Microsoft Details The Command Line Console Improvements In The Windows 10 Technical Preview

Command Prompt Windows 10 Technical Preview

Microsoft today detailed the command line console improvements they have added in the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Find the summary of the changes below,

  • Microsoft has made changes to the architecture of conhost.exe, the window that manages input and output for character-mode applications. The primary function of it remains the same. Many other apps depends on this console functionality, and if you find any compatibility issues, you can switch back to the old console host very easily.
  • Microsoft has made a handful of internal changes to the row buffer and drawing logic to accommodate some new features.
  • When a console window is launched, settings are applied in a specific order:
    1. A global setting that determines whether the new console features are enabled is applied
    2. Default console settings are loaded from the HKCUConsole registry key
    3. Any differences between the default settings and per title registry settings override those above
    4. When launched from a shortcut, any settings stored within that shortcut override or supplement all settings above
  • If you attempt to stretch the window width greater than the existing buffer size, we assume that you wanted to make the buffer bigger as well without all that messing around with the Properties dialog. Conversely, shrinking the window width will attempt to shrink the buffer size back down again to the smallest available size that will hold what you already have in the buffer.
  • Microsoft has now added Word wrap. The architectural changes made allowed them to deal with the fact that the console loses all context to the text when it is placed into the buffer.
  • Line Selection: By default, click-and-drag selection (and standard selection shortcut keys) will understand and select line by line. If you need to select in block mode, simply hold down the ALT key when starting a selection. In line selection mode, copy operations will unspool the lines of text when placing them onto the clipboard; you no longer have to remove the line breaks.
  • Support for keyboard selection.
  • Support for keyboard shortcuts such as Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, etc.
  • These keys function in mark mode. You can enter this mode by right-clicking anywhere in the console title bar and choosing Edit->Mark from the context menu, or via the new shortcut combination, CTRL-M. In the legacy console, mark mode always resulted in block mode text selection. While in mark mode, you will need to hold down the ALT key at the start of a text selection command to leverage block mode in the new console.
  •  High DPI display support: if you select one of the TrueType fonts for your console window we automatically scale the font size per-monitor to an appropriate size.
  • Console windows can now be semi-transparent.
  • The default line buffer height has been increased to 9000 lines.

Read more at Windows team blog.

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