|Free Software for DOS|
Text Utilities 1
Text File Viewers, Compile Text to EXE
|21 Aug 2006|
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|This page:||GENERAL TEXT VIEWERS|
|SMALL / TINY TEXT VIEWERS|
|TSR (POPUP) TEXT VIEWERS|
|TEXT VIEWERS FOR PROGRAMMERS|
|COMPILE TEXT TO EXE|
|Page 2:||PROCESS, FORMAT, FILTER PLAIN TEXT|
|Page 3:||SEARCH AND REPLACE|
|sed stream editor|
|grep global regular expression print|
|LINE KILL / REPLACE|
|FILE COMPARE / DIFFERENCE|
|Page 4:||ASCII TEXT SPELLCHECKERS|
|WORD LISTS AND DICTIONARIES|
|WORD COUNT & TEXT ANALYSIS
||ASCII CHARTS||CHARACTER TRANSLATION AND STRIPPING||Page 5:||FILE FORMAT CONVERSION||UNIX < > DOS||OTHER CONVERSIONS||POSTSCRIPT AND PDF: View, print, convert|
HTML viewers are listed in HTML Utilities.
|GENERAL TEXT VIEWERS|
NOTES: LIST and Less are feature packed. ViewS is too, and has a personality. Peruse can run as a TSR.
LIST Excellent text file viewer, Win9x LFN support.
DRLIST Special LIST version for CTTY and ANSI files.
* * * * *
[added 1994, updated 2005-04-10]
LIST is the yardstick by which DOS text viewers are measured and represents one of the most popular shareware programs ever produced for DOS. LIST can view files of nearly unlimited size and possesses many display, search, and filtering options. List can read multiple files or wildcards from the command line allowing you to browse through a series of files. List can also be used as a MORE replacement using the /s switch. User preferences can be "cloned" (saved) you can customize LIST to suit your specific needs. Three versions of LIST are included and vary in size (11K, 12K, 27K), features, and file size handling. The "plus" version adds a directory viewer, some file management capabilities and mouse support. LIST can now display Win9x long filenames in the directory browser (must use 1-column mode); can also preserve LFNs if using copy/move commands.
DRLIST is a customized, older version of LIST that reads files containing ANSI color codes (e.g., captured BBS screens, other files containing ansi escape sequences.) ANSI files will look like gibberish in a normal text file viewer. ANSI translation is fine, but scrolling through an ANSI document is not always a smooth experience. No mouse support. DRLIST can be used by a remote computer via the CTTY or BBS DOORS facility. DRLIST is now included with LIST.
LIST and DRLIST are shareware. "You are urged to register your copy of LIST. Businesses are required to obtain a site license. The network version is available through a license or registration only."
Author: Vernon D. Buerg / Buerg Software (2005).
2005-06-07: v9.6y1. Available only after registration.
Download listplus.zip (121K), older preview version. Includes FV, a free multi-archive viewer.
See WHATSNEW for latest changes.
VIEW View, convert, print text files in many formats.
* * * * *
[added 2004-12-17]VIEW can...view and print ASCII, ANSI, Unix, RTF and HTML files, and also files formatted by these programs:
VIEW can also convert a variety of formats to ASCII or ANSI, preview files, and save or print parts of files. It searches (case-sensitive or case-insensitive) within a file or across multiple files. VIEW works with speech synthesizer software, and on HP Palmtops and other low power machines. Integrates into DOS and Windows shells. Thorough documentation.From the docs:
Usage: view [d:][path][filename] [/sw1] [/sw2] [/sw3] [/sw4] .. [/swx] [text string to find] where switches /sw1, /sw2, /sw3 and /sw4 can be: /a - Use the alternative decoding algorithms (see Ctrl-F10 function) /an - Save the file using the Windows (ANSI) character. /b - allows you to break out of the file read even if you have configured VIEW to disable this function normally. /cfilename.cnv - convert selected file to filename.cnv directly, i.e. without viewing it. The file is saved as ASCII, that is, with hard returns. /Cfilename.cnv - as for /c but file is saved in format suitable for import into word processor (i.e. with hard returns within text suppressed), and with tabs retained. /d - Save the file using the DOS (ASCII character. /fxx - allow the file list to display xx 100s of files. /h - force HTML files to be displayed as ASCII, thus showing their HTML tags. /HP40 - force VIEW to open in 40 x 16 mode (for Palmtop users) /HP64 - force VIEW to open in 64 x 16 mode (for Palmtop users) /s - forces VIEW to look for case-sensitive string when a text string is entered on the command line. Without the switch the search is case-insensitive - i.e., if VIEW is told to find string from the command line, it will look for string String STrinG etc. With this switch used, it will only look for string /Sn - forces VIEW to display the list of files in 1 column (with n = 1) or 5 columns (the default, with n = 5) /lnnn - set line wrap to nnn columns. NOTE: you should not normally need to change this. It is a holdover from version 15 and earlier, before I changed the line wrap algorithm. /mnnn - set aside nnn memory allocation units (see below) /mono - force VIEW to display in monochrome /q - preview mode; show only the first screen's worth of a file /u - (in conjunction with /c or /C) save DOS file in UNIX format /U - (in conjunction with /c or /C) save ANSI file in UNIX format /vnnnn - overrides the default scroll rate. See file scroll.doc carriage return/line feed) /x - for visually-impaired users with speech synthesis software; this switch causes VIEW to place the cursor at the end of the first line of text. This placement is in effect in both regular and scroll modes. /w - overrides the default setting for line wrap when viewing ASCII or ANSI files. /w can be used in conjunction with /lnnn to control the appearance of files that you convert or print directly. /- - allows "strikeout" text in Wordperfect documents to be shown (in UPPER CASE characters). By default, VIEW omits this text. /6 - another switch for forcing an alternate display of Word 6 files. Use it to force VIEW to display all the file if you suspect that only a part is being displayed. Please note that with this switch you will most likely see some garbage at the end of the file. /* - forces field to be decoded as WordstarIf you just type VIEW you will get a list of files on the current drive and directory, from which you can select the one to view. Similarly, if you type VIEW plus drive and directory parameters, you'll get a list of files on that drive and directory. From the file selection menu, you can change to any directory on the drive, or to any other drive. Note that VIEW supports the * wild card character.
Author: Malcolm Drury, Canada (2002).
2002-02-22: v17.2. Last version, no longer maintained. Formerly shareware, now freeware.
Download view.zip (140K).
less File pager / viewer and MORE replacement, from Unix.
* * * * *
[added 1995, updated 2006-03-14]
Less is like MORE the pager program that comes with DOS which allows you to pause and page through multiple screens of output. Less is a popular DOS port of a native Unix program. Unlike MORE, less allows the user to scroll either forward or backward through output. You can also search for text and jump to specific line numbers. LESS can read files like a normal text viewer. less rivals or exceeds the capabilities of the more user-friendly LIST in some areas but some options may be unintelligible to the novice. No mouse support. No directory / file browsing feature. There are significant differences among various releases of less several versions are listed below.Comments:
Prior to v332, versions of less for DOS did not allow use of regular expressions in searching for a pattern in text (but Mark Lord's independently coded v177 does); only literal strings would be accepted...less is one of the few viewers (the only?) that can correctly interpret backspace text sequences like:
B^HBO^HOL^HD^HD BOLD^H^H^H^H____as bold and underline, and display them on-screen using different colors for bold and underline. This was how old printers did bold and underline: by backspacing over letters and inserting overstrikes or underline characters. This is still supported by virtually every printer in use today. less can also interpret other codes that indicate bold, underline, standout, etc. These codes are either intended as signals to different types of terminals (e.g., Wyse, VT100) or are part of the ever growing enhanced markup languages for e-mail (e.g., enriched text).
(Thanks to Howard Schwartz for helpful comments).
Author: Mark Nudelman / Greenwood Software (1984-2005).Versions:
Mark Lord's older v177 [1992-01-04] port is real mode and much smaller (35K) than later protected mode 80386 versions.
The Less Home Page has Mark Nudelman's v381d, in a 32-bit DJGPP build (requires 80386+ and DOS Protected Mode Interface, CWSDPMI or other). "Note: less-382 [2004-02-03] is identical to 381 [2003-01-17] except for the removal of some copyrighted code for OS-9 support. If you have less-381, there is no need to upgrade to less-382." Also available is the improved v394 [2005-12-03], in compilations for OS/2, Win32 and Solaris (but not DOS), with source code.
Jason Hood has compilations [2005-12-24] of Mark Nudelman's v394, for DOS (32-bit DJGPP build, requires 80386+ and DOS Protected Mode Interface, CWSDPMI or other), and for Win32 console. "This is a slightly modified version 394 which adds an option for word wrapping (wraps at the space or tab before the screen edge), as well as fixing minor DOS & Win32 issues."
All versions: Type...
less --help > filename
to get a full command listing. Then type
to read it.
More in these pages from Jason Hood.
ViewS Text file viewer with automatic smooth scrolling.
Vtxt2Exe Text-to-EXE compiler.
* * * * 1/2
ViewS is a breath of fresh air in the arena of text file viewers. It seems to have a dual personality: part arcade game and part serious application. But ViewS is a superior text file viewer. What is immediately apparent on first inspection is the smooth scrolling built into ViewS. The mouse almost acts like a joystick accelerator. Move the mouse down a little and the text starts scrolling by at a slow pace. Move the mouse a greater distance and the scrolling speed smoothly accelerates. I could write several paragraphs extolling the artistic design of this simple app, but will limit myself to listing its strengths as a text file viewer. EXE size about 95K.Features:
Vtxt2Exe can convert a text file into executable (*.exe) format. Original file size must be smaller than 64K. Unlike ReadMake, Vtxt2Exe compresses the executable into a file not much larger than the original text.
Author: Tobias Winkler, Germany (1998).
|1998-11-21:||2.01b6||Proper operation in DOS windows, file search & Fuzzysearch, other new features & fixes|
HighViewer Norton-like text file viewer with many features, including HTML filter.
* * * *
[added 2001-04-21, updated 2001-08-04]
Beneath the familiar NC-like exterior is a wealth of easily accessible commands and features. HighViewer is a Russian product with minimal English documentation, but it does include an English interface and F1 Help. Be sure to explore the title bar with your mouse contains several context sensitive areas (R and L button commands).Brief list of features:
Screenshots, PNG format: 1 2 3 (also see home page).
Author: Dmitry Simerzin, Russia (2001). Suggested by John Pearce.
Download HighView.zip (51K), or go to the HighViewer Download Page for more download links.
HighViewer Page: Russian English.
READANSI Versatile ASCII and ANSI file viewer.
* * * *
[added 2001-09-20]READANSI.COM is an excellent little (2.7K) command prompt text file viewer that is packed with many features:
...this is THE BEST "more replacement" I have ever seen (and handier in some ways than V. Buerg's LIST utility.)...Although I have run into a couple of cases where READANSI could not properly interpret embedded ANSI codes, it has one important feature that the majority of ANSI viewers lack: it allows you to manually control the scrolling while you view the file. Most ANSI viewers have the annoying habit of immediately scrolling all the way to the end of a file...
Author: Brenton Chapin (1995). Suggested by Sam Campbell.
Download rdansi11.zip (6K)
READ Another text file viewer.
ReadMake Text to EXE compiler
* * *
READ is a file viewer that has seen some major improvements over the years. While still not as slick or versatile as LIST, it is a very good viewer and can handle files up to about 800K. Unlike LIST "Plus", there is no directory viewer. Read can accept wildcards on the command line, allowing you to view several files in sequence. Scrolling seems a bit jerky. READ is mouse compatible, and different color schemes are possible. This package also comes with READY which can handle files of unlimited size but lacks some of READ's features (e.g., no mouse support). EXE size= ~110K.
ReadMake can compile any text file into a self executing program (e.g., if you want to distribute a text document without worrying about an appropriate viewing application). ReadMake does not compress the self-executable file, which is often significantly larger than the original text file.
Author: Bruce Guthrie (2002).
Download READ0208.ZIP (340K).
More in these pages from Bruce Guthrie.
HLIST (1) VGA mode text viewer can also read files in ZIP archives.
* * *
HLIST (no relation to LIST) is a text file viewer with two unique characteristics: 1) it runs in VGA mode and 2) it can display text files packed in zip archives (PkUnzip required). Although lacking many of the features present in LIST and ViewS, I prefer to use HLIST for reading e-texts compressed in Zip files. The mouse compatible, graphics-mode interface doesn't affect the appearance of text which still displays as the wonderful and readable DOS font. The graphical component of the interface consists of navigation and other command buttons- as well as a graphic directory browser. EXE size=25K. Notes: HLIST won't run in a windowed DOS box.
Shareware status note: HLIST 1.5 is "free shareware." The shareware status of this program may seem confusing please read the docs. The enhanced version of HLIST (v2.0) can be ordered for US$20.Quick list of features...
Author: Denis G. Sureau, France (1994).
Download hlist15.zip (30K).
CVIEW (1) Fast text file viewer with directory browser, no search.
* * *
This basic text file viewer is distinguished by its extremely fast scrolling speed and a pop-up directory browser. CVIEW is mouse compatible and handles large files. It may be too fast mouse scrolling is difficult to control on a fast computer (scrolling with keys offers more control). If run without parameters, CVIEW pops up a list of files in the current directory. Scroll the list and highlight a file to view. Unfortunately, CVIEW lacks additional enhancements (e.g., no text searching); Documentation sparse. EXE size=36K.
Doesn't appear to be widely distributed on the Net.
Author: Thomas Jaeger, Germany (1994).
Download cview300.zip (38K).
|SMALL / TINY TEXT VIEWERS|
Also see SMOOTH.
Browse Tiny text file viewer and MORE substitute with mouse support.
* * * * *
Browse is a wonderfully simple 1K text file viewer and MORE replacement, packaged with the PMENUE menu program. Unlike MORE, Browse allows scrolling both backward and forward through output. Supports mouse scrolling and handles large files gracefully. Spacebar scrolls text line-by-line; arrow, Home/End PgUp/PgDn navigation keys supported. Very quick. Max line length is 2Kb. No search text function. A superb example of efficient program design.
Author: Horst Schaeffer, Germany (1997). Suggested by Lars-Erik Sandberg.
Download Pmenue23.zip (18K).
Go to Horst Schaeffer's Software Pages, in English auf Deutsch, for more info, update news and other software for DOS & Windows.
More in these pages from Horst Schaeffer.
SHOW 6K, mouse-compatible, text file viewer also handles piped input.
[added 2001-02-12, updated 2001-07-02]
This small ASCII text viewer presents a mouse compatible, GUI-like text mode interface. A scrollbar together with menu bar controls allow full navigation with a mouse you can even "grab" and hold the document using the mouse and move a page left/right/up/down. Although tailored for use in Win DOS boxes, SHOW can be used under plain DOS and full screen as well. Requires 80386+ and DOS 3.3+.
Includes ability to display piped input (e.g.,
DIR | SHOW ), includes a simple search text function (14 char. max), supports Win9x LFNs under Win9x, and handles screens with >25 lines. Colors can be adjusted using an (optional) config file. Command line options include switches for "/Ln (go to line number n) and /S"string". Handles unlimited file sizes and line lengths up to 1,023 bytes. Unique features: allows jumping from a numbered text index item to relevant text sections; Hypertext-like navigation (navigate among *.txt files residing in same directory by double clicking on filenames displayed within text documents).
Author: Horst Schaeffer, Germany (2001). Suggested by Robert Bull.
Download show14.zip (8K).
Go to Horst Schaeffer's Software Pages, in English auf Deutsch, for more info and other software for DOS & Windows.
More in these pages from Horst Schaeffer.
FMORE Fast MORE clone, uses direct video output.
unrated [added 1999-07-27, updated 2005-04-16]
This program is simply a faster, drop-in replacement of the DOS MORE command. You'll notice a marked speed increase in screen writes. Includes PAS source.
Author: Bob Ferguson, Netherlands (2000).
Download fmore13.zip (6K).
More in these pages from Bob Ferguson.
View86 9.4K text viewer with dual file display, no mouse support.
* * * *
Included with the Tree86 Lite file manager, this older text viewer packs quite a few features into 9.4K. I especially like the easy split window / dual file viewing feature. Handles large files. Can accept multiple files on command line. No mouse support or configuration options; color display.Features listed on help screen:
Get View86 with Tree86 Lite.
|TSR (POPUP) TEXT VIEWERS|
Peruse (2) Text and hex mode file viewer with TSR option.
* * *
Peruse is an older yet still capable text / hex viewing package distinguished by a TSR option. When loaded as a TSR, Peruse uses about 7K conventional memory while inactive (can swap out to disk, XMS, or EMS). Hot Key is
Author: Bob Falk / Falk Data Systems (1991).
Download perus111.zip (274K).
PUFF (Pop-Up File Facility) TSR Text viewer and file manager.
[added 2000-11-08]User comments:
PUFF is a popup TSR file manager, and file browser with an astonishing number of features. PUFF can be loaded high and its size can be adjusted by including / excluding parts of it, like online help. The size and position of its popup window is adjustable.
PUFF pops up from within any program, or while at the dos command line. It can perform actions like directory browsing, file copy, rename, and delete, can paste a filename or all or part of the contents of a file into the current application. It also has a built in text viewer that can view, and search files in ascii or hex mode. It has its own cut / paste buffer so that you can store a puff screen (e.g., a list of files) in the buffer and paste the screen into another application later.
Notes: When resident, PUFF requires 29-42K RAM (varies with choice of buffer size and other options). Hot key is modifiable. Extensive online help. Uninstall option.
License note: For some time PUFF has been widely distributed through some major DOS archives / mirrors, I've been recently told the program may have been an "in-house" project for a major computer firm that somehow 'escaped' (without permission) to the public. No hard facts on this end just a warning.
Author: David Mitchell (1989). Suggested by Howard Schwartz.
Download puff307.zip (34K).
TFB (Tsr File Browser) TSR text viewer.
[added 2000-11-08]From the docs:
A small 10K file viewer that can be loaded high and run as a TSR or ordinary program. Allows you to view other files from within most dos applications. Might be handy as a source of help files, available within any application.
Notes: Can handle text file sizes up to 64K. Search for text function, set bookmarks, recent file history pick-list. Requires around 30K RAM when resident. Hot key adjustable. No uninstall option.
Author: Dave Dunfield / Dunfield Development Services Inc., Canada (1994). Suggested by Howard Schwartz.
Download tfb.zip (18K).
|TEXT VIEWERS FOR PROGRAMMERS|
Also see: ViewS.
PASVIEW Text viewer with PASCAL syntax highlighting.
CVIEW (2) Text viewer with C/C++ syntax highlighting.
* * * *
CVIEW and PASVIEW are two German text viewers with the added ability to highlight C/C++ (CVIEW) or Pascal (PASVIEW) syntax. The common interface is in German but easy to navigate. While intended for use with Norton Commander, these viewers work fine alone, or as helper apps for any file manager supporting extension associations. It appears that these viewers can load files as large as available conventional memory.
Other features: Highlighting colors are modifiable, adjustable tab-width, ANSI/ASCII conversion, text search, and show control characters option. Settings can be saved. Mouse support and screen saver. Online help. No documentation.
Note: Both progs have the Borland Pascal 7 CRT bug. See fixes.
Author: Bert Schönwälder, Germany (1995).
QVIEW Text / Hex / ASM viewer and hex editor for programmers.
* * * * *
[added 12-97, updated 2005-12-09]
Qview is a very capable and polished hex editor and text viewer that caters to the assembly language programmer it also functions as an excellent general purpose text viewer. Extensive capabilities, including editing when used in HEX, ASM and text modes. Includes a comprehensive, easy-to-use configuration utility. EXE size=56K. Requires 80386+. Program interface is in English, docs are in Russian & English.General features, culled from the docs:
Author: Alexandr Gazko, Russia (1999).
Download QVIEW.zip (383K).
QView Main Page (old).
GNU man Displays Unix
man (manual) pages.
* * * * *
This DOS clone of a Unix tool looks for
man pages, which it then writes to standard output or pipes to a pager (default is
less). It can also handle plain text files. 32-bit DJGPP build, requires 80386+ and a DOS Protected Mode Interface (CWSDPMI or other). A 16-bit port is also available (see below).
A valuable tool: Formatted
man pages are included with nearly all the GNU / DJGPP programs featured in these pages.
Usage: man [-] [-al] [-M path] [[-s] section] topic ... If no options are given, looks for a manual page which describes TOPIC in directories specified by MANPATH environment variable and displays that page. If the standard output is not a terminal, or if the '-' option is given, 'man' writes the manual page(s) to standard output; otherwise, it pipes the page(s) through a program defined by the PAGER environment variable, to allow browsing and bold/underlined words to be displayed on the screen. MANPATH is a list of directories separated by ';'. Each directory in this list is assumed to contain either manual pages (files) or subdirectories named `manN' or `catN' with manual pages. 'man' does NOT look more than one level deep into the subdirectories. The command to display pages is 'less.exe -c'. The path to look for man pages is: 'c:/djgpp/man;c:/djgpp/info;/usr/man' Options: - Write the output to standard output, even if it is a terminal. By default, when stdout is a terminal, 'man' pipes its output through a pager program. -a Display all manual pages which match TOPIC. By default, 'man' displays the first page it finds. -l List all the manual pages which match TOPIC, but don't display them. Each page is listed together with the -M argument which, if used, will cause 'man' display that page alone. -M path Specifies an alternate search path for manual pages. PATH is a list of directories separated by ';', just like the value of MANPATH. This option overrides the MANPATH environment variable. -s section Specifies the section of the manual for 'man' to search. 'man' will only display pages from these sections. SECTION may be a digit perhaps followed by a letter, a letter from the set [onlp], or one of the words 'old', 'new', 'local' or 'public'. You cannot specify more than a single section at a time, but you can specify multiple -s options ("-s 1 foo -s 5 foo"). A section name in short form only (1v, n, etc.) can also be given without preceeding it with the -s switch. -v Causes 'man' to print messages about non-fatal errors it encounters during the run. -d Causes 'man' to display debugging trace of its run.
Author: Eli Zaretskii, Israel (2000). 16-bit port by Erwin Waterlander.
man (PCMan) Extension of the Unix
man page helpfile system.
* * * * *
[added 1998-10-01, updated 2005-03-28]
reviewed by Howard Schwartz (10-1-98)
Have you ever promised yourself you would organize all those documentation files that come with software programs, so you could find them when you need them? This helpfile is a great tool for doing this. It is an extension of the Unix "man page" helpfile system essentially a menu browser for help files (with 4DOS type descriptions), a viewer, and a data-base to search for the files you want.What makes this one better than other helpfile systems?
man + filelets you install several text file entries into the database at the same time (instead of one by one). NOTE: the documentation mistakenly shows this command as:
man -+ fileHowever, the command will not work if the dash
Author: Stuart Herbert, UK (1994).
Download pcman19b.zip (116K).
info file browser.
* * * *
InfView decodes and displays the
info (formatted manual) pages that are standard with Free Software Foundation (GNU) and DJGPP programs. It can open multiple files in overlapping windows, with navigation by keyboard, or mouse, or pull-down menus. Originally developed as a helper app for SETEdit, this is a standalone version. Free, under GNU General Public License.
32-bit DJGPP program, requires 80386+ and a DPMI provider (CWSDPMI or other). Additional requirements: DOS 5.0+ including Win9x; 2MB memory; 2.4MB HD space during installation and 1.5MB afterward.
Author: Salvador Eduardo Tropea, Argentina (2003).
Download inf028b.zip (324K).
Get more info at the InfView page.
|COMPILE TEXT TO EXE|
Also see: ReadMake and Vtxt2Exe.
XDOC Compiles text file into executable viewer.
* * *
XDOC is a text to EXE converter that offers some potential advantages over ReadMake:
*n/a: not effectively compressed with any freeware EXE-packer I'm aware of.
EXE PACKED %
XDOC 348K 356K 140K 40 ReadMake 348K 489K n/a* 140
Author: JauMing Tseng, Taiwan (1998).
Download xdoc127.zip (36K).
DRC (David's Readme Compiler) Creates menu-based viewer for text files.
[added 1998-07-27 updated 2004-11-28]
DRC conpiles a source text file into an executable viewing application that can be accessed via a multilayered menu structure. Multi-language support. Unlike simple TXT2EXE converters, DRC requires insertion of formatting codes within source files.
Developed prior to the HTML era.
Author: David Harris, New Zealand (1993). Suggested by Greg Head.
Download drc21.zip (260K).
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