Why does Notepad NOT open a specific text file correctly?

Discussion in 'Windows XP General' started by Robert Macy, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Robert Macy

    Robert Macy Guest

    Is this a bug?

    Both files started out as Matlab like data files saved in ascii mode,
    one named f.txt, the other g.txt Both files in their original state
    read properly. Both files consist of all printable characters with
    header lines [each header line begins with the character #] followed by
    simple integer values, separated by spaces. I needed to remove the
    header lines, so I opened each using Notepad, and deleted the five
    header lines, leaving only the integer values.

    The first file reads after the header lines are removed with NO
    problem. The second, and similar file, does not read correctly again
    using WinXP Notepad. Notepad only shows a long series of single little
    zero like characters. It does not show the data that is known to be
    contained in the file.

    Win98Se Notepad opens the file properly. Hex editor opens the file and
    clearly shows that the characters are all printable ascii 20 32 30 33
    20 etc, and another editor, Sc1 opens it properly, only Notepad in the
    WinXP does not like this specific file after it has been modified.
    Actually, didn't matter how the file got modified, whether done by
    WinXP Notepad or another editor, once the header lines are gone,
    Notepad on the WinXP doesn't read the file properly again.

    Any ideas? Is this some kind of bug?

    - Robert -
     
    Robert Macy, Aug 9, 2006
    #1
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  2. Robert Macy

    Guest Guest

    Hi Robert:

    Try "copy and Paste" into a new notepad file.

    Hope that helps

    Mark

    "Robert Macy" wrote:

    > Is this a bug?
    >
    > Both files started out as Matlab like data files saved in ascii mode,
    > one named f.txt, the other g.txt Both files in their original state
    > read properly. Both files consist of all printable characters with
    > header lines [each header line begins with the character #] followed by
    > simple integer values, separated by spaces. I needed to remove the
    > header lines, so I opened each using Notepad, and deleted the five
    > header lines, leaving only the integer values.
    >
    > The first file reads after the header lines are removed with NO
    > problem. The second, and similar file, does not read correctly again
    > using WinXP Notepad. Notepad only shows a long series of single little
    > zero like characters. It does not show the data that is known to be
    > contained in the file.
    >
    > Win98Se Notepad opens the file properly. Hex editor opens the file and
    > clearly shows that the characters are all printable ascii 20 32 30 33
    > 20 etc, and another editor, Sc1 opens it properly, only Notepad in the
    > WinXP does not like this specific file after it has been modified.
    > Actually, didn't matter how the file got modified, whether done by
    > WinXP Notepad or another editor, once the header lines are gone,
    > Notepad on the WinXP doesn't read the file properly again.
    >
    > Any ideas? Is this some kind of bug?
    >
    > - Robert -
    >
    >
     
    Guest, Aug 10, 2006
    #2
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  3. Robert Macy

    Robert Macy Guest

    Callmark1 wrote:
    > Try "copy and Paste" into a new notepad file.


    Pasting to a new .txt file and attempting to save that did not work.
    Keep in mind that the original file is strictly spaces and integers and
    that's all. Here is what this file looks like...
    202 203 205 206 208 209 211 212 215 217 218 220 221 223 224
    ....there are more numbers with the last being cr lf, like a normal
    line.

    First, WinXP Notepad would not let me save the pasted file, without
    answering some stupid question about ANSI versus saving as UNICODE.
    [This file only contains spaces and integers, nothing else] and how if
    I didn't do it right it would change my file [which it did do]

    If I save the file as unicode, it still comes up all little zeros, but
    when viewed on the Win98 Notepad, the data seems to be intact, but two
    characters were added at the front of the file [actually making it
    slightly bigger] The added characters were ff & fe whose purpose is
    unknown. After those two characters the rest of the file appeared to
    be intact.

    But even this saved file still opens as all zeros in the WinXP Notepad

    However, if I force the save to be ANSI, it seems to destroy the file.
    It then opens with a long series of ?????? and is indeed destroyed.
    Even Win98 notepad no longer has characters in it. just ?????

    Forgot to mention that WinXP WordPad opens the file properly, but it's
    difficult to get it to do that since .txt files are linked to be opened
    with Notepad. However, Wordpad opens the pasted and saved file as all
    little zero squares. So Notepad has ruined the file.

    Again, this all came about because Notepad was used to open, edit, and
    save two similar files. One, which is almost identical has no problems.
    BUT...*If* this file has its header lines all is ok. After opening,
    Notepad will nicely highlight those header lines and I delete them.
    Notepad still is showing the data intact. Then after saving, closing
    Notepad application, and reopening by clicking on the file. Notepad
    loses its mind. Can't properly reopen something Notepad was just
    looking at earlier.

    Is this a bug?

    - Robert -
     
    Robert Macy, Aug 10, 2006
    #3
  4. Robert Macy

    Doug Guest

    So save the file using "Wordpad" and not "Notepad" if "it"
    screws up the file. Where is the problem?

    Doug W.

    "Robert Macy" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Callmark1 wrote:
    >> Try "copy and Paste" into a new notepad file.

    >
    > Pasting to a new .txt file and attempting to save that did not
    > work.
    > Keep in mind that the original file is strictly spaces and
    > integers and
    > that's all. Here is what this file looks like...
    > 202 203 205 206 208 209 211 212 215 217 218 220 221 223 224
    > ...there are more numbers with the last being cr lf, like a
    > normal
    > line.
    >
    > First, WinXP Notepad would not let me save the pasted file,
    > without
    > answering some stupid question about ANSI versus saving as
    > UNICODE.
    > [This file only contains spaces and integers, nothing else]
    > and how if
    > I didn't do it right it would change my file [which it did do]
    >
    > If I save the file as unicode, it still comes up all little
    > zeros, but
    > when viewed on the Win98 Notepad, the data seems to be intact,
    > but two
    > characters were added at the front of the file [actually
    > making it
    > slightly bigger] The added characters were ff & fe whose
    > purpose is
    > unknown. After those two characters the rest of the file
    > appeared to
    > be intact.
    >
    > But even this saved file still opens as all zeros in the WinXP
    > Notepad
    >
    > However, if I force the save to be ANSI, it seems to destroy
    > the file.
    > It then opens with a long series of ?????? and is indeed
    > destroyed.
    > Even Win98 notepad no longer has characters in it. just ?????
    >
    > Forgot to mention that WinXP WordPad opens the file properly,
    > but it's
    > difficult to get it to do that since .txt files are linked to
    > be opened
    > with Notepad. However, Wordpad opens the pasted and saved
    > file as all
    > little zero squares. So Notepad has ruined the file.
    >
    > Again, this all came about because Notepad was used to open,
    > edit, and
    > save two similar files. One, which is almost identical has no
    > problems.
    > BUT...*If* this file has its header lines all is ok. After
    > opening,
    > Notepad will nicely highlight those header lines and I delete
    > them.
    > Notepad still is showing the data intact. Then after saving,
    > closing
    > Notepad application, and reopening by clicking on the file.
    > Notepad
    > loses its mind. Can't properly reopen something Notepad was
    > just
    > looking at earlier.
    >
    > Is this a bug?
    >
    > - Robert -
    >
     
    Doug, Aug 10, 2006
    #4
  5. Robert Macy

    Robert Macy Guest

    Doug wrote:
    > So save the file using "Wordpad" and not "Notepad" if "it"
    > screws up the file. Where is the problem?


    One more time. Notepad is automatically linked to .txt files.

    Doubling clicking to open the file opens it with Notepad. This is ok.
    For the first time, as the header lines are removed. The viewing is
    correct. Save, reopen with a double click and the file is NOT
    presented correctly, although investigation shows that the file is
    correct and Notepad has failed. So, the first saving with Notepad is
    correct. It just can't be verified later using Notepad.

    Right click on the name of the file to select "open with" does NOT
    work, instead it opens only with Notepad. Ok, Open with Wordpad. That
    means go find Wordpad somewhere, and clicking and clicking and clicking
    until I can get the file open. Quite frankly I don't enjoy spending
    productive time needlessly playing with a tool that should simply work.
    And I don't want Wordpad to open ALL the .txt files, either.

    That's the problem.

    So, is this a bug?

    - Robert -
     
    Robert Macy, Aug 10, 2006
    #5
  6. Robert Macy

    HeyBub Guest

    Robert Macy wrote:
    > Doug wrote:
    >> So save the file using "Wordpad" and not "Notepad" if "it"
    >> screws up the file. Where is the problem?

    >
    > One more time. Notepad is automatically linked to .txt files.
    >
    > Doubling clicking to open the file opens it with Notepad. This is ok.
    > For the first time, as the header lines are removed. The viewing is
    > correct. Save, reopen with a double click and the file is NOT
    > presented correctly, although investigation shows that the file is
    > correct and Notepad has failed. So, the first saving with Notepad is
    > correct. It just can't be verified later using Notepad.
    >
    > Right click on the name of the file to select "open with" does NOT
    > work, instead it opens only with Notepad. Ok, Open with Wordpad.
    > That means go find Wordpad somewhere, and clicking and clicking and
    > clicking until I can get the file open. Quite frankly I don't enjoy
    > spending productive time needlessly playing with a tool that should
    > simply work. And I don't want Wordpad to open ALL the .txt files,
    > either.
    >
    > That's the problem.
    >
    > So, is this a bug?


    Unlikely, since Notepad is used, literally, billions of times a day.
    Further, you say Notepad works on one file but not on another.

    Seems like the problem is data dependent: for example, Notepad has data
    limitations not found in Wordpad.

    And you don't have to "find Wordpad." XP knows were it is.
     
    HeyBub, Aug 10, 2006
    #6
  7. Robert Macy

    Robert Macy Guest

    HeyBub wrote:
    > And you don't have to "find Wordpad." XP knows were it is.


    You are right that there must be something in the pattern of TEXT data
    that upsets Notepad as it tries to open this particular file.

    For some reason, this file now comes up with three choices for opening
    it with a "right click" which simplifies things a bit.
    Notepad
    Wordpad
    Sc1

    fairly simple now. only two clicks to get it opened correctly.

    But still,...it makes me nervous when applications don't work the way
    they're expected to work.

    - Robert -
     
    Robert Macy, Aug 10, 2006
    #7
  8. Robert Macy

    Seahawk60B Guest

    There's obviously something different in the second file that is making
    notepad treat it differently. When you try to paste it in a new text
    file, are you creating the blank file first, or just launching notepad
    with a new, yet-to-be saved file. Does it behave differently if you
    create a new blank .txt file first, then open that (which should be
    ANSI by default), then paste the data into that? What if you copy the
    notepad.exe from the Windows 98 box to the XP box as notepad98.exe or
    such - Will the notepad98.exe open and save it correctly?
     
    Seahawk60B, Aug 10, 2006
    #8
  9. Robert Macy

    Robert Macy Guest

    Seahawk60B wrote:
    > There's obviously something different in the second file that is making
    > notepad treat it differently. When you try to paste it in a new text
    > file, are you creating the blank file first, or just launching notepad
    > with a new, yet-to-be saved file. Does it behave differently if you
    > create a new blank .txt file first, then open that (which should be
    > ANSI by default), then paste the data into that? What if you copy the
    > notepad.exe from the Windows 98 box to the XP box as notepad98.exe or
    > such - Will the notepad98.exe open and save it correctly?


    Perhaps it's just my machine. I can zip the files and send them to
    you. Even in ascii they're only around 2KB to 3KB each. I don't need
    to zip them. See how your system reads them, perhaps it's just some
    initial setup in WinXP that wasn't done correctly.

    send request to
    macy
    ...AT..
    california
    ...DOT..
    com

    I keep files called $blank.txt lying around so I can cut and paste
    tidbits as I run across them. Simply "save as" and it's done. Things
    like URLs for special information, historical ongoing emails from
    people - so it's all in one place. The beauty of .txt is that when the
    change from IE4 went to IE5 went to IE6 didn't matter. All was right
    there easy archives, easy retrievals. And much smaller memory.

    The paste was into an already existing $blank.txt. [Remember Notepad
    originally created this file by editing/deleting the header lines. And
    saved the file with no special questions, just standard save]] After
    reopening and pasting the file into the existing blank.txt file, that's
    when Notepad permanently started mucking the file up. And worse asking
    questions, expecting answers, without giving any explanations for what
    was going on.

    Don't know about copying Notepad98.exe I'm not impressed with WinXP
    compared to the performance I get from Win98. I bought XP
    Professional, but it's likely to be remanded to the trash heap soon.
    XP seems be slower, bloated code. have less control, etc. Sadly, it
    seems so much historical code is being used that the CPU probably runs
    around duplicating efforts. Not until an OS is built from the ground
    up again will that get cleaned up very well.

    However, WinXP is forgiving when I run C++ programs during development
    that're not quite right and bomb things badly. Only once did WinXP
    bomb so badly it unrecoverably changed something - don't know what, so
    I had to reinstall. But considering the "damage" the offending program
    probably did, that was surprising that's all that happened.

    I'm still not sure what advantages I'm supposed to see in XP. Just
    not obvious to me. Except I definitely have better presentations due
    to ads and pop ups and such. In other words, XP makes me a better
    recipient of advertising. But that's not my goal in life. Actually, I
    keep tripping over WinXP "improvements". Like this Notepad problem.
    and Unicode, etc. [I still haven't sorted out how to organize the open
    applications icons to prevent XP from "lumping" them inappropriately]
    Many really irksome traits are still there. Like naming folders "My
    Documents, My Music, My this, My that and then forcing me to use those
    folders first.

    Let me know if you'd like to look at the pure text file that causes my
    Notepad to go strange. The misread file is around 2KB. The other,
    similar, coreectly reading file is around 3KB, slightly larger but
    contains the same number of integers, 400, in a single line with single
    spaces between.

    - Robert -
     
    Robert Macy, Aug 11, 2006
    #9
  10. Robert Macy

    Seahawk60B Guest

    I'd be happy to look at the files for you - you can send them to
    sh2fpilot at
    charter dot net
    Sometimes that second pair of eyes helps reveal something...
     
    Seahawk60B, Aug 11, 2006
    #10
  11. Robert Macy

    Robert Macy Guest

    Seahawk60B wrote:
    > I'd be happy to look at the files for you - you can send them to
    > sh2fpilot at
    > charter dot net
    > Sometimes that second pair of eyes helps reveal something...


    Exactly.

    I'll send both to you.

    The one that works is f400.txt, the one that doesn't is g400.txt

    I'm sending all four. The two before modification WITH the header
    lines, the two AFTER modification with the header files stripped. That
    way you can try modifying th originals, too.

    - Robert -
     
    Robert Macy, Aug 11, 2006
    #11
  12. Robert Macy

    Seahawk60B Guest

    Robert,

    I don't know that I can fully explain why, but I can tell you what
    appears to be happening. When I saved the file as Unicode or UTF-8,
    they opened properly. When I looked at the differences in the hex
    between ANSI, UTF-8, and Unicode, I noticed that UTF-8 and Unicode
    included a header before the data. I did a search on ANSI encoding in
    Windows notepad and found the following post:

    http://forums.wincustomize.com/index.aspx?AID=117870

    Basically, there are other ways to "break" notepad as well. When I
    opened notepad by itself, then went to file- open I noticed that for
    f400.txt, it was defaulting to ANSI, which is correct, since that was
    the encoding that was selected when it was saved. However, the
    g400.txt was defaulting to Unicode. By changing it to ANSI in the file
    -open dialog box the file opens properly. For some reason, when
    notepad goes to open the file, it is having trouble determining the
    correct encoding, and is defaulting to Unicode.

    According to one of the posts in the above link, if you delete the
    squares and repaste the information, it will save and open correctly.
    Looking at the hex code, I believe this is due to the fact that once it
    opens it as Unicode, when you repaste the data and save it, it saves as
    Unicode, and inserts the proper code before the data.

    So your options would seem to be
    1) use a different text editor as your default
    2) specify the encoding as Unicode when saving

    As a side note, a program I use for saving snippets of information is
    Treepad (www.treepad.com). There is a lite version that is freeware,
    it's a slick program in that you can organize and save all your
    information, and it's fully searchable making it easier to find it
    later.
     
    Seahawk60B, Aug 12, 2006
    #12
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