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Changing Colors in MS-DOS Shell

This article was previously published under Q95099
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This article discusses changing colors in MS-DOS Shell and coversthese two topics:

  • Choosing Colors in MS-DOS Shell Generates a Beep
  • Adding New Colors to MS-DOS Shell

Choosing Colors in MS-DOS Shell Generates a Beep

If your computer beeps when you try to choose Colors from the Optionsmenu of MS-DOS Shell, the DOSSHELL.INI file is probably corrupt.

To change the colors, MS-DOS Shell looks in the DOSSHELL.INI file fora section that begins with the line:
   color =				
If this section does not exist, choosing Color causes a beep. Tocorrect this problem, expand the file EGA.IN_ (for an EGA or VGAmonitor) on Disk 3 (MS-DOS 5.0 5.25-inch set) or Disk 2 (MS-DOS 6.05.25-inch set) or Disk 2 (MS-DOS 5.0 3.5-inch set) or Disk 1 (MS-DOS6.0 3.5-inch set).

If you have a CGA monitor, the compressed file is CGA.IN_ instead ofEGA.IN_. The EXPAND.EXE utility can be found on Disk 6 (5.25-inch set)or Disk 3 (3.5-inch set). The EGA.IN_ or CGA.IN_ file contains thesame color information as the original DOSSHELL.INI. To get the colorinformation into the DOSSHELL.INI, do the following (substitute"cga.in_" for "ega.in_" if you have a CGA monitor):

  1. Expand the file. For example:
    expand a:\ega.in_ c:\dos\color.txt
  2. Edit COLOR.TXT so only the color information is left in the file. To do this, you can use MS-DOS Editor.
  3. Combine the DOSSHELL.INI file with the COLOR.TXT file. Use the COPY command:
    copy c:\dos\dosshell.ini + c:\dos\color.txt c:\dos\dosshell.ini
You should now be able to change the color scheme in MS-DOS Shell.

Adding New Colors to MS-DOS Shell

To change the colors in MS-DOS Shell, choose Color from the Optionsmenu. Only certain choices are available; to create more choices, youmust edit the DOSSHELL.INI file.

The currentcolor= section is the color scheme being used. The colortitle is placed here. The color= section keeps records of all theavailable color schemes.

The color options for the following include:
   black         brightblack   white         brightwhite   red           brightred   cyan          brightcyan   magenta       brightmagenta   green         brightgreen   blue          brightblue   brown         brightyellow				
NOTE: There is no yellow or brightbrown color.

The DOSSHELL.INI color settings are as follows:
   Setting         Description   -------         -----------   color=          Header for the list of color schemes   selection=      Header for a particular color scheme   alert=          Color of a warning dialog box   menubar=        Color of the menu bar   menu=           Color of the menu text   disabled=       Color of a disabled menu item   accelerator=    Color of a menu accelerator   dialog=         Color of a dialog box   button=         Color of a button   elevator=       Color of the list box elevator   titlebar=       Color of the title bars when focused   scrollbar=      Color of a scroll bar   borders=        Color of the lines around menus and dialog boxes   drivebox=       Color of the area around the drive icons   driveicon=      Color of the drive icons   cursor=         Color of the mouse cursor				
You can change any part of the screen by changing the existing colorname. You can create a new color scheme by copying one of the existingcolor schemes and changing the title and any of the individual colors.The name you choose for the new color scheme will be added to theColor Scheme dialog box.
5.00 5.00a 6.00

Article ID: 95099 - Last Review: 10/13/2003 18:08:46 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0a
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition
  • KB95099