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Command Prompt Explorer Bar

, 10 Jun 2002
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This tool extends explorer with functionality of a command prompt. Implemented as a band object completely in C#. Demonstrates COM Interop and P/Invoke, windows hooking and API interception. Finally you can run all these .Net SDK tools and ‘Hello World!’ programs without leaving explorer shell.
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The Command Prompt Explorer Bar is a small tool that extends Windows Explorer.

Version 1.1 is now available.

Ever tried to run one of those console programs ("Hello World!" to name a few), .BAT, .VBS or .JS scripts just to see black window popping up and disappearing? I did. Especially after I started using .Net framework I find myself doing this more often. No wonder - with all this ALs , NGENs and TLBIMPs. So if you are like me then this tool is right for you. Next time you need to run a program without GUI, just press the 'Ctrl+M' key combination in your explorer. A command prompt will start and appear automatically. Its current directory will be exactly the same as the current path you are browsing. And better yet the console will appear inside your explorer window - like any other explorer bar does - 'History', 'Favorites', 'Folders' etc. Now you can have the best of both worlds combined together - easy and fast navigation of explorer and power of batch processing of the command prompt. Or should I say Command Prompt Explorer Bar:

Well, that is how it looks like. Isn't it a beauty?

You may have noticed a toolbar on the left of the console window. I tried to put some nice timesaving features there. The most powerful is a button with a 'Script' icon on it. It has a drop down menu where you can select a command you like to be executed. It even knows how to substitute '{0}' for the name of the current files selected in explorer. Here is when it can be useful. Let's say you want to install your assembly into a 'Native Images Cache'. With Command Bar it is as simply as selecting your assembly in explorer and clicking on 'ngen {1}' menu item. It also works just fine for multiple selected files (use {0} instead). Now you can compile your .cs or .vbs files without leaving a comfortable explorer shell. And yes, you can change this menu and scripts the way you like them. It is as simple as editing a text file in a Notepad.

And here is another (besides pressing 'Ctrl+M') way of starting this tool:

I hope you'll enjoy this little tool. Send me your comments, requests and bug reports to


  • 5/31/2002, 1.0 - original version.
  • 6/11/2002, 1.1 - bug fixes. NOTE: if you were using version 1.0 and have customized macro.xml file, you might want to save its backup version somewhere before uninstalling.
    • New setup. Hopefully without issues like in previous version. Thanks to Michael Dunn for his tip.
    • Fixed an issue with CMD.EXE failing to start. CreateProcess interception is now scoped by instances of Folder Windows and enabled only if CommandBar is visible. 'Launch folder windows in a separate process’ is no more required.
    • Integrated keyboard focus with explorer. Now Command Prompt window is reachable through Tab and Shift+Tab keys.


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Pavel Zolnikov
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionBrilliant program, but not good running. Pin
Member 1067700118-Dec-14 19:39
memberMember 1067700118-Dec-14 19:39 
QuestionWindows 7 build Pin
fparrish15-Nov-12 12:05
memberfparrish15-Nov-12 12:05 
AnswerRe: Windows 7 build Pin
danieladacruz8428-Feb-14 3:15
memberdanieladacruz8428-Feb-14 3:15 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
im_chc17-May-12 22:23
memberim_chc17-May-12 22:23 
Questioncrash Pin
ello_cc19-Feb-12 17:36
memberello_cc19-Feb-12 17:36 
Questionnot working on Win 7 Pin
Wrangly4-Jul-11 21:48
memberWrangly4-Jul-11 21:48 
GeneralError on windows 7 Pin
aldo hexosa4-Oct-10 22:00
memberaldo hexosa4-Oct-10 22:00 
AnswerRe: Error on windows 7 Pin
Cédric Bourgeois28-Feb-11 8:23
memberCédric Bourgeois28-Feb-11 8:23 
GeneralNow thats nice ... Pin
stixoffire26-Feb-10 7:39
memberstixoffire26-Feb-10 7:39 
QuestionNot working on Vista 64 but?? Pin
ingoklemm4-Oct-09 1:36
memberingoklemm4-Oct-09 1:36 
GeneralWorks well with QT Tab bar too! Pin
im_chc20-Sep-09 16:04
memberim_chc20-Sep-09 16:04[^]
GeneralWindows 7 Pin
neuwirthe26-Aug-09 22:45
memberneuwirthe26-Aug-09 22:45 
GeneralJust a size glitch Pin
gabrielmaldi4-Apr-09 5:35
membergabrielmaldi4-Apr-09 5:35 
GeneralPerfect idea! Pin
michaelogical9-Mar-09 10:59
membermichaelogical9-Mar-09 10:59 
GeneralWin XP SP3 x86 edition on 64 Bit Hardware - Crashes Explorer Pin
gutharius9-Jan-09 18:26
membergutharius9-Jan-09 18:26 
GeneralWorks in IE but not Explorer when installing on Windows XP 64-bit Pin
pashleb8-Jan-09 1:26
memberpashleb8-Jan-09 1:26 
GeneralRe: Works in IE but not Explorer when installing on Windows XP 64-bit Pin
Russ McMackin19-Feb-09 9:33
memberRuss McMackin19-Feb-09 9:33 
GeneralXP x64 problem. Pin
oleg632-Oct-08 10:57
memberoleg632-Oct-08 10:57 
QuestionWhat a nice and nicer idea!!!! Pin
rahulja10-Sep-08 3:59
memberrahulja10-Sep-08 3:59 
QuestionVista Installation Issues - Error Code 2869 and Error 1304: Error writing to file zcommon.dll Pin
picardo29-Aug-08 11:21
memberpicardo29-Aug-08 11:21 
AnswerRe: Vista Installation Issues - Error Code 2869 and Error 1304: Error writing to file zcommon.dll Pin
Member 411838826-Oct-08 4:50
memberMember 411838826-Oct-08 4:50 
QuestionControlling Sidebar from BHO Pin
Alex Shneyder9-Oct-07 18:24
memberAlex Shneyder9-Oct-07 18:24 
QuestionHow to display Explorer Bar Pin
vikrant kpr7-Sep-07 11:50
membervikrant kpr7-Sep-07 11:50 
AnswerRe: How to display Explorer Bar Pin
toonen2617-Oct-07 12:29
membertoonen2617-Oct-07 12:29 
GeneralNeed drag and drop Pin
sinbao18-Jul-07 20:05
membersinbao18-Jul-07 20:05 
GeneralCauses WinMerge to fail. Pin
UKCodeMonkey17-Jul-07 0:25
memberUKCodeMonkey17-Jul-07 0:25 
GeneralBest Power toy ever! Pin
kerneljag23-Jan-07 19:38
memberkerneljag23-Jan-07 19:38 
QuestionPowerShell Support Pin
irishjd13-Dec-06 6:05
memberirishjd13-Dec-06 6:05 
QuestionMultiple explorer windows with command prompt? Pin
NathanPalmer30-Nov-06 8:09
memberNathanPalmer30-Nov-06 8:09 
Generalvisual 2005 Pin
hezyz13-Nov-06 12:30
memberhezyz13-Nov-06 12:30 
GeneralThe best Pin
Zabersoft-ahj10-Aug-06 15:48
memberZabersoft-ahj10-Aug-06 15:48 
GeneralBugs [modified] Pin
The_Mega_ZZTer2-Aug-06 10:42
memberThe_Mega_ZZTer2-Aug-06 10:42 
GeneralWinXP, VisStudio 2005 -- no joy Pin
Number81-Jul-06 13:48
memberNumber81-Jul-06 13:48 
GeneralRe: WinXP, VisStudio 2005 -- no joy Pin
The_Mega_ZZTer2-Aug-06 13:52
memberThe_Mega_ZZTer2-Aug-06 13:52 
GeneralAlternative tool Pin
mustsee20-Apr-06 14:56
membermustsee20-Apr-06 14:56 
GeneralFocus Hotkey please! Pin
duffman07117-Apr-06 13:38
memberduffman07117-Apr-06 13:38 
GeneralDamn! Pin
Bassam Abdul-Baki3-Mar-06 18:10
memberBassam Abdul-Baki3-Mar-06 18:10 
QuestionIsolate the Prompt Control Pin
Bruno R. Figueiredo1-Feb-06 8:11
memberBruno R. Figueiredo1-Feb-06 8:11 
AnswerRe: Isolate the Prompt Control Pin
The_Mega_ZZTer2-Aug-06 13:44
memberThe_Mega_ZZTer2-Aug-06 13:44 
GeneralNify piece of software Pin
JQLD20-Nov-05 6:53
memberJQLD20-Nov-05 6:53 
QuestionHow to debug this? Pin
Vijay Chandra Sekhar Parepalli20-Oct-05 9:51
memberVijay Chandra Sekhar Parepalli20-Oct-05 9:51 
AnswerRe: How to debug this? Pin
sxwsws16-Nov-05 7:36
membersxwsws16-Nov-05 7:36 
Generalthe best power tool i have found Pin
Anonymous4-Oct-05 7:15
sussAnonymous4-Oct-05 7:15 
Generalmake the prompt do other stuff Pin
Anonymous1-Oct-05 13:53
sussAnonymous1-Oct-05 13:53 
QuestionMessageBox kills toolbar buttons Pin
wimix1-Oct-05 8:32
memberwimix1-Oct-05 8:32 
Generalcauses explorer crash on Win2k Pin
hensh8-Jul-05 19:37
memberhensh8-Jul-05 19:37 
GeneralRe: causes explorer crash on Win2k Pin
mirso6714-Jul-05 4:31
membermirso6714-Jul-05 4:31 
GeneralRe: causes explorer crash on Win2k Pin
Zakuska14-Jul-05 10:58
memberZakuska14-Jul-05 10:58 
GeneralRe: causes explorer crash on Win2k Pin
rusty_rebar22-Aug-06 8:26
memberrusty_rebar22-Aug-06 8:26 
GeneralRe: causes explorer crash on Win2k Pin
x33x12-Jan-07 9:55
memberx33x12-Jan-07 9:55 

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