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Command Prompt Shell Extension

Open Command Prompt Shell Extension

The Open Command Prompt Shell Extension adds an "Open Command Prompt" menu item to the context menus (right-click menus) in Windows Explorer so that you can open a command prompt in the selected directory (or directories) or in the current directory that you are viewing.

The Open Command Prompt Shell Extension is very lightweight (less than 16 KiB installed!), supports network paths, supports both x86-32 and x86-64, supports multiple language locales, and is open-source.

Screenshot
How is this different from Microsoft's Open Command Window Here PowerToy?

The Open Command Prompt Shell Extension was created primarily to address the shortcomings of the Open Command Window Here PowerToy. Improvements include:

1. The ability to open a command prompt in the directory that you are currently in by right-clicking on any empty screen space in the directory. This eliminates the need to navigate up a level in order to open a command prompt in the current directory.
2. Support for opening command prompts with UNC paths (directories on network shares).
3. Support for multiple languages.

Note: If you already have the Open Command Window Here PowerToy installed, you should uninstall it before installing the Open Command Prompt Shell Extension.
How is this different from BackgroundCMD?

The Open Command Prompt Shell Extension offers these improvements over BackgroundCMD:

1. All-in-one functionality: BackgroundCMD only opens command prompts for the current directory, so in order to open a command prompt for a subdirectory, it had to be combined the Open Command Window Here PowerToy.
2. Support for Unicode paths.
3. Support for 64-bit Windows.
4. Much smaller size: The final installed size is less than 16 KiB, and this was achieved without any sort of PE packing!

How is this different from the "Open Command Window Here" feature in Vista?

Windows Vista offers a similar built-in feature, but I personally prefer to use the Open Command Prompt Shell Extension for these reasons:

1. The built-in context menu option in Windows Vista only appears if the SHIFT key is held down while right-clicking. This can become tedious, so if you want this menu option to be available without holding down SHIFT, you will need to use this extension. To avoid the duplication of menu options, this extension will be automatically disabled when you SHIFT-right-click in Windows Vista (this does not affect versions of Windows prior to Vista).
2. The "Open Command Window Here" feature in Windows Vista handles UNC paths using the pushd command, which creates a temporary mapped drive. There are various advantages (e.g., fewer quirks and errors) and disadvantages (e.g., inability to navigate up) to using pushd.

Is this free?

Yes! The Open Command Prompt Shell Extension is open-source, licensed under a BSD-style license.
How do I get the Open Command Prompt Shell Extension?

The download link can be found at the top of this page. Download, unzip, and run the installer found inside (CmdOpenInstall.exe). The source code is included in the download package.

Note: If you already have the Open Command Window Here PowerToy installed, you should uninstall it before installing the Open Command Prompt Shell Extension.

(For advanced users) To run the installer in quiet (unattended) mode, run "CmdOpenInstall.exe /quiet", and to extract the files to the current directory without installing, run "CmdOpenInstall.exe /extract".
What languages are supported?

The following languages are supported:

* English
* ?? (??/??)
* Deutsch
* e??????? (translator: "XhmikosR")
* español
* français
* italiano (translators: "Davide" and "mf3imp")
* ??? (translator: "yumeyao")
* Nederlands
* Polski (translator: Adam Klos)
* português (PT/BR) (pt-BR translator: "0d14r3")
* ???????
* Türkçe (translator: "MrNxDmX")

Translations are welcome! Just translate this file and send me the translations.
Why "Open Command Prompt"?

After much deliberation, "Open Command Prompt" was chosen over the more common "Open Command Window Here" as the menu text for this extension. First, while the command prompt is referred to as the "command prompt" all throughout Windows, the Open Command Window Here PowerToy oddly decided to call it a "command window", leading an inconsistency in nomenclature. Second, the "Here" used in the PowerToy is redundant, since it is implied; after all, the other built-in menu items are "Open", "Explore" and "Search", not "Open Here", "Explore Here", and "Search Here". Finally, "Open Command Prompt" is shorter and does not stretch out the context menu as much.
Version History

* 2008/12/20 - 1.1.8
o Added Portuguese (pt-BR) translation. (translator: "0d14r3")
o Added Russian translation.
* 2008/12/17 - 1.1.7
o Added Polish translation. (translator: Adam Klos)
* 2008/12/12 - 1.1.6
o Added Greek translation. (thanks "XhmikosR"!)
* 2008/12/03 - 1.1.5
o Added Turkish translation. (thanks "MrNxDmX"!)
* 2008/12/02 - 1.1.4
o Added Japanese translation. (thanks "yumeyao"!)
o Changed the access keys for the Chinese translations
* 2008/11/27 - 1.1.3
o Added Dutch translation.
* 2008/10/27 - 1.1.2
o Eliminated the msvcp60.dll (C++ runtime library; STL) dependency.
* 2008/10/16 - 1.1.1
o Various minor improvements to the installer.
* 2008/10/13 - 1.1.0
o Unified installer: instead of using separate setup packages for 32-bit and 64-bit systems, there is now one single setup package for both platforms. The installer will take care of everything, simplifying distribution and installation. Note that, for Windows x64, the installer will install both the 32-bit and 64-bit binaries (any 32-bit application making use of shell components, such as a file picker dialog, would need the 32-bit extension, even if Windows is 64-bit).
o The self-installation function (DllInstall) has been improved, is more robust, and is less likely to fail.
o The installer now exclusively uses DllInstall and no longer relies on INF files; this resolves some issues that the old installer had with in-use file replacement during update installs.
o Added keyboard navigation access keys to the context menu item.
o Added Portuguese (pt-PT) translation.
* 2008/09/11 - 1.0.5
o The 64-bit build is now compiled with the PSDK compiler, which makes eliminating the static linking of the CRT possible. This significantly reduces the file size of the 64-bit version (its size is now comparable to that of the 32-bit build), and being able to use the same CRT as the host shell process conveys other benefits, including a reduced memory footprint (not that anyone running a 64-bit OS would ever notice a few kilobytes).
o The 32-bit build was version-bumped to 1.0.5 in order to keep the version numbers in sync, but no changes were made (the CRT was never statically-linked in the 32-bit build).
* 2008/09/04 - 1.0.4.2
o The 64-bit build is now compiled with VC9SP1 instead of VC8SP1.
o Fixed compile-time error if VC9 or newer is used to build the 32-bit source.
* 2008/09/02 - 1.0.4.1
o New: 64-bit build (requires a 64-bit version of Windows). The 32-bit build is unchanged.
* 2008/07/03 - 1.0.4
o Added Italian translation. (thanks "Davide" and "mf3imp"!)
* 2007/08/31 - 1.0.3
o Installation and uninstallation can now be invoked via standard DllInstall calls.
o Improved the installer.
* 2007/08/21 - 1.0.2
o Improved error checking.
* 2007/08/13 - 1.0.1
o Added German, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese translations.
* 2007/08/08 - 1.0.0
o Initial version.

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