The best text processing utility

Text processing is one of those computer tasks you end up doing just about every day. Some jobs are simple like alphabetically sorting a file or cleaning up a contact list. Others are more complex like multiple search/replaces, converting formats or sort-merging databases. Whatever the job, text processing is something that’s hard to avoid. There are plenty of specialized utilities available to help you with individual text processing tasks but TextPipe Pro is different in that it will do just about anything.  It’s a unique product that could be best described as a menu driven version of the classic UNIX utilities grep and awk.  Even so, that description would sell it short as it is totally customizable and actually more powerful than its UNIX descendants. Its features are too many to describe here so I’ll just give you an actual example of its use. This week I needed to extract the AOL users from a list of subscriber’s email addresses. I then wanted to remove from the AOL list any address which occurred in another list. Finally, I wanted to remove invalid email addresses and strip off trailing blanks. Normally, I’d write a tiny once-off program to do this kind of job but I did it all with TextPipe in 15 minutes without any prior experience using the product! Now that is impressive and gives you an indication of its power. TextPipe is not cheap and it?s not for raw beginners, but anyone who regularly works with files will find this an invaluable tool and an excellent long- term investment. Shareware, $299, free trial, 3.95MB

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