Reading Text Files into MS-DOS Environment Variables

This article was previously published under Q66292
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This article describes the several steps needed to use the results ofa query (using the FIND filter) as a replaceable parameter in a one ormore batch files. A use for this would be to search for a specificfile and then perform some action on or with this file. The file couldthen be used in one or more batch files as a replaceable parameter.
First, you need to set up a one-line file with the partial command
   set varname=				
with no carriage return (CR) or linefeed (LF) at the end (this can bedone with COPY CON by pressing CTRL+Z after the equal sign [=] andpressing ENTER).

The file would look like this on the screen:
The following steps can be issued from the MS-DOS command prompt or fromwithin a batch file:

  1. Search for a single directory entry and place the results in a text file.
          dir | find "dos" > textfile
  2. Append the two files into one batch file using the COPY command as follows:
          copy init.txt+textfile varset.bat
  3. Place the contents of the text file in a variable by running VARSET.BAT.
VARSET.BAT sets an environment variable equal to the directory entry foundearlier. This allows the environment variable to be used as a replaceableparameter in later batch files. VARSET.BAT can be called from the commandprompt or from within another batch file.

NOTE: This process works for directory names only if MS-DOS 5.0 or 6.0 isbeing used. Under MS-DOS 5.0 and 6.0, the /B switch must be used when youare searching for a directory name. The following is an example ofsearching for a directory under MS-DOS 5.0 or 6.0.
   dir /b | find "dos5" > textfile				
NOTE: There is still a 127-character limit to the length of this variable,which includes the variable name and equal sign (=).
6.22 3.x 4.x 5.00 5.00a 6.00 6.20

Article ID: 66292 - Last Review: 12/04/2015 09:05:22 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft MS-DOS 3.1, Microsoft MS-DOS 3.2 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 3.21 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 3.3a, Microsoft MS-DOS 4.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 4.01 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.2 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.21 Standard Edition, Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition

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