batch-file Functions


You can add starting variables to the function by adding <parameter> to it's label. These starting variables can be accessed with %n where n is the starting variable's number (%1 for the first, %2 for the second. This %n method works for %1 - %9. For parameter 10 - 255, you will need to use the Shift command).
For example:

:function <var1> <var2>

Once you use call :function param1 param2, param1 can be accessed with %1, and param2 with %2.
Note: the <parameter> isn't strictly necessary, but it helps with readability.

A neat trick that is useful when many variable are flying about is to use setlocal and endlocal in tandem with %n. setlocal and endlocal essentially make the function it's own separate instance of the command prompt, variables set in it only stick around while it's in the frame.

If you are using setlocal and endlocal, and you are returning global values use this.

endlocal & set var=variable

This sets the global value var to variable. You can chain these together for multiple variables.

endlocal & set var=variable & set var2=variable number 2

This sets the global variable var to variable and the global value var2 to variable number 2.
Since code in code blocks are also performed simultaneously, you can do this as well.

if "%var%"=="" (
    set %~2=10

But, you cannot do this.

if "%var%"=="" (
    set %~2=10

Simple Function

call :FunctionX
rem More code...

rem Some code here.
goto :eof

This is a very simple function. Functions are in-program commands that do multiple commands at a time. Functions are made by creating a label and putting code in it, and once it is done, you add a goto :eof or exit /b <ErrorlevelYou'dLike> which returns to where it was invoked. Functions are invoked with call :functionname adparams.

Function With Parameters

call :tohex 14 result
rem More code...

:tohex <innum> <outvar>
set dec=%1
set outvar=%~2
rem %n and %~n are functionally identical, but %~n is slightly safer.
goto :eof

This takes the additional parameters from the call as if the function was a separate Batch file.
Note: the <parameter> isn't necessary, but it helps with readability.

Function Utilizing setlocal and endlocal

set var1=123456789
set var2=abcdef
call :specialvars
echo %var1%, %var2%
rem More code...

set var1=987654321
set var2=fedcba
goto :eof

When inside the section setlocal , endlocal section, variables are seperate from the caller's variables, hence why %var1% and %var2% weren't changed.

Combining them all

set importantvar=importantstuff
call :stuff 123 var1
rem More code...

:stuff <arg1> <arg2>
set importantvar=%~1
echo Writing some stuff into %~2!
set %~2=some stuff
set importantvar=junk
goto :eof

This utilizes the basic function, setlocal and endlocal and arguments to create an odd little function.

Anonymous functions in batch files

Anonymous functions technique uses the fact that CALL command uses internally GOTO when subroutine is called and abusing help message printing with variable double expansion:

@echo off
set "anonymous=/?"

call :%%anonymous%% a b c 3>&1 >nul

if "%0" == ":%anonymous%" (
  echo Anonymous call:
  echo %%1=%1 %%2=%2 %%3=%3
  exit /b 0

You can call an anonymous function only if it is defined after the CALL (or after finishing brackets context if the CALL is executed within brackets). It cannot be called from an outside script ,but is a slower than normal function call.

Calling functions from another batch file

Lets have the following file called library.cmd :

@echo off

echo -/-/- Batch Functions Library -/-/-

    echo argument1 - %1
    goto :eof

To execute only the :function1 without the code of the rest of the file you should put a label :function1 in the caller bat and use it like this:

@echo off

call :function1 ###
exit /b %errorlevel%

    library.bat %*

the output will be (the code outside the function in library.cmd is not executed):

argument1 - ###

For more info check this.