Review: TextPipe Pro
A snazzy tool for making wholesale textual changes to a group of files.
How many times have you been faced with some text that's almost but not
quite right? Did someone have their tabs set at three spaces where you
want four? Are the variable names not what you'd like? Is there extra
HTML markup cluttering what should be a simple README file?
You've probably tackled these jobs in one of two ways: just fix the darned
things by hand in a text editor, or write a macro to have the editor fix
them. If that's the case, it's time to learn about TextPipe Pro. The idea
is very simple: TextPipe Pro takes text, a file, or a group of files,
applies one or more filters, and writes the changes back out. Filters
can do nearly anything you can imagine. Just a few examples:
- Add new text at the start or end of a line
- Reverse selected text
- Change case
- Strip out HTML markup
- Search and replace
- Word wrap or center text
- Number lines
- Extract e-mail addresses
- Transform text using a scripting language
Get the picture? It's darned powerful, but the user interface makes the
power easy to manage. You create new filters from a menu, customize them,
and use the Trial Run button to see the overall effect on some text. When
you're satisfied, one button click does the work. Think about this the
next time you need to update all the copyright notices on the corporate
web site. Worth $129 to automate that? Probably so.
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.