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Monday's Mac Gadget
by John F. Braun


Text File a Mess? Better Clean It Up with TextBroom!!
December 4th, 2000

TextBroom 3.1 ($20 Trial-Ware)
Blue Line Studios

At some point in your computing experience, you may need to incorporate text from an outside source into a document you are working on. If this text is created with the same program that you are using for the original document, no problem. But if you try to use text from another program or platform, things can quickly get ugly. Sure, you can edit things manually, but this can get tedious. Then there's TextBroom...

TextBroom can take care of many common problems one may have with strange text files. Each type of repair is listed in the left hand portion of the program window, and parameters specific to the repair are on the right. If you open a text file, a view of the text file is also shown. When a change is executed, the results are immediately shown in the text view.

The TextBroom Main Program Window
Click for a Larger View

One of the first problems TextBroom can deal with is common to text that has been taken from an email or web page, and that is lots of extra spaces. Manually removing these is a thing of the past, since TextBroom can replace these multiple spaces with either a single space, or a tab. You can also get rid of multiple tabs, and multiple returns. As for line breaks used by other platforms (form feed and line feed) these can also be removed.

TextBroom can also tidy up text and make it more consistent. Spaces can be added after common punctuation marks where one expects to see a space. You can also remove those annoying quote marks (the > character) that seem to get tacked onto an email, especially one that has been forwarded frequently. Finally, there are some really useful functions which can delete duplicate text, as well as collect lines of text which contain a particular pattern.

So make sure your text isn't a mess, and clean is up with TextBroom.

Have any other Mac Gadgets that help make your life less of a mess? Let John know via e-mail, so he can review it, or share it with the rest of us in the Mac Gadget Forum.

Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.


John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at

You can also Post Your Comments below.

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