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WordSmith Tools Manual


The syntax for a Conversion File is:


Only lines beginning / or " are used. Others are ignored completely.

Every string for conversion is of the form "A" -> "B". That is, the original string, the one you're searching for, enclosed in double quotes, is followed by a space, a hyphen, the > symbol, and the replacement string.

You can use " (double quotes) and hyphen where you like without any need to substitute them, but for obvious reasons there must not be a sequence like " -> " in your search or replace string.


Removing all tags

To remove all tags, choose "<*>" -> "" as your search string.


Control Codes

Control codes can be symbolised like this: {CHR(xxx)} where xxx is the number of the code. Examples: {CHR(13)} is a carriage-return, {CHR(10)} is a line-feed, {CHR(9)} is a tab. To represent <Enter> which comes at the end of paragraphs and sometimes at the end of each line, you'd type {CHR(13)}{CHR(10)} which is carriage-return followed immediately by line-feed.

Use {CHR(34)} if you need to refer to double inverted commas. See search-word syntax for more.



The search uses the same mechanism that Concord uses. You may use the same wildcards as in Concord search-word syntax. By default the search-and-replace operates on whole words.


"book" -> "bk" will replace book with bk but won't replace books or textbook

"*book" -> "bk" will replace book or textbook with bk but won't replace books or textbooks

"book*" -> "bk" will replace book or books with bk but won't replace textbook or textbooks

To show a character is to be taken literally, put it in quotes (e.g. "*","<").  See below for use of the /L parameter.


Unbounded, case Insensitive, Confirm, redundant Spaces, redundant <Enter>s

/C stops to confirm you wish to go ahead before each change.

/U does an unbounded search (ensuring the alteration happens whether there's a word separator on either side or not) (/U "the" finds the but also finds other, then and bathe).

/I does a case insensitive search (/I "restaurant" -> "hotel" replaces restaurant with hotel and RESTAURANT with HOTEL and Restaurant with Hotel, i.e. respecting case as far as possible).

/S cuts out all redundant spaces. That is, it will remove spaces at the beginning of lines, reduce any sequence of two or more spaces to one, and remove and spaces before punctuation. /S can be used on a line of its own or in combination with other searches.

/E cuts out all redundant <Enter>s. That is, it will remove empty lines and reduce any sequence of two or more carriage-return+line-feeds (what you get when you press Enter or Return) to one. /E can be used on a line of its own or in combination with other searches.

/L means both the search and replace strings are to be taken as literal. (Normally a sequence like <#*> would need quotes around each character because < > are mark-up signals and # and * are special wildcard characters, thus "<""#""*"">" which is tricky! Put /L at the start of the line to avoid this.)


You can combine these, e.g.

/IC "the" -> "this"


See Documents\wsmith7 \convert.txt to see examples in use.


See also: Text Converter Contents.