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I’m a command prompt guy. If there is a way to do something with the keyboard, then by golly, that’s how I’m going to do it. But sometimes you’ll want to use a command whose options and formatting aren’t obvious, and when you type the command to view the command’s usage (usually by typing command /?, command -h, or command –help), black and white letters go flying by like a newspaper in a Blendtec ad.
Linux users can read command documentation via the man command which provides detailed usage instructions in a way that’s easy to read and navigate. We Windows admins don’t have such a luxury, but you can mimic it.
Piping Output to More
One way to view the output of a command when it’s longer than a single screen is by piping the output to the more command like this:
command | more
For example if I want to view the help page for the icacls command:
icacls.exe /? | more
This method works, but what if you want to save the command’s output for use later?
Redirecting Output to a File
Another option is to send the command’s output to a file. This can be done using the redirection operator “>”
command > output.txt
Using the same command from above, we’ll save the command usage page for icacls.exe to a file called icacls_help.txt:
icacls /? > icacles_help.txt
If we want to be really fancy, we can combine the ideas of redirection and piping and view the help page immediately in notepad:
icacls /? > icacls_help.txt | notepad icacls_help.txt