How to Enable Command Prompt Scrolling from the Keyboard


Keep Your Hands Where I Can See 'Em

If you are a system administrator, then you probably find yourself using the Windows Command Prompt more often than most people.  When running this window, old-school admins get into a DOS or Linux mindset and just don’t like to use the mouse.  Heck, one of the Microsoft interview questions for admins is “How do you fix a problem on a computer if the GUI is busted?”.

There are lots of commands that generate a lot of output, and then you have to go reaching for the mouse to scroll through all the text that has been generated.  IPCONFIG is one of those commands that can easily output more information than you have room for.

You can open and select this context menu all from the keyboard

For those of you who feel your workflow is disrupted by taking your hand off the keyboard to use the mouse, then I have good news: you can change the Command Prompt to scroll mode by using a quick keyboard shortcut.

While you have your Command Prompt open, simply type the following key combination:

Alt + Space, then E, then L.

This opens up the Context menu for CMD.EXE, selects “Edit” and then Selects “Scroll”.  The up and down arrows now scroll the window instead of cycling through previous commands.  The Page Up and Page Down buttons now scroll the text, rather than going to the very beginning or end of your previous commands.

To get out of this mode, simply press Escape.

Now you can feel like a Linux nerd while using Windows.

Alan is a web architect, stand-up comedian, and your friendly neighborhood Grammar Nazi. You can stalk him on the Interwebs via Google+, Facebook and follow his ass on Twitter @ocmodshop.