Simple Drag-Drop Text File Manipulator

  • Thread starter Jelfish
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In summary, the person is looking for a program that can quickly manipulate data in a difficult to use format. They are considering a script in Perl or Python.
  • #1

Sorry for the ambiguous title.

I am looking to write a program that, upon dragging and dropping a text file onto it in Windows, it will do some pre-determined manipulation to the text, like deleting a certain amount in the beginning, replacing spaces with tabs, etc.

If you couldn't guess, I'm working with a machine that outputs data in a difficult to use format with a lot of unneeded information. I want to be able to make a program that can quickly manipulate that data and get it into a form I can stick in Excel or Matlab. I've been doing it manually and it's a real pain, especially when I know a program could do it.

I've seen such programs before, but I don't know how to make them myself. I know C, Classic Fortran (70) and some C++, though I'm a bit rusty.

If anyone knows the easiest way to make something like this, or perhaps point me in the direction of instructions or even example code, I would most appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

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  • #2
A script in Perl or Python might be the best for the text manipulation.
Usually, one invokes this on the command line. You'll have to install a Perl or Python package.

In Windows, you can choose to open some filetypes with programs of your choosing... in addition to the default application.

If you truly want drag and drop (as opposed to right-clicking and selecting the alternate application via "Open with..."), you can try to use something that provides you with some of those GUI features, like or, which could call the Perl or Python script.

There are surely other methods (e.g. Visual BASIC, VBscript, Java, Javascript, etc...).. but the above tools are free, easy (for me) to use, and useful for lots of other general purpose tasks. (Cygwin provides Perl and Python packages in a UNIX-like environment... but Cygwin requires a substantial installation and some setup. Cygwin is great!)
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  • #3
I actually have cygwin on my computer already so I might try it out. I've been considering learning Python. Thanks for the tips!
  • #4
Since you have cygwin, you might also consider awk and sed. It really depends on the nature of your text manipulations.

I agree that this would be a great opportunity to learn some Python.
  • #5
When you drop and drag an item into a program, doesn't it use that as an argument to that program?

1. How does the Simple Drag-Drop Text File Manipulator work?

The Simple Drag-Drop Text File Manipulator is a tool that allows you to easily manipulate and edit text files by dragging and dropping them into the program. The program will then display the contents of the file, and you can make any necessary changes before saving the edited file.

2. What file types does the Simple Drag-Drop Text File Manipulator support?

The program supports various file types, including .txt, .csv, .xml, .html, and more. It also allows you to create new text files.

3. Can I undo changes made in the Simple Drag-Drop Text File Manipulator?

Yes, the program has an undo feature that allows you to revert any changes that you have made. You can undo multiple changes by pressing the undo button multiple times.

4. Is the Simple Drag-Drop Text File Manipulator compatible with all operating systems?

Yes, the program is compatible with most operating systems, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is also available as a web-based application, which can be accessed from any device with an internet connection.

5. How can I learn more about the features of the Simple Drag-Drop Text File Manipulator?

You can refer to the program's user manual or help section for more information on its features and how to use them. You can also contact the developer for any specific questions or concerns.

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