Would you like the benefits of both the command line and a GUI?


The command line is very versatile. You can tell it to do almost anything. BUT, it is a pain in the neck at times:

  • You have to enter long sequences of characters to tell it exactly where things are.
  • You have to configure the PATH variable.
  • You have to type in lots of parameters.

The GUI (Graphical User Interface) is easy to use: pick this, run that, etc. BUT:

  • It is really limited in what you can do.
  • Unless you manually add lots of options to the right-click menu.
  • Even if you do, you can’t change your mind for “this one”.

Versatile. Or easy. I wanted both.


GuiCmd is a mix of both, with some extras blended in. You can type a command line and click the Run button (or just press ENTER).

You can pick programs or files or directories from a GUI and have it type the path in for you. You can specify (or change) any option. It even remembers where your favorite programs are. And it remembers your favorite options too.

Pick Files or Directories

Imagine being able to type a command line and, when you get to a path, just click “File, Add Directory” or “File, Add File”. Pick the one you mean, and keep typing.

Know before you Go

Add options before the path, after the path, or both. As many as you need, in any order you need. Review what you’ve got, change anything you want, and when you’re ready click Run (or press ENTER). That’s a lot easier.

The PATH variable

If you’ve used the Cmd prompt a bit before now you’ll know about the PATH variable. That determines where Windows looks for programs. It was a great idea at the time and it IS really useful. You don’t have to know where you installed a program. Windows’ll just go and find it for you. There are a few catches though:

  • You have to have included the install directory in the PATH.
  • There mustn’t be another program with the same name earlier in the PATH.
  • There are two different PATH variables (system and user).

One of the less obvious catches is how long it takes to find the program. Have you ever entered a command, hit ENTER and had it just sit there? That’s Windows going looking. You know you mean Adobe Photoshop or the GNU C Compiler; but Windows doesn’t. It goes through every directory in the PATH to find what you mean – even if you just ran the program 5 minutes ago. If the program is in a directory at the end of the path, it has to look through every other directory first.

The idea is good. It worked really well in the past. It still works today even though we all have much bigger computers with lots more storage and lots more programs installed to do lots more things.

GuiCmd uses a much older technique that is simpler, easier and which actually works better. It surprised me when I realized it. The simplicity is this: rather than going looking through a lot of directories for a specific program, why not just have a list of programs? I’m sure you have a lot of programs. I do too. But “gcc” means a specific program in a specific directory for me (maybe for you too, though your directory may be different). Looking through every file in every possible executable directory is a lot slower than reading through one list of programs.

Won’t it take forever to setup that list? Won’t it be impossible to keep it up to date? No and No.

Again, it’s real easy. GuiCmd isn’t taking anything away. If it runs now it’ll run with GuiCmd. If you’d like to make something easier to run just add that command and your favorite options to GuiCmd’s “intrinsics” list. You type the command (eg gcc) and it knows what you mean (eg c:\mingw\bin\gcc.exe -O3 … -std=c99 -l…).


There are times when I need to put the current date or time (or both) into a file name. Different people have different preferences for the format for this sort of thing. As a result, GuiCmd understands the current date and time and can insert this (in most formats) into any part of a command line for you. You can also add it into an intrinsic line and it’ll just timestamp those bits for you every time.

Ever wish the programmer had called a program by a better name? I think “CmdTwain” is aptly named but others may think “scan” or “scandoc” would have been an easier name to remember. Well GuiCmd will allow you to name things what you want without changing any existing program file names.

Mainly for demonstration, GuiCmd comes with “scan” meaning run CmdTwain from the default location and save the result in your documents folder. (It is set up for Vista / 7 / 8. You should change it to use “My Documents” if you’re using Win XP). You’d need a copy of CmdTwain to try it, but you don’t have to try it and the point is for you to configure it for what you want. All of the intrinsic commands are editable in Notepad. GuiCmd even has an option which opens the list in Notepad for you.

Ever wished you could do a “dir” and get the result in Notepad? Also mainly for demonstration, type dirlst in GuiCmd and you’ll get it. Or use “dirlst c:\” or “dirlst” and click File / Add Directory.

What Does It Cost?

Nothing. It’s another of my freebies. You can use it yourself, use it with or in your own programs, give it away, or sell it to others if you like.

If you sell it, you are required by the license to give me 10%. You don’t have to pay a dime if you give the software away and charge a customer for installing it or supporting it.

The intent here is really about you making 90% affiliate commision if you on-sell it and you being able to choose a price that suits your market.

Where Do I Get It?

Right here:


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