A file of DOS commands that are "batch" processed one after the other. Windows also supports batch files (see Windows batch file), which are mostly identical to the DOS commands.|
To create a DOS batch file, use a text editor such as Edit. If you use a word processor, save your batch file as an ASCII text file, not as a standard document. Always include a .BAT extension with your batch file name.
The following batch file switches to the E drive, goes to the PAT directory and runs the MYPROG program:
If the file above was named PAT.BAT in the BATCH directory on drive C, you would execute it by typing:
If you use batch files to launch applications such as in the example above, make a hard disk directory called BATCH or BAT and put all your batch files in it. Also make sure that the batch files directory is named in the Path command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file (see DOS Path name) so that you can execute your batch files from whichever directory you're currently in; for example:
If you create a batch file that works with files in only one directory, then place the batch file in that directory. When you want to run it, go to that directory.
Stopping a Batch File
To stop a batch file in operation, press Ctrl-C or Ctrl-Break.
The following commands are for quick reference only. If you are not an experienced batch file programmer, consult a good book on the subject, such as Kris Jamsa's "DOS Batch File Power" published by SAMS.
cls Clear the screen
echo off Turn off display
@echo off Turn off display (3.3 and up)
echo on Turn on display
echo Display message; for example,
echo Press any key to continue.
call Call other batch file
pause Stop (wait for keystroke)
choice (DOS 6) a way to get user input
if not exist filename goto :line
if not string1==string2 goto :line
if not errorlevel 0 goto :line
for %%varname in (files) do command
%0 - Batch file name
%1 - %9 - Input variables
%varname% - Variable used with Set
Following is an example of the choice batch file command in DOS 6. It loads three different programs depending on receiving A, B or C from the user. If A is entered, errorlevel is 1, B is 2 and C is 3. IF ERRORLEVEL always tests for >=, which is why the largest number is tested first.
choice /c:abc Run A. Run B. Run C.
if errorlevel 3 goto runC
if errorlevel 2 goto runB
run program A
run program B
run program C