CLI workaround for Windows XP : Using LIST (LESS-Like)

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👉 This post was initially written in 2006 and refered to specific software versions. When tunning your system, always consider which version you are running. Information below may be outdated. Use it at your own risk.

In our list of "CLI workaround for Windows XP", a missing command is LESS. Now, you can have a LESS-Like command with the DOS command LIST. Get the [Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit tools][1] on While not 100% functionally-equivalent to most versions of the UNIX LESS command, list does support text searching and bi-directional scrolling. This command is useful when examining log files (such as web server logs), configuration files, and software "read me" files when you don’t want to open a Notepad window.


REQUIRED - The filename you wish to view

Performs a case insensitive search and highlights the first line matching your search text

The list display will jump to the specified line number, displaying it at the bottom of the screen. Note that list starts its line numbering from line 0.

While running the list command, here are a few of the functions you may perform:

Cursor keys
Use the cursor keys to scroll through the file. If the file is too wide to view onscreen at once, the left and right cursor keys will be active.

Page Up, Page Down Keys Scrolls through the text file up or down one page at a time

Home, End Keys Jumps to the beginning or end of the file

Toggles text word-wrap

Q or the ESC key Quit the list display

/ Perform a case-sensitive search of the string you specify

\ Perform a case-insensitive search of the string you specify

n or F3
Searches for the next match to the search string

N Searches for the previous match to the search string

G Jump to the specified line number

F Open a new file without going back to the DOS prompt

? Displays a full list of commands

Note that by entering more than one filename after the list command you can view more than one file. Although only one file is displayed at a time, the following commands switch between files specified on the command line:

CTRL PAGE-DOWN Displays the next file specified on the command line, or wraps to the first file.

CTRL PAGE-UP Displays the previous file specified on the command line, or wraps to the last file.

System Requirements

Supported Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003; Windows XP

  • 30 MB of free disk space
  • Windows XP
  • Windows XP SP1
  • Windows Server 2003 family
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