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FAQ's

This page contains answers to many common questions.

  1. VEDIT - general product info
  2. VEDIT - sales questions
  3. VEDIT - customer support
  4. VEDIT - technical support (Including useful tips and tricks)
  5. VEDIT - macro language

The following pages give an overview of some common topics:

  1. Hex (binary) editing - Overview of hex (binary) editing.
  2. Huge file editing - Suggestions for editing huge 100+ meg files.
  3. Searching - How to search for control characters (e.g., CR, LF and "nulls").
  4. Automation - Fully automate your editing/conversion tasks; automatically process entire groups of files (even thousands of files).
  5. Office automation - VEDIT can help with common office tasks such as working on databases and creating e-mail lists.
  6. EBCDIC - Overview of EBCDIC file editing and conversion.

Be sure to also visit the new User Forum.

VEDIT - General Product Info

Q: When is the next version of VEDIT going to be released?

The current version of VEDIT is 6.21.1, released on Aug. 05, 2011. While most issues related to running under Vista/Win7, a few, such as recording keystroke macros, still need to be resolved. We expect very minor updates to be released on a monthly basis.

Please note that all purchased single updates (e.g. $29 from VEDIT 6.0/6.1 to 6.2, or $59 from VEDIT 5.x or older) include 3 months of technical support, and updates through all VEDIT 6.2x.

The Software Subscription Plan includes technical support for 24 months, and updates for 24 months, or through version 7.1, whichever is longer. All other purchases include 3 months of support and updates.

Q: How are any bugs and fixes handled?

Among many thousands of VEDIT users, fewer than a dozen reported a crash or serious problem in the past year. Our #1 priority is making VEDIT the most stable product available, not rushing new features.

The VEDITLOG.TXT file lists all fixes and changes made.

When a problem is reported, we immediately try to replicate it, with a developer calling the user for step-by-step directions, if necessary. Serious problems that can cause a crash or corrupted files are typically fixed within two days. The new release is posted within a week.

If you encounter a serious problem that causes a crash or corrupted file, we will fix it at no charge, according to these guidelines:

Our goal is to promptly fix any problems, and provide the best customer support you have ever had from a software company.

Q: What is the largest file that VEDIT can edit.

Regular VEDIT can edit any text/data/binary files up to two (2) Gigabytes (2000 Megabytes) in size.

To edit files larger than this, VEDIT can be used to split the file into smaller parts, e.g., 1-Gigabyte parts, which can then be edited. After editing, the Windows "copy" command can be used to concatenate the parts back into one file (See Q4120 below).

However, VEDIT Pro64 has no practical upper limit and can edit 100+ Gigabyte files.

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VEDIT - Sales Questions

Q: What is the update price to VEDIT 6.2?

The update price from VEDIT 6.0/6.1 to 6.2 is only $29; it includes all 6.2x updates.

However, we highly suggest purchasing the Software Subscription Plan (SSP) instead for $59. It includes all updates for 24 months, including 6.2, 6.3, 7.0 and 7.1.

The update price from VEDIT5.x or older is $59 for a downloaded update (to 6.2). A CD-ROM is available for an additional $4. Printed manuals (750+ pages) and CD-ROM are available for an additional $20 plus shipping.

Q: Explain the Serial# and Registration#

Our new online ordering system includes automated credit card authorization. The order system immediately emails you instructions and a "temporary" Serial-Registration number so that you can immediately install the newest version. After the order is confirmed, we assign each VEDIT license a 5-digit Serial# and a 10-digit Registration#. This final Serial-Registration number is emailed to you within a few hours (unless ordered outside business hours). You can enter this number when VEDIT prompts you for it by selecting {HELP, Register VEDIT}.

If you later purchase an update or a Software Subscription Plan, your Serial# may remain the same, but the Registration# will change. The Serial-Registration number determines when your support period expires. You can check to see how long you are entitled to support and updates by selecting {HELP, About}.

Without a valid Serial-Registration number, VEDIT will run only as a 30-day trial version.

Passwords are needed for "unzipping" some of the older versions of VEDIT.

Q:Where can I find VEDIT in Australia?

VEDIT can either be purchased directly from us, Corporate Software Australia in Smithfield, New South Wales, or from Fagan Micro Software Pty. Ltd. in Middle Park, Victoria.

Q: Where can I find VEDIT in the U.K?

VEDIT can either be purchased directly from us or from Grey Matter, Techies, or any other established distributor.

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VEDIT - Customer Support

Q: How do I get the Serial-Registration number for the latest version of VEDIT?

Please contact us directly to verify your eligibility. If eligible, we will email you a new Serial-Registration number. For versions older than 5.21, you can request the password via email by sending a short message to

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VEDIT - Technical Support

4000 - Installation, Configuration
4100 - Startup, File opening, Exiting
4200 - Basic editing, Block operations
4300 - Search and Replace
4400 - Keyboard, Keystroke macros
4500 - Printing, Word processing
4600 - Program development, Color syntax
4650 - Compiler support
4700 - Hex, Binary, EBCDIC editing
4750 - Converting, Translating
4800 - WILDFILE, SORT, other macros
4900 - Error messages, Crashes
5000 - Hints, Tips, Shortcuts
5100 - Other - General operation, etc.

Please also visit the new User Forum which is organized by these same catagories.

Q4001: Setup failed. Can I bypass the setup.exe program ?

If you have successfully unzipped the VEDIT product, you can try installing VEDIT by typing the following command:

    vpw -e -g -k -ixxx -z -xinstallw.vdm

This will start the installation procedure.

If the above fails, you may have a bad disk or something related. Download a new copy from our website and try again.

If you are still having problems, contact us and we will help you.

Q4002: The VEDIT.FON file is giving me trouble during/after installation.

For reasons that we do not yet fully understand, the VEDIT.FON file sometimes remains locked by Windows even though you exit VEDIT. When this happens, you cannot install a newer version of VEDIT (the installation stops, as it cannot overwrite the previous VEDIT.FON file).

Sometimes the VEDIT.FON file in the temporary installation directory gets locked during installation. You then cannot delete the temporary directory after you finish the installation.

At the current time, we cannot replicate this problem. Until we fix this, there are several troubleshooting options:

Q4003: Why can't I save my changes to the tab stops?

(This applies only to VEDIT 5.x; not to 6.x.)

The file-type specific configuration set up in the STARTUP.VDM file will override some of the configuration settings, including Tab stops, which are normally saved into the VEDIT.CFG file. This is true for files with a filename extension of .C, .ASM, .HTM, and .TXT.

See the online help topic "Configuration (Troubleshooting)" for details. Also look for "Config_Tab(..)" in your STARTUP.VDM file; you will then see how to change it.

Alternatively, you can completely turn off this feature by setting {CONFIG, Programming, File-type specific configuration} to "0".

Q4004: VEDIT support the wheel on my mouse?

Yes. VEDIT 6.0x supports the wheel. As currently implemented, each click of the wheel scrolls by about one-sixth of the window; at least one line, and no more than six lines.

Q4101: How do I get long filename support under Windows NT/2000/XP?

If you are having trouble with long filename support, you are most likely running an older 16-bit Windows version of VEDIT, such as version 5.0x. We recommend the 32-bit Windows version under 95/98/ME and NT/2000/XP which fully supports long filenames.

Please also read the next Q4102.

Q4102: Why do I see an old-style File-Open dialog box in VEDIT?

The older 16-bit Windows version of VEDIT uses the older Windows 3.1 style dialog box. It supports Windows 95/NT long filenames, but we highly recommend using the 32-bit Windows version under Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP. It uses the newer style dialog box which we have enlarged and enhanced (e.g., a history list of recently entered filenames and filters).

Be sure you have installed the 32-bit version. You may have accidentally installed the 16-bit version.

Check the {HELP, About} box. If you have the original 16-bit version 5.0x, you should update to version 5.2x (or later).

If you have updated from 5.0x to 5.2x, you might still have icons pointing to the 16-bit veditpw.exe file. The filename for the 32-bit version is vpw.exe. We suggest deleting the veditpw.exe file so that you don't inadvertently run the old 16-bit version.

Q4103:Why can't I open long file names with spaces ?

(This assumes you are opening files by double-clicking them in Explorer.)

You probably tried to manually set up VEDIT file-type associations using "Folder Options" from Windows Explorer. This method can be very problematic. Unless you correctly include double-quotes in the associations, filenames with spaces will cause problems.

The solution is to set up all associations using the VEDIT menu function {CONFIG, Associate file types} (Using {MISC, More macros, Registry} in VEDIT 5.1).

Q4104: Why doesn't VEDIT display the "long" pathname for open files? I see the short 8.3 name for long directories.

If you drag-and-drop a file to be edited onto a VEDIT icon, e.g., "file:///c:/my%20files/january%20jobs/BobJohnson.txt">c:\myfiles\january jobs\BobJohnson.txt", it will be opened as:

c:\myfile~1\januar~1\BobJohnson.txt

This is a limitation of Windows, and not VEDIT. You will get the same result if you drag-and-drop the file onto MS Word. We have realized that not all parts of Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP fully support long directory names.

Q4105: Why am I getting multiple instances of VEDIT when I open two or more files ?

You probably tried to manually set up VEDIT file-type associations using "Folder Options" from Windows Explorer. This method can be very problematic. Unless you correctly set up the "DDE" options, you will get multiple instances of VEDIT

The solution is to set up all associations using the VEDIT menu function {CONFIG, Associate file types}.

Q4106: Why is there a long delay when VEDIT starts?

If you have the File Selector enabled and have it set to "Xplor" when you close VEDIT, there might be a 5 to 10-second delay when you next start VEDIT. This delay is caused by the File Selector's Explorer window querying all the drives on your computer; checking for network drives can take several seconds.

Q4110: How can I re-open a recently edited file?

Beginning with VEDIT 5.14 for Windows, the {FILE} menu contains a "MRU" list of the Most-Recently-Used (i.e., opened) files. Simply select the file you wish to re-open.

The MRU list is saved in the VEDIT.INI file for the next time you run VEDIT.

Q4111: How can I change the number of recently opened files in the {FILE} menu?

Beginning with VEDIT 5.15 for Windows, the number of MRU files listed in the {FILE} menu can be changed by editing the value "MaxMRU" in the VEDIT.INI file.

Q4112: Adding "Open with VEDIT" to my right-click context menu does not seem to work correctly.

Beginning with VEDIT 6.10, "Open with VEDIT" works correctly with Windows NT/2000/XP.

"Open with VEDIT" can be enabled/disabled by selecting {CONFIG, Associate file types} within VEDIT.

If this function does not appear or does not work, you should first try a quick re-installation of VEDIT to ensure that vshellx.dll (the only DLL supplied with VEDIT) is properly registered with your Windows.

Note: An alternative solution is to make VEDIT an option in the right-click menu's "Send To" item list. Simply drag a VEDIT icon (shortcut) into the Windows/SendTo folder or to the Documents and Settings/Username/SendTo folder (depending on which Windows version you are using).

Q4120: How can I edit files larger than two (2) Gigabytes, or split a huge file into smaller parts?

The basic VEDIT can edit any text/data/binary files up two (2) Gigabytes (2000 Megabytes) in size.

VEDIT Pro64 can edit files much larger than two Gigabytes; it has no absolute limit. It can be purchased as an upgrade.

Alternatively, even the basic VEDIT can split files of any size into smaller parts, e.g., 1-Gigabyte parts, which can then be edited. After editing, the parts can be concatenated back into one file. In detail:

  1. Run the Splitter macro by selecting {MISC, More macros, Splitter}. At the prompt, enter the name of the file to be split. The file will be split by creating files with filenames extensions, such as ".001", ".002", ".003", etc.
  2. Enter the desired size of the split parts. The default size is one (1) Megabyte.
  3. Each split file can then be opened for editing; you can edit up to 100 files at once.
  4. The Windows 98/NT/2000/XP "Copy" command is then used to concatenate the file back into one file. For example:
    copy /b part.001+part.002+part.003+part.004 bigfile.ful
Q4201: How do I change the cursor color? (Windows)

VEDIT does not control the cursor color, as Windows automatically picks a color based on the background color.

However, if you have a faint gray cursor with a blue background, you can change this to a bright yellow cursor by setting your system display properties to 32,000 or more colors. The undesirable gray cursor is only used if your system is set to 256 or fewer colors.

To do this, select Display in the Window 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP Control Panel. Select the Settings tab. In the Color box, change to any value more than 256 colors, such as 16-bit color, 32,768 colors, etc. You may have to restart your computer.

Q4202: How do I split a file into two or more parts?

This is very easy to do by simply highlighting a block and selecting {FILE, Save block as} to write the block to a file. For example:

  1. Move the cursor to the first character of the block.
  2. Press <F9> to begin highlighting.
  3. Move the cursor, with whatever method you like, e.g., with {GOTO, Line #}, to the character just past the end of the block.
  4. Optionally, press <F9> to mark the end of the block.
  5. Select {FILE, Save block as} and enter the desired filename.

For editing large blocks, it is better to use <F9> than the mouse.

Also, the function {MISC, More macros, Splitter} which can split a file, for instance, bigfile.txt into parts (e.g., bigfile.001, bigfile.002, etc.).

Q4301: How do I enter control characters into the search/replace dialog boxes?

Any control character can be entered using the notation "|ddd" where 'ddd' is the decimal value of the control character. For example, use "|012" to search for the Form-Feed character <Ctrl-L>. This assumes that you are using Pattern Matching. If you are using Regular Expressions, use the notation "\ddd" instead. This works for both the search and replace strings.

Use the patterns "|L" or "|N" to search for the "Newline" characters Carriage-Return and Line-Feed. Press <F1> from the search dialog box for detailed online help on searching for control characters.

Use the pattern "|T" to search for Tab characters.

Alternatively, if you are only searching, you can select {SEARCH, Incremental search} (default <Ctrl-I>). Control characters are then entered in the same way as for normal editing. For example:

Q4302: How do I paste from the Clipboard (or scratchpad) into the Search dialog box?

Windows: "Right-mouse" click and select "paste" or press <Ctrl-V>.

Q4303: What is the fastest way to search huge multi-megabyte files?

VEDIT is fastest searching forwards through a file. In fact, the search or search/replace functions are almost as fast as simply copying the file. However, returning to the beginning of a file from the end of a file is slower than forward-searching. Therefore, note the following suggestions to speed up editing in huge file:

Q4401: Why can't I use <Alt-F6> as a hot-key in VEDIT?

Windows treats <Alt-F6> as a reserved key, similar to <Ctrl-Esc>, which is not sent to an application program. Therefore it is a "dead" key as far as VEDIT is concerned. We are unsure why Windows reserves <Alt-F6>, or what it is used for, asit is the only reserved function key.

For further information, Microsoft's Knowledgebase addresses this question (#Q146899) on the web page:

http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q146/8/69.asp.

Q4402: How can I use the characters /, *, -, and + on the keypad to the right of my keyboard (disable numpad functions) ?

With the pre-5.20 versions of VEDIT, select {CONFIG, Keyboard, Edit layout} and edit the lines beginning with "Numpad" to read:

Numpad      /
Numpad*     *
Numpad-     -
Numpad+     +

With versions 5.2x and later, set {CONFIG, Miscellaneous, Numpad function mode} to "0".

Q4501: How do I make the Windows version print with the same font and graphics, e.g., box-drawing characters, as the DOS version?

Windows normally prints by converting each character into a graphic image according to the current printer font. Since all printer fonts use the ANSI character set, all OEM box-drawing characters are printed as unexpected non-English characters. In other words, if you select the "VEDIT Oem" display font, all 8-bit characters will print quite differently than they are displayed.

Since any printer escape sequences in the file being printed are converted to graphic fonts, they will not affect the printer; the Escape character typically prints as a solid block. Furthermore, any configured VEDIT "Printer Init" and "Printer Finish" strings will be ignored because Windows sends its own strings which override those from VEDIT.

When necessary, you can turn off Windows printer processing by 'fooling' Windows into thinking that your printer has no graphic capabilities. Here is how:

Create a new "Generic text only" printer:

  1. In the Printer Control Panel, select "Add Printer".
  2. Select "Local" printer.
  3. Under "Manufacturers" select "Generic"; then select the "Generic text only" printer.
  4. Select the same port as your real printer.

Windows, by default, translates all 8-bit characters (value 128 - 255) from ANSI to OEM when printing to the Generic printer and thereby does not correctly print files containing box-drawing characters. This translation can be disabled.

Disable character translation for the "Generic text only" printer:

  1. In the Printer Control Panel, right-click on the Generic printer and select "Properties".
  2. Select the "Device Options" tab and make sure "TTY Custom" is selected. A default TTY.DAT file will be created.
  3. Download our replacement TTY.DAT file and place it in your \WINDOWS directory.

You now have a "Generic text-only" printer which can be selected from inside VEDIT or any other Windows program. When you print to it, it will print using whatever font is in your printer. The default is usually a 10-pitch Courier using the OEM (original IBM-PC) character set which has box-drawing characters. If you use our replacement TTY.DAT file, no character translation will be performed.

When printing to the "Generic text-only" printer from inside the Windows version of VEDIT, you can also send the configurable Printer Init/Finish strings just like in the DOS version. These can be used to select other fonts available in the printer. Furthermore, any printer escape sequences in the file will also control the printer.

Q4502: How do I print in WYSIWYG (e.g., Hex, as displayed on the screen)?

Set {CONFIG, Preferences, Printer, Print mode} to "0=Win". Printing is then in the same mode as the display mode for the current window. The online help for the configuration box describes the print mode in more detail.

Since lines displayed in hex are three times as long as regular lines, they typically are truncated at the right side of the printed page. One solution to this is to set {CONFIG, Preferences, Printer, Right margin} to the number of characters per printed line, typically "80" or "96".

Q4503: How can VEDIT print in landscape mode?

For all Windows programs: Press <Ctrl-P> to get the print dialog box. Then select "Properties" from which you can select "Landscape mode".

For VEDIT only: While in VEDIT set {CONFIG,Printer,Paper orientation} to "2=Landscape", then click Close. Printing is then in Landscape mode until changed again, or after VEDIT is closed.If {CONFIG,Auto-save config} is checked, then the change also becomes "permanent" for each subsequent VEDIT run. Otherwise, to make this printing option "permanent", click {CONFIG,Save config}.

Q4701: How do I convert an EBCDIC file into ASCII?

Simple EBCDIC files, without packed numeric fields, can be converted to ASCII using VEDIT.

  1. Open the EBCDIC file as a normal file. It should look like gibberish.
  2. Optionally, press <Alt-D> (the hot-key for {VIEW, Toggle display mode}) several times to put VEDIT into EBCDIC mode. The file should now be readable.
  3. Select {BLOCK, Select all} or press <Ctrl-A> to highlight the entire file.
  4. Select {BLOCK, Edit/translate, Translate from EBCDIC}. If you pressed <Alt-D> above, press it one more time to put VEDIT back into normal ASCII mode. The file should now be readable.

If the EBCDIC file already had a Carriage-Return / Line-Feed at the end of each line/record, you are done and can now save the file.

Otherwise you must determine the record length for the EBCDIC file and set {CONFIG, File handling, File type} to the correct record length. You might be given the record length, or you can experiment. When it is correct, the fields on each line will be lined up on the screen.

  1. Set {CONFIG, File handling, File type} to the correct record length.
  2. Select {BLOCK, Select all} or press <Ctrl-A> to highlight the entire file.
  3. Select {BLOCK, Convert newlines, CONVERT macro}.
  4. In the Convert macro, enter "7" to convert from fixed-length records to "Newlines".
  5. Select "DOS" to create a Windows/DOS compatible text file.
  6. Save the file and exit VEDIT if desired.

NOTE: EBCDIC files with packed numeric fields require purchasing one of the specialized conversion packages described on the "EBCDIC" page of this Website.

Q4702: Can I automatically convert an EBCDIC file, e.g., from a batch file?

Yes, the following command will convert a simple EBCDIC file, which already has a Carriage-Return / Line-Feed at the end of each line/record, into an ASCII file.

-c"Translate_Block(0,File_Size,REVERSE) XALL" file.ebc -a file.asc

In this command, 'file.ebc' is the original EBCDIC file and 'file.asc' is the name of the resulting ASCII file.

Q4750: Can I automatically convert a UNIX file to Window/DOS, e.g., from a batch file?

Yes. You can convert a UNIX file with just Line-Feed characters to a Windows/DOS file with Carriage-Return and Line-Feed characters by selecting {BLOCK, Convert newlines, UNIX to DOS}.

You can automate the conversion with the command:

vpw -n3 -x convert.vdm filename

where 'filename' is the name of the file to be converted. The "-n3" is a special code to the convert.vdm macro which tells it to automatically perform the third item in its menu, i.e., "[3] UNIX to DOS LF to CR+LF".

Similarly "-n1" can be used to convert a file from Window/DOS to UNIX. The comments at the beginning of convert.vdm describe how to also convert between fixed-length records and "Newlines".

Q4901: Why does {EDIT, Insert file} give me a "Not enough memory for operation" error?

You will only receive this error if you attempt to insert a large file into an edit buffer which has no file open. To avoid this problem, simply open a file with {FILE, Open} or {FILE, Save as} before attempting to insert a large file.

Users sometimes select {EDIT, Insert file} in an empty buffer to browse a file without accidentally altering it. The better way to do this is to select []Browse-only in the File-open dialog box. Or, if you have opened a file for normal editing, you can select {FILE, Browse mode} to prevent altering it.

Q4902: Why do I get the message "In Browse-Mode or File is Read-only"?

A file is opened in Read-only mode (also called Browse-only mode) if its attributes are set to:

Assuming you did not manually select [ ] Browse-only or {FILE, Browse mode}, then the operating system is preventing VEDIT from making changes to the file. You will have to determine why the file is write-protected (you cannot force VEDIT to edit). For instance, a local file on your computer has the "Read-only" attribute set (This can be checked and disabled with Explorer); a network file may already be opened by another user, or; you may not have "write" access to the file.

The topic "Browse-only mode" under "Starting VEDIT" in Chapter 4 of the manual (or the online help) describes this in more detail.

Q4903: >Why do I get the message "Overwrite-only Mode"?

VEDIT typically opens database files with fixed-length records and binary files which, by default, are set to "Overwrite-only" mode. This is a safety precaution because these files tend to become corrupted if characters are deleted or inserted (causing the file size to change from a typical length of 64).

Therefore, when {CONFIG, File handling, File type} is set to "8" or greater (specifying fixed-length records), Overwrite-only mode is enabled by default.

You can easily turn off Overwrite-only mode by setting {CONFIG, Preferences, File handling, Overwrite-only mode} to "0".

The topic "Overwrite-only mode" under "Starting VEDIT" in Chapter 4 of the manual (or the online help) describes this in more detail.

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VEDIT Macro Language

Q6001: What is the appropriate way to enter long files names in the File_Open() command, e.g., C:\Program files\MSMoney\test.qif ?

The long filename must be in double-quotes, then use other quotes around the double quotes.

File_Open('"C:\Program Files\MSMoney\test.qif"')

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