This has bothered my since 4DOS days. DOS/Windows has the concept of a CWD, current working directory, but what you really want is a SOURCE CWD and TARGET CWD or Primary/Secondary CWD. Then any thing that worked across directories or directory trees would be much simpler. copy x.txt y.txt instead of copy E:\a\b\c\x.txt F:\bks\a\b\c\y.txt if prime:x.txt exists if exist sec:t.txt echo dup t I am not sure quite what syntax you would need to indicate primary and secondary that would not break existing scripts. You can do things like set source=xxx set target=yyy if %source\x.txt exists if exist %target\t.txt echo dup t I just wondered what might be possible be build the concept in more smoothly. I originally envisioned something like QDOS or Magellan with a source and target panel so it was always visually clear which directories would be acted upon when you say selected some files for copy.