Tool Tips

Tool Tips

Article from Issue 182/2016

Briefly tested: Trowser 1.3, wxMEdit 2.9.9, BinaryCrypt 2.0, GSmartControl 0.8.7, Pam_ihosts 1.1, Rush 1.7.

Trowser 1.3

Function: Alternative to Less with highlighting


License: GPLv3

Alternatives: Less, Xless

Trowser is a good alternative to Less with some additional features like color highlighting, search history, and bookmark management. The tool, which is implemented in Tcl/Tk, provides a graphical interface but can also be controlled using Vim shortcuts.

When the program is started for the first time, you need to define highlighting patterns and enter a search term. You can then open the Edit Highlight Patterns dialog via the Search menu and adjust the color scheme to how you want it. Trowser can highlight both the expression and whole rows. You can also enable case sensitivity and a function for regular expressions by checking the relevant checkboxes. To add a bookmark, you just select a row by double-clicking it; Trowser saves the bookmarks in a separate file with .bok as the ending so as not to change the original file.

The developers are planning to expand the filtering options and to manage several searches in sub-windows for future versions.

3 Stars   Trowser was impressive in the test. However, learning the keyboard shortcuts might take a while for anyone who hasn't worked with Vim before.

wxMEdit 2.9.9

Function: Cross-platform editor


License: GPLv3

Alternatives: Bluefish, Geany

wxMEdit is a cross-platform text and hexadecimal editor that can be used on Microsoft Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, and OS  X. The program, which is implemented in C++ and wxWidgets, offers three editing modes – text, column, and hexadecimal  – and provides syntax highlighting for more than 30 programming languages.

As well as an automatic update function, the developers equipped the editor with bookmark management, a function for erasing the history, and a context menu for each tab. They also improved integration in Windows and OS  X environments, translated the program into several languages, and added new encodings. wxMEdit supports Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters, musical symbols, and Emoji.

The text editor automatically wraps lines with more than 80 characters. You can adjust this value in the program settings. You can also redefine keyboard shortcuts and color highlighting there.

4 Stars   wxMEdit is a powerful editor that can be adjusted to individual users' needs. It would get full marks if it had interfaces for compilers or external development environments.

BinaryCrypt 2.0

Function: Convert files and text


License: GPLv3

Alternatives: none

BinaryCrypt converts text into various decimal or binary formats, hexadecimal or octal representations, and back. The tool can handle more than 30 numerical systems, including many decimal formats with a base of 21 to 64.

To use the tool, enter your text in the top field; the program parses longer documents. After you select the target format in the bottom pane, clicking Convert will create the result. Depending on your computer's performance, this may take a while with long text. BinaryCrypt takes the Convert to text path by default. You can change the approach by choosing Convert from text. One of the tool's extra features is a binary computer that performs basic arithmetic operations.

3 Stars   The advantages of BinaryCrypt are obvious. The program combines multiple conversion technologies in a single interface. You just need to check the appropriate checkbox to convert text, and you no longer need to use several command-line tools. However, a few features are missing. For example, it's not possible to transmit text in Base64 or decimal entries without taking a detour into binary encoding.

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