Autohotkey webinar Deep-Dive into File Encoding

webinarIn this AutoHotkey Webinar took a deep-dive into File Encoding by our guest speaker Jean Lalonde (author of Quick Access Popup)

Video Hour 1:  High Level:

  • Why File encoding matters
  • Pros/Cons of each type of encoding
  • Tools like the File Encoding Lab to help determine a file’s encoding
  • How to set File Encoding in AutoHotkey

Video Hour 2: Coding and Q&A

Script Highlight: BarChart by Learning One

(Here is a link to BarChart scripts demonstrated during the webinar)


1) File Enconding in AutoHotkey

(Here is a link to all of Jean Lalonde’s files)
  • Edit and run the AHK script “FileRead.ahk”
  • Load “Demo-UTF-16.txt” with default encoding
  • Load “Demo-UTF-16-No_BOM.txt” with default encoding  -> problem!
  • Load “Demo-UTF-16-No_BOM.txt” with UTF-16-RAW encoding  -> OK!
  • Try the other file enconding available in AHK

2) File Encoding in DOS (code pages)

  • Run the batch file “Type Box.bat” in DOS console (under “Tutorial“ folder)
  • See this ASCII/ANSI file displayed with code pages 1252 (default ASCI/ANSI) and 437

3) Load the File Encoding Lab

  • Run the AHK script “File Encoding Lab.ahk”
  • Loaded bu default “ASCII.txt” (detected CP1252, 7-bit chars)
  • File Encoding Lab tour
    • Binary display on the left side / Normal AHK display on the right
    • Click on the file name to see with Notepad
    • Encoded detected and use the dropdown list to reload with another encoding
  • Load “ANSI.txt” (detected CP1252, 8-bit chars)
  • Load “Box-CP437.txt” (detected CP1252, 8-bit chars)
    • Which encoding will display a box?
  • Load “UTF-8.txt” (detected UTF-8)
    • see BOM (“byte ordre mark” or header) on left side: two first bytes
    • See one byte for “!”
    • See two bytes each for “é”  and “É«
    • See three bytes for “用”

4) File Encoding Lab Cheat Sheet

  • ASCII and ANSI
  • Unicode 8-16-32 bits
  • Unicode with/without BOM
  • Unicode Little or Big Endian

5) Real life files

  • QAP Spanish translation
  • QAP Chinese translation
  • Other examples?

AutoHotkey webinar- Copying / Editing / Saving files & Folders

In this AutoHotkey Webinar we covered: Working with Files & Folders (Here are the files demonstrated during the webinar)

Video Hour 1: High-level:

  1. Moving / Copying / Deleting Files / Folders
    1. File Copy / Move
    2. File Delete
    3. Loop Files & Folders
  2. Creating / Editing Files
    1. File Encoding
    2. FileRead & FileAppend
    3. Loop FileRead & FileReadLine
    4. File Object

Video Hour 2: Q&A

Script Highlight-  Locker

  • Kill power to monitors & block most keys & mouse
  • Great to use instead of using Windows + L and having to enter yoiur crazy corporate password

Copy, Move, Delete : Files & Folders

FileCopy – SourcePattern, DestPattern [, Flag]

  • FileCopy copies files only. To copy a single folder (including its subfolders), use FileCopyDir. To instead copy the contents of a folder (all its files and subfolders), see the examples section of FileCopy

FileCopyDir – FileCopyDir, Source, Dest [, Flag]

  • Copies a folder along with all its sub-folders and files (similar to xcopy)
  • FileCopyDir copies a single folder. If the destination directory structure doesn’t exist it will be created if possible

FileMove – FileMove, SourcePattern, DestPattern [, Flag]

  • FileMove moves files only. To move or rename a single folder, use FileMoveDir

FileDelete – FileDelete, FilePattern

  • To remove an entire folder, along with all its sub-folders and files, use FileRemoveDir
  • To delete a read-only file, first remove the read-only attribute. For example: FileSetAttrib, -R, C:\My File.txt

Looping Files & Folders

Loop (files & folders) – Loop, Files, FilePattern [, Mode]      Mode:  D=Directories, F=Files, R=Recursive

FilePattern: The name of a single file or folder, or a wildcard pattern

  • Retrieves the specified files or folders, one at a time
  • A file-loop is useful when you want to operate on a collection of files and/or folders, one at a time
  • The following Special Variables exist in any file-loop
    • A_LoopFileName
    • A_LoopFileExt
    • A_LoopFileFullPath
    • A_LoopFileLongPath
    • A_LoopFileShortPath
    • A_LoopFileShortName
    • A_LoopFileDir
    • A_LoopFileTimeModified
    • A_LoopFileTimeCreated
    • A_LoopFileTimeAccessed
    • A_LoopFileAttrib
    • A_LoopFileSize
    • A_LoopFileSizeKB
    • A_LoopFileSizeMB

File Encoding

  • Sets the default encoding for FileReadFileReadLineLoop ReadFileAppend, and FileOpen
  • Encoding can be one of the following values:
  • UTF-8: Unicode UTF-8, equivalent to CP65001
  • UTF-16: Unicode UTF-16 with little endian byte order, equivalent to CP1200
  • UTF-8-RAW or UTF-16-RAW: As above, but no Byte Order Mark (BOM*) is written when a new file is created
  • CPnnn: a code page with numeric identifier nnn. See Code Page Identifiers. (UTF-8 is CP65001, UTF-16 is CP1200)
  • Empty or omitted: the system default ANSI code page, which is also the default setting* The byte order mark (BOM) is a Unicode character, U+FEFF byte order mark (BOM), whose appearance as a magic number at the start of a text stream can signal several things to a program consuming the text

FileRead & FileAppend

File Read FileRead, OutputVar, Filename

  • Reads file’s content into a variable
  • FileRead, Var, *P65001 %file_path% ;-Read in the file using UTF-8 Encoding
  • When the goal is to load all or a large part of a file into memory, FileRead performs much better than using a file-reading loop.
  • FileOpen() provides more advanced functionality than FileRead, such as reading or writing data at a specific location in the file without reading the entire file into memory
  • When Reading / Writing to a file many times, FileObject is much faster as it does not open/close the file each time

FileAppend FileAppend [, Text, Filename, Encoding]

  • Writes text to the end of a file (first creating the file, if necessary)
  • FileAppend,%data%,%File_Name%.txt,UTF-8
  • To overwrite an existing file, delete it with FileDelete prior to using FileAppend
  • * don’t forget to add a line break at the end of each row!

LoopFileRead, FileReadLine

Loop (read file contents)   Loop, Read, InputFile [,OutputFile]

  • A file-reading loop is useful when you want to operate on each line contained in a text file, one at a time. It performs better than using FileReadLine because:
    • the file can be kept open for the entire operation
    • the file does not have to be re-scanned each time to find the requested line number.
  • Lines up to 65,534 characters long can be read. If the length of a line exceeds this, its remaining characters will be read during the next loop iteration
  • To load an entire file into a variable, use FileRead because it performs much better than a loop (especially for large files).

FileReadLine  FileReadLine, OutputVar, Filename, LineNum

  • Reads the specified line from a file and stores the text in a variable
  • It is strongly recommended to use this command only for small files, or in cases where only a single line of text is needed. To scan and process a large number of lines (one by one), use a file-reading loopfor best performance. To read an entire file into a variable, use FileRead

FileObject

FileOpen – file := FileOpen(Filename, Flags [, Encoding])

  • Flags (r=Read, w=Write, a=Append, rw=Read/Write , h=Handle, -rwd=Lock file/deny access)

ReadLine–  TextLine := File.ReadLine()

  • Reads a line of text from the file and advances the file pointer

Seek–  TextLine := File.Seek()

  • Distance to move, in bytes. Lower values are closer to the beginning of the file

AtEOF (End of File)- IsAtEOF := File.AtEOF

  • Retrieves a non-zero value if the file pointer has reached the end of the file, otherwise zero.

WriteLine–  File.WriteLine([String])

  • Writes a string of characters followed by n or r`n depending on the flags used to open the file. Advances the file pointer

Encoding– File.Encoding

  • RetrievedEncoding and NewEncoding is a numeric code page identifier (e.g. CP65001)

Close–  File.Close()

  • Although the file is closed automatically when the object is freed, it is recommended to close the file as soon as possible

COM Objects & DLL call