Command Prompt Examples

Using FOR from the command line

Making mammoth tasks easy

Scenario: You have 1500 TIFF image files. Your boss has decided to backup and archive all these files. Instead of zipping up the whole lot to one archive, he wants you to make a zip file for each individual TIFF file.

Task: you need to create 1500 individual zip files, each containing one image. You have two choices:

  • One: Do it by hand
  • Two: Do it using FOR

To do this you need the free Info-Zip from: The file you need is:

Then unzip zip.exe from this file into the same folder as the images. For the sake of this example, we’ll use C:\images. Then start a command prompt. START > RUN > CMD (On Windows NT/2K/XP), or START > RUN > COMMAND (On Windows 95/98/ME).



cd images

To compress one file (e.g. fred.tiff) we would type:

zip fred.tiff fred

This creates a file called in the same folder.

To do this 1500 times, we would type:

for %d IN (*.tiff) DO zip %d %d

This will find all *.tiff files in C:\images and for each one will run zip to zip it up.

[1] If you use this line in a batch file, you will need to replace %d with %%d.
[2] It doesn’t have to be %d – you could use any name, such as %file.