In Linux, I use a semi-transparent terminal app. It does not add any functionality as such to the terminal, but gives a fancy appearance to my console. With Windows 10, Microsoft added the same ability to the good old command processor, cmd.exe, and PowerShell. It's a lesser known feature that you can change the transparency level on the fly for the current window with hotkeys.
In Windows 10, the command prompt was significantly updated. It has a LOT of new features which make it really useful. These include an extended set of hotkeys such as:
- CTRL + A - Select all
- CTRL + C - Copy
- CTRL + F - Find
- CTRL + M - Mark
- CTRL + V - Paste
- CTRL + ↑ / CTRL + ↓ - Scroll line up or down
- CTRL + PgUp / CTRL + PgDn - Scroll whole page up or down
The console window can now be freely resized and opened fullscreen. Also, it supports text selection using the mouse like any other text editor.
Besides these usability improvements, the command prompt also received some appearance enhancements. You can make it transparent. First of all, let's see how it can be done.
Make Command Prompt Transparent in Windows 10
- Open a command prompt instance.
- Right click its title bar and select Properties from the context menu.
- On the Colors tab, adjust the transparency level using the provided slider control:
Looks pretty cool, right?
If you are changing the transparency level frequently, e.g. depending on your tasks, this procedure can be annoying. Instead, you can change the transparency level on the fly using the hotkeys. Here is how.
Change the command prompt transparency level with hotkeys
- Open a new command prompt window.
- Press and hold the Ctrl + Shift keys and scroll the mouse wheel.
- The transparency will be instantly changed for the window.
- Now, open a new PowerShell console.
- Press and hold the Ctrl + Shift keys and scroll the mouse wheel to change its transparency level.
The change will be applied to the active window. Other PowerShell and Command Prompt windows won't be affected.
The following video demonstrates this in action:
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