Is there a better Windows Console Window?


I find working on the command line in Windows frustrating, primarily because the console window is wretched to use compared to terminal applications on linux and OS X such as "rxvt", "xterm", or "Terminal". Major complaints:

  1. No standard copy/paste. You have to turn on "mark" mode and it's only available from a multi-level popup triggered by the (small) left hand corner button. Then copy and paste need to be invoked from the same menu

  2. You can't arbitrarily resize the window by dragging, you need to set a preference (back to the multi-level popup) each time you want to resize a window

  3. You can only make the window so big before horizontal scroll bars enter the picture. Horizontal scroll bars suck.

  4. With the cmd.exe shell, you can't navigate to folders with \\netpath notation (UNC?), you need to map a network drive. This sucks when working on multiple machines that are going to have different drives mapped

Are there any tricks or applications, (paid or otherwise), that address these issue?

3/13/2013 9:47:17 AM

Accepted Answer

Sorry for the self-promotion, I'm the author of another Console Emulator, not mentioned here.

ConEmu is opensource console emulator with tabs, which represents multiple consoles and simple GUI applications as one customizable GUI window.

Initially, the program was designed to work with Far Manager (my favorite shell replacement - file and archive management, command history and completion, powerful editor). But ConEmu can be used with any other console application or simple GUI tools (like PuTTY for example). ConEmu is a live project, open to suggestions.

A brief excerpt from the long list of options:

  • Latest versions of ConEmu may set up itself as default terminal for Windows
  • Use any font installed in the system, or copied to a folder of the program (ttf, otf, fon, bdf)
  • Run selected tabs as Administrator (Vista+) or as selected user
  • Windows 7 Jump lists and Progress on taskbar
  • Integration with DosBox (useful in 64bit systems to run DOS applications)
  • Smooth resize, maximized and fullscreen window modes
  • Scrollbar initially hidden, may be revealed by mouseover or checkbox in settings
  • Optional settings (e.g. pallette) for selected applications
  • User friendly text and block selection (from keyboard or mouse), copy, paste, text search in console
  • ANSI X3.64 and Xterm 256 color

Far Manager users will acquire shell style drag-n-drop, thumbnails and tiles in panles, tabs for editors and viewers, true colors and font styles (italic/bold/underline).

PS. Far Manager supports UNC paths (\\server\share\...)

3/20/2017 10:18:19 AM

Try Console 2.

Console is a Windows console window enhancement. Console features include: multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, different window styles


Take Command. This one has been around for a long time (formerly 4DOS). I used this on Windows NT 3.5 (!) and loved it.

Cygwin lets you run X on Windows, so you can fire up xterm or whatever terminal app you prefer, and also get the benefit of using a UNIX shell.


  1. Turn on quickedit mode (but selection is still rectangular instead of line-wrapped)
  2. Resizing by dragging works for me
  3. You can change the buffer size which will impact when scrollbars appear
  4. pushd \\server\share

Even with those, cmd.exe isn't a great console. See all the other replies and the earlier stackoverflow questions on the same subject. The "Console" project from sourceforge looks pretty good.



From documentation:

NOTE: Console is NOT a shell. Therefore, it does not implement shell features like command-line completion, syntax coloring, command history, etc.

Console is simply a nice-looking front end for a shell of your choice (cmd.exe, 4NT, bash, etc.) Other command-line utilities can also be used as 'shells' by Console.

As a programming shell one can use ipython.


I use Cygwin inside the Poderosa terminal emulator.


Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow
Email: [email protected]