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How to "comment-out" (add comment) in a batch/cmd?


Question

I have a batch file that runs several python scripts that do table modifications.

  1. I want to have users comment out the 1-2 python scripts that they don't want to run, rather than removing them from the batch file (so the next user knows these scripts exist as options!)

  2. I also want to add comments to bring to their attention specifically the variables they need to update in the Batch file before they run it. I see that I can use REM. But it looks like that's more for updating the user with progress after they've run it.

Is there a syntax for more appropriately adding a comment?

2017/10/31
1
909
10/31/2017 8:50:00 AM

Accepted Answer

The rem command is indeed for comments. It doesn't inherently update anyone after running the script. Some script authors might use it that way instead of echo, though, because by default the batch interpreter will print out each command before it's processed. Since rem commands don't do anything, it's safe to print them without side effects. To avoid printing a command, prefix it with @, or, to apply that setting throughout the program, run @echo off. (It's echo off to avoid printing further commands; the @ is to avoid printing that command prior to the echo setting taking effect.)

So, in your batch file, you might use this:

@echo off
REM To skip the following Python commands, put "REM" before them:
python foo.py
python bar.py
2012/06/29
900
6/29/2012 9:49:47 PM


No, plain old batch files use REM as a comment. ECHO is the command that prints something on the screen.

To "comment out" sections of the file you could use GOTO. An example of all these commands/techniques:

REM it starts here the section below can be safely erased once the file is customised
ECHO Hey you need to edit this file before running it!  Check the instructions inside
ECHO Now press ctrl-c to interrupt execution or enter to continue
PAUSE
REM erase the section above once you have customised the file
python executed1.py
ECHO Skipping some stuff now
GOTO End
python skipped1.py
python skipped2.py
:END
python executed2.py

What can I say? batch files are a relic of times long gone, they're clunky and ugly.

You can read more on this website.

EDIT: modified the example a bit to have it contain the elements you are apparently looking for.

2012/06/29

The :: instead of REM was preferably used in the days that computers weren't very fast. REM'ed line are read and then ingnored. ::'ed line are ignored all the way. This could speed up your code in "the old days". Further more after a REM you need a space, after :: you don't.

And as said in the first comment: you can add info to any line you feel the need to

SET DATETIME=%DTS:~0,8%-%DTS:~8,6% ::Makes YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS

As for the skipping of parts. Putting REM in front of every line can be rather time consuming. As mentioned using GOTO to skip parts is an easy way to skip large pieces of code. Be sure to set a :LABEL at the point you want the code to continue.

SOME CODE

GOTO LABEL  ::REM OUT THIS LINE TO EXECUTE THE CODE BETWEEN THIS GOTO AND :LABEL

SOME CODE TO SKIP
.
LAST LINE OF CODE TO SKIP

:LABEL
CODE TO EXECUTE
2013/11/02

Multi line comments

If there are large number of lines you want to comment out then it will be better if you can make multi line comments rather than commenting out every line.

See this post by Rob van der Woude on comment blocks:

The batch language doesn't have comment blocks, though there are ways to accomplish the effect.

GOTO EndComment1
This line is comment.
And so is this line.
And this one...
:EndComment1

You can use GOTO Label and :Label for making block comments.

Or, If the comment block appears at the end of the batch file, you can write EXIT at end of code and then any number of comments for your understanding.

@ECHO OFF
REM Do something
  •
  •
REM End of code; use GOTO:EOF instead of EXIT for Windows NT and later
EXIT

Start of comment block at end of batch file
This line is comment.
And so is this line.
And this one...
2019/07/11

Putting comments on the same line with commands: use & :: comment

color C          & :: set red font color
echo IMPORTANT INFORMATION
color            & :: reset the color to default

Explanation:

& separates two commands, so in this case color C is the first command and :: set red font color is the second one.


Important:

This statement with comment looks intuitively correct:

goto error1         :: handling the error

but it is not a valid use of the comment. It works only because goto ignores all arguments past the first one. The proof is easy, this goto will not fail either:

goto error1 handling the error

But similar attempt

color 17            :: grey on blue

fails executing the command due to 4 arguments unknown to the color command: ::, grey, on, blue.

It will only work as:

color 17     &      :: grey on blue

So the ampersand is inevitable.

2020/06/20

You can comment something out using :: or REM:

your commands here
:: commenttttttttttt

or

your commands here
REM  commenttttttttttt

 

To do it on the same line as a command, you must add an ampersand:

your commands here      & ::  commenttttttttttt

or

your commands here      & REM  commenttttttttttt

 

Note:

  • Using :: in nested logic (IF-ELSE, FOR loops, etc...) will cause an error. In those cases, use REM instead.
2018/09/21