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Configuration Options

You can configure many aspects of PromptPal's behavior and appearance.

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Startup configuration options let you change how PromptPal behaves at launch and when new tabs are opened.


Default Shell

Defines the shell that will be used when you open a new tab using "File -> New Tab" or via the toolbar. You can also open a new tab using a different shell via File -> New Tab Advanced.


Default Directory

This defines the directory that PromptPal will use when you open a new tab. It may also be the directory that PromptPal starts in when it is launched (though this depends on other settings - see below). It's best to choose a directory that is always accessible - i.e. avoid paths to removable media drives.

Initial Command Line

This specifies a command line that will be executed every single time a new tab starts up. If non-blank, the command will be executed prior to any other commands, even those passed through to PromptPal via the command line. You might use this to run a batch file that pre-configures the shell environment, for example.

Starting Directory / Tabs

PromptPal defaults to opening with a single tab, at the default directory (see above). If you prefer, you can make PromptPal open with a "working set" of tabs. Each tab will open at its own starting directory, using the shell you specified.


Preferences include a mixture of settings that control PromptPal's appearance and editing behavior.

Command Info Bar

You can change the font and font size used by PromptPal's command syntax bar.
Main Window - Appearance

You can change the background color, text color, font, font size and bold setting for PromptPal's main window.

Main Window - Editing

Settings in this group affect general editing behavior within PromptPal.


Up/Down arrow keys navigate command history

This is ON by default, allowing you to tap the UP arrow key to quickly select the most recent command. Tapping the UP arrow key again takes you further back through PromptPal's stored command history, while the DOWN arrow key navigates in the opposite direction.

If you turn this setting off, the UP/DOWN arrow keys will revert to their standard function in the current shell (which in many cases will mean that they now operate the shell's own inbuilt but non-persistent command history).

Return/Enter selects from auto-complete list

If enabled, hitting the RETURN or ENTER key while an autocomplete popup list item is selected indicates your intention to use that item in your command. The text is copied to the current line, and the popup window closes, but the command line is not executed until you hit RETURN again. (If no popup is present then a single tap of the RETURN key will execute the command line, as expected). This setting defaults to disabled.

Space bar selects from auto-complete list

This setting determines whether the SPACE bar takes the current selection from a popup auto-complete list or not. The default for this setting is disabled, meaning that hitting the space bar when a popup list is present simply closes the list and appends a space to your command line. If you enable this setting then the space bar will take the currently selected auto-complete item and insert it into your command line, along with a space character.

Tab selects from auto-complete list

This setting determines whether the TAB key takes the current selection from a popup auto-complete list or not. The default for this setting is enabled.

Autocomplete popup for commands

Untick this to disable the popup list at the start of the command line.

Autocomplete popup for switches

Untick this to disable the popup list when you start typing a command switch (/,-).

Command Autocomplete includes history

By default the command autocomplete popup is a mixture of known commands and non-duplicate commands lines in the history (plus any favorites you've defined). If you disable this setting, the command popup will list only known commands.

Use new-style Browse For Folders

This applies to the "Insert Directory" command, which summons the Windows folder browsing dialog. On recent operating systems, Windows actually has two versions of this dialog. The older version, which is the default used by PromptPal, is a little primitive but opens very quickly and is particularly keyboard-friendly. The newer version is altogether more polished - it's resizable and has a "Make new folder" button. It's also a little slower to open and is more suited to heavy mouse users. The choice is yours...

Browse for Folders edit has initial focus

Regardless of the type of folder-browsing dialog in use, this setting tries to force initial input focus into the dialog's edit box. On some systems, the dialog usually comes up with input focus on the drive "tree" if this setting is not enabled.


Some more settings that apply to the PromptPal application:

Single Window Mode

When this setting is enabled, any operation that would normally create a new PromptPal window will instead create a new tab in the current window - if one exists.

Always show tabs

Ordinarily the row of tabs is hidden if there is only one tab, and displayed when more tabs are created. If you enable this setting, the tab row will be shown all the time.

Tab name follows dir

When set, the name of each tab changes automatically to reflect the current directory in that tab. If you disable it, you can provide a fixed name for each tab yourself.

Use wizard when adding new command information

By default, PromptPal uses a step-by-step "wizard" when you extend its list of recognized commands. If you regularly add new commands you may prefer to skip the wizard and go directly to command information editing screen.


Command History

View the current command history held by PromptPal. You can delete commands you'd like to remove, and change the number of commands that the history is capable of storing. You can also mark certain commands as "favorites".

Maximum Size

Each time a command is used, it is placed on the history. The history has a finite size, and when this limit is exceeded, the least recently used command(s) are automatically removed.


You can mark certain commands in the history as favorites. Such commands will stay in the history even if you don't use them for a long time. This is particularly useful for hard-to-remember command lines that are only used infrequently but are a pain to reconstruct!

Another advantage of favorite commands is that they are shown in their own sub-menu in both PromptPal (Commands->Favorites) and the taskbar band (right-click- >Favorites).

Clear history at the end of each session

In its default configuration, PromptPal stores the command history on disk, and shares it between all open PromptPal windows and the taskbar band. For security/privacy reasons you may wish to disable this behavior by ticking the setting "Clear history at the end of each session". If you do so, the command history will no longer be held on disk.

Don't Show This Again

Occasionally PromptPal displays informative messages - e.g. to confirm successful saving of a text file. Most of these message screens have a checkbox titled "Don't show this again" - when ticked, PromptPal will refrain from displaying that particular message again. Under certain circumstances, you may wish to allow these messages to be shown once more, and that's what this page is for.

The list shows all messages that are currently suppressed. To enable a message to be shown again, simply select it in the list and hit the Delete button.

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