Over the years I have often been asked to suggest books on various DOS topics such as batch files, variables, error levels, DOS programs, utilities, DOS commands and so on. As may be seen at this website, I have written on some of those subjects myself, but here are publications by other authors, many of whom I favour. (Many are currently in my own DOS library.)
Included are some not read by me, but they have been recommended by those whom I respect in the DOS community. Plus there are some additionals listed that appear to be suitable for readers here. Most books have some duplicate information, especially those focusing on beginner tutorials, but I list them all in case one can be located as opposed to another. As well, I have inserted ramdon titles that will be of interest to most DOS users.
This is not an all-inclusive list of every book or magazine ever published on DOS or its related subjects. (There are thousands!) Presented are those that I feel are worthy of helping the newbie, the intermediate and the advanced user with DOS, along with others that seem to be commonly available.
Generally, software manuals are not listed. However, some are here because they discuss topics about which few independent authors write, or because they contain information that is hard to locate through resources other than via a manufacturer's manual. In addition, some manuals are so well written that they deserve a spot in this section of the Doctor DOS website.
A good number of these publications originally included floppy or compact discs -- even some magazines had addresses from which you could order discs. Typically they contained the batch files, programs and support files discussed in their accompanying articles or book chapters. Furthermore, most discs usually contained related software. For those buying books second hand or requesting them through inter-library loans, if you are fortunate, the discs will be with them. If no disc is included or one cannot be located by other means, search for the programs mentioned at Internet websites. This especially applies to magazines since addresses are unlikely to still be valid. If you wish to have a look for the programs now, try starting at DOS Websites.
Please understand that most publications listed are out of print, some for as long as two or more decades. However, don't let the older dates prevent you from seeking them. Since DOS has remained true to itself, what the older ones contain is often still valid today -- even considering 21st-century DOS versions. In fact, because they were written closer to the dawn of DOS, they often comprise information not easily found today because it has either been pushed into the background, or because today's authors assume it is not as relevant or is already widely known. Therefore, the older books typically go into more detail and explain even rudimentary topics more thoroughly. This is a big plus for DOS newbies.
Realise that some books and magazines may contain information for other operating systems such as Apple/MacIntosh, Linux, OS/2, Unix and Windows. This may be important for those running DOS within those other systems, or for those running Windows on top of DOS. However, since this subsection (and really, the entire website) is aimed directly at DOS users, this material has generally been omitted from, or downplayed in, the accompanying descriptions. Feel free to e-mail if you wish to ask whether such information is in one or more of the listed books.
Regarding more recent offerings, to my knowledge for the past decade or so, DOS writings are now published almost solely on the Internet. An exception is that sections on DOS might appear in recent publications about other operating systems, but they never go into the detail found in the gold mine of DOS books and magazines listed here. In fact, if one were to read every publication suggested and then learned all their contents, one would become a major DOS guru! Becoming so would make one realise that power truly lies at the command line.
Anote regarding the ISBN (International Standard Book Number): You might locate the same books but with different numbers than are listed here. The discrepancy is due to the difference between hard and soft cover, or between editions.
If you feel that a deserving DOS book or
Be sure to check
for links to some of the programs
mentioned in this publications reference.