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Extra skins
What is Activity Timer?


Download Text Echo
Extra skins
What is Text Echo?
Echo and edit small web page text fields
Text magnifier or font and colour changer echo
Wild words search and replace
Search and replace folders and sub folders
Replace several terms at once
Make Forwarding Redirects for web site that's moved
Graphical Interface for the Aspell Spell Checker
Editable Clipboard Viewer & Other Features

Text Echo - What's new?
updated Sunday Aug 31, 2008

Intro - Minor updates of 2.0 - Release of 2.0 - Earlier releases


To see if you need to update, compare the date under Help | About with the date at the top of this page. With the latest version you can automatically check for updates. To update, Download Text Echo and run the installer.

Do you wish to have your attention drawn to major updates to Text Echo - or to be told about any new utilities released? If so, send an e-mail to to say you want to be on the Text Echo list and / or the new utilities announcement list.


Minor Updates of version 2.0

Aug 30th 2008 - April 17th 2008 - April 15th 2008

Minor update - Aug 30th 2008

Now you can open and save files using unicode file names

Updated for Vista

The sample text for Skin | Font is now editable, so you can immediately see the effect of the font change on characters of particular interest to you.

Bug fixes

Minor update - April 17th 2008

Opts | General Options

Show file location in title bar Added options to show the file first then the location, to show just the current folder, and to show as friendly path i.e. Drive C | Example | test.txt or as C:\\Example\test.txt

Skin | Skin - added Randomise Skin button, also the Random Skin check box, which you can use to show a random choice of skin every time Text Echo starts up. One use of this - if you have many files open in different instances of T.E. the randomised skin can help distinguish them from each other.

Also now added installers for any of the skins for Activity Timer with Text Echo - see the new Text Echo Extra Skins page.

Bug fixes

see the Bug fixes page


Minor update - April 15th 2008

Opts | General Options

Show file location in title bar May be useful sometimes e.g. if you have same named file in various locations and want to be able to be sure which one you are looking at with a glance at the title bar. Note that if you can also show the location via File | Recent Files | Show location, and explore its folder using File | Explore folder for current file.

Flash main window text when it is saved Gives visual feedback so that you can see when the text is saved, e.g. when you press Ctrl + S.

Auto reload etc - to configure what happens when the file is changed on disk. Automatically resets to Ask when you open a new file - but you can look here to see what the current status is - whether the file you are using is being auto reloaded etc - or change whether it auto reloads or not - before the only way to do this was to reopen the file and reply to the message again.

Ask before saving to a text file (*.txt) with unicode characters - you can now save text as unicode if it has unicode characters in it. Asks first since not all programs will be able to read text saved as unicode, since many especially older programs will expect it to be 8 bit ascii text.

Skin | Space out controls in windows. Lets you space them out if you have lots of screen space, or you can go back to the way they were originally to crowd them together if you have less space or want to fit as many windows as possible into the display.

Find | Find & Replace - Options | Log next search - Especially useful for search terms with wild words as it shows the text found for each wild word letter.

File | Print - bare bones option to print the text out in case you need to do it.

When you open a binary file - now gives you three options - to convert the binary to text, to run the file by file association, or to cancel.

Added the word wrap and underline urls options from the Edit menu to the Text Options window.

Bug fixes

see the Bug fixes page


Version 2.0 release

January 2008 - release of Text Echo 2.0

Major reorganisation of the program. Better organisation of the controls in the windows, and with separate "Text options" and "General Options" entries in the new Opts drop menu.

Now has a Tasks menu and you can choose between:

  • Echo and Edit Text Fields etc in other programs
  • Show / Edit Clipboard Text
  • Edit Files
  • Make Web Site Forwarding Mirror

Menu is better organised and there's a separate Find menu.

Added an auto updater (see help menu) so you can check automatically to see if your copy is up to date.

With the Find or Replace - all Files in folder... the search results show underlined links for each of the files in the folder containing the search term(s). Click on one of the links and the file opens in the main window for editing.

Lots of minor changes and bug fixes.

Earlier Releases

Thursday December 23 2004

New: File | Show Echo Details - when selected it shows what window it is synchronised with in another program. When unselected shows a find field at the top of the window. Some bug fixes.

Adds File | Execute when you opdownloaden a batch file - which runs the file in an MSDOS prompt.

Option to add an Open in Text Echo option to the right click context menu - see Options | Associate with file types and add to File Explorer right click menu. Added fields there for six file associations rather than two. The option to search and replace text in all the files in a folder did some replacements incorrectly - fixed.

Also if you minmimised it to the task bar (rather than the system tray) then it wouldn't auto minimise and restore when you click on its icon as a program normally does in Windows - fixed.

New option to use a replace list to replace as many different phrases or words as you like simultaneously throughout a file - or throughout all the files in a folder (optionally all its sub folders too) if you use it with Edit | Replace all files in a folder. This speeds things up if you have a long list of things to change simultaneously in many files Rather than do each one at a time and wait for the program to do the substitution throughout the files, simply do a file with a list of all the changes you want it to do and then let it do them all in one go..

For that option see Edit | Find & Replace | Read replace list from a file.

Thursday December 11 2003

New: File | New Echo - use to forget all current synchronisations, or move directly from edit mode to echo mode and clear the text field and forget previous text field synchronisations all in one go.

Also some of the messages you get when you move to echo mode from file edit mode were a bit confusing - fixed.

Then also the colour wheel drop list of colour names was blank - fixed.

Tuesday December 9 2003

Options | Associate with - tool tip help for it and some refinements. You can associate with as many extensions as you like - only two are shown at a time but if you enter another one into the field it will show up as selected if you have it already associated with TFE and you can then unselect it. Or if not associated then you can associate it. So in that way you can associate as many file extensions with TFE

as you like. All get backed up in the registry so when you unselect them they go back to your previous association for files of that type.

Now when you open a binary file, it offers to change null characters to spaces and load it anyway.

Some bug fixes for the new option Files | Recent Files

Monday December 8 2003

Added Options | Associate with - gives you an option to associate with .txt files or .rtf ones. You can also enter something else for the extension. The association is reversible - when you unselect it, it goes back to whatever you had associated with these file types previously.

Added Files | Recent Files which shows files visited recently. They can be ordered by history or by location, and you can click on any file in the list to show it, and delete individual entries from the list. If you have several copies of TFE on the go at once then all their history lists get synchronised.

You can also drag and drop new files into the history list as a way to open them in TFE. And you can drag and drop them into the text are of TFE too.

Now pops up a message if the current file you are editing gets modified on disk by another program (or another instance of TFE indeed) while you are editing it, to ask if you want to reload it.

Tuesday November 25 2003

When the trial period times out, keeps showing the message to say that you need to purchase or start a new trial period. This is only supposed to be shown once, then the splash screen only from then on - fixed.

The colour wheel now has options to show the hues and saturations together, as a disk, rectangle, or clover (for fun). Also this window now shows (more or less) continuously shading colours - doesn't affect the colours you can make, only the way that the user interface for them is presented.

Extended the option to ignore spaces around punctuation and symbols to the text to find as well. So with this option selected, if you look for

Test  , with punctuation .
it has same effect as a search for 

Test, with punctuation.
and both will find 
Test  , with punctuation  . 
Test,with punctuation. 
etc etc.

The option to ignore spaces around punctuation and symbols in the original text sometimes didn't find matches depending on the positions of the spaces in the original text - fixed.

The option Ignore repeated spaces in "By" fields actually ignores spaces in the text to find, not the text to replace it by - renamed to Ignore repeated spaces in text to find - fixed.

Also did some editing of help for conciseness and clarity - particularly, it now introduces the innovative wild words and letters in a better way than it did before (and this download page also uses that new explanation).

Saturday October 18 2003

Added Edit | Make web site forwarding mirror. Use this if you are moving a site with many web pages and would like to replace them all with those pages that alert the visitor that the url has chnaged, and then take them to the new site automatically. Assumes you have a copy of the site available on your hard disk as a set of html pages in a particular folder - it searches for html files in that folder and all its sub-folders and makes forwarding web pages for them all, using the domain you give and the relative path to construct the new urls.

Later in day:

Newly introduced bug - couldn't close windows using X button apart from main window - fixed.

Tuesday September 16 2003

Various improvements in the find and replace dialogs and menu layout.

Added Edit | Word Wrap and Underline Urls.

Also File | Show Echo details - when unselected, shows just the main text area, and status bar field at the bottom.

Also Find and replace files | Delete All Backups.

Wednesday September 10 2003

You can now save your choice of background bitmap for the skin in Options | Skin - and they will all show up in this drop list of skins, no matter where the original bitmap is on your computer. The skin here is just a record of which bitmap to use. You can also set the desired text colour for each skin too.

Includes some example skins to select from, such as wood grain, and water, and some skins using the Windows standard bitmaps such as the clouds one used in the screen shots above. There are special programs available which you can use to make textures for skins, or you can use any image which is large enough to cover the entire window.

Added Edit | Search and Replace | Ignore space around punct. and symbols

So for example, "Testing,1,2,3" and "Testing, 1 , 2 , 3" would be treated as identical.

This is particularly useful maybe for programmers as it means that e.g. ShowWindow(hwnd,nCmdShow); ShowWindow( hwnd , nCmdShow ) etc are all treated as identical - spaces in the list of arguments are ignored because they are next to commas or brackets..

Tuesday September 9 2003

Added Edit | Search and Replace | Synchronise case - the way it works is that if the text to be replaced is all upper case, then it gets replaced by text which is all uppercase. If it is all lower, it gets replaced similarly. If it is lowercase, but starts with a capital letter (only at the start of the word or phrase), then the replacement text is capitalised too. Capitalisation here is only applied to the first word in the replacement text if it is a phrase. If the original is in mixed case, and not matching any of those situations, then the replacement text is used with its original case throughout, as you entered it..

Anyway the basic idea is that if you search and replace e.g. "table" by "chair" then it will replace "Table" by "Chair", "table" by "chair" and is often what one wants to do when you have Match Case switched off."TABLE" by "CHAIR". which

Monday September 8 2003

Now you can set a background bitmap to use as a skin - as you can see from the screen shot above.

You can now set the language and country codes for the spell checking (for Aspell to use) and choose whether to ignore accents or ignore case in the Options | Spell Opts window.

Now puts the * for a changed file at the front of the title rather than at the end - more easily visible if it is long.

Saturday September 6 2003

You can now change the font and font colour for highlighted text in the window - useful when you have synchronisation paused and are using TFE to spell check or edit a rich edit document.

Some work on the tool tips help. The Echo and tool tips extra help window now have right click copy / paste menus which they didn't have before..

Fixes a bug in the tool tips that can cause a fluttering hourglass when a window is first shown and another one that can cause access violations for users with Windows 98 + Explorer 5.x. See the Fractal Tune Smithy Bug Fixes page for 5th Sept. for details.

Wednesday September 2 2003

Now has a menu. Can open and save files in text and rich text format. Also new option to search and replace allowing multiple searches at the same time and with option to use innovative wild words and wild characters in the search.

Also can now search and replace all the files in a folder, and include subfolders in the search too - with automatic backups.

Monday August 25 2003

Help for new options

Options | Hot Keys - New hot keys window to let you choose the key combinations to use for the window hot keys - more flexible method than before and includes all the new hot key options.

More on the Aspell spell checker - can set some of its configuration settings now, also use it with Windows hot keys.

Spelling | Aspell - Piped commands

For advanced Aspell users:

Examples - you can enter e.g. $$pp to show the list of words in your personal dictionary, or $ps to show all the ones currently being ignored, and so forth. The ? button at top right takes you to the relevant page in the Aspell manual to look up the various commands you can enter here.

(you are using Aspell in piped mode in Text Echo, i.e. the interactive mode - the same effect as starting it using aspell pipe)..

Saturday August 23 2003

Added the spell checker, using the highly regarded open source Aspell spell checker.

Saturday August 17 2003

Version 1.0 first release


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Activity Timer and Text Echo - Utilities
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