What are the experimental Console features in Windows 10?

Windows 10 – all you heard about it. Microsoft recently released a Technical Preview version of it to the Windows Insiders opted for it. In ... - Article authored by Kunal Chowdhury on .

Windows 10 – all you heard about it. Microsoft recently released a Technical Preview version of it to the Windows Insiders opted for it. In this release, there is an option to play with some new features coming into Console Window.


Today in this post, we will go thru them and understand what these options actually means. Continue reading and share your views about those cool new features.



Microsoft currently working on to improve the Console Window functionalities in Windows 10. In the Technical Preview version, they added few experimental switches to enable those functionalities to let the users try and report any feedback or suggestions. By default, these features are not activated. To enable them, open any Command Window and go to it’s properties.


In the console properties window, you will now see a new tab item named “Experimental”. This tab exposes few options to enable/disable the extra functionalities. Click on the first checkbox that says “Enable experimental console features”. When checked, this will enable the other checkboxes for you to activate each features explicitly.


Navigate to the Experimental tab of Windows 10 Console Properties (www.kunal-chowdhury.com)    Select the checkbox to Enable experimental console features (www.kunal-chowdhury.com)


Let’s see what those features actually means and how they work. But before going further on this discussion, remember that, if you change any values in this screen will not apply to the console unless you re-launch the console window.


Enable line wrapping selection

If you work in Console window, it’s a very good feature for you to select and copy multiline texts from it. Earlier to Windows 10, there was a box selection functionality which would provide an unformatted text. So, we had to copy them into some text editor and fix all those extra line breaks to format into a single line text.


But in Windows 10, the selection process goes multiline with wrapped text. You can see a demonstration of the same below:


Windows 10 - Line wrapping selection in Console Window

Isn’t it a good feature? Drop a line below mentioning how this can help you. As this is currently in development stage, it might change a bit in future release of the OS.


Filter clipboard contents on paste

This happens many time when we copy a text with single or more tabs in it and paste it to Console window. Then we have to manually remove those extra spaces. But in Windows 10, when you enable this feature and paste those extra bits into console window, it automatically filters out that extra spaces and provides you a more cleaner text. Have a look at the below demonstration:


Windows 10 - Filter clipboard contents on paste


Wrap text output on resize

When you enable this feature in your console window, you will be able to see that the texts inside the window wraps to a new line when you resize the window. Currently the text wraps by character, but Microsoft team is working to provide word wrapping in future releases. Here you can see a demo of the functionality:


Windows 10 - Wrap text output on resize


Enable new Ctrl key shortcuts

Did you ever try to use Ctrl + A, Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V key combinations in Console window to select all, copy and paste respectively? I am sure, you were upset all the time when the prompt didn’t apply those key combinations for you. Isn’t it? Ok, not to worry more. Microsoft heard users voice and introduced this in Windows 10 command window.


Windows 10 - Enable new CTRL key shortcuts


When you enable new Ctrl key shortcuts, you will be able to do those basic operations (like Ctrl + A, Ctrl + C, Ctrl +V etc.) inside console window. Not only this, there are some more key combinations are supported by it.


Use Ctrl + M key to enter into “Mark Mode” which will you to do selection of text and move cursor within the Window. When you use Ctrl + Shift + Right Arrow, this will extend the selection one word right. Similarly for Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow allows you to extend the selection one word left.


Apart from this, Microsoft is also working to add few more key combinations like Ctrl + ‘+’ and Ctrl + ‘-‘ to increase and decrease the font size of the console window. We will see if they provides them in the future releases.


Extended edit keys

Microsoft also added few more keys for doing edit purpose. When you are in Mark Mode, you will be able to use them. To copy and paste text, you can alternatively use Ctrl + INS and Sift + INS keys respectively. Shift + Left Arrow and Shift + Right Arrow allows you to extend the selection to left or right by one character. Shift + Up Arrow and Shift + Down Arrow allows you to extend the selection by one line from the current cursor position to up or down.


There are plenty of other keys also. Scott Hanselman wrote a detailed post on this mentioning all the keys and their respective functions. You must want to read the post “Windows 10 gets a fresh command prompt and lots of hotkeys” to know more about it.


Trim leading zeros on selection

These happens sometime when few nos. shown in the screen with leading zeros (e.g. account nos.). Generally banks adds those leading zeros to create account no. of 16 digits or so. Though these nos. have extra zeros but the actual no. is without them. When you enable this feature and double click on those nos., it will actually select the actual no. without those leading zeros. Checkout the demo below:


Windows 10 - Trim leading zeros on selection



Not sure how this will benefit the users but it helped me to create the demo screenshots for this post. You can see the image shown in the “Wrap text output on resize” section, how I overlapped a 100% opacity image over a 50% opacity image to create the feel of window resizing.


Whatever the usage, you can now set a opacity of the window to value from 30% to 100%. Lesser the value means the window will be transparent.


End Note

These are definitely some cool features introduced in Console Window of Windows Technical Preview (aka. Windows 10 or Windows Threshold). Microsoft is currently working on other features to add in future releases. Their users voice page shows few already done, few are in-progress and few in their backlog. If you have any feedback and/or feature suggestion to include in future release of Console Window, add them here in the users voice page: https://wpdev.uservoice.com/forums/266908. And yes, don’t forget to vote the existing ones which you want to see in future.


Liked the post and the demonstration? Drop a line below with your suggestions to improve my articles. Connect with me over Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to say “Hi” and read the posts I share over there.


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