Contents of Article

Introduction: Standard SPFLite Startup

Editing Files using Drag-and-Drop Support

SPFLite Command Line Options

Specifying an Overidding Profile to use

Terminating SPFLite

Terminating a Single File Tab

Terminating All Tabs

Introduction: Standard SPFLite Startup

Based on a General Options setting, you can choose to reopen any files that had been open the last time SPFLite was shut down.

If you enable "Re-Open last file(s) at Start",  then when you double-click the SPFLite icon which was created during the install, you will be presented with the same file tabs that were open the last time you used SPFLite. The File Manager will be present as the leftmost tab. The tab that was active when you shut down will be presented as the active tab when you resume.

If you have not enabled "Re-Open last file(s) at Start", you will be presented with the File Manager screen containing a directory list based on your last-used File Manager display selection.

Editing Files using Drag-and-Drop Support

You can do the following with SPFLite's Drag-and-Drop support:

    • Drag-and-Drop a file from Explorer or from the desktop onto the SPFLite icon to have it start editing with that file. The File Manager will be present as the first tab, and the edit file tab as the second one.

    • Drag-and-Drop a file onto an existing SPFLite window. If the current tab is (Empty) the file will be opened on that tab. If the current tab contains data, or is the File Manager tab, the dropped file will be opened in a new file tab.

    • A shortcut to a data file (rather than the file itself) may also be Dragged-and-Dropped onto SPFLite.

SPFLite Command Line Options

When started from the command line, operands for SPFLite normally include the initial filename to be edited. If SPFLite is started without a file name, the SPFLite startup will proceed as described above.

The following command-line options are supported. Note that all options can be specified in any abbreviated form down to a single letter. e.g. -CLIP can be specified as -CLIP, -CLI, -CL or -C.

-CLIP option

If  '-CLIP'  appears in the command line, SPFLite will operate in clipboard edit mode, which does the following:

    • The contents of the Windows clipboard are opened up into a Clipboard edit session when SPFLIte starts. This will directly edit the contents of the Windows clipboard, without any intermediate or temporary file involved.

    • When the primary Command END is entered, the current edit data is returned to the Windows clipboard.

Clipboard mode is designed to provide a quick, convenient means for editing clipboard data with the SPFLite command set. From outside SPFLite, it works most effectively if a separate icon is created for SPFLite that has a command-line operand of -CLIP. To create a CLIP icon on the desktop, copy the normal icon and add -CLIP as an operand, in the icon's Properties window. You can now click on the icon to directly edit the clipboard contents.

If SPFLite is already running, you can use the CLIP primary command to open a new tab containing the current clipboard contents.

-WINE option

If '-WINE' appears as the command line, SPFLite will modify certain operations to assist running under WINE on *NIX systems. SPFLite will operate correctly under WINE but certain screen features (like TootTip Help) are problematic. -WINE tells SPFLite to suppress certain features which cause difficulty under WINE.

-TITLE title-string

This option allows you to provide an alternative string which will appear as part of the Window Title of the SPFLite session.  If this string is not provided, SPFLite will use its current version number.

-NOLOOP option

If '-NOLOOP' appears as the command line, SPFLite will NOT activate it's normal loop detection logic. This detection logic is design to monitor for SPFLite activities which are taking far longer than expected to complete. It provides a Pop-Up message which allows the user to cancel the session, or to allow execution to continue.

However some activities can be delayed by external factors (LAN network slowdowns etc.) and the Pop-Ups can become a nuisance since there is no real underlying problem which can be corrected. -NOLOOP simply requests SPFLite to forgo monitoring for such loop conditions.

-BROWSE option

BROWSE mode allows you to use SPFLite to view data files in read-only mode without risk of changing the data. This is particularly important if you normally open files with with the Profile set to AUTOSAVE ON, or if you have opened an important file and want to be sure it does not get modified.

In BROWSE mode, you are prevented from using any action (Primary Command, Line Command or simple typing) which would modify the file's data.

-BROWSE  may be coded alone as an operand, in which case a BROWSE dialog will be presented where you select a file to browse. Or, it can be coded as -BROWSE filename, to start SPFLite with the specified filename opened for browsing.

To create a BROWSE icon, copy the normal icon and add -BROWSE as an operand, in the icon's Properties window. You can now  Drag-and-Drop files onto the icon to quickly Browse them.

-VIEW option

VIEW mode allows you to use SPFLite to view data files in read-only mode without risk of changing the data. This is particularly important if you normally open files with with the Profile set to AUTOSAVE ON, or if you have opened an important file and want to be sure it does not get modified. Unlike BROWSE, VIEW allows you to make changes to the file, they will simply not be saved. If you make changes to a Viewed file, the word View in the left-hand Status Bar box will be displayed as View to remind you.

In VIEW mode, the SAVE and REPLACE commands are disabled, as is the AUTOSAVE function of the END command. The CREATE command is allowed in VIEW, so you can create other files without changing the one you are browsing. You may also save the entire file you are browsing under a new name by using SAVEAS. (If you happen to use the SAVEALL command from any open file, it will only save files opened for edit, while files opened for browse are ignored.)

-VIEW  may be coded alone as an operand, in which case a VIEW dialog will be presented where you select a file to View. Or, it can be coded as -VIEW filename, to start SPFLite with the specified filename opened for viewing.

To create a VIEW icon, copy the normal icon and add -VIEW as an operand, in the icon's Properties window. You can now  Drag-and-Drop files onto the icon to quickly View them.



-INIT option


The -INIT option causes SPFLite use a different INI file for customization, instead of SPFLite.INI. This allows you to have INI files with different global options such as handling of file deletions, fonts and screen colors, mouse and keyboard options, etc. (Note that keyboard mappings are held in the SPFLite.KBD file, which cannot be overridden like the INI file can.)

To use, add  -INIT initname to the command line, where initname is either:

    • the base name of the alternate INI file. For example, to start SPFLite using an INI file named CUSTOM.INI the command line would be -INIT CUSTOM. The INI file will be searched for in the normal SPFLite data path (Documents\SPFLite).

    • A fully qualified path to the INI file.

Example:  -INIT "D:\Data\Editors\SPFLite\CUSTOM.INI" 


-KEYMAP option


The -KEYMAP option causes SPFLite to launch the KEYMAP dialog immediately after startup, and prior to beginning normal editing operations. You might wish to use the -KEYMAP option in case you had a serious KEYMAP configuration issue that was preventing you from operating SPFLite properly, such as the absence of a properly defined ENTER key.

Because use of the -KEYMAP option is a type of "emergency startup" contingency, SPFLite will not have completely finished all of its initialization steps when you get the KEYMAP dialog. As a result, the dialog will be displayed with a default font rather than your customary editing font. After you finish, and then SPFLite begins normal operation, the customary editing font will appear when you issue a KEYMAP command again.

Example: The command line:


Requests SPFLite to start in Browse using the CUSTOM.INI file for customization, and to Open MyTestFile.txt as the initial working file.


Specifying an Over-riding Profile to use

When you specify a filename on the command-line to be opened (including the -BROWSE and -VIEW variations) it is possible to specify a different Profile name to be used to process the file. This is the same ability that is provided by the Primary EDIT, BROWSE and VIEW commands.

Simply provide the overriding Profile name, preceded by a . (period) on the command line following the filename. If the filename was enclosed in quotes, the Profile name follows this trailing quote, and is not itself quoted.

e.g.     SPFLite -B "My File To Browse.txt" .NewProfile

The above shows a request to browse a file using the special profile called 'NewProfile'.

Terminating SPFLite

When SPFLite is terminated, it will 'remember' the current screen position and size and will use these values the next time it is started. If SPFLite was Maximized at termination time, it will be restarted in Maximized mode.


As with startup, the other actions performed at termination are affected by your Option choices. There are two levels of termination, the first is the termination of a single file tab, the second is termination of all file tabs and SPFLite shutdown.

Terminating a Single File Tab

A single file tab is terminated with the END command. This can also be accomplished by right-clicking on the desired tab. When you use a right-click in this way, SPFLite treats it as identical to the END command, or to a key mapped to the END command.

    • If the tab is in View mode, and the file has not been modified, it is simply closed. If you have modified the file during View, then the action depends on your choice for the Options -> General selection of Warn on modified View file   If you chose to be warned, then you will be given an option to return to View or just exit;  If you chose not to be warned, the file is closed without saving.

    • If the tab is in CLIP mode, the current text contents are returned to the Windows clipboard and the tab is closed.

    • If the tab is in EDIT mode, the contents will be either saved or not saved, based on the Profile AUTOSAVE option for the file's file type; and then the tab will be closed.

For all above cases, if there are still remaining active tabs, control will be passed to the adjacent tab.

If there are no further active tabs, what happens next is based on whether you enabled "Close File Mgr with last tab" in the File Manager Options. If you enabled this, SPFLite will terminate. Otherwise, control is passed to File Manager.

When the END command is issued in the File Manager, it does not 'close' it, but causes the file display to move up to the next higher directory level, or back from a File List display to a directory display. Repeated use of the END command will eventually leave the File Manager displaying the root directory of the selected drive, which for most users will be the C:\ directory, and at that point END will have no further effect.

Terminating All Tabs

If the Windows standard close button [X] in the title bar is clicked, or the EXIT command or the =X command is issued, all file tabs will be processed as if an END command had been entered and SPFLite itself will terminate.

There are some differences between using the close button [X] to close SPFLite, and using END on each tab first.

Just so we're clear here, don't confuse "the [X] button" with the "=X command". The [X] button is a Windows icon that looks like an X on the right side of the Title Bar of the SPFLite window that you click on with the mouse, whereas the =X command is an SPFLite command that is identical to the EXIT command and is typed on the primary command line by you as the characters =X followed by the ENTER key.

When you use the close button [X], SPFLite first remembers all currently active files, so that when you restart SPFLite later, all these files will be reopened, and then all tabs, including File Manager, are closed.

If you use END individually for every file, they are all now "closed" and so when you restart, there are no previously open sessions to be resumed, and so none of them will be automatically reopened.

The EXIT command can also take an optional NOREOPEN operand. If NOREOPEN is specified, SPFLite will not save the list of currently open Edit tabs for use at the next normal SPFLite start. This means the next SPFLite startup will begin in the File Manager tab, with no other tabs being automatically loaded.

Whether SPFLite re-opens files at start-up is controlled by a preferences selection on the Options -> General screen. The NOREOPEN option will cause the list of currently-open files to be discarded, even if the Re-open checkbox is enabled. (The files themselves are not discarded - only the list that refers to them is discarded.)

When your options are set to re-open the previous set of files at startup, these files will only be opened by the first instance of SPFLite that starts. If your settings allow multiple instances of SPFLite, then 2nd and subsequent instances will not attempt to re-open the set of files again.

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