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FOR

Runs a specified command for each file in a set of files.

FOR %variable IN (set) DO command [command-parameters]

  %variable	Specifies a replaceable parameter.
  (set) 	Specifies a set of one or more files.  Wildcards may be used.
  command	Specifies the command to carry out for each file. Use brackets
		to group multi line commands
  command-parameters
		Specifies parameters or switches for the specified command.

To use the FOR command in a batch program, specify %%variable instead of %variable Variable names are case sensitive, so %i is different from %I.

If Command Extensions are enabled, the following additional forms of the FOR command are supported:

FOR /D %variable IN (set) DO command [command-parameters]
If set contains wildcards, then specifies to match against directory names instead of file names.
FOR /R [[drive:]path] %variable IN (set) DO command [command-parameters]
Walks the directory tree rooted at [drive:]path, executing the FOR statement in each directory of the tree. If no directory specification is specified after /R then the current directory is assumed. If set is just a single period (.) character then it will just enumerate the directory tree.
FOR /L %variable IN (start,step,end) DO command [command-parameters]
The set is a sequence of numbers from start to end, by step amount. So (1,1,5) would generate the sequence 1 2 3 4 5 and (5,-1,1) would generate the sequence (5 4 3 2 1)
FOR /F ["options"] %variable IN (filenameset) DO command [command-parameters]
filenameset is one or more file names or a command line command or program in single quotes. Each file is opened, read and processed before going on to the next file in filenameset. Processing consists of reading in the file, breaking it up into individual lines of text and then parsing each line into zero or more tokens. The body of the for loop is then called with the variable value(s) set to the found token string(s). By default, /F passes the first blank separated token from each line of each file. Blank lines are skipped. You can override the default parsing behavior by specifying the optional "options" parameter. This is a quoted string which contains one or more keywords to specify different parsing parameters. The keywords are:
        eol=c           - specifies an end of line comment character
                          (just one)
        skip=n          - specifies the number of lines to skip at the
                          beginning of the file.
        delims=xxx      - specifies a delimeter set.  This replaces the
                          default delimiter set of space and tab.
        tokens=x,y,m-n  - specifies which tokens from each line are to
                          be passed to the for body for each iteration.
                          This will cause additional variable names to
                          be allocated.  The m-n form is a range,
                          specifying the mth through the nth tokens.  If
                          the last character in the tokens= string is an
                          asterisk, then an additional variable is
                          allocated and receives the remaining text on
                          the line after the last token parsed.

Some examples might help:

      FOR /F "eol=; tokens=2,3* delims=, " %i in (myfile.txt) do @echo %i %j %k

would parse each line in myfile.txt, ignoring lines that begin with a semicolon, passing the 2nd and 3rd token from each line to the for body, with tokens delimited by commas and/or spaces. Notice the for body statements reference %i to get the 2nd token, %j to get the 3rd token, and %k to get all remaining tokens after the 3rd.

%i is explicitly declared in the for statement and the %j and %k are implicitly declared via the tokens= option. You can specify up to 26 tokens via the tokens= line, provided it does not cause an attempt to declare a variable higher than the letter 'z'. Remember, FOR variable names are global, and you can't have more than 26 total active at any one time.

You can also use the FOR /F parsing logic on an immediate string, by making the filenameset between the parenthesis a quoted string. It will be treated as a single line of input from a file and parsed.

Finally, you can use the FOR /F command to parse the output of a command. You do this by making the filenameset between the parenthesis a single quoted string. It will be treated as a command line, which is passed to a child CMD.EXE and the output is captured into memory and parsed as if it was a file. So the following example:

      FOR /F "delims==" %i IN ('set') DO @echo %i

would enumerate the environment variable names in the current environment.

In addition, substitution of FOR variable references has been enhanced. You can now use the following optional syntax:

    %~fi        - expands %i to a fully qualified path name
    %~di        - expands %i to a drive letter only
    %~pi        - expands %i to a path only
    %~ni        - expands %i to a file name only
    %~xi        - expands %i to a file extension only
    %~si        - expanded path contains short names only
    %~$PATH:i   - searches the directories listed in the PATH
                   environment variable and expands %i to the
                   fully qualified name of the first one found.
                   If the environment variable name is not
                   defined or the file is not found by the
                   search, then this modifier expands to the
                   empty string

The modifiers can be combined to get compound results:

    %~dpi       - expands %i to a drive letter and path only
    %~nxi       - expands %i to a file name and extension only
    %~fsi       - expands %i to a full path name with short names only
    %~dp$PATH:i - searches the directories listed in the PATH
                   environment variable for %i and expands to the
                   drive letter and path of the first one found.

In the above examples %i and PATH can be replaced by other valid values. Just be careful to pick your FOR variable letters to not conflict with any of the format specifier letters if you plan on using the enhanced substitution logic.

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Other Environment variables (thanks to SS64.com)
Environment variables within a FOR loop are expanded at the beginning of the loop and won't change until AFTER the end of the DO section.
The following example simply counts up the files in the current folder, but %count% always returns 1:

@echo off
SET count=1 
FOR /f "tokens=*" %%G IN ('dir /b') DO (
   echo %count%:%%G
   set /a count+=1) 

To make this work correctly we must force the variable %count% to be evaluated during each iteration, using the CALL mechanism:

@echo off
SET count=1
FOR /f "tokens=*" %%G IN ('dir /b') DO (call :s_do_sums "%%G")
GOTO :eof
 
:s_do_sums
  echo %count%:%1
  set /a count+=1
GOTO :eof

Nested FOR commands

FOR commands can be nested FOR %%G... DO (for %%U... do ...)
when nesting commands choose a different letter for each part. you can then refer to both parameters in the final DO command.



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