Thursday, November 11, 2010

TextPad Tip: Assign F5 to Refresh View

You can use tools like log viewers, even SMS Trace, to view dynamic log files in real time, but sometimes you need to view files for which there is no logical associated editor/viewer which can parse the structure syntactically. This is where TextPad kicks major amounts of ass.  I'm talking truckloads, no, shiploads of buttocks.  Because it's a programmable editor, you can mold and shape it to your needs.  I've talked about this product before, but I wanted to cover one small feature: keyboard assignments.

I use the "Revert" feature quite a lot.  I can setup custom file parsers using Custom document classes and syntax definitions to format the information to suit my needs.  Then I turn off dynamic refresh (to avoid application hangs when the file objects vanish or the connection is transient).  Then I can use my F5 key to refresh the view when I want to.  Here's how…

Open Preferences and click on the Keyboard option (see below)

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Select the File category, and scroll down to select the "FileRevert" command.  Then press your F5 key to add it to the key assignment box.

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Finally, click the "Assign" button to set the mapping of F5 to "FileRevert".  Then click Apply and OK.  That's it.

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To test this out, run a task that generates a lengthy log or data file output.  Open the file and press F5 every few seconds or minutes to refresh the display.

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You can easily assign key combinations as well.  So you can assign Shift+F5, or CTRL+F9 or whatever.  There are many assignments already defined by default, which you can also change to suit your preferences.

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