Note:  This article is the long explanation of mapping strings, when you need the full background on this concept and “want to read a book about it”. If you don't want to read a book about it, go to Quick Reference Guide for concise information on specific commands and usage. It contains links to each command to help get you immediately “up and running” if you just need a quick answer on some point.

It is recommended (and you will benefit) if you do read through this article at least once. After you understand the concepts, the Quick Reference should be enough to complete most tasks you may have.

As a new technology, mapping strings should be considered as an experimental feature. That does not mean it doesn’t work, or has known issues, but there could be unknown issues that won’t be apparent until you as the SPFLite user community gain experience with it, and (hopefully) provide us with feedback on how it’s working for you.

You will find you can accomplish a great deal with mapping strings, but no single technique will do everything. Mapping strings are just one feature in an array of techniques you can use to automate your editing tasks and get your work done faster, each of which having its own advantages. These other techniques include:

  • Execute-macro strings, also known as “E strings” or "E macros"
  • Traditional SPFLite macros, used as primary commands or as line commands
  • SET and SET ALIAS commands to abbreviate long primary command sequences
  • Command chaining
  • Excluded lines, User lines and Tags
  • Multi-Edit sessions
  • Power Typing
  • Keyboard macros and keyboard functions

For the more adventurous among you, it is possible to write an SPFLite macro that incorporates CHANGE commands with M strings inside of calls to SPF_Cmd(). However, you cannot write an SPFLite macro that incorporates CHANGE commands with E strings inside of calls to SPF_Cmd(), since that would result in a nested macro execution environment, which is not supported.

Because mapping strings and E strings are new technologies, it must be admitted that all possible combinations of these technologies with all previously existing SPFLite features have not been tested. They should work, but if you run into issues, please let know so we can look into it.

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