When a console application is started either from the File Manager, the Program Manager, Windows NT Explorer, or by typing start <progname> from the command prompt, it executes in its own console. This console disappears as soon as the application terminates, and therefore the user can't read anything written to the screen between the last pause and program exit. There are two approaches to keep the console window from disappearing.
Method 1: Pause if Process is Running in Separate ConsoleThe first method is for implementing a console application to not terminate immediately when it is running in a separate console window. It is not likely that you would want an application to always pause after displaying information to the console window when you started from the prompt. However, there is no API (application programming interface) that directly determines whether or not the application shares a console with CMD.EXE. This method looks at the current location of the console cursor, and if it is (0,0), then the program assumes it is running in a separate console window.
NOTE: This method will not work if the user combines a clear screen (CLS) and execution of the application into one step (for example, [C:\] CLS & <progname>), because the cursor position will be (0, 0), but the application is using the console, which belongs to CMD.EXE.
hStdOutput = GetStdHandle(STD_OUTPUT_HANDLE);
if (!GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo(hStdOutput, &csbi))
printf("GetConsoleScreenBufferInfo failed: %d\n", GetLastError());
// if cursor position is (0,0) then use pause
bUsePause = ((!csbi.dwCursorPosition.X) &&
printf("Interesting information to read.\n");
printf("More interesting information to read.\n");
// only pause if running in separate console window.
printf("\n\tPress any key to exit...\n");
ch = getch();
Method 2: Start the console with cmd.exe /KThis method is for starting a console application in a separate window and forcing the window to remain after the application has terminated. An application can use the following command line with WinExec(), CreateProcess(), or in a batch file:
cmd /K consoleapp.exeAfter consoleapp.exe has terminated, the /K switch makes the console window remain on the screen. The application user can then type the exitcommand to close the console window.
Article ID: 99115 - Last Review: Nov 21, 2006 - Revision: 1