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Resizing Command Prompt Windows

Command Prompt Window Too Large/Small

  1. Right-click the program's shortcut and choose Properties.

    Or, while the program is running, click the control menu (top left hand corner of the window), and choose Properties.

  2. Click the Font tab.

  3. Set the font to Lucida Console, and choose a Size that gives the desired effect. 20 or 24 is a good size for larger displays (eg 17" and greater).

  4. Click OK.

    If prompted, choose Save properties for future windows with same title.

Text-Based DOS Program Takes Up Half The Screen

In MS-DOS and earlier versions of Windows (3.x, 95, 98), the DOS prompt shows 80 columns and 25 lines, and many character-based MS-DOS applications are hard-coded to this size. However, in Windows NT 4.0, 2000 and above the command prompt (CMD.EXE) provides more than 80 × 25 due to the lengthy output generated by some command-line utilities. As a result some DOS-based programs may not display properly or only take up a small part of the screen.

Possible solutions are:

  • Change the screen size in the application's shortcut. Right-click the shortcut file and choose Properties. Go to the Layout tab and set the Screen Buffer Width and Height to 80 and 25 respectively and the same for the Window Size. If you wish, go to the Options tab and set the Display Options to Full Screen.

Another common problem is shortcuts to MS-DOS or 16-bit Windows applications created in Windows 9x but used in Windows NT/2000 and above. For example if you use a DOS program in Windows 98 and then upgrade to Windows 2000 the shortcut, which was designed for Windows 9x, will behave strangely in Windows 2000, mostly in regard to memory allocation and environment variables. In this case the only solution is to delete the shortcut completely and recreate it.

Shortcuts to 32-bit Windows applications or document files do not suffer this problem.

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