Powerful though StrongED is, there are jobs which can easier be done by another program. ConvText is one such.

StrongED processes every occurrence of the search string in one pass. ConvText differs from StrongED in that it does multiple passes of the initial text, one pass for each line of instruction. Each instruction is simple - a search string followed by a colon, then a replace string. If the replace string is blank, the search string is simply deleted.

ConvText does not have the advanced search and replace capabilities of StrongED so is much simpler to use.

Since ConvText does one pass of the text for each line of instruction the script can be assembled line by line and the script tested at each stage simply by

  1. Write a line of instruction
  2. Drop the file to be processed onto ConvText
  3. Feed the output from ConvText to StrongED
  4. Inspect it
  5. Amend the last instruction if necessary
  6. Repeat the loop - do the next line of instruction

An example of ConvText in use

We run two holiday let cottages in the grounds on our house (an old pub) in Dorset. Bookings come mostly from an agent and each time we get a booking we are sent a text email informing us. These emails are clearly computer generated boiler plate and we need to extract the appropriate data to a form that we can use in a spreadsheet (PipeDream). A sample text is available: input in the zip file

This is too simple a job for StrongED! It would require many passes. But the job is simple in ConvText - script file in the zip file. The output file is a simple tsv format which can be dropped directly into PipeDream

ConvText can be downloaded from Paul Sprangers web site

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Page first published 1st of July, 2021
Last modified:Thu, 01 Jul 2021 16:06:16 BST
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