How to Send a Command Prompt to Notepad

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The Windows Command Prompt is a text-based way of finding, editing and interacting with files on your computer, as opposed to visually opening folders and double-clicking on icons. Some tasks, such as editing Windows registry files to tweak application settings or fix errors, can only be done from the command line. You can launch a blank Notepad document or open any file within Notepad straight from the Windows command line.

  • Click the "Start" button.

  • Type "cmd" in the Search box.

  • Press "Enter" to open the command prompt.

  • Type "notepad" and press "Enter" to launch a blank Notepad document.

  • Type "cd directoryname" to switch to a directory containing a text file you want to open in Notepad. Replace "directoryname" with the exact name of the directory. For example, if you are currently in your home directory, type "cd Documents" to switch into the Documents folder.

  • Type "notepad filename" to open a particular file. Replace "filename" with the full name, including the extension, of the file you want to open. For example, to open index.html in Notepad, you wold type "notepad index.html." This file opens in Notepad automatically.

Tips & Warnings

  • Type "dir" at the command line to see a listing of files and folders in your current directory.
  • You can do irreversible damage to your computer's operating system from the command line if you do not know what you are doing. If you are unfamiliar with the command line, follow directions exactly or consult someone more familiar with it.
  • Opening rich text files, such as DOC or RTF files, in Notepad shows you a lot of scrambled characters on your screen. Only plain text files open properly in Notepad.
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