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Batchrun: an easier way to create simple batch files

01 November 2012, Mike Williams

Batch files can be a great way to automate common PC maintenance tasks, but to get the most out them you’ll need an in-depth knowledge of the various Windows command line tools. Otherwise you may not even know that there’s a way to launch programs in a minimized window, for instance, let alone exactly how to do it.

If you’re not really interested in wading through endless discussion of command line switches in the manuals, though, the free Batchrun offers a simpler, GUI-based route to basic PC scripting.

This starts by choosing the command you want from a drop-down list. There are options like “Run”, “Copy”, “Rename” and “Delete”, for instance, or you can select commands to kill processes, manipulate folders (MakeDIR, Deltree), even copy particular text to the clipboard.

Batchrun's straightforward GUI helps to simplify basic Windows scripting tasks

Then you’re able to provide the details that command needs. So if you’d like to run a program, for instance, you can enter the file to run, any parameters, the program’s priority, its window state (maximized, minimized, or normal) and working directory.

Useful extras include the ability to add a delay into your script. If you’re running three programs in sequence, perhaps, you might ask Batchrun to wait 30 seconds after launching one before it starts the next, just to give your application time to finish.

And when your script is finished, you can run it immediately, or save it as a BRS file (double-click this later and it’ll be processed in the background by Batchrun).

Batchrun clearly isn’t for everyone. PC novices probably won’t understand all of its options, for instance. While experts will be frustrated by the small number of commands, and the general lack of control.

If you understand the command line basics and just need an easier way to create simple scripts, though, Batchrun definitely makes more sense, and overall the program could prove a useful addition to your system.

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