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Article ID: 68268 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 3.0

This article was previously published under Q68268
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You can simulate wildcards with the FOR command for those commands in MS-DOS that do not allow wildcards. The structure of the command is as follows
   for %p in (set) do (command) %p
where %p is a variable used by the FOR command, (set) is a set of filenames that command will be applied to, and command is the command to be carried out. For example:
   for %p in (*.txt) do type %p
   for %p in (*.txt) do find "CONFIG" %p

More information

You may want to create a batch file for this command because it will be much shorter. However, unlike the command-line version of the FOR command, the batch-file version uses two percent signs (%). The following are two batch-file examples:
   for %%p in (%1) do type %%p
   for %%p in (%1) do find "%2" %%p
Using the second batch-file example, the following command typed at the MS-DOS prompt finds every file ending with the .TXT extension that has the string "CONFIG" in it. The quotation marks ("%2") are specific to the FIND command and not necessarily part of the FOR command syntax. If the second example is in a batch file called FF.BAT, to invoking the batch-file command, type:
   ff *.txt CONFIG"

Applies to
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.21 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft MS-DOS 6.22 Standard Edition
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