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Intelligence Services

Common Features

This section gives information about COMMON features that are
found in each Text Tool program within PentaTextTools.

It also explains notation and symbols as used within this
document and by PentaTextTools.


Symbols like "<d>" in this document mean that there is a symbol
represented by "d".  The "<" and ">" should NOT be included in
whatever is used for "d".  (They have special significance to
the DOS shell.)  The same applies to other symbols like "<file>"
and "<command>".


File Types:

Files can be plain disk or RAMDISK files or also data piped
into a Text Tool from another process or the standard PC-DOS
redirection command line operators of < and |.

Files up to 2 GIGABytes in size can be examined.

File Names:

In some versions of DOS, LONG or IFS file names are available,
along with their corresponding 8.3 file names.

Standard DOS 8.3 (FILENAME.EXT) file names can always be used
with PentaTextTools.

With these, the main name(s) You specify can be from one to
eight bytes in length and the extension(s) can be from zero to
three bytes, in the set of characters permitted for DOS 8.3 file


The "wildcard" characters of "?" and "*" match one or more
characters by the same convention used in Windows NT.  You can
use these in interesting ways:

For "*" or ANY, a file name pattern like


matches any of




(ANY or "*" matches any remaining file name portion, that at
some point, matches any remaining pattern after "*".)

Or for "?" or ONE, a pattern like




but NOT


(ONE or "?" advances any remaining file name portion by one byte
but not at "." or DOT or the name end.)

And PentaTextTools "magic" or "wildcard" file name matching can be
used in every version of DOS, even if a DOS version does not
match like this in its own commands.

File Paths:

A file path can include drive and/or directory components.

Normally, DOS uses the Back Slash (\) character to specify
a directory portion of a path:



If You specify one or more Slash (/) characters instead, to use
a Unix-type path, then the entire path is displayed in the Unix
format, with all directory separators shown as Forward Slashes
for options such as -f, show file name.





Option -tx turns OFF this feature.


Long file names or alternate IFS file names can be used to
specify files *IF* MS-DOS is enabled for these.

Older version(s) of DOS, some versions of Windows NT,
and perhaps some network software configurations,
do not offer the basic essential set of DOS interrupt
functions for IFS files.

Long file names or entire file paths, that may include a
directory path, can be up to 256 characters long, either for a
single file name, or a combined directory and single file path.

No special provision has been made for other types of IFS file
names, that may include UniCode character sets.  A Text Tool
will display each non-standard character as an underscore "_"
character.  Editing of some files such as this may be limited.

File Cycling:

Files can be cycled through very quickly when viewing by screen.

Just use the TAB key to skip to the next possible file.

File Sharing Network or System information:

A Text Tool grabs a file for and tries to reserve the file
for exclusive write-protected use.

If a file is not available for this the Text Tool will


not access the file if the Text Tool is configured by options
to possibly change the file.



access to the file any way it can, first trying to get
exclusive access to the file but, but then trying to gain
access even if another process is also using the file.

After using a file, the Text Tool gives it back to the system
and any other processes waiting for it.

If the Text Tool wants to use a file again, it will wait
until the file is available.

File Options:

Files can be filtered so that only TEXT characters are output.
(See Common Option -jf).

The name of each file being operated on is usually given at the
start of output.  It can optionally prefix each line of
corresponding text data (Common option -f).

Hidden files can be examined too by use of Common option -h.

Network file sharing is supported.  A Text Tool will patiently
wait for a file locked by another program to finish before
examining the file.  (See Common option -jn).

Any directory in a standard PC-DOS file system can be examined
RECURSIVELY, that is, from the top of some directory to its
deepest subdirectories.  (See Common option -r).

Files that are only TEXT can be selected for use by a Text Tool
(See Common Option -jt).

A prefilter can be run a file before its use by a Text Tool.
(See Common option -C<d>).

A prompt can be requested for each file to be operated on.
(See Common option -jp).

Command Line Files:

A Text Tool command line can be extended to many parameters in
length by use of a Command Line File (CLF).

This way a Text Tool can be given a complex and lengthy sequence
of operations to perform, even continuously.  It does this
without having to rely on separate lines of invocation from a
PC-DOS batch file.

CLF's also allow recirculation of parameters.

This is done by using common option -jF<d>.

See Common option -jF<d>.

Multiple Drives:

Using a Text Tool on Multiple drives for a file specification is
supported.  This is done by using a range like


where "[a-c]:" would use drives A: through C: when selecting
"<fileSpec>" on each of them.

All drives could be selected by giving a full range like


where the "*:" notation means to look for the
<fileSpec> on all drives or "[a-z]:".

Option -tx turns OFF this feature.

Only drives that are part of the actual file-system are used.

TEMP (Temporary) files:

If the programs make temporary files they will make them
by default in the current directory or other given by option

TEMP files usually look like tmp<something>.000 where
<something> is an abbreviation for the type of temporary file.

TEMP files can also occur in a directory with files undergoing
TextTool editing.

Change Resistant Files:

These are files that are protected in some extra special way.

Perhaps they are set to be unchangeable by a manager, some
utility or driver beyond the normal DOS.

A Text Tool that edits files cannot change these files yet.

Perhaps in the future...

A warning message

	Needs valid file WITHOUT hard protection

is given if Change Resistant Files are encountered in edit.

CDROM Files:

You can examine files on CD-ROM's with these programs.

Try using the TextTools' pre-filter command (option
"-C<command>") to decompress CD-ROM archives that might have
interesting information within ZIP and other compressed files.

Changing files on CD-ROM's will not work with any software
program, because CD-ROM's are ROM's : Read Only Memory files.

ERROR Files:

If the Text Tool terminated because of a program malfunction
error or other abortion, there perhaps will be TEMPorary file(s)
having names like "tmpxxxxx.001" in the current directory or
one pointed to by the -tT<d> option.

Screen Output

Screen output of certain characters is translated to reverse
intensity capital letters on the screen.  This is done to
minimise undesirable effects these could have on screen display.

Character	ASCII	Ctrl	Translation

Back Space	 8	^H	B
Bell or Gong	 7	^G	G
Escape		27	^[	E
Return or Enter	13	^M	R
LineFeed	10	^J	L

In PentaTextTools:

a Return Character not followed by a LineFeed is shown as R

a LineFeed Character not after a Return is shown as L.

(PentaTextTools tool STRINGS only outputs TEXT characters so normally
this does not apply to STRINGS.)

The standard DOS newline sequence is a Return followed by a
LineFeed Character.  It is invisible on the screen.

Also, if a line becomes too long for the screen to display, it
places an inverted hyphen (-) at the last screen column and
wraps over to the next line.

Screen Output is paged for easy viewing.  After a screen has
been filled with lines, the User is prompted to continue by
pressing a standard key.

PentaTextTools and Windows

When using a Text Tool in a MS Windows Dos Box Window:

Blinking, High-Intensity and other special features of a
Text Tool may be inhibited by the limited features of a Dos Box

To overcome this, simply press the


keyboard command sequence to bring up a full-screen large-font
standard MS-DOS window and these attributes might reappear.

To go back to the Dos Box Window, just press


again to perform useful Window Edit tasks such as Copy and

Stopping Programs

The programs can be stopped by Ctrl-C or Ctrl-Break.

The possible exceptions to this are when a program is in a tight
loop or a program is running a system program from within
itself.  If you are patient the program will come out of its
loop or back from wherever it is and can then be interrupted by
your Ctrl-Break.

Program/System Problems

If the program does not have enough memory to operate, a simple
message is given.

If 64K of RAM is available then the programs should run alright
with light work loads.

Command Line

Command line parameters are separated and formed in a manner
similar to DOS/UNIX command-line utilities.

The MAXIMUM length of a command line for a Text Tool is 127
bytes, to include the main name of the command being used.


A command like "ABCDEFGH.EXE XYZ" or ".\ABCDEFGH.EXE XYZ" or
"ABCDEFGH XYZ" uses up 12 of the 127 bytes, 8 for "ABCDEFGH" and
4 for " XYZ".

If a Text Tool like NLX.EXE is renamed to be shorter,
like A.EXE, then a command like "A XYZ" or "A.EXE XYZ" only uses
up 4 of the 127 bytes.

Command Lines can extended by option "-jF<d>" with a
command parameter text file.

Also, a Text Tool ENVIRONMENT setting, like


can be like the very front of a command line to make it longer.


See other Info and Option sections for more details.

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