Console 2: The Best Windows Command Prompt Alternative

Windows command line utility, known as CMD or Command Prompt, is one of the most powerful tools that Microsoft offers to the Windows users. However, it is also one of the creepiest and not-so user friendly command line utilities you can find. You can’t even resize the command prompt window or change the fonts as per your requirements. If you have ever used a Linux or Unix command line utility (Terminal), you will know how useful it is to have a customizable command line utility.

Luckily, there are plenty of third party Windows command prompt alternatives and Console 2 is one of the best.

Console 2 is a free and highly recommended command prompt alternative for Windows with a whole lot of features and eye-candy. To start using it, just download Console 2 from its official website. There is installation required. Simply extract the zip file to your C drive and you are good to go.

console2-installation-location

Once installed, launch Console 2 by double-clicking on “console.exe”. Once launched, you will see that the Console looks much better than the regular old Windows command prompt. It also comes with useful features like tabs, layout changes, support for Windows clear type, keyboard shortcuts and many other features to increase your productivity. You can easily create multiple tabs with a single click on the tab button so that you can switch between different command prompts as per your requirement.

console2-add-tabs

Other than tabs, you can also integrate your Windows Powershell with Console 2 so that you don’t have to open another window for your Powershell needs. To integrate Powershell with Console 2, go to “Edit -> Settings” in the menu bar and select “Tabs” in the left pane.

Here click on the “Add” button, rename it to Powershell and enter the following directory path into the shell blank. If you have a different version of Powershell, change the directory path accordingly.

Once you have made the changes, click on the OK button to save the changes.

console2-add-powershell

With this change, you can start using Powershell by selecting Powershell from the “New Tab” dropdown menu. Along with Powershell, you can also integrate other shells like Cygwin, Git Bash, Visual Studio CDM, etc.., so that you will have a consistent user interface.

console2-powershell-in-console2

Another handy feature is the keyboard shortcuts. They are found under the “Hotkeys” section in Console 2 settings, and you can easily change them to your liking.

console2-keyboard-shortcuts

When it comes to the user interface, Console 2 is way better than the regular command prompt, not to mention that you can also tweak the appearance according to your needs. To tweak the appearance settings, navigate to “Edit -> Settings” and then select the “Appearance” tab on the left pane.

console2-appearance-settings

Here you will see a host of tweaks where you can change the type of font, Windows smoothing, window position, docking, custom window titles, etc.

If you want to set transparency to your command screen, you can do so by navigating to the “More” section under “Appearance.”

console2-transparency-settings

Console 2 delivers the same functionality as the regular Windows command prompt but does the task in a more appealing way. It adds several missing features in the Windows command prompt. If you are a regular Command Prompt user, do give Console 2 a try and see what you think.

What do you think of Console 2? Is it a better replacement for Windows command prompt? Do share you thoughts and experiences using the comment form below.

10 comments

  1. I was able to integrate Console2 into mRemoteNG so I can have all my UNIX, Linux, and Windows consoles in the same tabed interface. The integration is not perfect, but it works well enough. You do have to turn off most of Console2’s extra feature to make the integration work, but if you typically have multiple console/terminal windows open at the same time, it is worth the sacrifice.

  2. I Think that ColorConsole is better, since it got a copy and paste like a text editor, the only caveat is the command clc, it doesnt work.

  3. What do I need to do in order to be able to ‘visually’ select text in Console2 for copying? When I swipe text there is no apparent selection for copying.

    • The defaults are a bit messy, you can select text using “shift + left click” and copy the selected text using the left click.

      If you don’t like the defaults, you can always configure the selection and copy behaviour under “hotkeys -> mouse” section in Console 2 settings.

  4. FireCMD is a better alternative. Its not just a console emulator but also an advanced command shell.

  5. This is of course way much better than the default cmd, but from the options I tried, I’m keeping ConEmu

Comments are closed.

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