Increase your Command Prompt scrolling capability in Windows XP Pro with the List command

The More command on the Command Prompt in Windows XP Pro (go to Biglogfile.txt | More) allows you to view a very long text file one screen at a time. With the More command, it's easy to overshoot the information you need due to the overwhelming amount of data you may scroll through. When that happens, you have to cancel the operation and start over. The More command only allows you to scroll down through a file.

A command line tool called List allows you to scroll both up and down through a file. List is not found in Windows XP; it’s a part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools.

Because the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools also work in Windows XP, you can use the List command on your system. Here's how:

  1. Download Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools.
  2. Double-click the RKTools.exe self-installer and follow the onscreen instructions.
  3. Once you have the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools installed, you can use the List command at the Command Prompt by typing List followed by the name of the file that you want to scroll through. For example, you can scroll through a big log file using the List command List Biglogfile.txt.
  4. The Command Prompt window will change into a file viewer and display contents of the file. Use the arrow keys as well as the [Page Up] and [Page Down] keys to scroll through the file.
  5. To exit List, type Q or press [Esc].

Note: This tip applies only to Windows XP Professional.

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By Greg Shultz

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.