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# How to import a text file to a environment variable in a batch file

Posted on 2011-02-22
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I am trying to use a path previously stored as a text file to set an environment variable in a windows batch file. I had thought that type file.txt >> %var% would work but it didn't. This should be simple but I need help figuring it out.
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Question by:ProTek2
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Accepted Solution

sjklein42 earned 500 total points
ID: 34952758
File containing path:

path.txt
c:\foo\bar


command:
for /F %i in (path.txt) do set mysymbol=%i


inside a batch file setPathToFileContents.bat (note doubled %):
@for /F %%i in (%2) do @set %1=%%i


call this way

setPathToFileContents mysymbol path.txt

set
...
mysymbol=c:\foo\bar
...


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LVL 3

Expert Comment

ID: 34952763
Hi, I think you should use "Echo" instead of "Type" if you'd be doing it that way or instead use the "SET" command inside of the batch file instead.
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 34955398
I'm sure that my inexperience with scripting was the only reason that I didn't follow it exactly. However, I realized after that problem was solved that I hadn't asked the right question. The answer saves the path but it gives no way to find WHERE it is saved when needed.
0

LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 34955744
Yes.  You can use the "path" by referring to it as %mysymbol%

For example, after calling

setPathToFileContents mysymbol path.txt

You can then use that path:

dir %mysymbol%

Of course, you don't need to call it "mysymbol".
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Author Comment

ID: 34956399
Not the way I'm using it. The initial batch file will be started by a downloaded setup package and in that .cmd file, PowerShell is used to restart it with the "runas" parameter because administrative privileges are required for the other activities, not the least of which is moving a file into the system path for subsequent use. When the cmd shell is invoked, it is running in c:\windows\system32 instead of the download folder and the normal variables become null. The path may have been saved in a file but the path to the file (which holds the path to the file) is also lost. It turns out that a PushD created variable survives the elevation process and I used that to concatenate the "move" directive that I needed.

But thank you for your information. I'm sure that it will come in handy at some point.
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