the script I initially found does (see link in my original question) – Ghandi Manning Aug 28 '13 at 12:29
  • "depending on how many are passed" - the link I posted is the only way in batch. check for the existence of expected arguments. You want DOS functionality, what do you expect to see from stone age technology? – Gizmo Aug 28 '13 at 12:57
  • I have translated the script which will allow for any number of dynamic arguments to be passed in and handled. See answer I have posted. – Ghandi Manning Aug 28 '13 at 15:00

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