A better Windows command line experience using Console2

In my day-to-day work, I use a Windows PC (that’s what they offer). I also use the command line for several operations, like running local servers (Jetty for one project, Tomcat for another), using Grunt to monitor my Less files and update my local CSS files (one project uses Grunt directly, another uses Maven to run Grunt), and both of those projects use Git as a repo and to trigger continuous integration and deployment. Yes, all of that, every day.

So, with all of the above happening at the same time, I typically have at least six Windows command line windows open. And bouncing between them just gets annoying. So, a couple times before I have tried looking for some way to unify all those individual command line windows into a single, tabbed application, but had not found anything that I loved. Until now.

One of my biggest gripes with what I tried before was that all the tabs had the exact same, nondescript name, usually something like “Cmd”… Of course, if I open them all in the same order every day, it wouldn’t be that hard to memorize which was which, but its the fact that bothers me…

So today I installed Console2 (I’m not sure why searches for Console2 list this product page, which says just Console, but the Download button URL links to Console2, and that’s what the product downloads as… whatever.).

Initially I had the same tab-name problem: all tabs got the same name (I think it was “Console”)… But then I dug into the Settings panel a little (Edit > Settings, or Ctrl+S)…

Not only can you customize the name of each tab, but you can create a list of tabs, each with their own custom name, directory to automatically open that tab to, Shell script to run as soon as that tab opens, icon to use for that tab, and more! You can even customize the keyboard shortcuts to match what you are likely already used to (like changing Open New Tab to Ctrl+T, etc.).

The article that convinced me to try Console2 is from , in which he gives some good advice for set-up. So, thanks Scott!

Then I stumbled across this article, which says it’s about Console2, but then describes how to install and customize ConsoleZ (not sure why none of these can keep their names straight!), and then goes on to talk about just about everything one could possibly consider doing via the command line… But the author makes ConsoleZ sound pretty good (I especially like the syntax highlighting!), so I might just check it out too!

Hopefully this helps someone that has been having the same problem, and I would love to hear from anyone that uses either of these, especially what they like and dislike after using for some time; alternative options are also always nice to hear about… :-)

Happy command lining,
Atg

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