May 18, 2009

How do I pass parameters to a batch file?

"A. When you call a batch file, you can enter data after the command that the batch file refers to as %1, %2, etc. For example, in the batch file hello.bat, the following command
@echo hello %1 boy

would output
hello john boy

if you called it as
hello john

The following table outlines how you can modify the passed parameter.
Parameter Description
%1 The normal parameter.
%~f1 Expands %1 to a fully qualified pathname. If you passed only a filename from the current directory, this parameter would also expand to the drive or directory.
%~d1 Extracts the drive letter from %1.
%~p1 Extracts the path from %1.
%~n1 Extracts the filename from %1, without the extension.
%~x1 Extracts the file extension from %1.
%~s1 Changes the n and x options’ meanings to reference the short name. You would therefore use %~sn1 for the short filename and %~sx1 for the short extension.

The following table shows how you can combine some of the parameters.
Parameter Description
%~dp1 Expands %1 to a drive letter and path only.
%~sp1 For short path.
%~nx1 Expands %1 to a filename and extension only.

To see all the parameters in action, put them into the batch file testing.bat, as follows.
@echo off
echo fully qualified name %~f1
echo drive %~d1
echo path %~p1
echo filename %~n1
echo file extension %~x1
echo short filename %~sn1
echo short file extension %~sx1
echo drive and directory %~dp1
echo filename and extension %~nx1

Then, run the file with a long filename. For example, the batch file run on the file c:\temp\longfilename.long would produce the following output.
fully qualified name c:\TEMP\longfilename.long
drive c:
path \TEMP\
filename longfilename
file extension .long
short filename LONGFI~1
short file extension .LON
drive and directory c:\TEMP\
filename and extension longfilename.long

This method also works on the second and subsequent parameters. You simply substitute the parameter for 1 (e.g., %~f2 for the second parameter’s fully qualified path name).

The %0 parameter in a batch file holds information about the file when it runs and indicates which command extensions you can use with the file (e.g., %~dp0 gives the batch file’s drive and path)."

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