Documentation for the AscToHTM conversion utility

This documentation can be downloaded as part of the documentation set in .zip format (370k)

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11 Change History

11.1 Version 4.1 (August 2001)

11.1.1 New functions

The auto-detect of character sets can be switched off by using the "Look for character encoding" policy

Normal text
"Default font"
"Heading Font"
Text in tables
"Table font"
Table of contents
"TOC Font"
Fixed-pitch text
"Fixed font"

The "Default Font" policy existed previously, the other four policies are new in this version.

11.1.2 Other Changes

Windows version


All versions

11.2 Version 4 (May 2001)

11.2.1 New functions

API version

Linux version

Windows version

All versions

"Place document in frames"
"Output frame name"

"Header Frame depth"
"Footer Frame depth"
"Contents Frame width"

"Use main header in header frame"
"Use main footer in footer frame"

"Add contents frame if possible"
"Add Frame border"

"Open frame links in new window"
"New frame link window name"

"Add NOFRAMES links"

"Number of levels in contents frame"

"First frame page number"

"Header frame background colour"
"Header frame text colour"
"Contents frame background colour"
"Contents frame text colour"
"Footer frame background colour"
"Footer frame text colour"

http://0330.0366.0021.0315/ http://%6c%6f%63%6b%65%72%67%6e%6f%6d%65%2e%63%6f%6d/

Although the display text is left unchanged, the hyperlink will point to a non-obfuscated URL (either the domain name, or an IP address). This is because the obfuscated URLs such as there are often used by spammers, and the author has no intention of allowing his software to aid spammers in their goals.

If someone cares to give me a valid reason for using such URLs I may reconsider this behaviour.

11.2.2 Other changes

Windows version

NOTE: DDE won't work with Netscape 6.0 (it doesn't support it)

All versions

11.3 Version 3.3 (June 2000)

The AscToHTM 3.3 release follows 6 "micro-releases" announced via the updates page on the Web. As such it will appear as a small step forward over 3.2.06, but in fact it offers a fair amount of new functionality over version 3.2

Major changes in version 3.3 include :-

If anyone wants to correct these files and send them back to me, feel free.

11.3.1 New functions


You can choose to have the fonts implemented using <FONT> tags or CSS (e.g. according to your target audience) using the "Use CSS to implement fonts" policy.

Definition Blocks

The pre-processor commands involved are:




"Default TABLE layout"
(also pre-processor tag "TABLE_LAYOUT")

This allows you to specify the number of columns in each table, and the attributes of each column, specifically the character position that marks the end of each column. Rather than use this policy, it is probably better to use the related directive $_$_TABLE_LAYOUT in the source text on a per-table basis.

"Default TABLE alignment"
(also pre-processor tag "TABLE_ALIGN")

Allows the alignment of the table to be specified (left, right, center)

"Ignore table header during analysis" (also pre-processor tag "TABLE_IGNORE_HEADER")

Specifies that table headers should be ignored when columns are being auto-detected. Some tables have complex headers that confuse the analysis. This policy can be used to help them be ignored.

"Table extending factor"

Controls the degree to which pre-formatted lines should be expanded into adjacent text.

"Column merging factor"

Controls the degree to which columns which don't appear to be very clear should be "merged" together

"Tables could be blank line separated"

Indicates that tables could be using blank lines to separate rows of data. This affects the analysis and detection of the tables extent.

The new pre-processor directives :-



"Treat each line as a paragraph"

If this option is selected, every line in the source file is treated as a paragraph. This may be suitable if the file has been authored using an editor that wraps the lines (i.e. doesn't put in hard breaks) and which doesn't add blank lines between paragraphs.

"Preserve line structure"

If this option is selected a <BR> is added to every line, thereby preserving the line structure of the original and giving the resulting HTML file an "A4 look" that hugs the left margin regardless of how wide the window is made.

"Preserve file structure using <PRE>"

If this option is selected the whole document is placed in <PRE> markup, and very few conversions are attempted. This is really a "last resort" option that you may want to use if the file has complex structures which the program is failing to understand. This option was added for a customer who wanted to convert all 2800 RFCs without having to manually correct each one.

There is a limited auto-detect of DOS characters when diagrams are present.

"FILENAME" - output name of converted file
"FRACTION" - output a fraction
"VERSION" - output program version number

"IGNORE_THIS" - for comments in the source code

Only "HTML 3.2" and "HTML 4.0 Transitional" are currently supported.

11.3.2 Other changes



Also reversed the order of sections in this "Change History" section

11.4 Version 3.2 (October '99)

(Version 3.1 was never released, but a release of AscToTab occurred sometime after version 3.0, and so in keeping with the policy of synchronizing version numbers that was labelled version 3.1)

Over a year after the last release, version 3.2 is a major upgrade, but is only given a minor version number change because the remainder of the functionality produced in that time will be revealed in version 4.0.

Version 3.2 starts to prepare the groundwork for Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and general font support that will be introduced in version 4.0. This has required a fairly radical change to the type of HTML code generated and how this is put together.

For example the HTML is now more standards compliant (this is now a stated goal of the software, although I can't always promise full compliance see 1.1.4), and as an aid towards CSS support "optional" end tags such as </P> are now being placed in the generated HTML.

Note that the use of the <FONT> tag is deprecated in HTML 4.0, and if you choose to add FONT markup to your pages they'll become much bigger, especially if they contain tables. This is because the HTML standard requires the FONT tag to continually be re-expressed to achieve the right appearance in all browsers (believe me, I only accepted this through bitter experience and grudgingly).

Major changes in version 3.2 include :-

11.4.1 New functions

Windows Version

All versions

11.4.2 Other changes

On the web site, and documentation

Windows version

VMS version

All versions

This should make it easier to rename files after production without breaking local hyperlinks. Links to/from other files would still stop working though.

11.5 Version 3.0 (August '98)

There are a fair number of small changes in functionality over V2.3, together with a fair number of bugfixes and refined algorithms. A lot of development during this time was directed towards the production of a text-to-RTF converter (AscToRTF) using the same analysis engine. Consequently there are a lot of changes "under the bonnet".

The main functional change has been the revamp of the Windows User Interface. A new section (4.1.2) has been added to this document describing the Windows interface in some detail. The changes include :-

11.5.1 New functions

Windows Version

All Versions

11.5.2 Other changes

An example piece of HTML code would be

        <A HREF="">
        <IMG SRC="a2hlogo.jpg" WIDTH=100 HEIGHT=36 BORDER=0
        ALT="Converted by AscToHTM"></A>

11.6 Version 2.3 (late April '98)

Minor bugfixes and upgraded functionality over V2.2. The main functional changes have been

  1. The introduction of wildcard support to allow conversion
    of multiple files at once.

  2. (related to the above) the introduction of the Directory Page
    feature that allows the generation of a hyperlinked document spanning
    all the files in a directory.

  3. Major re-write of the contents-list generating routines. The
    program now makes a third, intermediate, pass through the document
    to analyse the contents structure. This means that contents lists
    are now placed at the top of the HTML file be default, rather than
    in a separate file as previously - though that behaviour is still supported if wanted.

This approach is expected to pay further dividends in later releases.

11.6.1 New functions

Windows Version

All versions

"Make Directory"
"Directory filename"
"Show file titles in Directory"
"Indent headings in Directory"
"Directory title"
"Directory keywords"
"Directory description"
"Directory return hyperlink text"
"Directory Script file"
"Directory header file"
"Directory footer file"

11.6.2 Other changes

Sometimes I just work too hard :^)

11.7 Version 2.20 (Feb '98)

First major release after V2.0 (when AscToHTM first went fully-Windowed). Major change this time has been the introduction of TABLE generating algorithms. These were first made available as a separate freeware utility AscToTab.

This version is reviewed by ZDNet and awarded 5-stars, their highest award.

11.7.1 New functions

Table generation

This is the biggest change in this version. AscToHTM now incorporates the technology first introduced in AscToTab. To support this the detection of pre-formatted text has been improved, new policies added, and new preprocessor commands added.

New policies include :-

"Attempt TABLE generation"
"Default TABLE border size"
"Default TABLE header rows"
"Default TABLE header cols"
"Default TABLE cell spacing"
"Default TABLE cell padding"
"Default TABLE colour"
"Default TABLE border colour"
"Default TABLE caption"

New Pre-processor commands include :-


Other changes

11.7.2 Other changes


All versions

Windows version

11.8 Version 2.10 (never officially released)

V2.1 was never officially released, but much of this functionality "crept out" as the shareware version was updated. Some of these versions were shown as V2.01 instead of V2.1. There's nothing like a bit of consistency (and yeah, this was nothing like a bit of consistency).

11.8.1 New functions

11.8.2 Other changes

All versions

Windows version

11.9 Version 2.00 (October '97)

Version 2.0 marks the production of the first fully-windowed version for Windows 95/NT. This took a few months to be produced, so a fair number of other features have been added over this time.

11.9.1 New functions

11.9.2 Other changes

Expect Numbered sections
Expect Numbered Headings
HTML header
HTML header file
HTML footer
HTML footer file

11.10 Version 1.1 (August '97)

11.10.1 New functions

11.10.2 Other changes

11.11 Version 1.05 (late July '97)

11.11.1 New functions

11.11.2 Other changes

11.12 Version 1.04 (early July '97)

11.12.1 New functions

11.12.2 Other changes

11.13 Version 1.01 (April '97)

New functions

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Valid HTML 4.0! Converted from a single text file by AscToHTM
© 1997-2001 John A Fotheringham
Converted by AscToHTM