Contents of the DISPLAY.DOC file
DISPLAY Version 1.1
(c) Copyright Douglas Clark and William .C. Parke 1987
Purpose: To quickly display the contents of an ASCII text file, page by
page or a single page, with the ability to show intense, reverse
video, underline, color, and blinking characters using simple
text codes which can be entered from a standard text editor.
DISPLAY is particularly useful in batch files because of its
screen display speed and the ability to display words with
special attributes set.
Format: DISPLAY [d:][path]filename [/p=string]
Requirements: MS-DOS 2.0 or higher; IBM PC or Compatible
If no file name is given, DISPLAY shows a help screen.
If no page is given, DISPLAY loads the given file into memory
and shows its first page (23 lines). Use the PgDn key to show
the next page, PgUp the previous page, Home to show the first
page, and End to return to the last shown page. Use the ESC
key or CTL-C to exit DISPLAY. Note, however, that DISPLAY
will automatically exit if the file has no more than one page
If the /p=string switch is given, then DISPLAY will load the
given file into memory and search for the given page string
which is enclosed in a double carot prefix and suffix.
For example, if /p=MENU is on the command line, then the string
will be searched for. If it is not found, an error message
is generated. If it is found, then the following text will be
shown, after which DISPLAY exits automatically, putting the
cursor at the end of that text.
DISPLAY in Batch Files:
A principle use of DISPLAY is the fast generation of several
lines of text and extended IBM character graphics (including
boxes) from within batch files (command text files with the
The 'standard' way for showing text from a batch file is to
use the ECHO command. As users of BAT files know, several
such ECHO lines are generated at noticeable slow speeds
compared to screen updates they may be accustomed to.
Moreover, it is often desirable to enhance menu choices
in BAT files with color, intense text, and graphic
DISPLAY lets the user generate a screen for his BAT file
using his favorite text editor. By including special
text codes, enhanced displays can be designed. Several
such screens can be put into one text file, with each
screen labeled by a page identifying string. By including
DISPLAY file /p=string
as a line in the BAT file, a very rapid display of the
custom screen identified by the string will be shown
when the BAT file is run.
Using Special Text Enhancements:
By including a backslash character followed by a one or
two letter mnemonic code, one can turn on special text
enhancements and attributes, such as intense, color,
reverse video, etc. The attributes will remain in
effect until changed or turned off by a second such
The table below gives the code necessary to control text
attributes from within a text file:
Monochrome: Start Stop Color: Character Screen
hide \H \h blue \cb \sb
underline \U \u green \cg \sg
reverse video \R \r turquoise \ct \st
blinking \B \b red \cr \sr
intense \I \i violet \cv \sv
alternate ibm- pink \cp \sp
character set \A \a white \cw \sw
Some combinations of attributes are meaningful. For
example, \I\cr\sb will set intense red text characters
on a blue background screen.
DISPLAY is supplied for personal, private use only. The authors
can be reached through CHUG, the Capitol Heath/Zenith Users'
Group, Arlington, Virginia.