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Take Command Configuration Tweaks, Tips, and Tricks

Take Command offers a number of additional settings you can use to adjust it to your working style. All of the tweaks on this page are made through the Take Command configuration dialog, which you access through the menu: Options / Configure Take Command...

You might find the handling of Alt-key and Control-key combinations in Take Command surprising or even frustrating. Key combinations that you intended for TCC (or some other console program) instead affect Take Command, or vice versa. There are settings on the “Tabs” tab which will help. The “Left Alt Key”, “Right Alt Key”, “Left Ctrl Key”, and “Right Ctrl Key”tick boxes let you choose which key combinations affect which components. If a box is checked, key combinations using that key will be handled by the Take Command GUI. If it isn't checked, they will instead be passed to the program running in the tabbed console pane — most often TCC, but possibly CMD.EXE or the MS-DOS Editor or some other program.

The default configuration has Left Alt Key on —controlling Take Command's menu — and Right Alt Key off — it affects the console pane. I personally find that the opposite configuration works better for me: Left Alt Key off and Right Alt Key on. If you always use the mouse to operate Take Command's menus, you might prefer to turn both Alt keys off.

The Alt-Key and Control-Key options do not affect user hotkeys defined through the Customize dialog, by the way. User hotkeys take precedence over any other use of their key combinations, regardless of the Alt-key and Control-key settings on this page, and whether you press the left or right Alt (or Control) key.

Also on the “Tabs” tab you will find default Foreground and Background color options; these affect all new tabs started by Take Command. These are of limited usefulness if you mostly use TCC, which has its own color configuration options; if you mainly use TCC, I would recommend leaving them both at“Default” and using TCC commands like COLOR and CLS instead. But if you often use Take Command as a graphical “wrapper” for other shells such as CMD.EXE or bash, you may find these useful to specify a default color for new shells.

“Single Instance” and “Minimize to Tray”, both on the Windows tab, are worth experimenting with. Single Instance prevents you from having multiple copies of Take Command open at the same time; starting a second copy while Single Instance is set just brings the first instance to the foreground. Minimize to Tray does exactly that: if it's set, minimizing the Take Command window puts an icon in the system tray, instead of taking up space on the task bar.

On the Advanced tab, the “Minimize on Close” option causes Take Command to minimize instead of closing when the big red X in the upper-right corner is clicked. This is useful if you find yourself accidentally exiting Take Command (and multiple console sessions) when you only meant to close one console tab. You can still exit Take Command by individually closing all console tabs, or through the menu with File / Exit.

Also on the Advanced tab there are pair of useful options affecting the List View window. “Show File Extensions” causes file extensions to be displayed even if Explorer is set to hide them. If file extensions are not shown, set this option (and consider fixing Explorer's settings too — hiding file extensions is not a good idea.)“Show Hidden Files” causes all files and subdirectories to be displayed, regardless of the Hidden and System attributes. Turn this option on if you frequently work with hidden files.

Copyright © 2011-2023, Charles Dye