3.1 Tab-delimited source files4 Running AscToTab
3.2 Plain text source files
4.1 Execution from a command line5 HTML markup produced
4.1.1 Processing several files at once4.2 Windows version
184.108.40.206 Using wildcards4.1.2 Command line qualifiers
220.127.116.11 Using a steering command file
18.104.22.168 The /CONSOLE qualifier
22.214.171.124 The /OUT=filespec qualifier
126.96.36.199 The /SILENT qualifier
188.8.131.52 The /RTF qualifier
184.108.40.206 The /TABBED qualifier
220.127.116.11 The /HELP or /? qualifier
4.2.1 Launching the program4.3 Refining your results
18.104.22.168 Normal activation4.2.2 Using the Windows Interface
22.214.171.124 Execution from a command line
126.96.36.199 Drag'n'Drop execution
188.8.131.52 Doing a straightforward conversion
184.108.40.206 The File menu
220.127.116.11 The Conversion options menu
18.104.22.168 The Settings Menu
5.1 <TABLE> statement6 RTF markup produced
5.1.1 BORDER=n attribute5.2 <CAPTION> statement
5.1.2 CELLPADDING=n attribute
5.1.3 CELLPADDING=n attribute
5.1.4 BGCOLOR="colour" and BORDERCOLOR="colour" attributes
5.1.5 WIDTH=<pixel_size> or WIDTH=<percentage>
5.3 <TH> statements
5.4 <TD> statements
7.1 Policy files8 Purchasing AscToTab
7.1.1 HTML Colours7.2 Preprocessor commands
7.1.2 TABLE policies
7.1.3 Document policies
22.214.171.124 Document Style Sheet7.1.4 Other policies
126.96.36.199 Document keywords
188.8.131.52 Document description
184.108.40.206 Document title
220.127.116.11 HTML header
18.104.22.168 HTML footer
22.214.171.124 TAB size
126.96.36.199 Minimise HTML file size
188.8.131.52 Use .HTM extension
7.2.1 The BORDER command
7.2.2 The CELLSPACING and CELLPADDING commands
7.2.3 The BGCOLOR and BORDERCOLOR commands
7.2.4 The CAPTION command
7.2.5 The HEADING_ROWS command
7.2.6 The HEADING_COLS command
7.2.7 The WIDTH command
7.2.8 The MIN_COLUMN_SEPARATION command
7.2.9 The TABLE_MAY_BE_SPARSE command
7.2.10 The TABLE_CONVERT_XREFS command
7.2.11 The CHANGE_POLICY command
7.2.12 The TABLE_COLOR_ROWS command
7.2.13 The TABLE_ODD_ROW_COLOR and TABLE_EVEN_ROW_COLOR commands
8.1 How do I purchase AscToTab (trick question)?9 Contacts on the Web
9.1 The home page10 Known problems
11.1 Version 1.00 (December '97)
11.2 Version 2.00 (February '98)
11.3 Version 2.3 (April '98)
11.4 Version 3.0 (August '98)
11.4.1 Bug fixes11.5 Version 3.1 (March '99)
11.4.2 New functions
11.4.3 Other changes
11.5.1 Bug fixes11.6 Version 3.2 (October '99)
11.5.2 New functions
11.5.3 Other changes
11.6.1 Bug fixes
11.6.2 New functions
11.6.3 Other changes
AscToTab started life as a highly specific ASCII to HTML conversion tool. It was designed to convert plain text files to HTML tables, and that was all it did.
However, people complained (as people do when you give them something for free) that it didn't convert tab separated lists.
So now it converts tab separated lists, and before you utter another word, it also converts files to RTF now... and IMHO does so better than Word does.
So no more complaining, please.
AscToTab has evolved out of the development of AscToHTM, the general-purpose text to HTML conversion utility. The text analysis part of AscToHTM sill soon be used in a text-to-RTF package. You're getting a sneak preview of that in the RTF generation that AsctoTab does.
AscToTab is a complete subset of AscToHTM, and is offered as "as is" postcardware.
From V2.3 onward, AscToTab version numbers simply match the AscToHTM release they are a subset of, regardless of whether the AscToTab part of the functionality has advanced significantly or not. However only those releases of AscToTab that have significant new functionality will be announced separately (via USENET) .
As of V3.1, AscToTab now uses the same Windows interface as AscToHTM. Prior to this it was only available as a command line program. This command line interface and the use of policy files are also largely common. For this reason much of this documentation has been (ahem) borrowed from the AscToHTM on-line documentation.
This document describes AscToTab V3.1, which is available as postcardware (a big thanks to those that have sent in postcards - both of you - they're very much appreciated) from March 1999. AscToHTM is available as shareware, and has been awarded 5 stars by ZDNet, the only text to HTML converter to attain this award to date. Amazingly that sentence is still true a year after I first wrote it.
The HTML version of this document has been produced using AscToHTM, and no post-processing has been done to the HTML pages produced. It has been generated from a single source document and a few small configuration files.
If you encounter a RTF version of this document, that will have been produced by a text-to-RTF converter AscToRTF which I am developing using the same analysis engine.
AscToTab is made available for download via the Internet from here.
AscToTab is downloadable as a .ZIP file from here. You should download the version best suited to your needs.
Once downloaded, simply unzip the files and move them to a suitable location. As of 3.1 the Windows .zip file contains an InstallShield installation. Simply run the Setup program to install the software. This will also give you an uninstall option in your control panel should you ever need it.
AscToTab V3.1 runs as a windows application under Windows 95/NT (previously it was a console application), and from the command line under OpenVMS.
AscToTab can treat input files in two different ways; plain text file (see 3.2) and tab-delimited values (see 3.1).
If you identify your source as a tab-delimited data values (e.g. as saved from Excel), the program will copy each tab-delimited value into it's own cell.
Each value will have any quote marks stripped (on the assumption this file has been saved form some other package such as Excel).
Each line is given its own row, and empty cells have suitable text placed in them.
At present no clever calculations are done to work out exotic COLSPAN etc. (although I'd like to add this in later versions time permitting, as it's a failing of the software as is).
This is the more interesting type of source file and is the problem AscToTab was originally written to solve.
AscToTab will look at the layout of your text file and try to spot the column boundaries in your table.
Having detected your column positions, it attempts to detect if your table has a header.
Having decided how to allocate your data to table cells and rows, the program outputs your table, paying attention to the following
- Data alignment. The alignment of a column is checked, and where suitable, numerical values are right-aligned.
- Column-spanning. Where a value appears to span two or more columns the COLSPAN attribute is used, and the alignment re-calculated. If too many values appear to span columns, the columns are liable to be merged.
- Table headers. Where the heading is underlined, this is detected and the header row(s) are marked up using <TH> markup.
- Cell entries that span multiple lines. Where possible, this is detected and the entries are added together with <BR> inserted to preserve the original layout.
- Blank lines. Usually omitted, unless they appear to be separators, in which case this information is fed back into the cell analysis.
- Border. Added unless a number of user-supplied lines are detected in which case these are shown, and the HTML border omitted.
In addition to it's automatic features, AscToTab can be customized to give even better output. See "Customizing your conversions" for details.
From a command prompt (Windows or OpenVMS) you can type
AscToTab <textfile> [<policy file>] [/qualifiers]
Name of file to be converted. The output will be the same name with a ".html" extension. Wildcards are allowed.
If the <textfile> is of the form "@<filename>", then AscToTab will read the file <filename> line-by-line and convert the files listed in that file.
If the <textfile> is omitted, the Windows version will launch as per usual. The OpenVMS and console versions will prompt you for the name of the files to be converted.
Is a "policy" file used to customize the conversion see 7.1.
As of V2.3, the command line interface is in identical to that used by AscToHTM, although virtually none of the qualifiers are relevant.
As of V3.1 the following qualifiers are added
/RTF The files should be converted to RTF rather than HTML /TABBED The source file(s) are tab-delimited text files
As of V3.2 the following qualifiers are added
Displays a help message
Output is directed to the "cout" stream.
Works better in OpenVMS than Windows
/SILENT Suppresses all console messages
/OUT=[filespec] Directs output to specified location
You can convert multiple files at one time by specifying a wildcard describing the files to be converted. The wildcard has to be meaningful to the operating system you are using, and will be expanded in alphabetical order.
At present we recommend that wildcards are only used on the contents of a single directory. Indeed it may well not work across directories at all.
Note, the same policies will apply to all files being converted. If you wish different policies to apply, use a steering command file (see 184.108.40.206)
Possibly discontinued in V3.1
You can convert several files at the same time in the order and manner of your choosing. To do this use the command
AscToTab @List.file [rest of command line]
Where the file "list.file" is a steering file which contains a list of AscToTab command arguments, and the "@" in front indicates it is a list file, rather than a file to be converted.
An example list file might look like
! this is my first table... it's special Table1.txt special_policy.pol # # These are my other tables. I don't want table2 converted table3.TXT table4.TXT
Note the use of "!" or "#" at the start of a line signifies it's a comment line to be ignored.
Any qualifiers used on the original AscToTab line will be used as defaults for each conversion, but will be overridden by any listed in the list file. In this way it would be possible to specify a default policy file for a bunch of similar conversions.
Certain aspects of AscToTab's behaviour can be changed by adding qualifiers to the command line. Qualifiers must begin with the slash (/) character but may be of mixed case and may be shortened provided they remain unique. So /H will get you help, whereas you can't use /S since that could be /SILENT or /SIMPLE
New in version 3.2
Specifies that the HTML generated should be directed to the output stream, rather than to an output file. This is a step towards making the program more suited for use inside a web server, e.g. to dynamically convert text to HTML on demand, although it is expected this process has some distance to go yet.
New in version 3.2
This specifies where the output file(s) should be placed. It can include wildcards, with the input file being used to replace any parts of the filename not specified.
Thus "/OUT=*.shtml" will result in a file with the same name, but a .shtml extension. In VMS "/OUT=[.sub]" will place the output in a sub-directory called "sub".
If omitted, the output file will be given the same name as the input file but with a .html extension. That behaviour may change dependant on the values of a number of other policies.
New in version 3.2
This specifies that no messages should be displayed on the console. When used with the /CONSOLE qualifier (see 220.127.116.11) this makes the program suitable for use in a web server, although you may need to use redirection under Windows.
New in version 3.1
This specifies that the files should be converted to RTF rather than HTML (the default)
New in version 3.1
This specified that the source file(s) are tab-delimited text files such as may have been saved from a spreadsheet such as Excel.
New in version 3.2
Displays a help message listing the command options.
Section added in V3.1
As of V3.1 AscToTab is available as a normal Windows program instead of the console version available previously.
Just run the program as you would any other Windows program, i.e. by clicking on it's icon, or launching it the Start menu.
From a DOS command you can type
C:> AscToTab <file1> <file2> ...
In the first case, AscToTab will be launched as normal.
In the second case AscToTab will convert the specified files, briefly displaying a status window, and then exiting. In this case, one of the named files can be a .pol policy file.
The exact behaviour can be configured via the Settings Dialog (see ???)
Create an Icon for AscToTab, and simple drag'n'drop files onto it. The results will be identical to those obtained by typing in the filenames as described in 18.104.22.168.
One useful suggestion is to add AscToTab to your "SendTo" menu (shown when you right-click on a file).
See the Windows help file for more details.
Section added in V3.1
The Windows interface has been copied from AscToHTM, which was itself re-vamped in V3.0.
Section added in V3.1
To do a simple conversion, simply enter the name of the file to be converted or use the "Browse" button to locate the file to be converted.
Select plain text or tab-delimited text.
Select the desired output extension (HTML or RTF)
Then press the "Convert file(s)" button.
A status screen will be displayed whilst the conversion is in progress. For small files this may flash up so fast you can't actually read it. (If you want to see what it said go to the View...Messages menu option)
To view the HTML/RTF, press the "View results" button. This should launch your preferred HTML/RTF viewer to display the newly created HTML page.
New in V3.1
The File menu has the following options:
Initiates the conversion. If you already have a file selected, this file will be converted. If you don't, then a browse window will open allowing you to choose a file to convert.
This option is identical to pressing the "Convert files" button.
Exits the program
New in V3.1
AscToTab offers the advanced user a large number of program options. These are a small subset of the options available in AscToHTM. These are called policies, and may be saved in policy files for later re-use. Policy files are described in detail in Chapter 7 of this document.
Policies broadly come in two sorts.
Analysis policies represent a description of what the source file does and does not contain. These policies are usually set to default values and/or calculated by analysing the source document. They should only ever need to be manually adjusted if you wish to correct the analysis, or override the detection of certain typographical features.
AscToTab has very few analysis options at this time.
Output policies represent styling and other options that cannot be inferred from the source document. These include styling and markup options, and allow the user to "add value" to the HTML generated.
The Conversion Options menu has the following items
- Edit analysis policies
This option allows you to edit the programs analysis policies (see 7.1). This opens a tabbed property sheet with the various policy values shown. These values will change each time a document is converted to reflect the results of analysing the document. Policies that have been manually set (or loaded from file) will not change in this way.
You should only need to change these if you suspect AscToTab has wrongly analysed your source file.
- Edit output policies
This option allows you to edit the programs output policies (see 7.1). This opens a tabbed property sheet with the various policy values shown.
For the most part these values will not change each time a document is converted.
You can use these policies to tailor the document conversion to produce HTML files as near as possible to how you like them.
- Re-analyse the file
Not relevant to AscToTab.
- Reset to defaults
This option forces all policies back to their AscToTab defaults. This will negate the effect of any manually set policies, or policies loaded from a policy file.
- Load policies from file
This option allows you to load a set of policies previously saved to a policy file. This allows a conversion to be repeatedly done the same way, or a set of conversions to be done the same way
Note, you can set a policy file to be used by default on the settings Dialog.
- Save policies to file
This option allows you to save your current set of policies to a policy file for later re-use. It is recommended that only a partial set of policies (i.e. any loaded policies and manually set policies) be saved to allow the program maximum flexibility when converting future files.
The Settings menu allows you to set your program preferences. This allows you to specify your preferred viewer for HTML and RTF files, and the default behaviour you want during drag'n'drop operations under Windows.
If all goes well the resultant HTML/RTF will be satisfactory. However, you can customize the conversion in two ways:-
AscToTab will default to a BORDER=2 unless
- A BORDER preprocessor command is encountered (see 7.2.1)
- It determines that the user has added their own lines
AscToTab will only add CELLSPACING if a CELLSPACING preprocessor command is encountered (see 7.2.2).
AscToTab will add CELLPADDING if:-
- It encounters a CELLPADDING command (see 7.2.2)
- A BORDER is present. The default is CELLPADDING=4
AscToTab will add these attributes if it encounters BGCOLOR or BORDERCOLOR commands (see 7.2.3).
AscToTab will add this attribute if it encounters a WIDTH command (see 7.2.7)
AscToTab will add a caption if it encounters a CAPTION command (see 7.2.4)
AscToTab will use <TH>..</TH> markup whenever it determines that a cell forms part of the header.
AscToTab will attempt to automatically detect headers by looking for a single separator line near the top of the file.
Alternatively the HEADING_ROWS command (see 7.2.5) will be used to specify the number of header lines.
AscToTab will set the ALIGN and COLSPAN attributes as best it can.
AscToTab will use <TD>..</TD> markup for most of the cells in the table.
If the HEADING_COLS command (see 7.2.6) is encountered, the first few columns will additionally use <STRONG>...</STRONG> markup.
AscToTab will set the ALIGN and COLSPAN attributes as best it can.
AscToTab can have all the table colours set via options. It can also document colours set (which is everything outside of the table.
New in V3.1 is the ability to colour odd and even data rows of the table differently for emphasis. The Header rows are unaffected, they will take on the table or document colours that have been set.
At present there are very few options controlling the RTF markup created. This is expected to change in later versions.
The column widths are estimated from the cell contents and the font used. This is only approximate, so it may be necessary on occasion to manually adjust column widths after the conversion.
Policy files are an AscToHTM feature that are supported as of the integration between the two products that occurred in V2.3.
Not all of the policies recognised are relevant to AscToTab, but here's a list of some that are :-
Descriptive text Values Active Link Colour HTML Colour Background Colour HTML Colour Background Image URL of image Colour data rows Yes/No Convert TABLE X-refs to links Yes/No Default TABLE border colour HTML Colour Default TABLE border size Number. 0 = "automatic" Default TABLE caption Text String Default TABLE cell padding Number. 0 = "none" Default TABLE cell spacing Number. 0 = "none" Default TABLE colour HTML Colour Default TABLE even row colour HTML Colour Default TABLE header cols Number. 0 = "automatic" Default TABLE header rows Number. 0 = "none" Default TABLE odd row colour HTML Colour Default TABLE width Table width in pixels or as a
percentage of page width
Document Style Sheet URL of style sheet file Document description Text string Document keywords Comma-separated list Document title Text string HTML footer file File name. File contains HTML commands HTML header file File name. File contains HTML commands Minimise HTML file size Yes/No TAB size Number of characters Text Colour HTML Colour Unvisited Link Colour HTML Colour Use .HTM extension Yes/No Visited Link Colour HTML Colour
Policy files are simply text files with a .pol extension by default. Each is placed on a separate line with the policy phrase, a colon (:) and the value. The .pol file is then specified as an extra argument on the command line (see 4.1).
An example policy file might look as follows:-
Background Colour : CCDD00 Default TABLE border size : 3 Default TABLE colour : White Default TABLE width : 75% Document title : This is a table I converted Document keywords : Keywords, included, in, META, tag
Note, as of V3.0 it is possible to embed any policy line in the source document using the $_$_CHANGE_POLICY pre-processor command (see 7.2.11).
Note, as of V3.1 it is possible to edit policies directly in the Windows version via tabbed property sheets in the user interface. See 22.214.171.124.
For more details check the "Policy Manual" added to the AscToHTM documentation set in version V3.2. As stated above, not all policies are relevant to AscToTab.
These policies identifies the colours to be placed in the various attributes of the <BODY> tag. You can enter any value acceptable to HTML. Normally a value is expressed as a 6-digit hexadecimal value in the range 000000 (black) to FFFFFF (white), but certain colours such as "white", "blue", "red" etc may also be recognised by HTML. AscToTab simply transcribes your value into the output file.
The various policies control the colours of the foreground Text (TEXT), the background (BGCOLOR), unvisited hyperlinks (LINK), visited hyperlinks (VLINK) and active hyperlinks (ALINK).
A value of "none" signals the defaults are to be used. By default AscToTab changes the background colour to be white, and omits all the other <BODY> tag attributes.
Most of the these policies are equivalent to pre-processor commands described in section 7.2.
Colour data rows 7.2.12 Convert TABLE X-refs to links 7.2.10 Default TABLE border colour 7.2.1 Default TABLE border size 7.2.1 Default TABLE cell padding 7.2.2 Default TABLE cell spacing 7.2.2 Default TABLE colour 7.2.3 Default TABLE caption 7.2.4 Default TABLE even row colour 7.2.13 Default TABLE header rows 7.2.5 Default TABLE header cols 7.2.6 Default TABLE odd row colour 7.2.13 Default TABLE width 7.2.7 Expect Sparse tables 7.2.9 Minimum TABLE column separation 7.2.8
This policy allows you to specify the URL of a style sheet file, usually with a .css extension. Style sheet files are a new HTML feature that allow you specify fonts and colours to be applied to your document.
The resulting HTML is inserted into the <HEAD> section of the output page(s) as follows :-
<LINK REL="STYLESHEET" HREF="URL" TYPE="text/css">
This policy allows you to specify keywords that are added to a META tag inserted into the <HEAD> section of the output page(s) as follows :-
<META NAME="keywords" CONTENT="your list or keywords">
This tag is often used by search engines when indexing your HTML page. You should add here any relevant keywords possibly not contained in the text itself.
This policy allows you to specify a description of your document that is added to a META tag inserted into the <HEAD> section of the output page(s) as follows :-
<META NAME="description" CONTENT="your description">
This tag is often used by search engines (e.g. AltaVista) as a brief description of the contents of your page. If omitted the first few lines may be shown instead, which is often less satisfactory.
AscToTab can calculate - or be told - the title of a document. This will be placed in <TITLE>...</TITLE> markup in the <HEAD> section of each HTML page produced.
The Title is calculated as in the order shown below. If the first algorithm returns a value, the subsequent ones are ignored.
- If a $_$_TITLE pre-processor command is placed in the source text, that value is used
- If the "Document title" policy is set (see 7.1.3) then this value is used.
- If this is the value you want, ensure the other policies outlined above are disabled.
- Finally, if none of the above result in a title the text "Converted from <filename>" is used.
This identifies the name of a text include file to be transcribed into the HTML file at the top of the <BODY> ... </BODY> portion of the generated HTML page.
This can be used to add standard headers, logos, contact addresses to your HTML pages, and is especially useful to give a consistent "look and feel" when converting many files.
This identifies the name of a text include file to be transcribed into the HTML file at the bottom of the <BODY> ... </BODY> portion of the generated HTML page.
This can be used to add "return to home page" links, and contact addresses to your HTML pages. Again, this helps to give a consistent "look and feel" when converting many files.
This value can be used to specify the size of TABs in your source document. AscToTab converts all tabs to space assuming using this tab size. This becomes important only when comparing lines that use tabs to lines that use spaces for alignment. If problems occur you may find indentations appear strange, or tables are not quite right.
Note, text that is all tabs or all spaces should experience no such problems.
If you know your source file uses a different TAB size (e.g. Notepad files use a value of 4), try adjusting this policy.
This policy may be used to reduce the size of the created HTML file. By default AscToTab attempts to layout the created HTML code in an easy-to-read manner. This was done so that the created HTML would be easier to manually edit after creation.
To make the code easier to read, AscToTab inserts white space to indent the code to match the output indentation levels. It also outputs each cell of a TABLE on its own line.
All this white space adds up, particularly the indentation of largely-empty cells in TABLES. If you select this option, all the extra white space is eliminated.
Depending on the file contents, this can make the file 5-20% smaller (and hence faster to download), at a cost of readability.
This policy specifies whether or not the generated HTML files should have a .HTM extension. The default is to use a ".html" extension, unless DOS-compatible files are requested.
The preprocessor is a feature shared with AscToHTM. Essentially you insert commands into your source file that tell AscToTab how you want various aspects of your file converted.
The preprocessor looks for lines that begin with a special character sequence "$_$_". All the AscToTab commands add "TABLE_" to this, making the relevant prefix "$_$_TABLE_". This sequence must appear at the start of the source line with no leading white space. Each command must be wholly contained on a separate line.
Commands are best placed at the top of the source file.
This command specifies the BORDER attribute. A value of 0 means "none".
These command specify the values of the CELLSPACING and CELLPADDING attribute.
A value of 0 means "none".
$_$_TABLE_BGCOLOR AntiqueWhite $_$_TABLE_BORDERCOLOR #FF2345
These commands specify the values of the BGCOLOR and BORDERCOLOR attributes.
$_$_TABLE_CAPTION Ooo! what a pretty table
This command specifies the value of <CAPTION>...</CAPTION> markup to be added to the table.
This command tells AscToTab how many lines of text are to be treated as part of the header. This should be the number of lines as it appears in the source file, including any blank lines.
This command tells AscToTab how many columns (if any) at the start of each line should be marked up in <STRONG>...</STRONG> markup.
This command specifies the value of the WIDTH attribute in pixels or as a percentage of screen width
This command specifies the minimum number of spaces that may be interpreted as a column separator. The default value is 1, but this occasionally gives rise to too many "columns" - particularly in short tables, or columns whose data values are similar.
A larger value will lead to fewer columns.
This command specifies that the table may be sparse. This fact will then be used to adjust the analysis of the table.
Columns which appear to have little or no data in them are usually eliminated by merging them with their more populated neighbours.
If you use this command this process is relaxed, meaning that you will get more, emptier, columns rather than fewer, more filled ones.
Although this affects table generation in AscToHTM, it's irrelevant in AscToTab.
This specifies whether numbers in tables should be converted to hyperlinks to numbered document sections. Since AscToTab deals with single-table files, there can be no numbered sections elsewhere in the document.
This directive allows you set a policy in the document source. This allows you to effectively embed a policy file at the start of your source file.
The syntax of the command line is
$_$_CHANGE_POLICY <Policy Line>
where <Policy_line> is a policy line as it would appear in a policy file, and (usually) as it appears in 7.1.
For example the following would be a valid directives
$_$_CHANGE_POLICY Background Colour : red $_$_CHANGE_POLICY Document Title : My pretty table
New in V3.1
This command specifies that you want alternate data rows in the table coloured differently.
These commands specify the colours to be used for odd and even data rows in the table whenever you elect to colour the rows differently.
You can't. It's free. Or rather it's postcardware. If you wish to be notified of updates or request support you have to send me a postcard with your email address. I'll accept enquiries via email, but I still want my postcard.
Thanks to all those that have sent cards to date. Keep 'em coming.
To those of you that send me email saying how great the software is and how it saved your life... well that's very nice, but I still want my postcard :-)
It you really like the program, send a postcard to
John A Fotheringham
c/o Yezerski Roper
You could also look at AscToHTM, which is a superset of the AscToTab functionality, i.e. it'll convert any document, using the AscToTab software to convert any tables it finds.
AscToHTM is shareware in the Windows version, but is free to OpenVMS users and FAQ maintainers.
In the near future you should also look at AscToRTF, in fact why not just visit www.jafsoft.com and see what else I have on offer.
Recently I've founded a new company (JafSoft Limited) to promote AscToHTM and AscToTab. However, it's not a living, and so I'm grateful to my employers Yezerski Roper for all the support they've given me in developing this software.
The OpenVMS version of this software is offered free to help promote Yezerski Roper and the skills we have to offer producing OpenVMS and Windows software.
Yezerski Roper are the most intelligent software house it's ever been my privilege to be associated with. We're based in the UK and offer OpenVMS and Windows NT systems, and are currently developing state-of-the-art products which will allow companies to exploit the full communications potential of the Internet.
AscToTab and AscToHTM are my "hobbies".
E-mail any feedback to email@example.com.
A limited amount of support is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Sadly, we cannot guarantee any replies, though we do try to be helpful.
None. (Ignorance is bliss)
Initial release of command line version as postcardware. Originally the intention was to develop this as a separate shareware product, but I've since decided to keep it postcardward (just so long as those postcards keep coming).
AscToTab is now integrated into AscToHTM, and the bug fixes and enhancements are released as V2.00 of AscToTab
AscToTab is now totally subsumed in AscToHTM. This allows it full access to the AscToHTM feature set. In particular the command line interface is now the same, allowing wildcards and policy files to be used.
New commands are added (see 7.2.7 and 7.2.8), and more improvements are made to the algorithms.
From now on the AscToTab version numbers will indicate the release of AscToHTM they are a subset of.
Release synchronized with AscToHTM release V3.0.
- The TABLE_HEADER_COLS directive only worked when there were header rows as well.
- Use of emphasis inside a TABLE cell was not being detected as all. Now it is detected if held on a single line. Phrases that are emphasised over several lines inside a table cell may still not be detected.
- New "TAB size" policy (see 7.1.4)
- New "Expect sparse tables" policy and TABLE_MAY_BE_SPARSE pre-processor command (see 7.1.2 and 7.2.9)
- New "Minimise HTML file size" policy (see 7.1.4)
- New "Convert TABLE X-refs to links" policy and TABLE_CONVERT_XREFS pre-processor command (see 7.1.2 and 7.2.10)
- New CHANGE_POLICY pre-processor command (see 7.2.11)
- Empty lines in a table cell now get an extra added, in addition to the <BR>. This is to compensate for a bug in Internet Explorer 3 which would ignore the <BR> otherwise, leading to alignment errors.
- Improved handling of tables with long urls in them. Previously these would not be recognised as part of a table. Increased "long line" limit inside tables to 110 characters
- Improved detection of "mal-formed" tables. Previously this was over-cautious, especially on short tables.
Release of first fully-Windowed version. This was to have been synchronized with AscToHTM release V3.0, but it slipped drastically, hence this is V3.1, even though AscToHTM is still at V3.0
- Nothing major in this release.
- New Windowed interface,
- Now supports tab-delimited text files as well as plain text files. The conversion of tab-delimited data is a little simple minded at present, and is geared up to the type of file created by Excel (which wraps text in quotes, and doubles up and quotes in the text).
- Added output to RTF
- Added data colouring options
- No major changes to existing functionality, it's mostly new stuff added.
This release is synchronized with AscToHTM release V3.2, and is the first OpenVMS release since V3.0. As such there's not much AscToTab specific changes at this time, although OpenVMS users will now get all the V3.1 changes.
The command line interface has had a number of improvements.
- Nothing major in this release.
- Added "cell alignment" policy.
- Added /HELP command line qualifier
- Added /CONSOLE command line qualifier
- Added /SILENT command line qualifier
- Improved /OUT=[filespec] command line qualifier
- Improved file handling and error reporting.
|Converted from a single text file by AscToHTM|
© 1997-99 John A. Fotheringham