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Description

Fixtext is a simple command-line utility that I wrote in a few hours (OK, probably less than that) to get rid of all those annoying box characters that Notepad (and some other text editors) display when you open a text file with the wrong type of newline characters in it. I'm sure you've seen it before: you've downloaded some text document (or some program with a readme file) and tried to open the text document in Notepad, and there's box characters where all the carriage returns are supposed to be. And I'm sure once you tried to read it, you first manually got rid of the annoying box characters by going through the file, erasing the box characters, and pressing <ENTER> for each of the characters. Well, this simple program is supposed to fix all that automatically: just go to the command prompt and type:
fixtext textfile
where textfile is the file you want to get rid of the box characters in. All the box characters in textfile will be gone, replaced by the proper newline characters, so you can read the file without first having to get rid of the annoying box characters manually.

I suppose I should add here that you can get many good free Notepad replacements (I use Notepad+ myself) that not only handle the newline box-character issue flawlessly, but that also aren't subject to the same braindead limitations as the regular Windows Notepad (such as the tiny 64k filesize limit, or the lack of a Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut for "Save", the lack of MDI support, and many other things). I would definitely recommend to get one if you work with plaintext files a lot (like me), or if you're just annoyed by the limitations of Windows Notepad. (I especially hate that "This file is too large for Notepad to open" error message, as if after all these years Bill Gates & Co. still hasn't figured out how to make a decent, fast text editor that can open files larger than a measly 64k. Not that I'm surprised by this.)


Download

Click here to download the zip file containing the program (34k), and unzip it to whatever directory you'd like to install it in. (I put it in my PATH just so I have access to it wherever and whenever I need it.) Source code is included in the zip file. If you run this under pure DOS you also need CWSDPMI to run it.

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Page Last Updated: December 23, 2003

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