Scripts and batch files are great for automating complex tasks, but they’re not so good at keeping you informed about their progress. Typically you’re forced to Alt+Tab back to the command prompt window to try and figure out what’s going on.
ToastNotification is a tiny console tool which offers an alternative, at least for Windows 8 users. It allows you to display toast notifications – pop-up status messages which disappear after a few seconds – from your own scripts.
The program is a tiny download, which contains a single executable (L2ToastNotification.exe), an image which you can replace to customise the look of your notification, and a text file (Toast.txt) with instructions.
Using ToastNotification is as easy as passing it three arguments, each enclosed in quotes: a title, line 1 and line 2.
L2ToastNotification “Pay attention!” “Free space running short on” “Drive D: !!!”
We noticed a problem with validation – like, there isn’t any – as ToastNotification crashes if you don’t pass it three arguments. But that’s not a problem when you know, and using an empty string “” works fine.
Each argument can only display a maximum of about 27 characters, so choose carefully.
ToastNotification also displays the 90×90 image ToastNotification.png in your alert. The default image contains the developer’s logo, but you can either delete this to leave a blank space, or replace it with a logo or some other image of your own.
The program worked just fine for us, but if you need an alert which runs on more than just Windows 8 – and doesn’t require third-party software – then try something like this:
msg UserName /Time:7 Alert Message Goes Here!
This displays your message to the named user (or * for all), and disappears after the specified number of seconds, or you can drop the /Time switch entirely to wait for a user acknowledgement. It’s not as pretty, and only displays on the desktop, but may be better in some situations.