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* *
* *
* * The
* *
* * Binary
* *
* * Toolshed
* *
* *
* ****** *
* * *
* * * Version 1.2
* * * July 2, 1992
* * *
* * *
******** *


1.0 INTRODUCTION......................................................1
1.1 General...........................................................1
1.2 About This Manual.................................................2
1.3 Documentation Conventions.........................................4
1.4 Words You Should Know.............................................4

2.0 QUICK START PROCEDURE.............................................8

3.0 INSTALLATION......................................................9
3.1 System Requirements...............................................9
3.2 Installation Configuration........................................9

4.0 PROGRAM STARTUP..................................................10
4.1 Program Environment..............................................10
4.2 Startup Settings.................................................10

5.0 OPERATIONAL OVERVIEW.............................................18
5.1 Introduction.....................................................18
5.2 The Basics.......................................................18
5.3 Directory/Select Modes...........................................20
5.4 Help Facility....................................................20
5.5 Popup Menu Window................................................20
5.6 Error Reporting..................................................21
5.7 Exit To DOS......................................................22

6.0 DIRECTORY DISPLAY................................................23
6.1 Introduction.....................................................23
6.2 The DIR Command..................................................24
6.3 The CD Command...................................................26

7.0 KEYBOARD COMMAND LINE PROCESSING.................................27
7.1 Introduction.....................................................27
7.2 Editing..........................................................27
7.3 Keyboard Command Stack...........................................27
7.4 DOS/ToolBOX Command Processing...................................28
7.5 Memory Utilization...............................................28
7.6 Command Line Variables...........................................29
7.7 External Command Access..........................................30

8.0 COMMAND SEQUENCING...............................................31
8.1 Introduction.....................................................31
8.2 File Selection...................................................31
8.3 Soft Selection...................................................32
8.4 Basic Point-and-Shoot Operations.................................32
8.5 Command Sequencing...............................................32
8.6 Display Output...................................................33

9.0 ADDITIONAL COMMANDS..............................................34
9.1 Window Control...................................................34
9.2 Directory Control................................................35
9.3 Window Contents..................................................36
9.4 DOS Commands.....................................................37
9.5 Quick Commands...................................................38
9.6 Inferred Batch File Selection....................................39
9.7 Explicit Program Requests........................................41

10.0 INTRINSIC COMMANDS..............................................42
10.1 Typical Usage...................................................42
10.2 Intrinsic DIR command...........................................42
10.3 Intrinsic CD command............................................42
10.4 Intrinsic DEL Command...........................................42
10.5 Intrinsic KILLDIR Command.......................................43
10.6 Intrinsic SEL Command...........................................43


APPENDIX B : DIRECTORY DISPLAY PARAMETERS............................46

APPENDIX C : COMMAND SUMMARY.........................................48

APPENDIX D : INTRINSIC COMMAND SUMMARY...............................52

ToolBOX User Manual Page 1


1.1 General

Computers are getting bigger, faster, and more complex. It is essent-
ial to find a way to simplify the process of accessing and controlling
the myriad of data and programs on our systems. The ToolBOX will help
in achieving that goal.

In simple terms, ToolBOX presents a window showing a directory display
of the files in a chosen directory. These files can be selected and
involved in copy, delete, or user defined operations - often with only
a single keystroke. If the file selected is an application program or
one of its data files, such as a word processor document, just one
keystroke gets you up and running. Equally applicable to the casual or
experienced user, ToolBOX provides an alternate and extended interface
to the conventional DOS command line. Your existing knowledge of DOS
commands is not wasted as DOS commands are handled directly through

ToolBOX continues after other similar file management systems have
exhausted their capabilities. With this highly configurable system you
can almost "write" your own version of ToolBOX. A version that will
complement your personal or business needs. Virtually everything can
be changed: the colors, the sound levels, the operations associated
with the keys or the key assignments themselves. All of your favorite
and specialized utilities can be incorporated into ToolBOX through its
configuration capability.

Features include:

o an easily manipulated directory display, including control over
display format and sort technique.

o point-and-shoot operations to invoke programs or change

o direct execution of DOS command lines, including the ability to
reference files that have been selected within the directory

o memory requirement can be reduced to less than 2KB.

o multiple windows provide simultaneous views of the directory
display and DOS command data.

o keyboard command stack of most recent command lines. Commands
can be recalled for editing or reuse.

o stack of most recently entered directories. A single keystroke
can be used to cycle through these directories.

o designated batch files invoked, for files selected with
specific match strings.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 2

o configuration capability to change colors, change display
format rules, bind multiple command lines to a single
keystroke, and much more.

There are many reasons for using ToolBOX. Visibility is better than
with DOS, repetitious operations are simplified, and EGA and VGA are
fully exploited. Perhaps it's just because the month is spelled out in
dates or that commas are placed in numeric displays. Maybe it's that
elusive warmer feeling; not that we at the Toolshed are in any way
biased. Whatever your reason for adopting ToolBOX, enjoy.

1.2 About This Manual

This manual describes the operational activities associated with the
ToolBOX program. ToolBOX is a highly configurable program. The major
configuration capabilities are accomplished through the separate
TBOXCFG program as described in detail in the TBOXCFG User Manual.
Start with this operational manual to learn how to use ToolBOX with the
default settings. Then move on to learn how to personalize your
version of ToolBOX.

Section 1 Be sure to finish reading Section 1 to familiarize
yourself with the terminology peculiar to this

Section 2 A "Quick Start" introduction provides the user
with sufficient information to experiment and
become familiar with ToolBOX before delving into
the details of the manual.

Section 3 This section describes the installation and system

Section 4 This section describes the ToolBOX command line
arguments needed to alter the program operation
each time the program is started.

The ToolBOX program has three separate types of functions: basic
unchangeable functions, functions that can be altered via
configurations, and lastly, intrinsic commands that can be entered via
the keyboard command line.

Section 5 This section provides an overview of ToolBOX's
operation. The basic functions that are not
configurable are explained.

Section 6 This section describes the directory display's
default settings and the methods for manipulating
the presentation data.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 3

Section 7 This section explains the entry of keyboard
command lines and related facilities.

Section 8 This section describes the point-and-shoot
operations which can be modified by the conf-
iguration program.

Section 9 This section describes additional keystroke
commands available.

Section 10 This section describes the lower level commands
(intrinsics) that are entered as separate command
lines. Refer to the TBOXCFG User Manual for
additional intrinsic commands that are available
during the configuration process.

Appendix A Summarizes the command line arguments.

Appendix B Summarizes the factory default settings for the
directory display format and sort techniques.

Appendix C Summarizes the single keystroke commands.

Appendix D Summarizes the intrinsic commands.

This manual assumes you already have a basic understanding of DOS.
That you are familiar with such concepts as batch files, the PATH
variable, DOS files and directory structure, and the syntax of DOS
commands. If not, refer to your DOS User Manual.

It is also assumed you are familiar, at least at the conceptual level,
with other programs from The Binary Toolshed. In particular with
TBOXCFG, BTSPATCH, VIEW, and TREE which can be used in conjunction with
ToolBOX. These programs are briefly described in the glossary
contained in Section 1.4, and in detail in the Utilities User Manual.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 4

1.3 Documentation Conventions

Conventions employed in examples throughout this manual include:

[ | | | ] square brackets enclose optional items, of which
one may be selected.

case has no significance unless stated otherwise.

all keys to be struck simultaneously are enclosed
in angle brackets. For example

, and .

 the diamond is the prefix character used for
variables within a command line. It is created
with the CTRL key. For example f is created by

Note: If this manual has been filtered with the
TOASCII utility, the diamond appears as an
asterisk - *.

- and / while the two are actually interchangeable, this
manual uses "-" as the prefix for the initial
ToolBOX command line arguments and "/" as the
prefix for parameters for keyboard and intrinsic

1.4 Words You Should Know

The following definitions are useful as you read this manual. This
glossary is a subset of the one contained in the General Product
Overview Manual.

argument an option field on the ToolBOX command line.
Note, the convention used within this manual
is that "arguments" refer to the ToolBOX
startup command line, while "parameters" (see
below) refer to options on command lines
within ToolBOX.

BTSPATCH.EXE a separate Binary Toolshed (BTS) utility
program that allows the user to set their own
default startup command line within each of
the supplied BTS programs, including ToolBOX.
Refer to the Utilities User Manual for more

ToolBOX User Manual Page 5


command line a single processable line of text. This may
be a DOS command line or a ToolBOX intrinsic.

command set a collection of ToolBOX command lines. This
grouping is created through the TBOXCFG

DOS Disk Operating System, the control program
for IBM Personal Computers. The term refers
to both the Microsoft (MS DOS) and the IBM
(PC DOS) versions.

Refer to your DOS users manual for further
explanations of DOS commands such as PATH,
COPY, FORMAT, RD, and RENAME, as well as
descriptions of wildcard characters, batch
files, directories, and so on.

environment variables
also referred to as set variables, these are
user defined DOS names that can be associated
with any desired text string. Programs can
interrogate these strings and act
accordingly. Use the DOS SET command to
modify these variables - such as BTS, or

factory defaults the initialization settings contained within
the distribution version of The Binary
Toolshed products. These default values can
be overridden by the BTSPATCH or TBOXCFG

intrinsics command lines understood and processed
directly by ToolBOX, i.e. they are not passed
on to DOS. These command lines consist of a
command word (e.g. "sel" or "del") and
optionally one or more parameters.

key binding the association of a command set with a
particular keyboard keystroke.

keyboard command a command line (DOS or intrinsic) entered
manually through the ToolBOX command line as
shown at the bottom of the directory display.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 6

keystroke a single identifiable entry through the
keyboard. This may be one key or multiple
keys. For example or .

matchlist a file selection specification list that can
specify a drive, path, and one or more file
specifications. Each file specification can
use the DOS wildcard characters and be
preceded by "!" to indicate matching files
should be removed from the selected list
rather than added. For example:

c:\dos\*.* !*.com !*.exe

parameter separate option field(s) following the
command word on a command line. Refer above
to "argument".

PATH the DOS reserved environment variable which
designates alternate directories to be
searched for program files.

path a DOS directory specification consisting of
an optional leading drive indicator and one
or more directory names, e.g.


pathname a DOS file specification consisting of a
filename with an optional leading path, e.g.


point-and-shoot the ability to cursor to an object such as a
file (hence point) and when is
pressed (hence shoot) have a particular
operation carried out based on some charac-
teristic of the selected object - such as the

popup menu a window of menu selections that appears in
the "middle" of the current screen. The menu
options may initiate actions directly or
bring up further menus with more options.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 7

quick command line single predefined command lines that may be
initiated separately from the command sets
bound to particular keystrokes.

redirection a DOS capability which allows the normal
input or output of a command to be altered to
come from or go to a specified file. Redir-
ection can be used for the DOS command lines
within ToolBOX.

toggle to switch between alternatives: ON to OFF,
from INSERT to OVERWRITE mode, from the DOS
display to the ToolBOX display, etc.

TBOX.EXE the main program from The Binary Toolshed, as
documented in this manual. While the
documentation uses the "ToolBOX" designation,
the actual program is abbreviated to "TBOX"
to simplify keyboard entry. If you find this
confusing, simply rename the program file to
the expected "TOOLBOX.EXE".

TBOXCFG.EXE a separate BTS configuration program that
allows extensive modifications to the basic
ToolBOX operational capabilities. Refer to
the TBOXCFG User Manual for more details.

TREE.EXE a BTS utility program that graphically
depicts the directory structure in the form
of a tree that can be traversed with the
cursor keys. The user can cursor through the
structure to change directories or examine
files. Refer to the Utilities User Manual
for more information.

tsr a Transient and Stay Resident program. These
programs permanently retain a small portion
of memory while they lie dormant waiting for
a particular action. These programs must be
initiated before ToolBOX is run.

verification window A prompt window issued by ToolBOX to ensure
the requested operation is really desired.

VIEW.EXE a BTS utility program that displays the
contents of text files for viewing or
browsing. Refer to the Utilities User Manual
for more information.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 8


Chances are, ToolBOX is not the first program of this form that you
have used. This means you are familiar with normal keyboard and
windowing techniques. If this is the case, you should feel comfortable
with ToolBOX without any special training.

For most people, the fastest way to learn about a program is to use it.
For this reason we suggest you start using ToolBOX right away. This
advance familiarity will provide you with a better understanding when
you come back and read the balance of this manual.

For this sample session, you can bypass the installation and command
line argument descriptions in the following sections. Just run the
TBOX.EXE executable without arguments.

Once started, ToolBOX presents a directory display window. Use the
cursor keys to move about the display, to select files (try
and too), and to invoke point-and-
shoot operations on selected files. DOS command lines can be entered
at any time. For a help screen showing additional features, enter
. Most functions should be obvious.

This brief session should introduce you to most of the basic capabil-
ities of ToolBOX. Ultimately you will need to return to this manual to
take full advantage of the program. Return to learn such things as
what the "." to the left of the displayed directory name means, or what
to do when won't work under MS Windows, or how to best take
advantage of your particular video card, or that you don't need to
enter the normal "C:" then "CD \BIN". ToolBOX understands the
shorthand equivalent "C:\BIN". With the additional information from
this manual at your fingertips, it can only get better.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 9


3.1 System Requirements

ToolBOX has minimal system requirements:

DOS : 3.0 or higher

Memory : Varies with directory size but typically in the order
of 80KB. As ToolBOX in turn initiates other programs
when requested, the more memory the better.


DISK : no specific requirements.

3.2 Installation Configuration

Installation is straight forward. Place ToolBOX.EXE in the current
directory or any directory referenced by the PATH variable.

This also applies to all files referenced during ToolBOX's operation,
including VIEW.EXE, TREE.EXE and the DOS COMMAND.COM file. Note, it is
not sufficient to simply direct COMSPEC to this file.

No changes are required to the CONFIG.SYS, however, there may be
advantages with using the ANSI.SYS driver. These advantages are
discussed in Section 4 of this manual. Refer to your DOS User manual
for instructions on adding this driver to your CONFIG.SYS file.

If you are using swap facility, you may wish to set the TEMP
environment variable to a suitable directory.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 10


4.1 Program Environment

ToolBOX can run with all known programs. ToolBOX has no unique
hardware, or software requirements that should cause problems for other

The only stipulation is that TSR programs to be run at the same time as
ToolBOX must be installed before ToolBOX is started.

4.2 Startup Settings

Many of ToolBOX's operational aspects can be adjusted at the time the
program is started. Arguments to control these features are specified
in any of four ways:

o on the DOS command line following the program name.

o by a DOS SET command for the "BTS" environment variable. For
example in your AUTOEXEC.BAT or at the DOS prompt enter

SET BTS=args

o saved in the TBOX.EXE executable file by the BTSPATCH

o set in the configuration file established by the TBOXCFG

Which technique you use depends on a variety of factors such as
desired permanence of the argument or impact on other users or uses.
Any or all techniques can be used. The same encoding rules apply to
all forms.

Arguments are specified by a dash or a slash followed by one or more
characters that identify a particular action. For example, to select
colors for a gray scale monochrome graphics monitor use:



o all arguments are optional, must begin with a dash or slash,
and may not contain spaces within the sequence. Spaces between
arguments are optional.

o case is not important unless specified otherwise.

o the order of arguments is important only if there are
conflicting options, then the last argument has precedence.

o an audible tone sounds if any argument isn't understood.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 11

Subsequent arguments are typically still processed.

The precedence of the various configuration mechanisms, from lowest to
highest level, is:

o internal program (factory) defaults.

o default settings established by BTSPATCH.

o the environment set variable BTS.

o command line arguments.

o where applicable, requests entered at run-time by the user.

When provided, settings for each level supersede settings from the
preceding level. Configuration files from the TBOXCFG program expand
in place where defined (e.g. in the set variable or command line
argument list).

In the following argument definitions, enclosing brackets [ ] identify
a sequence of options of which one must be used. For example, for the
definition -C[ b c g ], the three valid argument sequences are -Cb -Cc
and -Cg.

All the following arguments are optional; in their absence ToolBOX will
select values that are suitable for the current environment.


-V[b m c s e v] [25 43 50]

By default, ToolBOX will select a video mode applicable to the
hardware(m,c) state at program startup. The -V argument is used
to override this selection in order to use a different monitor
type (m,c,s,e,v), to use a different output technique (b,s) or to
alter the screen resolution (25, 43, 50).

b use BIOS output routines. Normally video data is
issued directly to the video card. Using the BIOS will
slow down the video update rate but may be necessary
for some incompatible systems.

m assume monochrome text (MDA) video card.

c, e, or v
assume color graphics (CGA, EGA, or VGA) video card.
All 3 settings have the same effect.

s assume CGA graphics video card and do processing to
remove snow on screen. This option slows down the
update rate and should be avoided unless necessary.

25 assume 25 visible lines of text.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 12

43 assume EGA/VGA card and use the 43 line by 80 column

50 assume VGA card and use the 50 line by 80 column mode.


-C[m c g]

Selects one of the predefined color tables. If the option is not
provided the current video hardware configuration is examined and
m or c assumed. Any setting can be used with any monitor. Also,
there is no connection between the -C and -V settings.

m monochrome text displays.

c color displays.

g gray scale displays, where LCD or monochrome monitors
are driven from color video cards. The color coding is
greatly affected by the particular combination of video
card and display device. The configuration file
facility may produce superior results.


-X [Hh] [Dd] [Cc] [Xx] [Rr] [Pp] [Tt] [a#] [Mm]

The following eXecution arguments are two state settings. Case is
important. The uppercase value sets the condition.

The default is:


H/h include hidden and system files in directory displays.

D/d perform directory display and exit. Both the C and D
options use the screen line count from DOS; any -V##
argument is ignored.

C/c perform directory display and exit only if the
directory display fits within the single screen. If
the conditional exit is not taken, ToolBOX starts in

X/x go directly to SELECT phase.

R/r restore DOS screen on exit rather than the ToolBOX

ToolBOX User Manual Page 13

P/p set the default PAUSE state. Following the execution
of DOS commands, the PAUSE state determines whether the
DOS output screen should be temporarily held or
immediately replaced by the ToolBOX screen. In either
case the data of the DOS screen is retained and can be
reviewed at a later time. The PAUSE state can also be
set through the popup menu (See Section 5.5) or through
configuration flags on the individual command sets (see
the TBOXCFG User Manual).

T/t when in EGA/VGA split screen mode, tell DOS specific-
ally about available lines in split area. DOS, as well
as many application programs, refer to a BIOS variable
to determine if they have 25, 43, or 50 lines
available. To work correctly with ToolBOX's split
screen mode, DOS must be limited to 25 lines. In most
cases it is preferable to let other programs use the
full screen which in split mode is the full 43 or 50
lines. If you are using DOS 3 or 4, this can be done
if you are using the DOS ANSI screen driver which
automatically forces DOS to scroll within the top 25
lines, regardless of the actual screen size. With
ANSI.SYS and the "t" option the BIOS variable can
reflect the actual physical lines available so programs
such as VIEW, LIST, TED, DIRMATCH etc. use the full
screen yet DOS is restricted to the top 25 lines.

This does not apply to DOS 5.0 or other ANSI drivers
such as VANSI, or PC Magazines ANSI.COM. For these
systems use the default "T" setting.

ToolBOX will operate correctly with or without ANSI.SYS
installed. The only possible restriction being that in
43 or 50 line mode without ANSI.SYS, some application
programs may be needlessly restricted to 25 lines with
DOS 3 or 4.

a# select permitted audible tones. Add the numbers for
the particular sounds you wish to hear.

1 border violations. Short beeps for attempts to
cursor beyond screen borders.

2 syntax. Brief chirp made when ToolBOX is unable
understand a keyboard request. Typically an
unexpected character was entered.

4 error. Longer warble made when a requested
operation could not be carried out. For example
a file could not be deleted because it had read-
only attributes .

The default is a7 - all sounds are enabled.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 14

M/m retain file matchlist specification. If the matchlist
specification isn't retained, it is temporary and will
revert to *.* the first time the directory display is
updated. This has no effect if a matchlist specific-
ation argument isn't also present.


-M [Aa] [Pp] [Dd] [Cc]

When ToolBOX initiates an external program or application it can
optionally reduce its own size to less than 2KB by swapping
itself out of memory. This makes more room available for the
initiated program/application. Refer to Section 7.5 for an
explanation of why this may or may not be an advantage.

The following Memory arguments are two state settings. Case is
important. The uppercase value sets the condition.

The default is:


A/a always swap external programs.

P/p swap to EMS (Expanded Memory System) memory if pos-
sible. Requires EMS 3.2 or better. If both P and D
are specified, expanded memory will be tried first - if
insufficient EMS room exists, disk space will be used.

D/d swap to disk. The directory used will be that
indicated by the DOS TEMP environemnt variable. If
this does not exist, the DOS PATH string will be
searched in order until a directory is found with
sufficient room for the temporary file used during the
swap process.

Normally this file is automatically deleted. However
if the initiated program crashes for any reason,
ToolBOX may not be able to delete these temporary
files. These files show in the directory as SWP###,
where ### is a numeric sequence number. These files
should be manually deleted if they occur.

Swapping to disk is considerably faster if the TEMP
variable or the first directory on the PATH corresponds
to a ramdisk.

C/c use the current directory for these temporary disk
files in preference to the PATH directory.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 15



Identifies the directory and/or set of files to be displayed on
startup. This is for display purposes only, the current
directory remains unchanged.

This is essentially a valid DOS file specification
containing one or more of a disk drive, directory path,
and any number of filename.ext match specifications.
The wildcard characters "*" and "?" may be used within
the file specification. Each filename.ext may be
prefixed by "!" to indicate files matching this
specification are to be removed from the list of
previously matched files. If not provided, the parts
default to the current drive, the current path, and *.*

This is the only argument for which the leading prefix (-) is not
required. Any argument that does not begin with a dash is
assumed to be a match-string within the matchlist specification.
Although the drive and directory can only be stated once, the
file specification field may be repeated any number of times.

To permit dashes within filespecs, the specification is assumed
to continue until the next blank.

If the matchlist specification is provided, only files matching
this criteria are displayed. Unless the -xM option was also
specified, this will only remain in effect until the directory
window is redisplayed for any reason, when it will revert to
".\*.*". If -xM was provided, the specification will remain in
effect until a keyboard DIR command with a corresponding /M
option is entered.



Selects one of the pre-configured presentation display formats
for the files in the directory window. This is equivalent to the
/F# display format parameter of the DIR command, or the format
option of the popup menu. These are described in Section
6.2 and Section 5.5 respectively.

# single character specification for one of the 8
settings. This is stated as the index 1 through 8 or
as the single identification letter used in the option
window. The identification letters and the display
fields associated with them are shown in Appendix B.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 16

The default setting is the 2 column Master format:




Selects one of the pre-configured sort procedures used for file
entries in the directory window. This is equivalent to the /S#
sort parameter of the DIR command, or the sort option of the
popup menu.

# single character specification for one of the 8
possible sort criteria. This is stated as the index 1
through 8, or as the single identification letter used
in the option window. The identification letter and
sort rules associated with each of the 8 indexes are
shown in Appendix B.

The default sort is first by extension, and then by



This argument selects a configuration file that has been
established by the TBOXCFG program. Only one configuration file
may be referenced.

If the file is not in the current directory, the full path must
be provided. An extension of ".CFG" is assumed if one is not

The contents of the configuration file (which may contain
additional command line arguments) are processed immediately at
the spot in the command line where the reference occurs.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 17

variable assignments and BTSPATCH program usage):

o the defaults are equivalent to :

>SET BTS=-V25 -XshdcXrTa7m *.* -MaPDc -F1 -S1

NOTE: The non-stated video and color defaults are
automatically determined on startup.

o the typical use:


o allocate 43 screen lines for a gray scale monitor, sort by
date, display hidden files, don't show .bak or .pag files
display only file name and extension information in the
directory display, turn off the audio and because we're using
ANSI.SYS and not DOS 5, don't tell DOS it must only use 25

>SET BTS=-Vv43-Cg-F4-S4 !*.pag
>TBOX -Xa0Ht !*.bak

o or, equivalent to the above:

>TBOX -S4-F4 -Xa0 -Cg-Xt !*.bak !*.pag

o to setup a simple menu for initiating BASIC files from a
different directory:

>TBOX -F5 -XM c:\basic\*.bas

o our personal favorite here at the Binary Toolshed (for DOS 3.3)


ToolBOX User Manual Page 18


5.1 Introduction

ToolBOX simultaneously provides directory display operations, point-
and-shoot functions, and a direct pass through mechanism for DOS
commands. The balance of this manual outlines the basic keyboard
commands for performing these functions.

In particular, Sections 5 through 9 describe features available through
the factory default command settings. The default settings will be
sufficient for most users. The TBOXCFG User Manual describes the lower
level ToolBOX functions used to implement these operations, as well as
the configuration facility for augmenting or altering the basic
commands. There are many configuration capabilities that are probably
not obvious from reading this manual such as changing the top banner
line or the colors, or recognizing particular programs and accordingly
altering the program swap, screen swap, or pause state. Refer to the
TBOXCFG manual for a complete list of the configuration capabilities.

Because of the configurability of ToolBOX, the descriptions in this
manual refer to the factory default settings within the program before
any possible replacement by user configuration files. Configuration
files could alter the function keys or the functions associated with
these keys. Refer to the on-line help for the particular commands that
are actually available.

Unless noted otherwise, commands described in the following sections
can be executed at any time the system is in its normal directory
display state.

5.2 The Basics

The program starts with a directory display. ToolBOX fills the screen
window with a display of files in the current directory. See Figure
5.2/1. The header portion of the display identifies global information
such as volume, directory name, amount of space used by the displayed
directory and the amount of free space on the disk volume. The lower
portion displays the actual files organized in serpentine fashion in a
varying number of columns across the window. This is the view you will
have virtually all the time you are in ToolBOX.

The , , , , , and keys move the
cursor through the directory display. and move the cursor
to the top and bottom lines of the current display respectively, while
and move the cursor to the extreme bounds of
the file list. is similar to the key except that at the
end of a column will automatically move to the start of the
succeeding column.

selects the file at the current cursor position. Selected
files (or directories) may either be used in point-and-shoot operations
or referenced by DOS command lines. Various video attributes indicate

ToolBOX User Manual Page 19

the current cursor position and which files are selected.

initiates the point-and-shoot operation on selected files.

ÕÍThe Binary Toolshed ÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ ToolBOX ÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍÍ Tue Jly14/92 10:34:10͸
³ . D:\DOS50\*.* Vol: SYS ³
³ 521,277 bytes in 33 files 815,104 free (2%) ³
³\ .. FDISK .EXE 57,224 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ ASSIGN .COM 6,399 09Apr91 05:00 LABEL .EXE 9,390 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³rCOMMAND .COM 47,845 09Apr91 05:00 MEM .EXE 39,818 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ DISKCOMP.COM 10,652 09Apr91 05:00 REPLACE .EXE 20,226 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ DISKCOPY.COM 11,793 09Apr91 05:00 SETVER .EXE 12,007 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ DOSKEY .COM 5,883 09Apr91 05:00 SHARE .EXE 10,912 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ FORMAT .COM 32,911 09Apr91 05:00 SUBST .EXE 18,478 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ MODE .COM 23,537 09Apr91 05:00 UNDELETE.EXE 13,924 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ MORE .COM 2,618 09Apr91 05:00 XCOPY .EXE 15,804 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ SYS .COM 13,440 09Apr91 05:00 QC .INI 573 10Jly91 22:58 ³
³ UNFORMAT.COM 18,576 09Apr91 05:00 ANSI .SYS 9,029 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ APPEND .EXE 10,774 09Apr91 05:00 DRIVER .SYS 5,409 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ ATTRIB .EXE 15,796 09Apr91 05:00 HIMEM .SYS 11,552 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ CHKDSK .EXE 16,200 09Apr91 05:00 PRINTER .SYS 18,804 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ COMP .EXE 14,282 09Apr91 05:00 RAMDRIVE.SYS 5,873 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ EXPAND .EXE 14,563 09Apr91 05:00 SMARTDRV.SYS 8,335 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ FC .EXE 18,650 09Apr91 05:00 ³
³ ³
³ ³
³ ³

FIGURE 5.2/1 Sample ToolBOX Display of Directory for DOS 5.0

DOS commands are entered at any time simply by typing them in. On the
first character entered a command line will appear at the bottom of the
screen. Use the cursor keys, , , etc. as required to edit the
command line text. Then to have it executed. Use the
/ keys to scroll through the text of recently entered command

Operations such as deleting files or exiting to DOS generate
verification prompt windows. The desired action can be chosen with the
/ keys and selected with the key. is equivalent
to the negative response.

Use at any time to back out of the current operation, such as the
entry of a DOS command line, the current help window, the verification
prompt, or simply to exit from ToolBOX.

As this indicates, ToolBOX's basic operation is straight forward. If
you haven't done so already, try using ToolBOX before reading further
sections. Some experimentation at this point may help you in
understanding the nuances and features you will read about.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 20

5.3 Directory/Select Modes

ToolBOX functions in either of 2 modes: DIRECTORY or SELECT. Normally
the program starts and remains in SELECT mode. DIRECTORY mode is a
special state optimized for use as a basic directory display.

The modes are similar in that both permit DOS command lines and other
single key operations, and they both display directory data. However,
in SELECT mode the commands may reference and operate on individual
files preselected from within the directory display.

As there is no need to select individual files in DIRECTORY mode, all
the cursor control keys move through the screen display in a slightly
different manner than when in SELECT mode.

toggles between DIRECTORY and SELECT mode. The key
will also change the state from DIRECTORY to SELECT mode.

Again, DIRECTORY mode is provided for use when ToolBOX is essentially a
replacement for the DOS DIR command. Unless stated otherwise, the
balance of this manual assumes the user is in SELECT mode.

5.4 Help Facility

HELP is obtained by entering .

Two levels of help are available:

single line descriptions of each command showing:
o selected file match string requirement, or
"----" if not applicable.
o keyboard key used to initiate the command.
o short description.

description lines as above plus the actual command
lines (DOS or ToolBOX intrinsics) used to carry out the

Within the help screen, commands are listed in command search order.

Use ,, , , , to scroll within the
help screens. Use to exit the help mode and return to the
directory display.

5.5 Popup Menu Window

A popup menu can be invoked with , or . This menu provides an
alternative mechanism for entering several of the more commonly used
ToolBOX commands.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 21

Within the popup window use and to move the highlighted
cursor position to another option. Use to either invoke the
option at the current cursor, or if applicable to select the next level
of options. to exit without making any changes.

Where applicable, a diamond appears beside the option corresponding to
the current setting.

All of the command functions available through the popup menu are
available elsewhere, although usually in a less intuitive form.

In particular, the functions:

. execute a quick command line. Section 9.5 describes how quick
command lines are created, executed, or deleted. The popup menu
is the only method for displaying the quick command lines.

. select one of the 8 possible directory display formats. See
Section 6.2.

. select one of the 8 possible directory display sort algorithms.
See Section 6.2.

. set the state of the PAUSE flag. The flag determines what
happens to the DOS screen on completion of DOS commands. See
Section 9.3.

. set the state of the DIRECTION flag. See Section 9.3.

5.6 Error Reporting

Four levels of audio tones of increasing significance denote invalid
data entry:

o Level 1 : signals attempts to move past the extremes of the
directory display.

o Level 2 : signals a keystroke entry is not understood.

o Level 3 : signals a requested operation was not successful,
such as a file could not be deleted.

o Level 4 : for serious problems that shouldn't have been
feasible to fail or for which continued operation
is questionable: a TSR program was run after
insufficient memory available, internal errors,

The first three levels can be selectively disabled with the -Xa# command
line argument.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 22

5.7 Exit To DOS

Entering in SELECT or DIRECTORY mode will generate a verification
window. It asks if you really want to end the ToolBOX program and
return to DOS.

Usually, when returning to DOS, the directory display will remain on the
screen, although the window border will disappear. If using the -XR
command line argument when starting ToolBOX (see Section 4.2), the last
DOS window is restored rather than retaining the current ToolBOX
directory display.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 23


6.1 Introduction

As illustrated in Section 5.2/1, the normal ToolBOX display window has
two sections: the header area with directory summary information, and
the larger bottom area with information on specific files within the

Most of the header fields are straight forward: current time, disk drive
volume name, total file space used within the displayed directory, and
available free space on the drive. The directory path field within the
header contains the file matchlist used to determine the files displayed
in the lower file section. The default is "*.*" so all files within the
directory are displayed. A "." to the left of the directory path
indicates that the displayed directory is also the current directory.

The bottom portion of the ToolBOX display window is similar to the
information provided by the DOS DIR command. Usually this shows files
from the current directory. Files are displayed/sorted in balanced
vertical columns across the width of the window. Excess file entries
exist to the top or bottom of the visible window, not to the sides.

The information presented for each file varies with each of the 8
display formats, but contains one or more of the file name, file
extension, size in bytes, last modification date, and status character.
This status character, in order of precedence from the highest to the
lowest, is:

s system file
h hidden file
r read-only file
\ subdirectory

The status character is blank if none of these conditions are

Alter the display by changing the current directory, or by adjusting the
presentation rules. Each time the directory data is updated, a sequence
of incrementing numbers appear randomly around the screen. This has no
practical purpose other than to fill in the time.

Section 7 elaborates on entering command lines. Regarding the commands
described in the balance of this section, just accept for the moment
that DOS-like command lines can be entered at any time. Also, while the
ToolBOX "dir" and "cd" commands are not identical to the DOS
equivalents, they are very similar.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 24

6.2 The DIR Command

The "dir" command controls the presentation aspects. Neither case
(except for the dir itself) nor parameter order (except for the
matchlist "!" fields) are significant.

dir [ [d:][path][matchlist] ] [/f#] [/s#] [/hH] [/m]

Identifies directory display drive, path and one or more
file match-string specifications. The "?" and "*"
wildcard characters are permitted in each of the file
match specifications.

The "!" character can be used as a prefix to indicate
that files matching that specification will be removed
from the file list selected by previous selections.
Evaluation is always done left to right. If the first
field begins with "!", an implied leading "*.*" is

Again note, the drive and path can only occur once, but
the file specification with or without the "!" can occur
any number of times.

/f# Selects one of 8 pre-configured display formats. # may
be a numeric index (1 through 8) or the letter corres-
ponding to the first capital in the option labels.
While summarized here, these labels and the correspond-
ing display formats are described in detail in Appendix
1 Master
2 filename-Size
3 filename-Date
4 Filename
5 Name
6 mAster (B)
7 siZe-filename
8 filename-sizE (B)

The number of columns automatically adjusts to
accommodate the varying amounts of information for each
selection. Leaving the # field blank restores the
program startup setting.

/s# Selects one of 8 pre-configured sort algorithms. # may
be a numeric index (1 through 8) or the letter corres-
ponding to the first capital in the option description
label. These labels, used in the popup window are
described in Appendix B. This appendix also explains
the specific sort criteria used for each of the 8

ToolBOX User Manual Page 25

1 eXtension-name
2 Date-name
3 Size-name
4 dOs order
5 Name-extension
6 extension-daTe
8 extension-siZe
8 Reverse-date-name

Again, leaving the # field blank restores the program
startup setting.

/m Locks in the matchlist specification. Without this
parameter the matchlist is used for this display update
only, with the display reverting back to the prior
matchlist specification on the next update. The "/m"
makes the matchlist specification permanent until
another DIR command with a "/m" parameter is used.

/h or /H
Setting to exclude or include hidden and system files in
the display directory:

h do not include hidden and system files.
H include hidden and system files.

If not stated, the hidden and system files are displayed
as per the ToolBOX -X[hH] command line argument

The following example displays all the files in c:\DOS directory having
an extension starting with c except for .com files, sorted in the
natural DOS order, and showing only the size and filename for each file:

dir /fs c:\dos\*.c /so !*.com

The /f and /s parameters are permanently retained. If the above command
is followed by the simple

dir d:\bin

then /fs and /so remain in effect, but the file matchlist for d:\bin is
assumed from what was in place prior to the first example.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 26

6.3 The CD Command

The change directory command ( cd ) is similar to the DOS counterpart
but has fewer restrictions.

[cd] [d:][path]

[d:] valid DOS drive.

[path] any valid DOS directory specification.

Drive changes can be combined with the directory change. Also, the
command name itself is optional. It is assumed that if the first
command word is a directory, then the only logical operation is to
change directories to it. The ToolBOX command:


is equivalent to the DOS commands:

cd \utl

ToolBOX User Manual Page 27


7.1 Introduction

The keyboard command line is used to create text (command) lines that
are subsequently processed, either by DOS or directly by ToolBOX.
Pressing any printable character on the keyboard (or , see
Section 7.6) will place ToolBOX into command line mode. The command
line is on the bottom of the screen with a "CMD>" prefix. Command lines
may contain up to 76 characters.

In this document, the term command line refers to any text that is
subsequently processed as a command, by DOS or ToolBOX. This text may
originate from a quick command, be one of many within a command set
associated with a function key, or be manually entered through the
keyboard line at the bottom of the screen. The actual source is not
relevant unless specifically identified.

7.2 Editing

Editing keys are available for modifying the keyboard command line prior
to pressing the key that starts processing. , ,
, , and all behave as expected. The
key toggles between insert mode (denoted with a lower line
cursor) and overstrike mode (denoted with a block cursor).
aborts the command line entry. The cursor does not need to be at the
end of the line when is pressed.

Some commands, such as the format key binding discussed in
Section 9.4, produce an initial command line that can be altered or
completed before is entered. If a portion of this line is
displayed in reverse video, this field will be replaced if any printable
characters are entered.

7.3 Keyboard Command Stack

ToolBOX maintains a command stack of the most recent command lines.
When editing a command line, use or to scroll through
previously entered commands. Once recalled, these commands can be
edited and modified, as if they were entered directly through the
keyboard. Duplicate command lines are not retained in the command
stack. The oldest commands are discarded when the 500 character
capacity of the command stack is exceeded.

When the command line is not visible, pressing will recall the
most recent command line from the command stack.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 28

7.4 DOS/ToolBOX Command Processing

Excluding the keys used for editing or for manipulating the directory
cursor, all keyboard data entry ultimately generates a line of text
(command line) that must be processed by ToolBOX. This command text can
originate from many sources. Manually entered in the command line at
the bottom of the screen or perhaps generated from quick commands or
command sets triggered by a single keystroke. Regardless, the resulting
command lines are processed in the same way.

ToolBOX uses DOS to process some commands and handles others itself.
These internal ToolBOX commands (or intrinsics) include dir, del, and
cd. Intrinsic commands can be entered as either upper or lower case.
If the DOS equivalent is desired, enter the command characters in mixed
case. The command line will then be passed to DOS which is case
insensitive. For example "dir a:\*.c" will be processed by ToolBOX to
update its window, while "Dir a:\*.c" will generate the traditional
scrolling column of file information.

By default any command line that doesn't start with one of the known
intrinsic commands is assumed to be a DOS command line. These reserved
intrinsic command words described in the next subsections are cd, d:,
dir, del, killdir, sel, tbx, t*x, or a directory name.

The non-intrinsic command lines are essentially identical to those you
would enter at the DOS prompt and are processed as if entered there.
There are a few exceptions. Operations specific to batch files are not
supported (e.g. labels, errorLevel, or the GOTO command), nor are
commands which modify environment variables (e.g. SET or PATH). Also,
you cannot invoke programs that establish TSR segments. These programs
should be installed prior to running ToolBOX. If an invoked program
does establish a resident TSR segment, ToolBOX will issue a warning of
the imminent problem. At best the memory space occupied by ToolBOX will
be unusable by DOS on exit; at worst the conflicting memory requirements
of ToolBOX and the TSR could cause either to crash.

Programs, for which a specific path is not stated, may exist in the
current directory or in any directory referenced by the PATH.

Programs having .EXE or .COM extensions are executed directly - yielding
a marginal speed and memory (about 4 KB) advantage. For the others
including programs without extensions, .BAT files, DOS internal commands
or any command line with piping or redirection of STDIN or STDOUT, a
secondary COMMAND.COM shell is invoked to process the command line.

7.5 Memory Utilization

If memory utilization is an issue, ToolBOX is capable of reducing its
own memory requirements to less than 2Kb prior to invoking any external
program. ToolBOX can be rolled out (or swapped) simply by prefixing the
command line with "@". For example

@wp whatever.txt

ToolBOX User Manual Page 29

will allow WordPerfect to have essentially as much memory as if it had
been run without ToolBOX.

ToolBOX startup arguments (see Section 4.2) identify whether this
rollout occurs automatically or only when the "@" is specified. These
arguments also specify whether EMS memory and/or disk is used for the
intermediate storage.

Most programs neither need nor can take advantage of significant amounts
of memory. When using EMS memory or a ram-disk, while admittedly small,
there is always a speed penalty for swapping ToolBOX out of active
memory. It is suggested that the "@" function be reserved for programs
where there is a specific advantage to doing so.

7.6 Command Line Variables

Variables, inserted into keyboard command lines by ,
simplify the entry of filenames and related information. The typical
command line use for these variables is to reference files selected
within the directory display, although not all variables require
selected files. The variables and the values they are used to represent

display drive letter
display path
1 to 8 character file name
0 to 3 character extension

minimized pathname, i.e. sufficient information to
uniquely reference the selected file from the current

current drive letter
current path

Within the keyboard command line, these variables are displayed as a
diamond prefix followed by the alphabetic character.

If the directory display is for the current directory then the current
and display directories coincide, however, this need not be the case.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 30

As an example, if the selected file is C:\DOS\XCOPY.COM then the
respective variables when C:\DOS is displayed from two alternate
directories, are:

\DOS \

Typically is used to reference any file from the directory
display as it automatically provides all required components and
delimeters. For example, to use the DOS COPY command to move the above
file to a:\tmp when in a:\, the following are all correct and

copy c:\dos\ a:\tmp
copy a:\tmp
copy :\. :\tmp

Variables are especially useful for commands used with multiple
selections from the directory display. For example, to delete any
number of selected directory entries, enter:


Command lines that contains a variable reference will be executed once
for each selected file.

Variables also make it easier to re-use command lines in the command
stack. There is usually less editing required.

7.7 External Command Access

While in keyboard command line mode, it is still possible to execute
several of the single key stroke ToolBOX functions. As a simple
guideline, any command can be used as long as it does not conflict with
characters used for editing the command lines, change the current
directory, or reference the currently selected files. The commands that
can be used include those that alter the number of screen lines, change
the split screen status, change the display sort and format settings,
toggle ToolBOX/DOS views etc. If you enter an inappropriate command, an
audible tone will sound.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 31


8.1 Introduction

Commands are initiated in many ways within ToolBOX. They may be
manually entered DOS-like command lines, pre-configured sets of command
lines or quicklines activated with a single key, a result of a point-
and-shoot operation, or options chosen from popup menus. The term
point-and-shoot refers to the ability to cursor to a given object, and
then have an operation carried out based on a characteristic of the
selected item.
Regardless of the source, the commands all share the same capabilities:
all can access ToolBOX or DOS command facilities and all can optionally
incorporate selected display files.

This section describes the selection of files, and the determination of
the operation to be performed on the selected files.

8.2 File Selection

In SELECT MODE files can be selected (or tagged) for inclusion in
subsequent command execution. Later sections will detail the actual

Move the cursor to a particular file, then use the following commands
to select or unselect a file or groups of files:

toggle status of file at cursor.

toggle status of file at cursor and then move
cursor to the next file (equivalent to

toggles a range of files that can be extended
in any direction by the , RIGHT>, , or keys.

toggle status of all files with the same
extension as the file at the cursor.

toggle status of all files.

All of the select commands toggle the current select state rather than
specifically setting or resetting the status. For group selects, the
initial status is determined from the file at the cursor. For example
to select or reset all files, enter once or twice.

ToolBOX remembers the order of selection. For group selections, this is
the file at the cursor followed by the other files in the order they

ToolBOX User Manual Page 32

appear in the display.

The display uses color combinations (or equivalent) to distinguish the
selected files and the cursor position.

In addition to the above commands, files can be de-selected by changing
directories or by executing a command line which references the selected

8.3 Soft Selection

With soft selection, the file at the current cursor position is assumed
to be selected if and only if no other files are selected. This
obviously is only applicable to commands that actually reference
selected files.

8.4 Basic Point-and-Shoot Operations

Through the TBOXCFG program, it is possible to associate keyboard keys
and selected file match strings with a particular operation. When the
key and file-match occur together, the operation is initiated -
typically this is a specific program or batch file. The default setup
supports four standard point-and-shoot functions; all with the
key. These are:


Directory *.* Change directory
*.BAT Execute batch file
*.COM Execute .COM program
*.EXE Execute .EXE program
*.* VIEW *.*

As this sequence is searched in order when is entered, VIEW
will automatically be invoked to display any file that does not match
one of the prior match-strings. Also, refer to Section 9.6 for inferred
batch file initiation.

The TBOXCFG program can easily extend the list. Then, based on a given
match-string, your link program, data base application, editor, word
processor, make facility, archive extract utility, spreadsheet, picture
viewer, and so on, will automatically be initiated. Use other keys as
well. For example ( *.asm ) could be used to edit a file and
( *.asm ) to assemble the file.

8.5 Command Sequencing

The point-and-shoot function described above is a practical example of
ToolBOX's generalized command system. When an initial keystroke is
entered, ToolBOX searches its list of possible commands. Each command

ToolBOX User Manual Page 33

in the list has a particular keystroke requirement and optionally a file
match specification for a selected file. The action taken by ToolBOX is
based on the first definition matching the keystroke and the optional
file selection.

If the command set (or keyboard command) being executed did not contain
a file match reference to a selected file, then the command executes
once and only once. Otherwise, the command selection and execution
process will be performed once for each selected file.

Within ToolBOX, virtually everything, except the cursor commands, is
implemented through this command control facility. The help
screens list these commands in the natural search order and, for each,
shows the keystroke and the optional file match requirements.

If the sequence of operations being performed on the selected files
should be aborted for any reason, enter or . The
effectiveness of this attempted abort will depend on the timing of the
entered characters and whether the program(s) being stopped also reads
the abort characters.

8.6 Display Output

For intrinsic ToolBOX commands, or others that ToolBOX knows about and
is aware won't affect the current display, ToolBOX performs the
operation transparently without any visible effect on the directory

For the other commands, ToolBOX first restores the DOS screen as it
existed following the most recent ToolBOX initiated command line. A
pseudo command line preceded by two diamonds is generated on the DOS
screen, followed by the normal command output. On completion of the
command, ToolBOX restores its directory display. In many cases this
will occur so rapidly it will be difficult to see what happened. There
are several mechanisms for retaining these results:

o enter the -xP command line argument, /p, or to set the
PAUSE state. Following commands with PAUSE set to ON, ToolBOX
will wait until you are ready before erasing the DOS screen.

o entering at any time will toggle between the ToolBOX
directory display and the most recent DOS screen.

o for those with EGA or VGA, entering will split the visible
window so ToolBOX's directory display and the DOS screen can
coexist simultaneously.

The control of the window screens is explained in detail in Section 9.1.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 34


9.1 Window Control

The default ToolBOX display is in SELECT mode and contains 25 rows by 80


Switch to 25 line mode
Switch to 43 line mode
Switch to 50 line mode
Switch to current number of DOS lines

To work correctly, these require that you have the
proper video adapter. EGA or VGA are required for 43
line mode. VGA is required for 50 line mode.


Switch between the ToolBOX and DOS window. Use this
function after a DOS command has completed and you wish
to see the last complete DOS screen. The DOS window is
for presentation purposes only. You will be prompted to
enter any key to return to the ToolBOX window.

Toggle between SELECT and DIRECTORY modes. While the
modes are similar, DIRECTORY mode simplifies the
operational use when using ToolBOX as a file directory
display program. Visually, identify SELECT mode by the
bright border around the directory display.

Toggle DOS/ToolBOX split screen. In this mode the top
25 screen lines are used by DOS with the ToolBOX file
window displayed in the balance of the lines at the
bottom. As the ToolBOX and DOS screens are visible at
the same time, it not necessary to switch back and forth
during execution of DOS commands.

This requires at least EGA for the 43 line mode; it is
not available for MDA or CGA video cards. If the system
is in 25 line mode, it will automatically switch to 43
or 50 line mode before performing the split.

In split screen mode it may not be obvious when the DOS
command has been completed and ToolBOX is again in
control. Refer to the clock in the ToolBOX directory
header. While the invoked program is in control the
seconds field contains "--" rather than the incrementing

All of the above can be entered directly during the entry of keyboard
command lines.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 35

9.2 Directory Control

In addition to the commands already mentioned for changing directories,
the following keystroke sequences are also available:


Refresh directory display. Re-read the directory data
and update the display. This may be necessary if the
screen is corrupted or if adjustments have been made to
the current directory files that ToolBOX is not yet
aware of (for example if diskettes are exchanged or on a
multiple user network).

Move to display directory. Ensures the current dir-
ectory corresponds to the display directory by changing
the current directory if required.

Display current directory. Ensures the directory
display corresponds to the current working directory by
changing the display directory if required.


Cycle backward through directories in the stack.

Cycle forward through directories in the stack.

ToolBOX maintains a stack of the most recently entered
directories, along with the last known cursor position
in each. Entering or is
effectively equivalent to issuing a change directory
command to the next directory on the stack.

While data dependent, the stack typically can maintain
the last 20 unique directories entered.


Change to the next lower installed drive.
Change to the next higher installed drive.

These commands will sequence the current drive through
all valid drives, from a: to b: to c: etc. This will
cycle around at the end of the sequence.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 36

9.3 Window Contents

These commands allow manipulation of the ToolBOX directory display


Select next sort criteria.
Select next file display format.

These keys provide single key control of the file
display characteristics. Each cycles to the next of the
eight possible settings. This is similar to the
popup window or the command line "dir" command.

These are accessible during the entry of keyboard


Toggle pause status. The default state is OFF. If ON,
ToolBOX will stay on the DOS screen after executing the
DOS command(s). Entering any key will restore the
ToolBOX window.

The paused screen is identical to the DOS window
displayed with the command. Concluding batch
files with the DOS PAUSE command achieves a similar
effect. Pause mode is not required in split screen

Also try the

popup menu command described in
Section 5.5.

Toggle direction flag. Normally , ,
, and move forward. Toggling the
direction flag will cause them to go in the opposite

Also try the popup menu command described in
Section 5.5.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 37

9.4 DOS Commands


Delete selected file(s). A prompt appears for
confirmation before deleting the selected files.

The one notable difference between the ToolBOX and DOS
implementations is that ToolBOX will not delete subdir-
ectories (i.e. the files in the next directory level).
This is intentional to prevent the accidental erasure of
directories, which is easily done in a point-and-shoot
environment. To delete subdirectories, either:

o move into the subdirectory itself.

o insert at least one capital in the "del" command
so the regular DOS version is used.

o use the ToolBOX killdir command described in
Section 9.7.

ToolBOX will beep if it cannot delete one of the
selected files. Selected directories are ignored, i.e.
if deleting everything it's not necessary to
specifically de-select the directories.

The delete command is also available as an intrinsic,
entered as a keyboard command line:

del [d:][path]matchlist

This has the same particulars as explained above for
. Refer to Section 10.4.

Print selected file(s). This uses the DOS copy command
to copy selected files to the printer (PRN:).

Shell to DOS. This will invoke a second version of the
DOS COMMAND.COM shell. Enter DOS commands as required,
and then enter the EXIT command to return to ToolBOX.
Unlike exiting to DOS via , this does not terminate
ToolBOX. Shelling to DOS allows ToolBOX to retain its
initialization data, command line stack, directory
stack, and so on.

The current DOS prompt string is prefixed with "TBOX"
to serve as a reminder that you must eventually return
to ToolBOX. Again, enter "EXIT" to cancel the DOS shell
and return to ToolBOX.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 38


The following are not conventional commands. Rather, each places
a text string into the keyboard command line buffer. This text
can be edited as if it were entered through the keyboard. This
facility simply provides a quick way of generating standard
command lines. Edit the fields in the template as required to
produce the desired command line. Some templates produce fields
highlighted in reverse video. Enter to accept the
highlighted text as is; entering any printable text causes the
highlighted text to be deleted and replaced by the newly entered

The f parameter field in the following commands will be replaced
by the selected file name when the command is actually processed.

Template for using the DOS COPY command to copy selected
files. To use this template without further editing,
move to the target directory and then display the source
directory before you select the applicable files.


Template for DOS FORMAT command.


Template for using the DOS RENAME command to rename
selected files.


9.5 Quick Commands

ToolBOX maintains a list of single line commands that can be executed at
any time. Use this facility for predefined directory change commands or
commands that are used repeatedly. This is the only mechanism available
to configure commands from within ToolBOX without the TBOXCFG program.

Quick commands can be predefined through the configuration file or
created dynamically as explained below with and .
Quick command contents, limited to one line, must be consistent with
what ToolBOX can support through its keyboard command line. Each is
associated with a single letter designation label. These are not
templates that can be edited before being executed. They are processed
exactly as defined. The currently defined quick commands can be viewed
(or initiated) through the popup window. There are no factory
default quick commands defined.

All quick commands are 2 keystroke sequences, the command key ( ' )
followed by the label character. There is no visual screen indication

ToolBOX User Manual Page 39

that the second label character is expected. Label characters may be
any of the 94 printable ASCII characters on the keyboard; i.e. case is


Execute quick command x.
<'> Execute quick command x.

These commands are identical. A single letter
quick command definition label code (denoted as x)
corresponding to an existing quick command
definition is expected following this initial
command key. ToolBOX will beep if the next char-
acter does not correspond to a defined quick
command label.

Quick lines execute once only; not once for each
selected file. Variables within the quick line are
assumed to reference the entry at the current
cursor position.

Make the current keyboard command line quick
command x. This places the present keyboard
command line in quick command x. A single letter
quick command definition label is expected
following the command key. If the letter you chose
for your label is already assigned to an existing
quick command, it will automatically be redefined
and the old quick command lost. The keyboard
command line (which must exist) is cleared
following this operation.

Create quick command x, which will change to the
current directory. This quick command line is
equivalent to a command if the
keyboard command line contains a change directory
(CD) command to the current directory. If the
label existed previously, the old contents are

Delete quick command x. Deletes the quick command
defined by the label character. ToolBOX beeps
if no such quick command is defined.

9.6 Inferred Batch File Selection

The point-and-shoot operations described in Section 8 executed the
currently selected program. While similar, the inferred batch file
operation doesn't directly invoke this file. Rather, based on the key-
stroke entered, and optionally on the extension of the filename pointed
at, ToolBOX composes the name of a corresponding batch file. If it

ToolBOX User Manual Page 40

exists, it is invoked, otherwise an alternate procedure is performed.
Usually this alternate action is to use the VIEW.EXE utility program to
display the selected file.

These commands and the corresponding match-strings are:


*.xxx Execute TBX--xxx.BAT if accessible,
otherwise use VIEW to display *.xxx

*.xxx Execute TBXC-xxx.BAT if accessible,
otherwise use VIEW to display *.xxx

*.xxx Execute TBXA-xxx.BAT if accessible,
otherwise use VIEW to display *.xxx

--- Execute TBX-ALTx.BAT if accessible.

--- Execute TBX-CTLx.BAT if accessible.

xxx indicates any file extension of up to 3 characters.
These characters are used in the composed file

--- indicates no file match is required. The - and --
used in the filenames are actual dashes.

key-x indicates any keyboard character. The character
(denoted by x) is used in the composed file name.

ToolBOX searches for the composed batch file name in the current
directory and then on each directory referenced within the PATH. If
found, the batch file is invoked with variable parameters.

For the operations with match-strings, the matched filename is passed as
a single filespec and as individual components. For example:

TBX--xxx.BAT f d:p\n.x d p n x

For the operations that do not require a match-string, only the
minimized pathname is passed. For example:


As there is no requirement for a match-string, this command will execute
only once per keystroke. It will not be repeated even if multiple files
are selected. The first selected file is passed only as a possible
convenience. The selected file will remain selected even after
completion of the command.

Keystrokes such as and are not available for inferred
batch files since they are already associated with the higher priority
COPY and DELETE functions.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 41

9.7 Explicit Program Requests

Other commands available include:


*.* VIEW selected file(s). The VIEW program
is invoked to display the contents of
each selected file.

Note that each file is viewed independ-
ently. It is not possible within VIEW to
request the next or previous file.

*.* Killdir - delete directory and its cont-
(Directory) ents, including multiple levels. For
each selected directory, killdir issues a
prompt window allowing the user to select
between 3 options for the directory:

o delete all files and directories
for all levels

o delete all files for all levels

o delete all files for the first

This operation is sometimes referred to
as pruning.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 42


10.1 Typical Usage

All ToolBOX commands described up to this point are implemented through
a second level of intrinsic commands. These intrinsics are understood
and processed directly by ToolBOX. While accessible during normal
command line entry, knowledge of them and their operations is not
necessary for most ToolBOX activities.

Section 10 describes the intrinsics intended for entry through the
keyboard command line. Some of these have been discussed before.
Additional intrinsic commands, which are more often found in the command
sets bound to particular keystrokes, are described in the TBOXCFG User

10.2 Intrinsic DIR command

Section 6.2 explains the features of the dir command:

dir [ [d:][path][matchlist] ] [/s[+-!]#] [/f[+-!]#] [/m] [/hH]

Further to the specification in Section 6.2, the sort or format select-
ion character may also be stated as +, -, or !. Rather than selecting a
specific setting, these respectively infer moving one setting up, down,
or in the direction of the DIRECTION flag.

10.3 Intrinsic CD command

For an explanation of the ToolBOX "cd" command, see Section 6.3.

[cd] [d:][path]

It emulates the DOS equivalent except as follows:

o the path may optionally include the drive specification.
o the "cd" command itself is optional.

On completion the directory data is read and the display updated,
regardless of whether the cd command actually specified a new directory.
ToolBOX beeps if the directory is not located.

10.4 Intrinsic DEL Command

The ToolBOX del command is essentially equivalent to the internal DOS
command. Section 9.4 describes the del command in detail.

del [d:][path]matchlist

ToolBOX will not delete subdirectories, although they are included in
the count for the verification window. ToolBOX will beep if a file

ToolBOX User Manual Page 43

cannot be deleted or if nothing was deleted.

Be careful with the file specification; ToolBOX assumes that for all
specifications without an extension ".*" can be assumed.

10.5 Intrinsic KILLDIR Command

The killdir command is used to delete directory trees or branches, hence
the occasional use of the term prune.

killdir directory

The command always prompts to determine how much should be deleted: all
files and directories, all files, or just the files in the first
directory. For saftey reasons, KILLDIR won't let you delete the ".."
parent directory.

Using the intrinsic directly, rather than , it is possible to
delete the complete contents of a disk with a single command;

e.g.: killdir a:\

10.6 Intrinsic SEL Command

The sel command performs the file selection operation based on a
matchlist. Each match-string within the matchlist may contain the DOS *
and ? wildcard characters.

sel [ @ + - ] matchlist

The optional character for the first argument is:

@ toggle the select state of matched files based on the file
at the file cursor.

+ always set the matching files.

- always reset the matching files.

Without the optional parameter, the matched files are toggled based on
the state of the first matching file. As per the explanation in 6.2,
the matchlist can contain any number of file specifications, each
optionally with a leading negation "!" character.

The searches (which determine the order of selection) are carried out in
directory display order from the beginning; i.e. no special consider-
ation is given to the file at the cursor location. All files
corresponding to the match-string are altered to the same select state.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 44


TBOX [d:][path]matchlist @cfgfile -F# -S#
-V [b m s c e v] [25 43 50] -C[m c g]
-X [Hh] [Dd] [Cc] [Xx] [Rr] [Pp] [Tt] [a#] [Mm]
-M [Aa] [Pp] [Dd] [Cc]

where :

[d:][path]matchlist for directory/files to be displayed

-@cfgfile configuration data file

-display Format # (1 to 8, or letter)

-Sort format # (1 to 8, or letter)



hH include Hidden and system files
dD do directory and exit
cC do directory and conditionally exit
xX go directly to select phase
rR restore DOS screen on exit
pP set pause state following DOS commands
tT tell DOS about available lines
a# permitted audio tones for different errors:
1 (border) + 2 (syntax) + 4 (execution)
mM make Match-list permanent

Aa always swap
Pp swap to EMS expanded memory
Dd swap to Disk
Cc for disk swaps, use current directory

ToolBOX User Manual Page 45


o all fields are optional

o matchlist :

[!]file-match-string . . .

o default
-v25 -XhdcXrTa7m -MaPDc *.* -F1 -S1

ToolBOX User Manual Page 46



1 Master 2 hSAMPLE .COM 1,234 14Jly92 13:00
2 filename-Size 3 SAMPLE .COM 1,234
3 filename-Date 3 hSAMPLE .COM Jly92 13:00
4 Filename 5 SAMPLE .COM
5 Name 7 SAMPLE
6 mAster (B) 2 1,234 hSAMPLE .COM 14Jly92 13:00
7 siZe-filename 2 1,234 SAMPLE .COM
8 filename-sizE (B) 3 hSAMPLE .COM 1,234

- examples are for the hidden file SAMPLE.COM,
containing 1,234 bytes, and whose last modification
date was 1PM July 14, 1992.

- formats 1, 3, 6, and 8 prefix the filename with a
special designator character under the following


s system file
h hidden file
r read only file
\ directory

If more that one is applicable, only the first is

- formats 4, 5, and 7 prefix the filename with a \
character to denote a directory

ToolBOX User Manual Page 47


1 eXtension-name extension, filename
2 Date-name date, filename
3 Size-name size, filename
4 dOs order none -natural directory order
5 Name-extension filename, extension
6 extension-daTe extension, date
7 extension-siZe extension, size
8 Reverse-date-name inverted : date, filename

NOTE : - the second sort field resolves ties remaining from
the first sort.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 48



o the COMMAND KEYS section is completely reassignable through the
TBOXCFG configuration program.

o as a general convention keys are reserved for user
customizations. ToolBOX uses the function keys and
keys for its own operations.

o the and keys are duplicated on the ' and / keys
respectively for convenience.

o refer to Section 4 and 10 for a description of variables and



Select file at cursor:

Select region:

Cancel current operation:

ToolBOX User Manual Page 49



--- Start keyboard command.

--- Recall last keyboard command line.

*.* Toggle status of all files with the same
extension as the file at the cursor.

*.* Toggle selection status of all files.

--- Change directory to the next oldest stack

--- Change directory to the next most recent
stack entry.

--- Help (Single line descriptions).

--- Help (Incorporates command set

or / --- Initiate pop up window for
sort/display/quick commands/direction and

--- Change to next lower installed drive.

--- Change to next higher installed drive.

--- Toggle PAUSE status.

--- Toggle direction flag.

or '--- Execute quick command command x.

--- Assign the current directory to quick
command x.

--- Delete quick command x.

--- Make keyboard command quick command x.

ToolBOX User Manual Page 50


--- Refresh directory display.

--- Move to display directory.

--- Display current directory.

--- Toggle DOS/ToolBOX screen split.

--- Select next sort criteria.

--- Select next file display format.

--- Toggle between ToolBOX and DOS window.

--- Toggle between DIRECTORY/SELECT modes.

--- Switch to 25 line mode.

--- Switch to 43 line mode.

--- Switch to 50 line mode.

--- Switch to current number of DOS lines.

*.* Template for DOS COPY command.

*.* Delete selected files.

--- Template for DOS FORMAT command.

*.* (dir) Kill selected directories.

*.* Print selected file.

*.* Template for DOS RENAME command.

--- Escape to DOS.

*.* Display selected files with the VIEW

ToolBOX User Manual Page 51


*.* (dir) Change directory.

*.BAT Execute batch file.

*.COM Execute .COM file.

*.EXE Execute .EXE file.

*.xxx Execute TBX--xxx.BAT if accessible,
otherwise use VIEW.

*.xxx Execute TBXC-xxx.BAT if accessible,
otherwise use VIEW.

*.xxx Execute TBXA-xxx.BAT if accessible,
otherwise use VIEW.

--- Execute TBX-ALTx.BAT if accessible.

--- Execute TBXA-CTLx.BAT if accessible.

*.* Use VIEW to display the unknown file.



reserved by windows
reserved by windows

ToolBOX User Manual Page 52



(where x is created by )

[ + - ! ]d display drive
p display path
n 8 character file name
x 3 character extension
D current drive letter
P current path
f minimized pathname
c last character from keyboard
 single literal  character


Change directory:

[cd] [d:][path]

Update directory display:

dir [d:][path][matchlist] [/m] [/hH]
[/s[ + - ! ]#] [/f[ + - ! ]#]

Delete selected files:

del [d:][path]matchlist

Delete selected directories and contents:

killdir [d:]path

Select files:

sel [ @ + - ] matchlist

Swap out ToolBOX


ToolBOX User Manual Page 53


The following commands are intended for use within configured command
sets rather than through the keyboard command line. They are included
here for reference purposes only. For further information refer to the
TBOXCFG User Manual documentation.

Switch to the DOS window:

tbx d

Initiate Help (1=basic help, 2 = extended/internal command set):

tbx h #

Toggle current PAUSE status:

tbx p

Set number of screen lines (25, 43, or 50, otherwise DOS setting):

tbx r ##

Toggle current DIRECTION status:

tbx t

Toggle between ToolBOX SELECT and DIRECTORY state:

tbx w

Change directories to the next entry in the directory stack:

tbx N

Change directories to the previous entry in the directory stack:

tbx P

Conditional exit (Use verification window):

tbx x

UnConditional exit:

tbx X

ToolBOX User Manual Page 54

Invoke program if locatable, else use default command line:

t*x f progname.ext [param1] [param2] . . .

Start the keyboard command with newest command stack entry:

t*x l

Start keyboard command with text provided:

t*x p [command-line-text]

Equivalent to t*x p except execution cycle is limited to one

t*x P [command-line-text]

Toggle DOS split screen:

t*x s

Initiate the popup menu window:

t*x w

Invoke program if locatable, else sound(error):

t*x x progname.ext [param1] [param2] . . .

Assign current directory to quick command, get x from keyboard:

t*x C

Delete quick command, get x from keyboard:

t*x D

Add the current keyboard command line as quick command, get x from

t*x K

Execute quick command, get x from keyboard:

t*x X

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