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Boost Your Productivity with QuickEdit Mode in the Windows Command Prompt

Posted by Jim Tanous on October 30, 2013
Command Prompt

Despite major advancements in the capabilities of the Windows graphical user interface, the trusty Command Prompt still comes in handy, even on Windows 8. For users who find themselves frequently using this decades-old interface, turning on QuickEdit Mode may offer a noticeable productivity boost. Here’s how to use it.
Command Prompt QuickEdit Mode
With the standard Command Prompt control scheme, users can select, copy, and paste text using a right-click menu. This works well enough, but it adds an extra step or two to every action.
Command Prompt QuickEdit Mode
If you only copy and paste text in the Command Prompt occasionally, the standard scheme is likely fine. But if you’re copying and pasting multiple times per session, you may want to check out QuickEdit Mode. Start by left-clicking on the Command Prompt icon at the top-left of the window. Select Properties and look under Edit Options. Check the box for QuickEdit Mode and then press OK to close the Properties window.
Command Prompt QuickEdit Mode
Now, with QuickEdit enabled, you can use your left mouse button to highlight and select any text or commands inside the Command Prompt window, just like you would with text in any other application. Once you’ve highlighted the desired command or portion of text, press the right-click button once. This will copy your selected text to the clipboard. Then place your cursor in the correct location and press the right mouse button again to paste the text. You can also paste the text in any application outside of the Command Prompt.
Command Prompt QuickEdit Mode
QuickEdit Mode takes some getting used to, as errant right-clicks will result in text being pasted all over the place, but it can be a major time saver for Command Prompt power users. If you find that you prefer the standard copy and paste method, simply repeat the steps above and uncheck the QuickEdit box in the Command Prompt Properties window.

2 thoughts on “Boost Your Productivity with QuickEdit Mode in the Windows Command Prompt”

Jules Ponsaillé says:
It doesn’t work for me. If you want I can past the error but my computer is in french. It says that it couldn’t find the shortcust. Do you know from where it comes?
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Rob Harrison says:
This is a neat tip Jim. I’ve gritted my teeth over this since 1982 or so wishing there was an easier way to increase speed. I don’t use the command prompt all that much, but when I do, I get aggravated all over again! Thanks for finding this and bringing it to my attention.
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