Full Description of File
BATBOX v2.1 is a very easy to use batch file
menu system. Up to 10 items per menu can be
selected by item number or "hot key." This
is SHAREWARE and is supported by the author,
Chuck Steenburgh, on The File Base BBS!
Contents of the BATBOX.DOC file
Copyright 1991 by Chuck Steenburgh
People have been creating menus with batch files for
years. Some of these are quite elaborate, others very crude.
BATBOX is something in between. BATBOX will allow you to
display an attractive, colorful menu and will wait for
the user to make a selection. It will then set an appro-
priate ERRORLEVEL value which can be used to determine sub-
sequent actions in your batch file.
Usage: BATBOX menufile [/C] [/O] [/Q] [/H] |
menufile is the name of an ASCII text
file which you create. This
will contain the menu's title
and a list of options.
/C Normally, the longest menu item |
is centered in the menu box and |
subsequent items are left-aligned |
below it. This switch will cause |
each menu item to be centered in |
the menu box. |
/O Ordinal menu selection. Instead
of returning an errorlevel based
on the hotkey, returns an error-
level based on the ordinal pos-
ition of the selected menu item.
/Q Quiet mode suppresses all sounds. |
/H Generates help screen. |
To create a menufile, use a text editor, word processor that
can save ASCII files, or EDLIN.COM or EDIT.COM that come with
DOS. In a pinch, you can use the "copy con" command but this
doesn't give you much in the way of an editing capability.
The structure of the menufile is simple. The first line
contains your menu's title, up to 60 characters. If you |
don't want a title, leave the line blank, without any spaces.
(Hint: press RETURN immediately without doing anything else
when you first begin editing your document.) Each succes-
sive line contains a menu item, exactly as you want it to ap-
pear on the screen. Do NOT include any blank lines here or
you will end up with blank lines in your menu!
A few limitations: each line can contain no more than 60
characters (if you need more than this to describe your menu
choices, maybe you need Microsoft Windows, a Macintosh, or
something else with lots of pictures). In addition, your menu
items (but NOT the menu title) should each begin with a dis-
tinct letter in order for the selection function to work pro-
perly. The selection function for BATBOX is case-insensitive,
so if you begin one line with the letter 's' and the other
with the letter 'S', these are considered the same. Up to
10 menu items are permitted in any one file.
When you type BATBOX on the command line followed by the
name of your menufile (they must both be in the current dir-
ectory), you will see a menu pop up in the middle of the
screen. The title will appear at the top, with each of your
menu items (up to ten) appearing at double spaced-intervals
inside the menu box. Each item will also be numbered from 1
to 0 (the 10th item being numbered "0"). At the bottom of the
menu you will see a the message "Enter your menu choice: ".
If you have a color monitor, you will notice that the first
letter (the "hotkey") of each menu item appears in a different
color than the rest of the text. The time and date will also
be displayed at the top of the menu.
Selecting a menu item is as simple as pressing the first
letter in the name of that item (the "hotkey") OR by pressing
the number key that corresponds to that menu item. BATBOX will
then exit, and return an errorlevel based on the hotkey. See
Appendix 1 for a list of legal first letters and the error-
levels that are returned by BATBOX. If you select the /O op-
tion, BATBOX will return the position of the selected menu item
via the errorlevel. For example, if you select the 1st item on
the list and have specified /O, the errorlevel will be set to
1. If you select the 5th item, the errorlevel will be 5, and
so on. You can use the errorlevel value that is returned to
branch to different parts of your batch file or to execute
commands. See the DEMO.BAT file for an example of one way to
do this. (DEMO.BAT is part of the STUF??.ZIP archive which
contains demonstration files for all of the STEENBURGH'S STUFF
The errorlevel that is returned is affected only by the /O
switch, and NOT by whether the item is selected via the hotkey
or the item number.
If you press a key that is neither a valid hotkey or an item
number, BATBOX will sound a tone and you will be required to
make another selection.
The programs described in this documentation are guaran-
teed to absolutely nothing! They have, however, in my exper-
ience performed essentially as described herein. The author
will not be responsible for any loss or damages caused through
the use of these programs.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
The programs and documentation are Copyright 1991 by Chuck
Steenburgh. You are encouraged to distribute these programs
provided the following conditions are met:
- all files listed in the file FILES.TXT must be distrib-
uted together in UNMODIFIED form
- you charge no more than a reasonable fee for copying or
subscription, and clearly indicate that payment of such
a fee does NOT grant ownership of the programs.
This program is part of set of utilities known as STEEN-
BURGH'S STUFF (Mildly Useful Utilities). The full set of
utilities includes the following programs:
BATBOX: Simple menu creation/input system
CLK: Displays time on screen
DOSVER: Checks for DOS version currently running
FREEDISK: Checks for available disk space
HOWMUCH: Displays space occupied by a group of files
INPUT: Simple prompt/input system
KLS: Colorful screen-clearing utility
LAUNCHER: File selection/execution system
MUSIC: Plays transcribed sheet music on the PC
RAND: Random number generator
SKIP: Prints blank lines from batch files
SOUNDER: Wide range of noise making options
WAITFOR: Timed pauses
WHENISIT: Date/time telling utility
WRITE: Colorful output anywhere on screen
XD: Create/switch directories at the same time
Payment of the $10 registration fee automatically registers
you for the full set.
You may evaluate these programs for up to 30 days on a free
trial basis. After 30 days, you should register your use of
these programs. The registration fee is $10, payable to the
author at the address given below.
Let's be real: I don't plan to make alot of money this way.
Registration does have its advantages:
- I am improving these programs all the time. Registration
will get you IMMEDIATELY a disk with the latest version,
which includes a version of BATBOX with user-selected
menu colors. When Version 2.0 of these utilities is re-
leased, you will also receive that free of charge.
- While I can't promise to include everyone's suggestions
in program updates, you can bet I'll listen to registered
users before any of you scrounges out there.
- You will me feel all warm and fuzzy and appreciated, and
all that good stuff.
- You will also get an evaluation copy of my text-file for-
matting program (used to produce the margins in this doc-
Send comments/registrations to:
304A North Main Street
Lexington, VA 24450
CIS 72330,1776 (I haunt the IBMSYS and IBMPRO forums)