Blocek is a text editor for DOS with several unique features. Unlike
the most DOS editors it works in graphic mode which brings many
advantages. First of all it is not limited to 256 chars of the ASCII
set like editors working in the text mode. Blocek can work with Unicode
files and use 65,536 characters of the Basic Multilingual Plane which
is sufficient to nearly all present languages.
Besides that it still keeps the ability to work in the non-Unicode mode
using the legacy DOS fonts from data files or using the hardware font
the VGA graphic card effectively emulating the traditional text mode
Blocek is also a image viewer which displays BMP, PCX, PNG, JPG and WMF
vector files. In JPG files it can show the EXIF tags and allows to copy
the stored information to text window.
Blocek can open, display and edit many files simultaneously and can
process very big files with very long lines. It uses mainly
proportional fonts but the unproportional fonts are also available.
Other interesting features are advanced word wrapping in the text
files, the ability to change interface language (at the moment, Czech,
English, French, German, Russian and Turkish versions are available)
and more. The home site for Blocek is: http://www.laaca.borec.cz/blocek
FONTS AND KEYBOARD:
Hence Blocek is the DOS editor, it tries to cooperate with DOS system
settings and environment as much as possible.
By default (which can be changed), it loads the current DOS character
set and uses the DOS keyboard driver and some tricks on using the DOS
keyboard driver after changing to Unicode mode. However, except the
default DOS keyboard driver, Blocek can use its own keyboard drivers.
You can switch them anytime by clicking the language selector in the
upper right corner of the screen (or pressing Alt+LShift).
For example, you have DOS set to Central European code page with the
DOS keyboard driver set to Polish, but you need to write Russian text.
In Blocek, you simply set the keyboard language to Russian and either
switch the font to non-Unicode Cyrillic font or you convert the
document to Unicode and you have all the Unicode characters available
in the Basic Multilingual Plane.
The default fonts for Unicode and non-Unicode modes can be changed by
editing the configuration file BLOCEK.CFG.
For Unicode mode you can use the bundled fonts with extension UFN
(located in the FONTY subdirectory). The default one is the file
UNISMALL.UFN which is quite complete but you can use other UFN fonts
but they currently contain much less chars.
For non-Unicode use the fonts with extensions CH or FN defining the
codepage dependent charsets with 256 glyphs. Or you can use the
current loaded VGA fonts used by DOS.
LIMITATIONS OF THE UNICODE SUPPORT:
Blocek supports only the so called basic multilingual plane (BMP) of
Unicode standard. But it covers virtually all present languages, except
some less frequent east-Asian glyphs. The emoji pictures are currently
The combining diacritics marks are also not currently supported but
it is not a big problem as the Unicode files usually use the embedded
diacritics marks. The only exception where it is really missing are
the emphasised cyrillic chars (but anyway, they are used very rarely).
There are supported all relevant standards for Unicode coding: UTF-8,
UTF-16 LE and UTF-16 BE. Also is supported the HTML Unicode represen-
tation like "č" for "c with carron".
BLOCK OPERATIONS AND CLIPBOARDS:
The block operations were reworked in the version 1.7. First of all,
the text blocks can be selected not only in the edited text, but also
in the single line input boxes or from most of the texts somewhere in
GUI like in information windows.
The block can be selected in three ways:
1) By keyboard functions. For the keyboard shortcut, look below.
2) By dragging the mouse with pressed left button.
3) Go to the some place of the text and press Shift+Left mouse
button (LMB). Then go to the other place and again press the
Shift+LMB. The space between these two locations will be selected
as a block. (This mechanism only works in the edited text).
What you can do with selected blocks:
- Delete them (CTRL-Del).
- Use them as a scope for many search or conversion operations.
- Copy to clipboard and eventualy paste somewhere.
Most of the editors use only one clipboard. Blocek has seven indepen-
dent clipboards. For copying into clipboard press Ctrl+number 1-7 (it
was inspired by Command and Conquer game) and the block will be copied
into clipboard 1-7. The upper line shows which clipboards are used in
the menu. With Alt+number 1-9 you can paste defined clipboard in cursor
position. Or you can also click on clipboard indicators in the menu.
However, this variant will only work on editing text – not from the
Blocek is not only the text editor but also a picture viewer. It is
possible to open several text editor and picture windows simultaneously
and fluently switch among them. However, there's a limitation that
Blocek runs in 16-bit colors, but most images in these days use 24-bit
colors. So the colour quality is reduced a little bit in the viewer.
Also note that Blocek can only display the images but not modify them.
Which image formats Blocek can load:
BMP, PCX, GIF, PNG, JPG - even with EXIF tags. Blocek is able to show
EXIF tags and copy the information to clipboard and edited text (I'm
not aware of any other DOS program which knows the EXIF information).
WMF - still used but a little bit outdated vector format.
Blocek loads its configuration from two files: DEFAULT.CFG and
BLOCEK.CFG. DEFAULT.CFG is a "factory setting" and shouldn't be changed.
BLOCEK.CFG is user setting which has higher priority than the default
one. In other words: if a variable will be found in both files, variant
from BLOCEK.CFG will be used.
In the distribution archive is spread only DEFAULT.CFG - so getting a
new version can't change your favourite setting. If Blocek is installed
first time and no BLOCEK.CFG is present, it will be created from
DEFAULT.CFG. If in future I add some new variable into DEFAULT.CFG,
Blocek will detect it and copy this setting into BLOCEK.CFG.
LOCALIZATION AND EXTENSIBILITY:
All texts in Blocek will be loaded from files in the TRANSLAT sub-
directory and are named BLOCEK1.xx and BLOCEK2.xx (where „xx“ is the
language identifier). It allows you to use Blocek in various languages.
Czech, English, French, German, Russian and Turkish languages are
supported. Blocek is open source so feel free to create your own
translations. In the past we had a Hungarian translation but it's not
fully compatible with the current version. The translation instructions
can be found in the file \TRANSLAT\TRANSLAT.TXT.
The other localization features are the custom keyboard layouts and
the Unicode and non-Unicode conversions filters.
All these files are in the KEY_TBL subdirectory. Feel free to create
your own keyboard layouts. You have to create a new .KBT file and store
it in the KEY_TBL subdirectory.
You can also create your own ASCII-Unicode conversion filters in .TBL
format. They are already prepared for many languages but you can still
need a filter between Unicode and some alternate non-Microsoft standard
for extended ASCII. The description of the .TBL format and a small
conversion utility for it is available in the KEY_TBL subdirectory.
And finally, you can define files with the A8T extension which is used
to group alternate ASCII codings to one language. For example, Czech
uses codepages 852 (MS-DOS), 1250 (Windows), ISO-8859-2 (Unix) and 895
(„Kamenicti“ standard for DOS). The A8T can group these codings
together to make the conversions easier between them.
The reasonable minimal hardware for running Blocek:
Pentium 100MHz, 16MB RAM, Graphic card with 1MB VRAM compatible with
VESA VBE 1.2 and capable to run at least 800x600 16-bit, Mouse,
DOS 5.0 or equivalent.
Blocek needs the 386 instruction set but supports MMX extensions when
available. The 686 instructions are not used in the official builds.
Blocek needs the DPMI server for handling the extended memory. There
is bundled a CWSDPMI r7 server in Rayer’s modification (which disables
VCPI) but you can use any other DPMI server (official CWSDPMI, HDPMI32,
..). However you should prefer some with disk swapping.
Blocek can use the long file name services when available (e.g. under
Windows 95 or with proper DOS driver). This program is written and
complied in Freepascal (http://www.freepascal.org) actualy used version
3.0.4, for GO32V2 (DOS).
F10 - enter main menu
F1 - make a new file
F2 - save file
F3 - load file
Alt+F3 - close file
Alt+F1 - load this file (INFO.TXT)
Ctrl+F - search
Ctrl+S - search again
Ctrl+H - replace
Ctrl+A - select all document to block
Ctrl+Q - offers a variant for last written character
Ctrl+K - char conversion functions
LShift+Alt - change keyboard layout
Ctrl+Alt+Up - select actual line to block
Ctrl+Alt+Down - word on the cursor to block
Ctrl+Alt+Left - all chars from cursor to left to block
Ctrl+Alt+Right - all chars from cursor to right to block
*arrows - moves cursor
*Ctrl+PageUp - jumps on first line of the file
*Ctrl+Home - dito
*Ctrl+PageDown - jumps on last line of the file
*Ctrl+End - dito
*Ctrl+RightArrow - moves one word to right
*Ctrl+LeftArrow - moves one word to left
These function keys (marked with the "*" char) can be combined with
the Shift key. In such case, together with cursor movement
also creates or updates the selected text block.
Ctrl+Space - delete selected block
Ctrl+[1-7] - copy selected block of text into clipboard No 1-7
Alt+[1-7] - paste text from clipboard No 1-7 into cursor
Ctrl+plus and Ctrl+minus (on the numeric keyboard)
- fast switching of opened files forward or backward
ESC - quit
Alt+F2 - make a screenshot
a) In the document window:
Left mouse button (LMB) click - moves cursor on selected place
LMB click+shift - select beginning and end of text
LMB press and drag - interactive selection of text block
Right mouse (RMB) click - shows information and optionally a
conversion menu for the char you
b) In panel with cards of opened files:
LMB click - switch the main window to specified file
RMB click - several actions with specified file (close, close all
but this, show full file path)
c) In the clipboards indicators:
MB click - menu for operations with the clipboard
d) All other buttons and GUI elements only use the left mouse button
at the moment. The right button is not currently used.
e) As described above, since version 1.7, it is possible to move the
windows by dragging the title bar with their mouse.
Copyright © 2023 Ladislav Lacina, help version 2023 W. Spiegl.
This file is derived from the FreeDOS Spec Command HOWTO.
See the file H2Cpying for copying conditions.