Use External Tools, Programs and Applications with Your Text Editor

If you need to invoke other tools or applications on the files you edit, make your life easier by adding those applications to EditPad Pro’s Tools menu. E.g. when editing source code, simply add your programming language’s compiler or interpreter to the Tools menu. Then you can easily compile and run your program right within EditPad Pro by pressing a button or clicking a menu item.

EditPad Pro can capture the tool’s output into a special message pane, or into a new tab. While the Windows command shell will only show the last 100 lines or so of output, EditPad Pro saves all the output. If you capture it into a new tab, the output becomes a regular (unsaved) file which you can edit and save like any other file. You can set up a special file type for the output with specific settings, such as the special syntax coloring scheme for batch file output and various compilers and interpreters included with EditPad Pro. The schemes can highlight file names and line number references in the tool’s output. Double-click a link to open the file in EditPad Pro at the designated line.

If you capture the output into the message pane, you can keep the output visible while you inspect and edit the batch file and data files referenced in the output. The message pane can use the same syntax coloring scheme for highlighting the batch file’s output. The scheme is fully editable, so you can adjust it to the particulars of the output produced by whichever tools you run.

Any application can be added to the Tools menu. Though very useful for programmers, the Tools menu saves time for everybody who uses other software while editing text files. You could even add unrelated applications like music players or graphics programs as tools. Then you can start them via a menu item, toolbar button or keyboard shortcut from within EditPad Pro.

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“Not a day goes by while I’m using EditPad Pro that I don’t suddenly realize all over again how excellent it really is. Your good work makes my days appreciably happier, easier and technically cooler. Thanks again.”
— Michael Brenden
  20 June 2008, Maryland, USA

Use Tools to Extend EditPad Pro’s Abilities

Use EditPad Pro’s extensive abilities to invoke external applications and scripts to extend EditPad Pro’s functionality with tools or scripts written in your favorite scripting language, such as Perl or Python. EditPad Pro can pass the file name of the file you are currently editing on the command line to your script, or even send the file to the script’s standard input. Your script can then read from standard input, do its job, and send the results to standard output. EditPad Pro can capture the standard output into a new tab.

You can even write a script that only works on the selected part of the file you are editing. EditPad Pro will save the selection into a temporary file, pass it on the command line to the script (use %TEMPFILE% on the command line for the tool), and replace the selection with the modified contents of the file after your script has finished its job. That way you can easily add whichever text processing feature you want simply by implementing it in your favorite scripting or programming language.

EditPad Pro does not have a built-in scripting language. Instead, it offers you extensive options to run external scripts using the scripting language’s own interpreter.

Example Tool Configurations

Once you’ve added an application to EditPad Pro’s Tools menu, you can export the tool’s configuration into a file, and share it with others. You can download a set of example tool configurations that show you how you could configure the following tools:

HTML Tidy and XML Tidy

A popular tool with webmasters is the “Tidy” utility. This tool cleans up and reformats HTML and XML files. This makes it much easier to read and edit the raw HTML and XML structure. Tidy will also warn about errors in your HTML and XML files.

Tidy is a command line utility, which makes it a little hard to use by itself. Fortunately, EditPad Pro’s extensive options for running command line utilities make using Tidy from within EditPad Pro a piece of cake. EditPad Pro will automatically send your HTML or XML file to Tidy, and automatically capture Tidy’s output back into EditPad Pro.

To get started, simply download Tidy. Precreated tool configurations for EditPad Pro are included in the archive. You can easily import them via the Configure Tools item in the Tools menu.

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