What's new in Tom's eTextReader 1.9.0 (Release Candidate)


Redesigned interface

There has been a major redesign of main window and dialogs

  • New buttons to quickly open the 'Recent' and 'TOC' dialogs,
  • Navigation bar (see CONTROL for more information),
  • Progress bar (see CONTROL), displayed either below the book (including a clock) or above it (replacing the navigation bar),
  • Options and help contents are now arranged in several categories,
  • The 'Find' dialog buttons and the 'Case sensitive' option have been rearranged.


In addition to the book text and book background colors, there are six more colors to be set:
Button text, window background, menu text, menu background (also used for Help, Recent files, Table of contents), list text, list background.

Sets of colors can be saved as color schemes.

Fullscreen mode

Selecting the new "Full screen" option (shortcut Ctrl+Enter) extends the book (and the table of contents, if it is currently on the left side) to the whole screen area.
The title bar, menu etc. disappear, however, you can right click to see the menu/options, and you can use shortcuts (like Ctrl+O to open a file, or Ctrl+R for Recent/Favorites).

Page numbers below the text

If the bottom margin is large enough (>16 pixels) the page numbers may be positioned in the center below the text, which is particularly useful in full screen mode.
The page history list can still be displayed by right clicking over the left page number.

Title page

Now the very first page on the left is a title page, so that the odd page numbers are on the right side, as in books.
The title page shows either the file name (without extension) or the title/author information, if such has been entered (Options - 'Book info').
Next the synopsis and remarks, if any exist, are displayed, followed by the file name, archive name (if applicable) and directory.


  • New option to hide path information in file lists and in the title
  • New option to hide the archive name in the title (Sqare brackets indicate that the current file is from an archive)
  • New option to hide ignored files in archives (they don't show up in the list and aren't included when jumping from file to file, see CONTROL)


Navigation bar

The most important functions for turning pages and jumping to chapters are now available via a set of buttons in a navigation bar.

These are: Go to the first (title) page, go 10 or 2 pages back or forward, go to the last page.
If a TOC has been created, two more buttons to go to the previous/next section (chapter) are enabled.

Not included here are: Turning single pages (Left/Right key) and going back and forward in the page history (Alt+Left, Alt+Right).

Progress bar

A progress bar can be displayed either below or above the text (see General options).
Move the mouse over the progress bar to see the page number as a tooltip, and click to jump to the selected page.

If the progress bar is positioned below the text, the current time can be displayed to the left of it.

In the position above the text, the navigation bar is replaced by the progress bar, however, buttons for turning pages forward and back are still shown to the left and to the right of the progress bar.

Mouse control

Some users were confused by the method of turning pages with left (back) and right (forward) mouse clicks over certain window regions. Others however had no such problems, so I decided it was best to implement both styles of control:

In addition to the above mentioned regions, where the cursor takes on the form of a horizontal double arrow, there are now two new regions near the left and right window border (over the page edges if 'Book style' is active) where the cursor will be a diagonal double arrow.
Left clicking there turns one double page back (on the left side) or forward (on the right side). Right clicking opens the menu just as it does over the text.


The recent file list has been redesigned, and there is a new list for favorite files/directories below the recent files list.

Click to open one of the files, or use Shift+Click to remove an entry.
Ctrl+click on a file in the recent list to copy it to favorites.
Click on 'Add current' to add the current file to the favorites, or 'Add directory' to browse for a directory to be added.
When a favorite directory is clicked, the 'Open' dialog is displayed.

Right clicking on 'Recent' opens the most recently read file (or use Ctrl+Shift+R).

The keyboard shortcut to show/hide the Recent/Favorite dialog is Ctrl+R.
Use the keyboard (Arrow keys, Tab) to navigate in the lists, and to open files (Return) or delete entries (Delete).

Jump to a file

Press Ctrl+Home/Page Up/Page Down/ End to open the first/previous/next/last file in the current directory.
File order is alphabetic ("intelligently" sorted when file are sequentially numbered), typical non-text files (images, programs etc.) and user defined 'ignore' files (defined in eTextReader.ini) are skipped.
Zip archives that contain multiple files are also stepped through in sorted order.

Autoturn ('Autoscroll')

New feature to automatically turn pages (one by one, with a warning by a blinking progress bar) after a certain time interval.
Start/pause the timer with the Pause key and stop it with Shift+Pause, or use the checkbox in the "Control" options dialog, where you can also adjust the time interval.
Minimizing the program window pauses the timer.

New control keys

  • Finally: The 'boss' key! :-) => Escape minimizes the program window, provided that no dialog is visible.
  • Shift+Ctrl+O opens the current file with the associated program.
  • Now all letters can trigger the Quick Find feature, not only A-Z.

  • F1 display the Help dialog.
  • F3 is used for "Find again" in addition to Enter/Return. The difference is that F3 opens the Find dialog if necessary, whereas Enter/Return only works while the dialog is already open. "Find again" starts at the current cursor position (just click inside the text), or else at the beginning of the left page.
  • F5 reloads the current file. Other than with Shift+Ctrl+R, files from archives are also reloaded immediately, whereas Shift+Ctrl+R displays the archive contents list first.

  • The Shortcut Ctrl+B has been reassigned (from the background color) to bookmarks:
    Ctrl+B sets a bookmark (max. 3),
    Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Ctrl+3 jump to the respective bookmarked page,
    Ctrl+Shift+1 (2,3) delete the respective bookmark,
    Ctrl+Shift+B deletes ALL bookmarks.


  • When the window is resized, a short delay prevents the text from being re-wrapped all the time.
  • Fitting (wrapping) lines is now faster when the page width doesn't change (vertical resizing, moving the progress bar between its upper and lower positions, switching to fullscreen from maximized mode).


New editor

There is a new resizable editor that lets you choose a font and performs find/replace tasks.
(INFO: Use '\n' to find/replace line breaks.)

When opened, the editor scrolls to the paragraph at the position of the text cursor (click on one of the pages to set it, otherwise it's the first paragraph of the left page).

Browsing and downloading Project Gutenberg etexts

PG index

If there is no Project Gutenberg index file ('GUTINDEX.ALL' and/or 'GUTINDEX.AUS') in the program directory, then a message will inform you to update the index (click on "Update index now"). You will have to decide whether to download the index of PG Australia, too (There might be legal issues, because they use a 50 year copyright rule, by which more texts are in the public domain than there are in other countries).

The PG index (the upper of the two lists) is created from GUTINDEX.ALL (automatically extracted from GUTINDEX.zip) and or GUTINDEX.AUS, where the Australian files are marked by an 'A' before each number.

Any additional information, e.g. contents of anthologies, is shown in a third column of the etext list. The information can also be seen when the mouse hovers over an ebook entry (provided that "Show info" is checked).

You can filter the titles by entering text into the field above. If "Active" is checked, filtering will be done while you type, otherwise press Return or click on "Filter".

Click on the column titles to sort by PG number and/or Title and Author.

Reset removes the filter and loads the initial index again (with titles ordered as found in GUTINDEX).

Downloading files
  • Double click on a list entry in the PG index, or select some titles and click on "Copy selection to download list" to transfer them to the list below.

  • Use the "File type" drop down list to set the preferred file type before adding files to the download list, or to change the type(s) of one or more selected files afterwards.

  • Click "Start download" to get all files on the download list to the directory specified below ("Save files to..."). The program will try to find the best match for every title, otherwise you will see "Not found" in the status column. In that case you can double click on the title or click on "List available files" to see which files the server really offers.

  • OR

  • Click "Look up available files on PG server" to search the server for matching files (all file types, such as txt, zip, htm, mp3 etc. are listed). Then select which one to download (double click on a title or use "List available files") and click "Start download" to get the files.
  • Other
    • The list of available files also shows file size and date information.
    • Files selected for download will be marked as "Downloaded" in the status column, if the file name matches one in the "Save to" directory. You can still download the same file again and overwrite the previous version. However, the program doesn't look elsewhere to find the file.
    • Downloads use temporary files: If the download is interrupted or aborted, the partially downloaded file is deleted, an existing file with the same name stays intact.

    Table of contents (TOC)

    Changed the TOC behavior: If the program window is not maximized window or in full screen mode, the window is expanded to the left to show the TOC without any changes in line/page formatting. Therefore, the lines don't have to be wrapped again.
    When you move through the pages, the current section is highlighted.

    The keyboard shortcut to show/hide the table of contents has been changed from Ctrl-H to Ctrl+T.

    Creating the table of contents is much faster now, so you probably won't have to turn that feature off at all.

    Use the keyboard to navigate in the table of contents.

    Find in files

    After opening a file from the result list, the Find function is started immediately to find the first occurence of the text.


    Import filter for MS Word files

    The reader now imports text from MS Word files (Word Version 2.x or later), including fast-saved (complex) documents are opened correctly.
    Footnotes are inserted in the main text at their reference positions, enclosed in { } braces.
    Headers, endnotes, annotation text, and texts from text boxes are appended to the main text.

    Optionally the program can insert an additional blank line between paragraphs.

    OpenOffice/StarOffice Writer files

    The document format of Writer (*.sxw) is zipped XML, with the main text stored in the file "contents.xml" in the root path of the SXW-archive.
    When opening a *sxw file, eTextReader automatically extracts the text from contents.xml and converts from UTF-8 encoding, if necessary.
    Embedded objects are represented by their names enclosed in { } braces, e.g. {GRAPHIC1}.
    Text can also be imported from other XML files of similar type.

    Palm Doc text files Import+Export


    Standard text files for Palm PDAs (often called Palm Doc files) can be imported directly from a *.pdb file.
    Note: PDB files might contain content of a different (e.g. proprietary) type, but the program only works with Palm Doc texts.

    Optionally the program can ensure that at least one blank line separates the paragraphs.


    Save files in the Palm Doc format simply by using the 'Save as' dialog and selecting the PDB file type or entering a .pdb extension.
    Exporting is always done with compression.


    • HTML tags bold, italic, underlined are optionally converted to symbols: *bold*, /italic/, _underlined_.
    • Additional HTML entities supported, more fail save parsing of tags.

    • Ignored Files: This section in the ini file defines filenames and/or extensions that should be ignored by eTextReader (e.g. when jumping from file to file by pressing Ctrl+PageDown etc., or when searching text in files). Filename and extension can have one final asterisk (wildcard) each. Examples: *.pdf, temp.*, xwp*.htm*.

      Files with the following extensions are always ignored (you don't have to define them):
      *.gif, *.jpg, *.jpeg, *.bmp, *.png, *.ico, *.avi, *.mpg, *.mpeg, *.mp3, *.wma, *.wmv, *.wav, *.pif, *.exe, *.dll, *.com, *.cmd, *.ocx, *.ax, *.vbs, *.msc, *.scr, *.cpx, *.cpl, *.cnt, *.hlx, *.gid, *.chm, *.drv, *.vxd, *.wsc, *.nls, *.lnk, *.mht


    Opening multiple files

    The Open dialog now allows selection of more than one file; these files are appended to form one big text (Unnamed) that you can save as a single text (*.txt) file.
    An "intelligently" sorted file list is created (example: "file2.htm" will be sorted before "file10.htm") and displayed in a dialog, where you can modify the file order manually before joining the parts.

    Opening multiple files also works in the zip contents dialog (whereafter the dialog to change the sort order will appear).

    You can even mix normal files and zip archives (in the Open dialog), then the zip contents dialog(s) will appear for each archive, and finally all selected files (whether from an archive or not) will be listed in the sort order dialog.

    Appending files (Ctrl+A)

    Append one or several files to the current text. Before each text part is appended, 3 blank lines and the file name are inserted, so you can configure the TOC to show where each part starts.

    File closing/editing (Ctrl+W)

    You can now close the current file.
    Any changes to file specific settings will then be used as default values.
    Editing text is possible in the 'closed' state - the file name will be 'Unnamed.txt' (in the current directory) until you save it.

    If the program is exited with the file closed, the next time it is run the last file will not be opened, even if the Auto-opening option is active. It can still be opened manually by right clicking on Recent.


    • Excluded/Included paths are now handled case insensitive.
    • NOTE: Excluded and Included Paths must now include a final asterisk if a wildcard is needed (e.g. for subdirectories or groups of similar path names). Single path names require a final '\'.


    Font settings

    The font size range has been extended (up to 99 pt) and the control has been replaced by a drop down list, so you can quickly change this setting (the + and - keys now step through the drop down list values).
    The default font name and size are now displayed in the title bar (until a file is opened).

    You can also change the tab(ulator) width.

    Book Info

    New file specific options: You can enter title, subtitle and author of the book, which will then be displayed in the title bar and title page.
    Check the "Finished reading" box to mark a book that you've already read.
    Also, there are fields for entering rating, categories, and the source (URL) where you got the file from. Click on "Source" to open the URL in your standard browser.
    Information on the file size, the creation date, modification date, and when the file was last opened is also displayed.


    Enter synopsis, personal remarks, and additional information (e.g. release date, characters etc.) for each etext.
    Synopsis and remarks are displayed on the new title page (see APPEARANCE).

    Default file specific settings

    For many file specific settings (font, line wrapping, TOC parameters) there are now default values (in a new 'Default' section in the ini file). If no file is open, these settings are active and can be modified. There are also two 'Set as default' buttons for the font and TOC parameters, respectively.
    However, no default values for book information (Title, Author, Synopsis etc.) are stored.

    If an 'unknown' file is opened (i.e. a file is opened for the first time or from an excluded path) either the current or the default settings are applied, according to the 'Apply default settings to new files' checkbox (under 'General').

    List, delete and edit INI file entries

    Each file that you open leaves its traces in the file eTextReader.ini - font settings, bookmarks etc. are stored there. Now you can see the list of files for which information is stored in the INI file. The list can be sorted, and file specific information is displayed as tooltips over the filenames.

    Data for selected files can be set to the current values of either font name, font size, line break settings, TOC settings, or all file specific options at once.

    You can also delete these data for

    • selected files,
    • all files,
    • all files that do no longer exist,
    • all files but those in the recent and favorites lists,
    • all files that are now in excluded paths.


    • IMPORTANT: Information is now stored for each individual file in an archive (The archive name and file name are separated by '|' in the ini file).
    • If creating or writing to the eTextReader.ini file is not possible (e.g. when running the program from a CD), this file is created in the Windows directory.


    Fixed bugs related to ...

    • page coloring in book style mode.
    • opening the 'Find text in files' window.
    • repeated auto-opening of zip files.
    • text import from rtf files containing images.
    • removing single line breaks when lines are indented.
    • missing lines/invisible lines at the page bottom, particularly when using Asian fonts.