From classic Command Prompt to fully customizable Terminal
Published Feb 15 2021 08:23 AM 2,401 Views

Do you remember the Command Prompt? Are you still using it?

Command PromptCommand Prompt

There were so many customization options in there like font size, font type, and colors (all eight of them)!

Command Prompt OptionsCommand Prompt Options


If like me, you need a bit more customization, I do have something for you.

Windows Terminal is the re-imagination of what a first-class command prompt experience should and gosh does it deliver. Let me show you what I got when I first launched the Command Prompt from the terminal.

Windows Terminal First Look around

Introducing the Amazing Windows TerminalIntroducing the Amazing Windows Terminal

So the first thing I noticed? Transparency. I know it may sound superficial, but it's catchy. The second thing? The tab with two buttons beside it. + will allow me to have more Command Prompt in here without changing windows(yay!).

The down arrow had me wondering for a second, so I clicked it.

So many options...So many options...

Your options may vary, but I have Windows Linux Subsystem installed on my machine and a few other options, so Ubuntu shows up. I'm amazed that I can use any of those prompts from a single option. Mind blown!

Back to Command Prompt

We can open up any shell/prompt/command line from Windows Terminal, which is nice, but how does it make Command Prompt better?

See that image above with the Setting option in there? Let's click on that, and it opens up this file in Visual Studio Code.

Making the old feel new again

Settings.json of Windows TerminalSettings.json of Windows Terminal

That's a ton of JSON, but it will become quite easy quite fast.

The first link at Line 3 will bring you to the Official Docs, which is perfect. It will show you how to go in detail on every point.

I want to make this even more straightforward for you.

Do you see Line 6? Visual Studio Code will read the schema definition and enable code completion within your JSON file straight away.

If I wanted to modify something, I would create a new line and press ", and suddenly, you have all the options available.

Let me give you a new cmd.exe profile that you can overwrite and have something feels brand new right now.

    // Make changes here to the cmd.exe profile
    "guid": "{0caa0dad-35be-5f56-a8ff-afceeeaa6101}",
    "name": "cmd",
    "commandline": "cmd.exe",
    "useAcrylic": true,
    "acrylicOpacity": 0.7,
    "backgroundImageOpacity": 0.7,
    "backgroundImageStretchMode": "fill",
    "backgroundImage": "",
    "startingDirectory": "C:\\git_ws\\",
    "fontFace": "Cascadia Code",
    "fontSize": 12,
    "hidden": false

End Result

Refreshed Command PromptRefreshed Command Prompt


That doesn't even closely look like our classic Command Prompt.

There are be many more options to cover that we can cover in another article. What we did for Command Prompt, we could do for every terminal/shell in our previous list.

Next Steps

Want to have a terminal that stands out? Do you want a terminal that is suited just for you and no one else?

With those basics mastered, you are ready to tweak Windows Terminal until you feel at home with any shell.

If you create something unique, please share it with me on Twitter! I can't wait to see your creations!

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Last update:
‎Feb 15 2021 08:42 AM
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