Before the Oracle 11g RDBMS release, I noticed that SQL*Plus users on Windows were divided into 2 camps; the users who wanted easy copy & paste, and the users who wanted the ability to scroll through previous commands.
(actually there is a 3rd camp, users who don't use SQL*Plus ;)
If like myself you lay in the former camp you used the Windows version of SQL*Plus – sqlplusw.exe. The Windows version happily supports Windows copy and paste but had no ability to scroll back through previous entered commands. To me that's no problem because I'm always working with my text editor of choice Ultraedit, copying backwards and forwards between the two, and not interested in what I last entered because it's in the text editor.
If you were in the later camp, the good old Windows Command Prompt (a'la DOS) version sqlplus.exe was great for you. Thanks to the up and down arrows, you could easily scroll through previous commands and even modify previous commands without having to resort to the SQL*Plus command line editing mode which has its roots in Medieval Computing. However if you wanted to copy and paste this introduced the horror of the Mark-Copy-and-Paste interface in the Windows Command Prompt which is just a pain in the b*tt to use. It seems Microsoft really doesn't want us to resort to good old DOS!
Within the 11g release of the RDBMS, Oracle (much to their wisdom ;P) has dropped the sqlplusw.exe Windows version and now suggests we either use the command prompt version or SQL Developer. I'm a big fan of SQL Developer (did somebody say free?!), but I find its SQL Worksheet clumsy and it's not my tool of choice for running scripts. So what to do with the SQL*Plus command line version? How can you use it with the beauty of both a useable copy and paste and historic commands?
One alternative is Console: "Console is a Windows console window enhancement. Console features include: multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable font, different window styles".
Note my emphasis on "text editor-like text selection". Yeehaw! We now have copy and paste. Admittedly and understandable it doesn't use Ctrl-C and Ctrl-P as they have a different meaning in a normal DOS window, but rather Ctrl-Insert and Shift-Insert to copy and paste. In addition to mark text to copy, you hold down the Left-Shift key while dragging the mouse with the left mouse button held down. It takes a little getting used to but is better than the alternative.
Console is released under the GNU GPL making it free to use. Small note that the current release 2 build 138 is a beta release, so be wary that your mileage may vary. Well done to Marko Bozikovic for this useful little utility.