In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him
til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains
(The Boxer) – Words By Paul Simon
Well the boxer in question here is the BOXER text editor. A tool that I have used for longer than I care to remember – in projects that required something just that little bit different.
This latest release (13) does bring a raft of interesting new features – none more so than the portability aspect.. as shown in the author David Hamel’s summary below.
* Portable Editing
Boxer’s installer provides an option to install to removable media, such as a USB memory stick or a Secure Digital memory card. When run from removable media, Boxer leaves no traces on the host machine on which it is run. Such operation is possible because Boxer now writes its preferences to a disk-based file called BOXER.INI which resides in its data folder. This makes Boxer the perfect tool for portable, on-the-go editing. (If you prefer that Boxer write its settings to the Windows Registry, as was done in earlier versions, an option to do so is provided.)
* Hex/Binary File Editing
Boxer can now edit hex/binary files up to almost 500 MB in size. Use the File | Open Hex command — or the -H command line option — to open a file for hex mode editing. The file will be displayed in a two-part hex display, and editing can be performed by typing hex values in the hex area, or by typing directly in the ASCII area at the right of the screen. The context
menu includes options to insert and delete bytes, if you judge this to be safe for the type of file you are editing.
The Find and Replace dialogs have been made hex-aware, and can be used to search and/or replace in hex mode. Search and replace strings can be supplied either as hex codes or as ASCII text strings. The new Hex Ruler option can display a hex-graduated column ruler at the top of the editing window.
* Unicode Editing
Boxer can open and edit the most common Unicode file formats: UTF-8, UTF-16 little endian and UTF-16 big endian. Once a Unicode file has been opened for editing, it will be treated like any other text file, and all editing operations are available for use on the file. If you would like to change the file encoding of a Unicode file — or change an ASCII format file to Unicode format — you can do so by visiting the File Properties dialog.
Due to its roots as an 8-bit ASCII text editor, Boxer’s does not store Unicode files internally in 16-bit format. Rather, it converts Unicode files to ANSI format as they are opened by mapping characters onto the active Code Page. This enables Boxer to edit all Unicode files that contain text that is 7-bit in nature (such as .REG registry files, some XML files, Microsoft SQL files, etc.), as well as those UTF-8 and UTF-16 files with multi-byte content that resides within a single Windows code page. Boxer cannot be used to reliably edit Unicode files with content that is drawn from several code pages (for example, a file which contains text from many languages), or with content not present in the active Code Page.
* Dockable File Picker
The new File Picker command opens a dockable tool window alongside Boxer that can be used to open files for editing. The File Picker can remain open while Boxer is in use, making it easy to open new files for editing whenever the need arises. The treeview interface can display files from either the local PC or from PCs on attached networks. The File Picker also contains logical entries for “Desktop”, “My Documents”, and other conceptual
locations on the local PC.
The right-click context menu contains options to open the selected file in its default application, or with an application of your choice. Commands to Cut, Copy, Rename and Delete files are also provided. Options are also provided to close the File Picker automatically when a file is opened, and/or when Boxer itself is closed. A list of recent directories from which files have been opened is maintained in the Favorites list at the top of the File Picker window. The Mask control permits the display of files to be filtered to show only a particular class of files.
Changes have been made to make Boxer fully compatible with Windows Vista. When installed on Vista, Boxer will maintain its configuration files in a separate “AppData” folder, apart from its installation location in “Program Files.” This is in accordance with Vista’s User Account Control (UAC) feature. You can quickly locate and explore Boxer’s program folder and data
folder areas using two new commands located on the Configure Menu.
* Multiple Configurations
One outgrowth of the use of a disk-based BOXER.INI configuration file is that it makes it easier to maintain multiple configuration profiles. By creating multiple installation areas, or by using the new -I option flag to designate a configuration file on the command line, you can maintain countless different Boxer profiles, each configured for a different type of editing. This ability can also be useful if two people who use Boxer are sharing the same PC.
* Enhanced Project Support
Bookmarks, window sizes and positions, cursor location, active file, tab stops, word wrap setting, hex editing mode, and file tab arrangements are now preserved within project files. Two new commands have been added to the Project menu: Update One and Update All provide a means to update the active project to reflect the latest editing options for the current file, or for all open files. If you prefer that your project’s options be kept up-to-date automatically, use the new Auto-Update command. Each project is permitted to have a different Auto-Update setting, if desired.
* Drag and Drop File Tabs
Boxer now supports drag-and-drop File Tabs. To reorder the file tabs, use the mouse to drag a file tab to a new location and drop it. When an edit session is resumed, the position of the file tabs will be maintained. The position of file tabs is also maintained within project files.
* Next Function and Previous Function Commands
Boxer includes two new commands that make it possible to move through a supported source file function-by-function: Next Function and Previous Function. These commands rely on the function indexing performed by the Ctags Function Index feature.
* Next Paragraph and Previous Paragraph Commands
The new Next Paragraph and Previous Paragraph commands make it easy to move through a text file by paragraphs.
* Option to Automatically Close Parenthetical Characters
A new option has been added to automatically close parenthetical characters as they are typed, leaving the text cursor positioned between the mating characters. The characters for which this option will apply is also user-configurable.
* Enhanced Auto-Complete Selection
The Auto-Complete feature has been enhanced to include hot numbers within the popup list of suggested completion words. Instead of cursoring into the pop-up list and pressing Enter on the desired entry, now the desired word can be selected by simply pressing its hot number. The display and recognition of hot numbers is optional, and can be configured on the
Configure | Auto-Complete Popup List dialog.
If you haven’t experienced the raw power of this editor and you are like me – just dipping in and out of it to solve specific hex editing or text manipulation problems – get a copy and try it – you will be rewarded for spending the time. This summary barely skims the surface or an extensive tool !!!
For a nicely laid out version of the summary above and to download the app go to http://www.boxersoftware.com/changes13.htm