AceText-Aware Applications

AceText is designed as a sidekick to the applications you regularly work with to create documents and to communicate. AceText makes it quick and simply to store large and small bits of text for later reuse, and to transfer multiple bits of text between applications.

AceText is compatible with (almost) all Windows applications. However, some of its functionality will work better when used in conjunction with an application that was made AceText-aware by its developers.

What "AceText-aware" means

To make AceText's tasks possible, AceText needs to be able to communicate with other applications. The Microsoft Windows platform provides several mechanisms to communicate. Two mechanisms that you, the user, have control over are the Windows clipboard and drag and drop. The Windows clipboard is a central storage area, where applications can store data and later retrieve it, whenever you use the "copy" or "paste" commands. Almost all Windows applications can use the Windows clipboard. Drag and drop enables you to directly copy or move data from one application to another, using the mouse. Since drag and drop is a bit difficult to implement for programmers, not all software supports it.

When two applications communicate, they need to agree in which format they will send and receive data. This is where the difference between applications that are AceText-aware, and those that are not, sets in. Microsoft Windows defines several standard data formats, including plain text. The standard plain text format allows AceText to capture text from and send text to any application, either via the clipboard, or via drag and drop.

However, AceText supports additional kinds of clips, such as rectangular text blocks and "before and after" text. Since those are not standard Windows data formats, only software that was made compatible with AceText by its programmers will recognize those data formats. If your software was not, AceText will detect this and fall back to the plain text format. Rectangular blocks and "before and after" clips are then sent as plain text.

AceText-aware software

At the time of this writing, only software published by Just Great Software (AceText's publisher) is AceText-aware. This includes EditPad Lite, a basic text editor that is free for personal use, and EditPad Pro, a very powerful and convenient text editor. The combination of AceText and EditPad Lite or Pro definitely makes text editing a much more pleasant (or less boring) job, and certainly will reduce the time you spend doing it. See http://www.editpadpro.com/ for more information.

How to make an application AceText-aware

Making an application AceText-aware can only be done by the company or people that created it. A single programmer can do it in a couple of hours. So you will need to request this functionality from the developers of the software that you use. If they have any questions about this, invite them to contact AceText technical support. We will be happy to assist them with the implementation.

If you are a programmer, and want to make your software AceText-aware, read the documentation on AceText's clipboard format and AceText's automation interface. At a very minimum, you need to make your application recognize AceText's clipboard format, so your application can paste AceText's clips and receive them via drag-and-drop the way the user expects.

Implement AceText's automation interface to be able to directly respond to AceType and AcePaste events. This will make AceType and AcePaste work together with your application more reliably. Without the interface, AceText copies the clip to the clipboard and simulates a Ctrl+V keystroke in your application.

The automation interface also provides your application with great control over AceText. Your application can tell AceText to open or close a collection, retrieve its clips, add and update clips, etc. To see this in action, download a copy of EditPad Pro.