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Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 146
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:00 pm    Post subject: FAQ Reply with quote

FAQ (English)

This FAQ (English) tries to answer a few basic questions you may have. It is broken down into 3 basic categories (separate messages), as follows:
  • GENERAL - general information about AkelPad and documentation
  • USAGE - a few common issues with using AkelPad, and
  • PLUGINS - some questions pertaining to AkelPad's plugins (add-ins).
Most of these questions can be answered by reading the User Manual and the Plugins Manual, in compiled HTML (ie. CHM format).

If you are new to this forum, you should read the forum FAQ, available at the top of this page, or you can click here.

If you are already a member of the forum and have something you wish to add or correct in the FAQ, PLEASE DO NOT REPLY to any of these posts; I wish to try to keep this FAQ clean. Instead, you can send me
  • a private message via the forum internal messaging system by
    • logging in
    • click the "pm" button at the end of this post
    I presume this method works...
  • or a regular email. Click the "email" button at the end of this post. You need not be logged in to do this, but if you do not have a default email program installed (eg. Outlook Express), the button may not work. You may have to hover over the button to see the email address in your status bar and then type that email address into your program (eg. Gmail, Yahoo) or use a right-click/copy method (with editing).
Thanks for your consideration!

Last edited by Surveyor on Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:33 pm; edited 8 times in total
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Joined: 08 Feb 2008
Posts: 146
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:01 pm    Post subject: FAQ - GENERAL Reply with quote

GENERAL questions

Q. What versions of Windows does AkelPad support?
A. The author states that AkelPad is intended for Windows
  • 95/98/Me (Unicode is not supported in these systems)
  • NT 4.0
  • 2000
  • XP
  • (Server) 2003
  • Vista, and
  • Windows 7

Q. What about Unix and Linux?
A. AkelPad is a native Windows application, however WineHQ reports that "almost (the) whole core functionality works" under WINE (a Unix/Linux application to allow Windows programs to run). At least one AkelPad forum member agrees. It is certainly worthy of a try!

Q. How much does AkelPad cost?
A. AkelPad is FREE, licensed under a modified BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution) license, approved by the OSI (Open Source Initiative). Although technically classed as freeware, AkelPad is copyrighted software; there are distribution and liability restrictions outined in the license.

Q. I have used my favorite text editor for years - why should I try AkelPad?
A. AkelPad does not have every feature that others may have - it does not, for example, currently support "code folding". However, AkelPad has a lot going for it, such as:
  • actively supported and under development
  • plugin enhancements (more are being added from time to time)
  • single window mode (SDI) and multi window mode (MDI) both supported - your choice
  • full support of Unicode text (on Unicode supported systems - Windows NT and higher)
  • support of Unicode codepages (UTF-16 little endian, UTF-16 big endian, UTF-8 )
  • support of DOS/Windows, Unix or Macintosh end-of-line formats
  • previews for file opening and printing
  • column text selection
  • drag-and-drop supported, even between documents
  • support for 21 (currently) language modules. Without language modules, native support is English or Russian.
  • split window feature, up to 4 panes at once for the same document
  • user-created color schemes
  • syntax highlighting (with HighLight plugin)
  • support for portable (ie. USB flash drive) use
  • customizable toolbar (with ToolBar plugin)
  • keyboard macros (with Macros plugin)
  • execute JScript/JavaScript or VBS scripts with control over many AkelPad functions (with Scripts plugin)
  • ... more ... (too many to list)

Q. Documentation for freeware is notoriously poor - what about AkelPad?
A. Yes, you are right, freeware documentation is often poor (or absent!). AkelPad, however, has a dynamic community of users who have contributed much documentation on the forums. Also, AkelPad has a detailed User Manual (in compiled HTML format - searchable) and a Plugins Manual (same) available through the homepage. These manuals are not included in the installer or archive (ie. zip file) distributions and must be downloaded separately.

Q. On the homepage, why are there 4 versions of AkelPad available?
A. Currently, AkelPad version 4 is the actively developed version. Version 3 was superseded by AkelPad 4 in July, 2008 and has been changed a few times since, but only for bugs and major changes. Versions 2 and 1 are present only for interest and comparison; their development ceased long ago.

Q. I see that the Russian forum is considerably larger than the English forum, and some of the Plugins forum replies are in Russian! How can I read them?
A. If you are Russian - no problem! Users of the Queen's English, however, should try Google translate by using this link. Sometimes, however, the page will not translate, particularly if it is large or if the system is overloaded. Translations can be incomplete (ie. some words do not translate) and are often humorous - Russian idioms do not translate well! Individual text, etc. can also be translated at http://translate.google.com (main site); don't forget to set the languages correctly (eg. Russian -> English).

Q. I have been using AkelPad for a while, and would like something changed in the application. Can this be done?
A. If it is an actual bug, the developer should be notified through the forums. Other changes that are preferential (eg. colors, layout) may never get done; the developer gets bombarded with requests on the forums for such changes. Also, if you are a C++ programmer, you could try your hand at changes since the source code is readily available.

Last edited by Surveyor on Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:33 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Posts: 146
Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:02 pm    Post subject: FAQ - USAGE Reply with quote

USAGE questions

Q. I "installed" AkelPad from a zip file. Where are the foreign language files?
A. Currently, the language DLLs are only provided with the AkelPad installer. You can do an install (to a temporary location), then copy the AkelFiles\Langs folder to your true installation location. However, you can access them without actually performing an install as follows:
  • download and install 7-Zip, an excellent freeware archive handler (like WinZip). You can get it here.
  • run 7-Zip and navigate (in the application) to the location of "AkelPad-4.x.x-setup.exe", the AkelPad installer file. Select it with a single click.
  • use the File menu (File/Open Inside) to open the "archive" (ie. EXE file) inside 7-Zip
  • double click on $_OUTDIR then AkelFiles to navigate to that part of the "archive"
  • select Langs (single click) and click Extract on the toolbar. A dialog opens (Copy) to extract the folder.
  • click the "..." button and find the AkelFiles folder which is part of your installation (likely drive:\Program Files\AkelPad\AkelFiles).
  • click OK (close dialog), then OK again (extract folder). If you get a message regarding replacing files (ie. duplicates), click "Yes to All" to replace all files. All language files should now be there.
Restarting AkelPad and selecting from the View/Languge menu should show all available languages.

Language DLLs are now available as a pack - here.

Q. I can't seem to get AkelPad to replace NotePad - why?
A. This is troublesome, at best. Newer versions of Windows implement "Windows file protection", which tries to stop you from doing this. I imagine that the newest version of Windows (Windows 7) may make this operation more difficult yet. The best suggestion I have is to
  • setup the file extension assignments in AkelPad to your liking (Options/Settings/Registry), and
  • create a link to AkelPad in your SendTo folder (drive:\Documents and Settings\user\SendTo. This is a hidden folder.
Other methods may involve turning off "Windows file protection". This is probably not such a good idea.

Q. Help! I accidentally set AkelPad to a foreign language, now I can't figure out how to get it back to English since all the menus are foreign! What do I do?
A. There are two methods you can use.
  1. If you haven't enabled the Main menu (using the ContextMenu plugin),
    • open the 3rd menu (from the left); this is the View menu
    • open the very last item - Language - and
    • select the very last language (under the separator bar) - Internal.
    Close AkelPad and restart; it should come up in the original internal application language - English (or maybe Russian, if you downloaded the Russian application).
  2. If you have "mucked" with the Main menu, this might be the easiest way.
    • Using Windows Explorer (or ?), find the drive:\Program Files\AkelPad\AkelFiles\Langs folder and rename it to Langs.tmp.
    • Open AkelPad - it will likely report an error 'Cannot load "Something.dll"', click OK and AkelPad will automatically open in its internal language.
    • To be safe, select View/Language/Internal and close AkelPad.
    Rename the folder back to Langs and open AkelPad; everything should be in English (or Russian - see answer 1).

Q. Alt+W does not open the "Windows" menu. Why not?
A. Alt+W has already been assigned as an 'accelerator' key to "Reopen file as Ansi". You can still use it to open the menu, however, by doing the following:
  • press Alt and release
  • press W

Q. I changed an AkelPad setting and closed the application, but when I restart AkelPad, the setting is not changed. Why not?
A. If AkelPad is in MDI (multiple document interface) mode, or if there are multiple SDI AkelPad windows open, it is the last tab/window closed which determines the settings! Successive closings overwrite the settings already made, so change the settings for the last tab/window only.

Q. I know that AkelPad can display colored text, etc. Does this mean it handles RTF (rich-text format) files?
A. No. AkelPad, although strictly a text editor, actually "works" with RTF-style text when editing. This allows plugins like HighLight (which can color text and/or change font style) to work, but when the file is saved, it is only saved as a text file.

Q. How can I change the keyboard shortcuts in the program?
A. Download the full User Manual here and read Appendix D. This will explain how to make some changes using Resource Hacker. Use of Resource Hacker is fairly straight forward; you can modify internal
  • hotkeys (accelerators or shortcut keys),
  • menus or
  • messages
if you wish. Be warned, however, that any changes you make will be gone the next time you update AkelPad (and there WILL be updates!).

If you are just modifying main menu items (and the keys associated with them), try using the ContextMenu plugin instead. You can work with the menu completely, and because changes are saved to the registry (or INI file), any AkelPad updates will work the same.

Q. I opened an old DOS text file, but the "DOS graphics" are not being displayed. Why not?
A. This is a codepage thing; try re-opening the file in codepage 437 (OEM - United States), the old DOS codepage. You can do this in either of two ways
  1. in the File/Open... dialog, you can disable Autodetect (of codepage), then select codepage 437, or
  2. assuming the file is already open, right-click the codepage in the status bar and select Open As -> 437 (OEM - United States).
Graphics should now be visible.

Last edited by Surveyor on Wed Dec 15, 2010 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:03 pm    Post subject: FAQ - PLUGINS Reply with quote

PLUGINS questions

Q. Why do I need plugins?
A. You don't really "need" any plugins, but AkelPad is written to allow plugins to access it's internal workings and provide additional functionality. Plugins can
  • apply syntax coloring (HighLight plugin)
  • embed a copy of Windows Explorer (Explorer plugin)
  • present a customizable toolbar (ToolBar plugin)
  • alter menus (ContextMenu plugin)
  • and much more!
See the Plugins Manual (available here) for more information.

Q. Why aren't plugins available in my language?
A. Currently, other languages are implemented in the AkelPad application through the use of language DLLs, loaded by the program, the translations provided by independent users. Plugin DLLs, however, have no such implementation; languages are either Russian (the developer's native tongue) or English (the "language of commerce"), depending on your Windows system language.

(Note: the writer has not personally confirmed this, but source code indicates a system call to choose language text from Russian or English, embedded in DLLs)

Provision of other languages would likely involve MUCH programming work, or a different system of language implementation.

Q. I find updating my plugins, etc. inconvenient. Is there a better way?
A. Yes, there is - try the AkelUpdater application, available at this link. "AkelUpdater.exe" must be kept in the AkelFiles folder - check for updates to this application from time to time in the forum topic.

Q. How do I install a plugin?
A. Plugins are DLLs, located in the AkelFiles\Plugs folder of your AkelPad installation; most plugins install by simply copying the DLL to that location. There may also be additional support files required - see the Plugins Manual for more information. The AkelUpdater application (see previous question) can look after support files.

Q. In the Options/Plug-ins... dialog, what does "plugin autoload" mean? Why do I get an error when I check some autoload boxes?
A. Once a plugin is installed (see previous question), it must be "running" in order to function. A running plugin is simply one whose DLL code has already been loaded into memory and is now available to AkelPad. Checking the Autoload box loads that plugin when AkelPad is started.

Some plugins have more than one function, such as Exit::Main and Exit::Settings. Certain functions may not be compatible with execution at AkelPad startup, such as Exit::Settings which provides a configuration dialog. Those functions are not practical or are not necessary for autoloading, and are locked out from marking for autoload.

Q. What does the Call button do in the Plugins dialog?
A. If a plugin function is selected (single click), clicking Call executes that function (as would double-clicking the function).

Q. Why do I need the Scripts plugin - can't I run a Windows script without AkelPad?
A. Yes, you can run a script outside of AkelPad, but with the Scripts plugin you can access and automate many of AkelPad's features. You can, for example, access selected text and operate on it.

The scripts plugin has 2 forum topics, in addition to the plugin topic:
- Scripts discussion, and
- Scripts collection
Both have many of the posts in Russian (the scripts themselves are in English), but it is worth walking through them, nonetheless. You can view translations of them here and here.
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