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DOS Tools


MS-DOS was always a little sparse, MS doing the least amount of developement they could get away with (remember the countless magazine pages written when they finally added an external MOVE command?). In consequence uncountable little tools and utilities were developed by individuals and companies, or ported from grown up operating systems like Unix. Here's a small and very personal selection:




  DOS Enhancers      Batch Enhancers      Text Utilities   

  Communication      Internet Utilities 



DOS Enhancers

Most of these utilties together don't do as much as 4DOS alone, where all of this functionality and more is built-in :-)
  • 4DOS              The ultimate DOS enhancer: a replacement for command.com with a ton of new internal commands, internal variables, built-in functions, aliases, enhanced command line editing, colored dirs, file lister, select boxes, quick dir changes, and much more. - by Rex Conn, JP Software
  • ACD 300           Fast directory change (à la 4DOS's fuzzy dir or NCD or LCD). This one can handle Win95 LFNs, but not NT's. Freeware. - by A. Merckens
  • CED 1.0           Command line editor. Good Doskey replacement. In 4DOS comfortable command line editing is a built-in feature . - by Cristopher J. Dunford
  • COLORDIR 1.5      ColorDIR is a replacement for DOS's DIR command. It uses color to make it easy to spot different types of files. It sorts by name, extension, date or size, and it even handles international date and time formats for my Canadian friends. (built-in feature in 4DOS). Freeware. - by Loren Blaney
  • Consize           A resizer for the console. Translation: a scrollbar for the command prompt window in Win9x.
  • DIRECT 1.3        Complete path- and filenames with ALT-Tab from the command line and in user progs. - by Tobias Polzin
  • MS Technet        Tips for optimizing performance for WfW 3.1 plus specific information about using EMM386.
  • SCROLLIT 1.8      Another backscroll buffer, if you don't want to use Ansiplus. Shareware. - by Bromfield Software Products.

Batch Enhancers


  • 4DOS              Surely the most powerful single prog to enhance DOS batching. See my Info page
  • Compare           Compares 2 files with errorlevel return. - by Dan Goodell. (MS-DOS' own FC utility does not return a meaningful errorlevel, making it nearly useless for batch purposes).
  • Commandiux        Comandiux is multipurpose command line system utility. Enhances standard windows environment with many new features. Automates various activities and ads power to batch files. - by Marian Hubinsky.
  • ExtraDOS Toolbox  ExtraDOS Toolbox Professional is a compilation of powerful and sophisticated tools for MS-DOS users. - by Foley Hi-tech Systems
  • FSUM              A fast and handy command line utility for file integrity verification. It offers a choice of 13 of the most popular hash and checksum functions for file message digest and checksum calculation. - by Slavasoft
  • GnuWin32          Quite a lot of utilities: GnuWin32 provides Win32-versions of GNU tools (Unix), or tools with a similar open source licence. The ports are native ports, that is they rely only on libraries provided with any 32-bits MS-Windows operating system, such as MS-Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / NT / XP
  • PC V-Menu         Free. A DOS menu system. This is the public version of the popular GMENU program found throughout the Army - by John Junod
  • StupenDOS         Programmable DOS shell with integrated zip/unzip. Supports 4DOS descriptions. Long abandoned shareware - by Eclipse Technologies Inc
  • XSET              XSET allows you to put data into variables of the current DOS, Windows, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP or OS/2 environment and use it as if you had assigned it the value with the standard command SET. - by Marc Stern. Good, but not as efficient as 4DOS.
  • XXCOPY            A very much enhanced and in some cases indispensable free copy command (you can even duplicate entire bootable system drives) in 16 and 32 bit versions. There's an enhanced commercial Pro version. - by Pixelab

Text Utilities

Parsing of text files is a frequently encountered chore in DOS, and lot's of tools have been developed to help in this. Here are a few:

  • Code Chameleon    Code anything easily with this powerful, flexible, and extensible editor supporting multitudes of programming and scripting languages: ActionScript, Active Server Pages (ASP), ADA, Apache, BASIC, batch files, C, C++, C#, Cascading Style Sheets (css), ColdFusion templates, Fortran, HTML, Java, JavaScript, Pascal, Perl script, PHP, SQL, TCL, and VB Script. Includes Intellisense, and project and code templates. - Shareware by Dr. Alex, C Point Pty Ltd.
  • ConTEXT           ConTEXT is a small, fast and powerful text editor, developed mainly to serve as secondary tool for software developers. After years and years searching for suitable Windows text editor, I haven't found any of them to completely satisfy my needs, so I wrote my own. Freeware by Eden Kirin
  • Crimson Editor    Crimson Editor is a free professional source code editor for Windows, fast and small. While it can serve as a good replacement for Notepad, it also offers many powerful features for programming languages such as HTML, C/C++, Perl and Java. - by Ingyu Kang
  • Elvis             Elvis  is a very powerful vi/ex clone providing a remarkable number of bells and whistles like syntax highlighting, multiple files in multiple windows, browse modes for LaTeX (rather experimental), HTML and MAN pages, networking support (http and ftp) and GUI frontends for some of its platforms (DOS among others). - by Steve Kirkendall
  • Epsilon           Epsilon by Lugaru features powerful built-in Emacs-style and Brief-style command sets, incredible performance, convenient built-in help etc. Commercial software.
  • GAWK for DOS      Port of GNU AWK  V.3.04: a pattern scanning and processing language for working on text files. Free. - by Rob Duff
  • GSAR              Win32 General Search and Replace utility for text and binary files. - by Tormod Tjaberg
  • Cyberside         Good overview of and links to text formatters and filters.
  • JFE               Jens' File Editor, a free editor from a german author with lots of useful features . - by Jens Altmann
  • Notepad2          Notepad2 is a small, fast and free (Windows) text editor with syntax highlighting for HTML and other common languages, eg. Batch :-).
  • Pedit             Pedit is a freeware DOS editor similar to, but better than the standard DOS edit program. - by Goldshell Digital Media
  • RPSORT 1.02       Very enhanced SORT filter, large files, multiple keys, etc. Freeware. - by Bob Pirko
  • Q-EDIT 3c         QEdit Advanced, SemWare's shareware text editor, gr8! Free. Replaced by TSE junior. There's a test version of TSE 2.5 f. DOS. by Semware Inc.
  • Scintilla         Scintilla's SCITE is a free 32-bit editor. It comes with complete source code and a license that permits use in any free project or commercial product. As well as features found in standard text editors, Scintilla includes features especially useful when editing and debugging source code. These include support for syntax styling, error indicators, code completion and call tips (for 4NT / 4DOS). - Open source project.
  • SED for DOS       Port of Unix SED V. 1.5, a Stream EDitor for working on text files. Free. - by Eric S. Raymond, David P Kirschbaum & Howard L. Helman. A good SED site is Eric Pement's
  • SourceEdit        Brixoft Source Edit is a free editor especially made for developers. It has syntax highlighters for all the most common computer languages and if you miss one you easily create your own with the built-in Language Editor.
  • TED Notepad       Another free text editor with many interesting features - by Juraj Simlovic
  • TEXTools          TEXTools is a powerful pipe-based text editing workbench for Windows that allows you to morph text into other forms quickly. TEXTools can be utilized from batch files, (using TEXTools Command Line) scripting languages such as VBScript, JScript, Perl, Python, etc. and also from programs written in languages such as Visual Basic, Delphi, C++, etc. Commercial app by Firefly Software.
  • Text Tools        Short.Stop's pages for free text format utils and filters for DOS, a very comprehensive site.
  • VDE               Eric Meyers's VDE, a small, fast text editor and word processor that is surprisingly powerful and customizable. - maintained by Dennis McCunney
  • Unicode CharMap   Free Online Unicode Character Map, - by Alan Iwi


The Fax programs:
  • BGFAX             Version 1.60. - by B. J. Guillot
  • BITFAX            Version 3.09. - by BIT Software

The 3 big T comm programs of the DOS era:

  • Telemate          Telemate was my favourite as a comm program. Very powerful and easy to use. (Program is split into 4 files at this site! Be careful to get them all). - by White River Software
  • Telix             Telix for DOS is still a commercial communications product, celebrating its tenth anniversary. It boasts a long feature list while maintaining a small size and ease of use. Windows version available. - by deltaComm
  • Terminate         Extremely Powerful Terminal Program w. many
    Features. - by Datacomm

Generally useful sites:

  • CAPI/Fossil       Collection of CAPI Fossil drivers. - by Robert E. Juge
  • ISDN-Seite        German Site with help, info and downloads. by Peter Zwosta
  • Robert E. Juge    BBS-oriented file collection with many comm programs, offline readers, BBS systems and utilities, othr DOS programs and more.
  • Modem Commands    The standard Hayes modem command set explained
  • Rinet             Many comm programs and tools. Very useful file collection.

Internet Utilities

I have no experience of my own with these programs except Crosspoint. I've tried to concentrate on sites of people who make a competent impression here.

  • Arachne           DOS Web Browser. - by Arachne Labs. A new maintainer has taken Arachne up to v.1.8n here.
  • Blat              Blat - A Win32 command line SMTP/NNTP mailer. Use it to automatically eMail logs, the contents of a html FORM, or whatever else you need to send. - By Pedro Mendes, Mark Neal et. al.
  • C. dela Cruz      WWW Bowsers for DOS
  • Crynwr            Good collection of packet drivers. - by Russel Nelson
  • Greg Covey        TCP/IP for DOS using the WATTCP clients.
  • Crosspoint        The ultimative german DOS newsreader for usenet, Fido. MausNet ... - by Peter Mandrella. It's still being been developed further under the GNU license as FreeXP, OpenXP and XP2.
  • H. Eisenberger    DOS Internet Links,  TCP/IP, PPP, Browsers, Newsreaders...
  • Dendarii Nexus   Dos Internet pages with FAQs and many links. - by Michael Bernardi
  • Drop My Rights    DropMyRights is a very simple application to help users who must run as an administrator run applications in a much-safer context—that of a non-administrator. It does this by taking the current user's token, removing various privileges and SIDs from the token, and then using that token to start another process, such as Internet Explorer or Outlook. This tool works just as well with Mozilla's Firefox, Eudora, or Lotus Notes e-mail.
  • FDISK.COM         DOS Internet pages, a good collection of links to DOS Internet-realted software, drivers, ...
  • Getmail           The perfect companion to Blat: Getmail can be used to automatically extract MIME encoded or UU encoded binary files as it downloads your mail. - by Tim Charron
  • Martin Goebbel    Getnews, Sendnews, and other command line programs.
  • Wayne Janzen      FDISK.COM: DOS and the Internet. Tools, links and infos for Internet access from DOS.
  • Dan Kegel         MS-DOS TCP/IP Programming
  • Dan Komáromi      Setting up Email in DOS with today's ISP using a dialup PPP TCP/IP connection
  • Richard Kroonen   Email for DOS
  • Jim Lawless       MailSend is a Win32 command-line SMTP Internet e-mail transmission utility. It provides the ability to send e-mail from batch files, scripts, executable programs, or any tool capable of running a secondary program.
  • Fred C. Macall    Fred's DOS Internet Software: Tips, links, programs  to set up Internet access with an old PC
  • Lynx              DOS Web Browser. - by University of Kansas, GNU public licence. Also WGET and CURL at this site.
  • Make Me Admin     When you run it, you get a Command Prompt running under your normal user account, but in a new logon session in which it is a member of the Administrators group. This Command Prompt and any programs started from it use your regular profile, authenticate as you on the network, but have full local admin privileges. All other programs continue to run with your regular, unprivileged account.
  • Mercury           Advanced textbased dosmailer for small Computers. Runs in plain DOS and Dosbox of WINDOWS ME
  • PuTTY             PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32 and Unix platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator. Written and maintained primarily by Simon Tatham.
  • RunasSPC          Many users are working under administrator account, because some programs are missing administrator rights to run correctly.
    With runasspc a standard user has not to login as administrator to run this applications. Free for private use.
  • SSH-Client        SSHDOS is an open source SSH, SCP, SFTP and Telnet client for DOS.
  • TCP/IP f. MS-DOS  This document outlines using the University of Waterloo TCP (WATTCP) clients under MS-DOS.
  • Telnet-Client     Sources for DOS-based Internet programs. - by NCSA
  • Telnet Scripting Tool   Windows telnet is not scriptable. Telnet Scripting Tool is a utility to automate telnet sessions (like calling dip on a linux system, or doing router maintenance for example).
  • Tropinet          The DOS user's guide to the Internet

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