MultiEd's Icon

Tour of MultiEd's Special Features

Versions 2.35-2.51

Most people should find that routine editing of text files with MultiEd is pretty obvious and similar to other Windows programs. We would like to introduce you to some special features that you may not expect. Taking the tour will also help you ensure than the program is installed properly.

  1. (**New**) Three options for the location of the find and replace dialogs: One of them is just above the status bar in a manner similar to Firefox and shown below. Use "Options | Global Setup" to choose your favorite location
    Find/Replace panel
  2. Tool button hints: MultiEd's tool buttons have hints that show when you hold the cursor over the button.
    Tool bar and tip
  3. Reserved word coloring: MultiEd colors reserved words in many languages. It uses the file extension to automatically determine the language. You can test this by clicking the open file button New File Button, navigating to the Examples subdirectory in MultiEd folder. Pick some example files of interest and check out the colorings. You can change the colors using "Options | Coloring Setup".
    Coloring and indent line
  4. Indent lines: Pick an example .java file. Observe that MultiEd automatically draws gray indent lines as shown above. These lines will help you determined the beginning and end of bracketed sections. This has 3 advantages. It will help you see your program's organization at a glance. It will help you determine missing or surplus curly brackets, and help you indent your program properly. If desired, you can change the number of indentation spaces using "Options | Coloring Setup" and then pick the "Tabs and Indents" tab.
  5. Find matching brackets: Put the cursor on the left side of a curly bracket and click the "Find Brace" tool button Frind Brace Button. It has a flashlight and curly brackets. This should move you to the matching curly bracket. Click the bracket again it will move the cursor back to the original bracket. This action also works for [ ], < >, and ( ) pairs in several languages.
  6. Find matching tags in hypertext files: Open an example .html file in the Examples subfolder and put the cursor inside a tag such as <body> and click the same "Find brace" button Find Brace Button as above. MultiEd will move the cursor to the corresponding </body> tag. Click the button again and cursor moves back to the first tag.
  7. Programmable buttons: MultiEd has 12 programmable tool buttons that can be customized for different file types. They normally appear at the right end of the tool bar but if the MultiEd window is too narrow, they are moved to the status bar. You can use the Tool Setup program (ToolSetup.exe) ToolSetup in the MultiEd directory to select different tools or rearrange existing tools. You can use the "Option | Tool Button Setup" to modify or create tools. There are tools especially designed to load the current file into a browser when you are working with a hypertext file. Some other tools are designed to compile with Sun's Java SDK. Tools can automatically run Java programs and applets. Because the buttons are programmable, they can be used for a great variety of tasks. Try out your buttons to see what they can do for you.
     Tool bar - Java  Tool bar - HTML
    Programmable tools buttons for Java
    Programmable tools buttons for HTML
    If the Java compile and run tool doesn't work as expected, the problem may be that MultiEd cannot find the Java compiler. In this case, see the RunJava.bat file in the MultiEd folder for hints on fixing the problem.
  8. Templates: One tool is designed to process templates. You can try it out. Open a new, empty .java or .html file and save it. Then click the template button Template button. You should see a list of appropriate templates stored in the MultiEd\Templates directory. Pick one and watch MultiEd "type" the boiler plate text for you in the editor window.

    The templates files, supplied with MultiEd are intended to be customized to meet your needs. You can just load the template file into MultiEd (they are stored in the MultiEd\Templates folder) and make the desired changes and then save it. Many of the template files include macros instructions such as "{autoindent off}" that turns the autoindent option off. "{literal on}" says to type the text literally, exactly as shown. That is useful because MultiEd's macro language treats { }, [ ], < >, ( ) and ~ as meta characters with special meanings. For example, (unless literal has been turned on) "<" says to press the control key, ">" says to release it. "~" says press the Enter key.

    Hint: If you are using a lab machine and the template files are read only, you may be able to copy them to another folder where you can save the customized file for future use.

    Very powerful templates are possible. The files "template-ConvertTextToHtml.txt" and "template-ConvertHtmlToTxt.html" can actually convert an unformatted text file into a web page and convert a web page into a text file.

  9. Tool menu List menu Tools with menus: Some tool buttons show menus. This often occurs with buttons that look like Tool. Such a button appears when you have a .html or .java file open.

    Lets suppose that you are editing a .html file and want to add an unordered list. Move the cursor to the proper location and click the "HTML tools" Tool programmable tool and the menu shown on the left appears. Click "List Menu" and smaller "List Menu" shown on the right appears. Now we click "Unordered list". MultiEd writes the tags for an unordered list and moves the cursor to location where the first list item should appear. Repeat the process this time picking "List item" in the List menu and the tags for a list item appear and the cursor is moved to the location where text should be added. MultiEd has done a lot of typing with just a few clicks. Tags for common items such as paragraphs, hyperlinks, and images can be entered directly from the .html tool menu and require only 2 clicks!

    This tool is even more powerful when you are editing a .java file. Suppose you need to add a class for a mouse listener. After moving the cursor to the desired location, click the Tool button, then the "Event Listeners" menu item, and then "Mouse Listener". MultiEd types the template for the class and moves the cursor to the location where you should type the class name. Mouse listeners require importing "java.awt.event.*". As an added bonus, MultiEd checks to see if the required import already exists. If not, it warns you that it is missing and adds the required statement to the beginning of the program.

    Like templates, these buttons and menus are programmable. They reside in .macro or "templates" files stored in MultiEd's template folder. These files can also be edited. Unfortunately files with menus tend to be more complicated that the "template" files and editing may be more difficult. The tutorials about macros are recommended.

  10. Projects:
    Expanded function tree Click the project tool button Project Button. It has 3 red and blue pages and is between the spell check button and the first programmable tool button. Click "Open" in the pop up menu. Navigate to the MultiEd\ExampleProjects directory and select Example-Project2.proj.

    Several things happen. The project file shows up on the right with a yellow background. (You may need to adjust the width of this file window so you can read all of it.) If you double click on a file name it will load the file (if necessary) and make it the active file. On the left you will see a tree structure which works much like a directory tree. Notice that some files have a little plus in the box left of the file name. Clicking on a plus will expand the entry and show you the classes or methods/functions in those classes. Click on a class or function name and the cursor will move to the corresponding line in the file. (This works in some of the other languages as well.)

    Project File

  11. Macros: MultiEd has a keyboard macro language that can be used to type text into a editor window. It can be even used to type text into dialog boxes or send it other applications. In fact, the templates are macros. Some tools such as those used to load files into browsers also use the macro facility. The macro language includes virtual keys and commands that allow fairly powerful macros such as the convert templates mentioned above. The "Tools | Macro" menu item opens up a Macro Control dialog box that can be used to create, debug and run macros. After they are created, they can be stored in a tool button or file for convenient use.

  12. Help: MultiEd has extensive help. Its format is a little unusual. Just remember that green text items are hyperlinks that you can double click on.

Hopefully the tour has helped you see some potential uses for MultiEd. Please explore the other menu items, tool buttons, and "help" to learn more about its capabilities. You can visit its webpage for some more uses, hints or find updates.

Please contact if you have questions, comments, suggestions, or discover a bug.

Return to the beginning of this file         Return to the tutorial home page

Revised: 10/4/2011