|Purpose:||Display the beginning of the specified file(s)|
|Format:||HEAD [/= /A:[[-][+]rhsadecijopt] /B /Cn /I"text" /N[+]n /O:[-]acdeginorstuz /P /Q /V] [@file] file...|
|file||The file or list of files that you want to display.|
|@file||A text file containing the names of the files to display, one per line (see @file lists for details).|
Internet: Can be used with FTP/HTTP Servers, e.g.
The HEAD command displays the first part of a file or files. It is normally only useful for displaying ASCII text files (i.e. alphanumeric characters arranged in lines separated by CR/LF). Executable files (.EXE) and many data files may be unreadable when displayed with HEAD because they include non-alphanumeric characters or unusual line separators.
You can press Ctrl-S to pause HEAD's display and then any key to continue.
The following example displays the first 15 lines of the files MEMO1 and MEMO2:
head /n15 memo1 memo2
To display text from the clipboard use CLIP: as the file name. CLIP: will not return any data if the clipboard does not contain text. See Highlighting and Copying Text for additional information on CLIP:.
If you don't enter any arguments, HEAD will display its command dialog.
HEAD sets two internal variables:
|%_head_files||The number of files displayed|
|%_head_errors||The number of errors|
HEAD will recognize Unicode (UTF-16) files based on either a BOM or specific UTF-16 sequences at the beginning of the file. HEAD will recognize UTF-8 files based on either a BOM or UTF-8 extended characters within the first 2K of the file.
HEAD can also display files on FTP/HTTP Servers. For example:
NTFS File Streams
HEAD supports file streams on NTFS drives. You can type an individual stream by specifying the stream name, for example:
|/=||Display the HEAD command dialog to help you set the filename and command line options. The /= option can be anywhere on the line; additional options will set the appropriate fields in the command dialog.|
|/A:||Select only those files that have the specified attribute(s) set. See Attribute Switches for information on the attributes which can follow /A:. Do not use /A: with @file lists. See @file lists for details.|
You can specify /A:= to display a dialog to help you set individual attributes.
|/C:||Display the specified number of bytes. /C accepts a b, k, or m modifiers at the end of the number. b is the number of 512-byte blocks, k is the number of kilobytes, and m the number of megabytes.|
|/I"text"||Select files by matching text in their descriptions. The text can include wildcards and extended wildcards. The search text must be enclosed in double quotes, and must follow the /I immediately, with no intervening spaces. You can select all filenames that have a description with /I"[?]*", or all filenames that do not have a description with /I"". Do not use /I with @file lists. See @file lists for details.|
|/N+n||Skip the first n lines.|
You may use any combination of the sorting options below. If multiple options are used, the listing will be sorted with the first sort option as the primary key, the next as the secondary key, and so on:
|n||Sort by filename and extension, unless e is explicitly included. This is the default.|
|-||Reverse the sort order for the next sort key|
|a||Sort names and extensions in standard ASCII order, instead of numerically when numeric substrings are included in the name or extension.|
|c||Sort by compression ratio|
|d||Sort by date and time (oldest first); also see /T:acw|
|e||Sort by extension|
|g||Group subdirectories first, then files|
|i||Sort by description|
|o||Sort by owner|
|r||Reverse the sort order for all options|
|s||Sort by size|
|t||Same as d|
|z||Same as s|
|/Q||Do not display a header for each file. This is the default behavior, but an explicit /Q may be needed to override an alias that forces /V.|