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Latest News and Updates

RegexMagic 2.7.2 – 19 February 2018

RegexMagic 2.7.2 is now available for download.

RegexMagic now officially supports .NET 4.7.1, PCRE 8.41, PHP 7.1.14, and R 3.4.3.  These regex flavors are unchanged compared with previous versions.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  It is disabled by default.  When enabled, it prevents applications from creating files and modifying files in folders commonly used to save personal data such as the Desktop and Documents folders.  The goal is to block ransomware.  In practice, it seems to block almost any application unless you specifically add it to the list applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  Even applications like installers that run with Administrator privileges are blocked by it.

RegexMagic’s installer has been improved to better deal with Controlled Folder Access.  It will no longer show an error message when it can’t create the desktop shortcut.  This is the only aspect of RegexMagic’s installation that is blocked when Controlled Folder Access is enabled with the default settings.  During a regular installation, RegexMagic’s installer adds RegexMagic to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access, even when Controlled Folder Access is disabled.  This way you won’t run into issues when you try to save files in your Documents folder or on your desktop with RegexMagic.  The installer can’t do this when creating a portable install as then the installer doesn’t have the Administrator privileges needed to modify settings in Windows Defender.

RegexMagic can make use of multiple monitors.  The View menu provides two predefined dual monitor layouts.  You can also manually drag panels by their tabs onto another monitor where they become floating windows.  RegexMagic restores the layout of its panels when you close and restart it.  Previously, the dual monitor layouts did not restore the window on the second monitor.  If you had manually dragged off the Library panel into a floating window, that was sometimes not restored.  Both situations would leave an empty floating window.  They could cause RegexMagic to misbehave when trying to bring the missing panels back.  This release fixes a bug that prevents those problems from occurring.

Some patterns, such as the “literal text” and “list of literal text” patterns can result in very long regular expressions if you provide them with a lot of text to match.  This release fixes a bug that caused regular expressions longer than 64,000 characters to be generated incorrectly.  Now RegexMagic correctly generates regular expressions up to 1 billion characters.  Your target application may not support such long regular expressions though.  RegexMagic’s own regular expression engine also puts limits on the complexity of the regular expressions that it will handle.  If the generated regex is too long, the part that exceeds the limit it is highlighted in red on the Regex panel.  The Samples panel can’t show results for such regexes.  The regex may or may not work in the target application.  RegexMagic does not know the limits of the target applications.  Those are usually undocumented implementation details.

RegexBuddy 4.8.2 – 19 February 2018

RegexBuddy 4.8.2 is now available for download.

RegexBuddy now officially supports .NET 4.7.1, PCRE 8.41 PHP 7.1.14, R 3.4.3, and Ruby 2.5.  These regex flavors are unchanged compared with previous versions.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  It is disabled by default.  When enabled, it prevents applications from creating files and modifying files in folders commonly used to save personal data such as the Desktop and Documents folders.  The goal is to block ransomware.  In practice, it seems to block almost any application unless you specifically add it to the list applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  Even applications like installers that run with Administrator privileges are blocked by it.

RegexBuddy’s installer has been improved to better deal with Controlled Folder Access.  It will no longer show an error message when it can’t create the desktop shortcut.  This is the only aspect of RegexBuddy’s installation that is blocked when Controlled Folder Access is enabled with the default settings.  During a regular installation, RegexBuddy’s installer adds RegexBuddy to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access, even when Controlled Folder Access is disabled.  This way you won’t run into issues when you try to save files in your Documents folder or on your desktop with RegexBuddy.  The installer can’t do this when creating a portable install as then the installer doesn’t have the Administrator privileges needed to modify settings in Windows Defender.

RegexBuddy can make use of multiple monitors.  The View menu (3rd button from right on the top toolbar) provides two predefined dual monitor layouts.  You can also manually drag panels by their tabs onto another monitor where they become floating windows.  These floating windows are logically still part of RegexBuddy’s main window.  So they don’t get taskbar buttons and thus can’t be minimized separately.  Minimizing RegexBuddy’s main window hides all the floating windows.  Restoring RegexBuddy also restores all floating windows.  This release fixes a bug that caused floating windows to remain visible after minimizing RegexBuddy in certain circumstances.

The Create panel now better explains how balancing groups actually work.  When the balancing group matches, it captures the text between the end of the capture that was subtracted and the start of the match of the balancing group.  RegexBuddy has always emulated this correctly on the Test and Debug panels.  But the Create panel made it sound like the balancing group would capture the text matched by the balancing group like a regular named group would do.

The GREP panel now correctly handles regular expressions with balancing groups and backreferences to named groups.  Previously grepping would fail to start with an access violation error.

HelpScribble 8.1.1 – 7 February 2018

HelpScribble 8.1.1 is now available for download.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  It is disabled by default.  When enabled, it prevents applications from creating files and modifying files in folders commonly used to save personal data such as the Desktop and Documents folders.  The goal is to block ransomware.  In practice, it seems to block almost any application unless you specifically add it to the list applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  Even applications like installers that run with Administrator privileges are blocked by it.

HelpScribble’s installer has been improved to better deal with Controlled Folder Access.  It will no longer show an error message when it can’t create the desktop shortcut.  This is the only aspect of HelpScribble’s installation that is blocked when Controlled Folder Access is enabled with the default settings.  When you install HelpScribble for all users, the installer adds HelpScribble to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access, even when Controlled Folder Access is disabled.  This way you won’t run into issues when you try to save your HelpScribble projects into your Documents folder or on your desktop.

You need to manually add the help compilers’ executables as applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access if you want to use a personal folder as the output folder for your HLP or CHM files.  You can do this in the Virus & Threat Protection settings in Windows Defender.  The Compiler page in Project Options is where you can specify the output folder for each help project.  It also gives you the location of hcrtf.exe and/or hhc.exe.  Those are the help compilers’ executables.

The installer can’t allow HelpScribble through Controlled Folder Access when installing for the current user.  Then it doesn’t have the Administrator privileges needed to modify settings in Windows Defender.  Then you’ll need to manually add HelpScr.exe in addition to the help compilers.  You don’t need to add the installer if you let it use the default installation folder.

PowerGREP 5.1.4 – 30 January 2018

PowerGREP 5.1.4 is now available for download.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  It is disabled by default.  When enabled, it prevents applications from creating files and modifying files in folders commonly used to save personal data such as the Desktop and Documents folders.  The goal is to block ransomware.  In practice, it seems to block almost any application unless you specifically add it to the list applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  Even applications like installers that run with Administrator privileges are blocked by it.

PowerGREP’s installer has been improved to better deal with Controlled Folder Access.  It will no longer show an error message when it can’t create the desktop shortcut.  This is the only aspect of PowerGREP’s installation that is blocked when Controlled Folder Access is enabled with the default settings.  When you install PowerGREP for all users, the installer adds PowerGREP to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access, even when Controlled Folder Access is disabled.  This way you won’t run into issues when you try to process files in your Documents folder or on your desktop with PowerGREP.

The installer can’t do this when installing for the current user or when creating a portable install as then the installer doesn’t have the Administrator privileges needed to modify settings in Windows Defender.  Then you’ll need to manually add PowerGREP to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access to be able to modify files in your personal folders if you have Controlled Folder Access enabled.  You can do this in the Virus & Threat Protection settings in Windows Defender.  You don’t need to add the installer if you let it use the default installation folder.

PowerGREP’s built-in text editor gets a few fixes to how it saves files.  When Controlled Folder Access blocks Editor|Save from overwriting an existing file, PowerGREP now displays an error message saying it can’t save the file.  Previous versions of PowerGREP would pretend that the file was saved successfully.  Editor|Save can now also overwrite files that are in use by other applications, as long as there is no write lock on the file.  This does require backups to be disabled in the Editor section in the Preferences.  PowerGREP can’t move a file to a backup location while another application is using it.  Finally, the editor now takes note of the file’s new time stamp after saving a file.  It no longer falsely claims another application modified the file if you switch to another application and back to PowerGREP after saving.

Previous PowerGREP 5.x.x releases did not recognize the Unicode signature or byte order marker for UTF-16 BE (big endian) files.  They could still be detected correctly by the method for detecting Unicode files without a byte order marker.  That option is enabled in the predefined “specific auto detection” and “generic auto detection” text encoding configurations.  So this bug would only affect you if you have UTF-16 BE files and used a custom text encoding configuration that doesn’t try to detect Unicode files without a BOM.  On Windows, Unicode files typically use UTF-16 LE (little endian) rather than UTF-16 BE.

PowerGREP 5 can convert files to specific encodings and/or line break styles when you set “target file creation” to “convert matched files to text” or “convert copies of matched files to text”.  These choices are available when “action type” is set to “list files” or “file or folder name search”.  But previous releases of PowerGREP only did the conversion correctly when using the “list files” action type.  When using “file or folder name search” without a search term, the conversion was not done at all.  WIth a search term, you’d get errors.  Now, the conversion is done correctly and in the same way for both action types.

DeployMaster 6.2.1 – 22 January 2018

DeployMaster 6.2.1 is now available for download.

Windows 10 version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) added a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  DeployMaster 6.2.0 added four new options on the Platform page to allow your installers to appropriately deal with this.  This release brings further improvements and a few fixes.

If you turn on the option to test for Controlled Folder Access as well as the option to temporarily allow the installer through Controlled Folder Access, then the installer now performs the test first.  If the test succeeds, it proceeds with the installation without adding itself to the allowed applications.  When the installer does add itself, it now shows a progress meter.  The whole process can easily take five seconds.

Installers built with DeployMaster 4.0.0 and later can extract multiple files in parallel to speed up the installation.  If multiple files could not be extracted, the installer could show multiple error messages at the same time in separate message boxes that all needed to be acknowledged.  One situation when this happened is if the installer tried to install multiple files into a folder protected by Controlled Folder Access, and the installer isn’t allowed through.  Installers built with DeployMaster 6.2.1 now bundle errors.  The user will never get more than one message box at the same time.  If multiple errors occur at the same time, those are all shown by the same message box, which requires only one click to be acknowledged.  Additional messages boxes may appear later in the installation if the user chooses to continue with the installation and further errors occur.  But never more than one message box at a time.

This release also fixes two bugs that only affected 64-bit installers.  32-bit installers running on 64-bit Windows were not affected.  The bitness of your installer is the bitness of your application that you specify on the Platform page.  64-bit installers replaced %DESKTOP%, %MYDOCUMENTS%, and %COMMONDOCUMENTS% with empty strings if these folders were being blocked by Controlled Folder Access and the installer was not allowed through.  This caused shortcuts, files, and folders that should have been installed into these folders to be installed into the root of the drive.  As a consequence, 64-bit installers did not correctly handle the option to check whether the installer was allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  They never showed the warning.  They did correctly add themselves to the list of allowed applications if you enabled that option.

AceText 3.5.0 – 19 January 2018

AceText 3.5.0 is now available for download.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  It is disabled by default.  When enabled, it prevents applications from creating files and modifying files in folders commonly used to save personal data such as the Desktop and Documents folders.  The goal is to block ransomware.  In practice, it seems to block almost any application unless you specifically add it to the list applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  Even applications like installers that run with Administrator privileges are blocked by it.

AceText’s installer has been improved to better deal with Controlled Folder Access.  It now adds itself as an application allowed through Controlled Folder Access if that is needed to be able to create the desktop shortcut and install the sample collections into the Public Documents folder.  During a regular installation, AceText’s installer adds AceText to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access, even when Controlled Folder Access is disabled.  This way you won’t run into issues when you try to save collections in your Documents folder or on your desktop with AceText.  The installer can’t do this when creating a portable install as then the installer doesn’t have the Administrator privileges needed to modify settings in Windows Defender.

The Fall Creators Update reserves several Windows+Control+letter key combinations for the operating system.  So once again we have changed the default hotkeys for activating AceText while working with other applications. The new defaults are used when you install AceText for the first time on any version of Windows. When upgrading from a previous version of AceText, AceText will continue using the hotkeys used by the previous version, whether those were the old defaults or whether you customized the hotkeys. These are the new defaults:

  • Activate AceText: Win+Ctrl+A (unchanged)
  • AcePaste: Win+Alt+V (previously Win+Ctrl+V which now opens shoulder taps)
  • AceType: Win+Alt+A (changed for consistency)
  • Copy to ClipHistory: Win+Alt+C (previously Win+Ctrl+C which now toggles the desktop between color and grayscale)
  • AceEdit: Win+Alt+X (changed for consistency)

The Hotkeys page in the Preferences now indicates which hotkeys, if any, could not be registered.  You won’t be able to OK the Preferences dialog until you change or disable all hotkeys that are reserved by the operating system or registered as system-wide hotkeys by other applications.

AceText’s spell checker received some fixes and improvements to how it handles capitalization.  If the dictionary contains a word in all lowercase, then AceText accepts any capitalization of the word as correctly spelled.  This way any word can be capitalized at the start of sentences or in titles without having to duplicate all words in the dictionary.  If the dictionary contains a word with at least one uppercase letter and does not contain the same word in all lowercase, then the spell checker requires the word to be capitalized in exactly the same way as it is in the dictionary.  This way the spell checker can enforce capitalization of proper names, for example.  AceText’s spell checker has always worked this way for words in the main dictionary.

What’s new is that these rules now also apply to words that you have told AceText to learn.  Previously, AceText accepted any capitalization of all learned words.  This change may cause AceText to flag words as misspelled that it previously didn’t.  In particular, words that are all lowercase will now be flagged as misspelled if you had AceText learn the capitalized variant.  To fix this, you can tell AceText to also learn the lowercase variant.  Or you can click the Word List button in the spell checker panel to edit the list of learned words to remove unnecessary capitalization.

Learned replacements that only change the case of a word no longer (incorrectly) highlight occurrences of the word with the corrected case as misspelled.  This fix, along with the improvement to make the user word list case sensitive, makes it possible to force your preferred capitalization of a word that is in all lowercase in the main dictionary.  You can do this by clicking the Word List button on the spell checker panel and adding word=Word to the list of automatic replacements.

DeployMaster 6.2.0 – 17 January 2018

DeployMaster 6.2.0 is now available for download.

On the 3rd Party page, you can now select .NET 4.7.1 as the minimum required .NET version.

On the Platform page, you can now select the earliest and latest version of Windows 10 that your application supports.  If your application depends on .NET 4.7.1, for example, you need to select 1607 Anniversary Update as the earliest version.  You can select versions 1507 and 9999 if you want your installer to accept any past and future version of Windows 10 like installers built with previous versions of DeployMaster did.

Windows 10 version 1709 (Fall Creators Update) added a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  If enabled, it prevents applications from writing to folders that are normally used to store personal files.  That includes the Desktop and Documents folders.  Even installers that run with Administrator privileges are be blocked.

On the Platform page, DeployMaster now provides four new options to deal with this.  You can turn those on and off independently to suit your installer’s need.

  • If your installer runs with Administrator privileges then it can add itself as an application to be allowed through Controlled Folder Access.
  • Your installer can test whether it will be able to write to the Documents folder.  If the test fails it shows the user a warning that you can customize to explain why your installer needs to be allowed through Controlled Folder Access.
  • Controlled Folder Access may block the creation of desktop shortcuts.  You can choose to let your installer ignore this instead of reporting the inability to create the desktop shortcut as an error.
  • If your installer runs with Administrator privileges then it can add all executables that it installs as an application to be allowed through Controlled Folder Access.

DeployMaster’s own installer is now built with the first two options turned off and the last two turned on.  This means it no longer complains if it can’t create the desktop shortcut and that you’ll have no issues saving or building installers in personal data folders.

EditPad Pro 7.6.3 – 15 January 2018

EditPad Pro 7.6.3 is now available for download.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  It is disabled by default.  When enabled, it prevents applications from creating files and modifying files in folders commonly used to save personal data such as the Desktop and Documents folders.  The goal is to block ransomware.  In practice, it seems to block almost any application unless you specifically add it to the list applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  Even applications like installers that run with Administrator privileges are blocked by it.

EditPad’s installer has been improved to better deal with Controlled Folder Access.  It will no longer show an error message when it can’t create the desktop shortcut.  This is the only aspect of EditPad’s installation that is blocked when Controlled Folder Access is enabled with the default settings.  During a regular installation, EditPad’s installer adds EditPad to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access, even when Controlled Folder Access is disabled.  This way you won’t run into issues when you try to save files in your Documents folder or on your desktop with EditPad.  The installer can’t do this when creating a portable install as then the installer doesn’t have the Administrator privileges needed to modify settings in Windows Defender.

EditPad itself gets a bug fix that better deals with the consequences of Controlled Folder Access.  When it blocks EditPad from overwriting an existing file, EditPad now displays an error message saying it can’t save the file.  Previous versions of EditPad would pretend that the file was saved successfully.  The reason is that Controlled Folder Access does not block applications from obtaining write access to existing files.  It only blocks them from actually writing to the file.  EditPad’s error handling previously did not detect this.

In Preferences|Open Files there is an option to automatically reload all files in the active project.  If this is turned on then EditPad checks whether any of the files in the active project have been modified when you switch back to EditPad Pro after using another application.  If EditPad needs to prompt for any of those files before reloading them, you get one prompt for all files that need to be reloaded.  New in version 7.6.3 is that with this option turned on EditPad Pro also checks all files in the newly activated project when you switch between projects in EditPad Pro.

EditPad Lite 7.6.3 – 15 January 2018

EditPad Lite 7.6.3 is now available for download.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update adds a new feature to Windows Defender called Controlled Folder Access.  It is disabled by default.  When enabled, it prevents applications from creating files and modifying files in folders commonly used to save personal data such as the Desktop and Documents folders.  The goal is to block ransomware.  In practice, it seems to block almost any application unless you specifically add it to the list applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access.  Even applications like installers that run with Administrator privileges are blocked by it.

EditPad’s installer has been improved to better deal with Controlled Folder Access.  It will no longer show an error message when it can’t create the desktop shortcut.  This is the only aspect of EditPad’s installation that is blocked when Controlled Folder Access is enabled with the default settings.  During a regular installation, EditPad’s installer adds EditPad to the list of applications allowed through Controlled Folder Access, even when Controlled Folder Access is disabled.  This way you won’t run into issues when you try to save files in your Documents folder or on your desktop with EditPad.  The installer can’t do this when creating a portable install as then the installer doesn’t have the Administrator privileges needed to modify settings in Windows Defender.

EditPad itself gets a bug fix that better deals with the consequences of Controlled Folder Access.  When it blocks EditPad from overwriting an existing file, EditPad now displays an error message saying it can’t save the file.  Previous versions of EditPad would pretend that the file was saved successfully.  The reason is that Controlled Folder Access does not block applications from obtaining write access to existing files.  It only blocks them from actually writing to the file.  EditPad’s error handling previously did not detect this.

EditPad Lite is free for personal use.  Business and government users can purchase a license.

Download EditPad Lite.