At the bottom of the External Tools dialog, you’ll see more options for customizing the external tool within visual studio.  Today’s tip is about the Use output window option.  The idea here is you’re running a .bat file, and you want to track the progress within Visual Studio.  (and if you have a great real-world example, please leave a comment.)

Using the command prompt as the tool, you can set the Arguments to something like “/C echo $(CurText)” where

/C – from cmd.exe, carries out the command specified by string and then terminates


$(CurText) is a token that comes from Visual Studio that represents the currently-selected text.

Current Text Token

Now running this external tool with a line of text selected in the editor, we get the following in the output window:

Command Prompt Output in Output Window

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