I spend about half my time in Windows with at least one command prompt window open, and usually more than one. Some things just go smoother with a CLI to work with, though that obviously depends a lot on what kind of computer user you are. But after a few days this week of having three consoles open constantly I began to wonder about tabs. My web browser has tabs, my text editor has tabs, why not my console? A Google search turned up a few-but not many-options, and the winner was called, simply, Console. It’s an open source project that gives you a nice, configurable, tabbed interface to keep all your consoles in. It customization options are plentiful, letting you choose fonts, colors, transparency, background images, shortcut keys, even cursors. You can also set up as many different kinds of consoles you want-you’re not just limited to the standard Windows command prompt. You can run any Windows command line app in its own tab, e.g Windows PowerShell (Monad), Cygwin, your favorite programming language’s interactive prompt, or even Zork, and you can set each one up with its own keyboard shortcut. It’s not a perfect app, though: it’s easy to use, but some of the settings are cryptic and documentation is non-existent, and though I wouldn’t call it a memory hog, it does take up more memory than the regular Windows prompt, especially if you’re using several tabs and some of the eye-candy options. But it is a very cool app, and one that could easily become an indispensable part of your workflow. Oh, and it stores its configuration in a .xml file, which makes it portable-storage-friendly. Since the Sourceforge download pages can be a bit confusing, here’s a direct download link to the latest beta version (or you can grab the latest stable version here).
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