Windows

Configure Windows XP's MS-DOS Editor

Windows XP's MS-DOS Editor, commonly referred to simply as Edit, has features similar to Notepad, as well as additional features such as the ability to work with multiple text files and change the background and text colors. Since Edit is a DOS-based application, you can easily configure it to work just like a Windows application. Here's how.

Windows XP comes with another text editor besides Notepad -- it's called the MS-DOS Editor, and it's commonly referred to simply as Edit. It has features similar to Notepad, as well as additional features such as the ability to work with multiple text files and change the background and text colors. Since Edit is a DOS-based application, you can easily configure it to work just like a Windows application. Here's how:

1. Use Windows Explorer to locate the Edit.com file in the \Windows\System32 folder.

2. Right-click the file, drag it to your desktop, and select the Create Shortcut(s) Here command from the Shortcut menu.

3. Right-click the Shortcut icon and select the Properties command from the Shortcut menu.

4. Choose the Program tab and select the Close On Exit check box.

5. Click OK to finish.

Now you can double-click the Shortcut icon to launch Edit. When you're done using it, you can close it by clicking the Close button in the upper-right corner or by using the Exit command on the File menu.

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

38 comments
ashish_paliwal
ashish_paliwal

But how can we edit huge files which xp ms dos editor not able to edit due to error "out of far memory".why xp dos editor is required,it shows line number and column number,same time does not change end of line indicator.

tbrown
tbrown

I type edit the the run box to bring up edit,works fine.

bbaxter49
bbaxter49

I think the tile for this is misleading. It's more like Create a shortcut for edit.com

ucbrianr
ucbrianr

Wow, blast from the past. But WHY exactly would we ever have an instance where we need to run the MS-DOS Edit program from within Windows? "Multiple text files" doesn't seem really that much of a benefit. Maybe the colors have something to do with accessibility?

frank_s
frank_s

For those who are wondering, Edit is available in Vista also.

old-lahore
old-lahore

hello.sir. your all sofyware are best. win xp dos editor ilike it.shahid.

iosira
iosira

Hello everybody, Does some one know how to add additional fonts to the CMD window ? We get a lot of ascii files containing numbers and hebrew words: 1. Notepad, as all windows applications, has specific rules for displaying right to left text and we can't know for sure where begin and end any word. 2. The DOS box allows only Lucida and Raster fonts, so that we can't read the text, we receive garbled text. As there are a whole lot of codifications for Hebrew (7 bit, 8 bit, EBCDIC old code and EBCDIC new code, just to mention the more frequent) it's almost impossible to analize the contetnt of the files

francisvandenplas
francisvandenplas

I'm also disappointed, because Tech promises "additional features such as the ability to work with multiple text files and change the background and text colors.", but the little tutorial only tells us how to "configure it to work just like a Windows application". Or is theres some part missing?

jtearthman
jtearthman

hi every body, it is useful when you need to edit a "PURE" ASCII text files. may be you guys all are speaking with english and Native English windows, there is nothing difference using ASCII text files or UNICODE text files with XP or above... but like me, with difference mother lanague, we may using the unicode or difference way to edit the text files.... Most Administrators will write some script with config file to help their system on the fly, but some beginner administrator may using the unicode format to run in there script but goes wrong ... sometime , I need to check the config file to see it is pure ASCII or not, edit helps me a lot.

mikeholli
mikeholli

Well for one thing, with a DOS prompt, or even the actual DOS that you can activate by pressing F8 during bootup you can access directories and get rid of temp/tmp/tp?/etc file that you cannot see within Windows Explorer. Simple command once inside a unknown, perhaps dangerous directory is del *.*/a if outside that directory in DOS you can do a deltree "directory name" *.* and with this command EVEN hidden/dangerous/unaccesible files get deleted as well. DOS/DOS Prompt has MANY uses still to this day. Remember malware only attaches itself once inside of MS Windows, you're safe in DOS. also you can go to [url]http://home.att.net/~gobruen/progs/dos_batch/index.html[/url] and learn more of what DOS can do for YOU!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The only time I use Edit is if I'm booting into Recovery or other text-only mode. In that case, then configuring the GUI shortcut doesn't do me much good.

Dave O
Dave O

I use Edit when I want to print a document without any formatting or Trutype fonts.

shraven
shraven

... is about all the "reason" a techie needs to undertake something!

ronniebell
ronniebell

There are some instances where I am doing something in DOS mode and I want to edit a short file quickly. I just type edit, the same way I did before windoze. Why is it that my computer is 1000 times more powerful than it used to be but the programs still run at the same speed?

Marty-7
Marty-7

I don't see the purpose either.

amandi8
amandi8

Why WOULD you run this program? What are the benefits? Am I missing something? Is it just for nostalgia?

tnorman
tnorman

I would like help with something that is not DOS but the CMD command help. Is there something like F3 in "command" that will repeat a previous entry?

sp4566
sp4566

What happens when your printer isn't on LPT1? Mine happens to be connected via USB, and I didn't see a way to reconfigure the editor to print to a USB port.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

But the article described tweaking a Windows shortcut icon. That's of no value if you F8 to a command prompt and don't go into Windows.

Zenith545
Zenith545

MS-DOS Editor when opening a file has an option, "Open as Binary". Call me lazy, but I have used this to examine or search the binary code instead of purchasing or downloading a binary file editor/reader. Actually this article is NOT about configuring MS-DOS Editor, it IS about configuring XP to handle the execution of MS-DOS Editor.

sales
sales

Because as a consultant I charge by the hour, if the programs I used ran faster, it would mean I would be doing the in lesser hours, and being paid less. I prefer to say its going to take this long because that's how long it will take to edit the file. LOL.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

If you're starting it by typing Edit in an already opened command prompt, then configuring a shortcut to close on exit probably isn't going to do you much good.

shraven
shraven

umm, after reviewing your machine, I've determined it's because of all the pirating you're doing in the background and the enormous amount of pron you've saved on your highly fragmented hard drive. lol Oh and those stupid animated cursors!

andyarceye
andyarceye

Edit is often usefull if you have wrote some kind of script but it contains errors when run, usually the error report will give a line number and as EDIT shows line numbers it makes life easier to find the problem. But the purpose I guess is just to add another choice to the user for a program that can edit text files. Although the bit I can't understand is if a user has a preference for EDIT over something like notepad then they will also have the basic knowledge of how to get it onto a desktop icon or even click RUN and type EDIT so the little tutorial of how to do it is a little pointless.

tnorman
tnorman

Thanks! Any other tips and tricks would be very helpful. Thanks again!

mikeholli
mikeholli

Yes, and it's very simple. All you need to do is press your up arrow key on the keyboard and your last command is there.

Elvis.Is.Alive
Elvis.Is.Alive

You can "scroll" through all of your previous entries by pressing the "up" arrow key on the keyboard to see a history of commands you've typed.

Abhishek-ITGeek
Abhishek-ITGeek

Well you can easity edit whatever you like in edit.exe then open the file which you have saved in notepad and then print the file as usual .

mikeholli
mikeholli

Just follow these step by step directions. 1)Install the Microsoft Loopback Adapter a)In Control Panel, double click on Add Hardware. b)Click Next c)When the scan finishes, select "Yes, I have already connected the hardware" d)Click Next e)Scroll to the bottom of the list and select "Add a new hardware device" Click Next f)Select "Install the hardware that I manually select from a list (Advanced)" g)Click Next h)Select "Network Adapters" i)Click Next j)Select "Microsoft" under the Manufacturer list. k)Select "Microsoft Loopback Adapter" in the Network Adapter list. l)Click Next m)Click Next n)Click Finish 2)Configure the Adapter a)The loopback adapter is a virtual network adapter and can be configured the same as a regular network card. b)Set the adapter to have a static IP address such as 192.168.1.1/ 255.255.255.0 3)Share the printer. a)I recommend you use a share name that you will remember. I used ?Printer? in the new machines that are already deployed. 4)Capture the printer port. a)NET USE LPT1: \\[Computer Name]\Printer /persistent:YES It's as simple as that.

manwethegreat
manwethegreat

Not meaning to be unkind, but did you actually look at that link? The page is titled "Setting up LaTeX for Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP" Seems quite interesting. I'm not normally a LaTex user, but I may try this just for the heck of it :p

iosira
iosira

Sorry, but LaTex is for Unix and we are lookin for a solution for DOS under Windows XP. I believe there should be a way to change the fonts that are used by the DOS box. Thanks anyway Josef

iosira
iosira

1. Add another instance of the printer using Add printers 2. Name it accordingly so that you won't be confused 3. At the Ports tab select LPT2 4. In the DOS box print the file using: Copy /B filename.ext LPT2 By the way, this is how we print to file i one computer and then using any media (diskette, disk on key) we transfer the .PRN file and print it.

rbig
rbig

Open printer properties, select Ports tab check enable printer pooling, make sure that LPT1: and the USB Printer are selected. Anything sent to LPT1: goes to the USB printer.

sp4566
sp4566

Thanks for your answer. It was very helpful. sp4566@tx.rr.com

TonytheTiger
TonytheTiger

1. Share the usb printer 2. type "net use lpt1 \\computer\printer /persistent:yes" (of course, this assumes either you don't have a real LPT1 port on your computer, or that you are an administrator of the computer)

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