Dec 062017
Adds a tool bar to Notepad in Windows 3.1.
File PBNOTEPD.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Windows 3.X Files
Adds a tool bar to Notepad in Windows 3.1.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
PBNOTEPD.EXE 60448 16626 deflated
PBNOTEPD.TXT 26050 9561 deflated

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Contents of the PBNOTEPD.TXT file


v. 1.0
The Windows 3.1 Notepad ButtonBar

Program and documentation
1992 David Stewart, d.b.a. Argyle Softstuff
Version 1.0 released on July 22, 1992

PowerBar/Notepad--Making Notepad Easier to Use

Windows' Notepad is not a "power" text editor. But it is handy--and free. Many shareware authors have developed more powerful text editors, editors that take advantage of the Multiple Document Interface, have enhanced search/replace capabilities and more.

Some of these programs are very good, but they are all fairly costly. All that some people want is a better Notepad.

PowerBar/Notepad is a "better Notepad" because it is Notepad, but with the added ease and capabilities of a buttonbar, much like the toolbars in Programs like Microsoft Word for Windows (and, plug plug, like PowerBar/Notepad, the first PowerBar application). PowerBar/Notepad is useful for users at any level; it is not difficult to use or set up. Yet it gives you capabilities that are "advanced." It's a power tool, but not targeted only at the power user. Thanks for taking a look at PowerBar/Notepad. I'm sure you'll find it helpful and even interesting to use. And if you like what you see here, or if you're simply a frequent user of Windows Notepad, I recommend you find a copy of PowerBar/Notepad and give it a try--it's even more powerful, as Notepad is even more powerful than Notepad.

PowerBar/Notepad--What It Takes

PowerBar/Notepad is written in Visual Basic for Windows 3.1. It requires:
A 286 or higher CPU running in Standard or Enhanced mode.
A mouse, because almost everything in PowerBar/Notepad is mouse-activated.

The Visual Basic runtime library file, VBRUN100.DLL, in a directory that is on your path. (The Windows directory is a good place for it.) If you don't have this file, you can usually download it from the same on-line service from which you got this file (assuming that was your source) or get it from a friend who uses Windows; on-line, look for VBRUN100.EXE or VBRUN100.ZIP.

Windows 3.1 (it will not work properly with 3.0) and Notepad itself.

PowerBar/Notepad is very easy to use and understand; this documentation file is full of details on the application, but does not contain much on actually using it. Please be sure to see the registration details near the end, and the survey/order form at the very end. You need not register to return the survey; after all, I would find it helpful to know why you didn't register.

PowerBar/Notepad takes up some real estate on the screen--a vertical strip on the right side of your screen, just leftward enough to leave Notepad's scrollbar uncovered. For many margin settings in Notepad on standard 640x480 VGA (and on laptop computers), this may mean that you will be cutting off some of your view of the right margin area of Notepad. PowerBar/Notepad is as narrow as a window can be made in Visual Basic.


Well, this couldn't be much easier: PowerBar/Notepad consists of one program file, PBNOTE.EXE, and this documentation file. Unzip them and put them wherever you want. However, it would be good to have it in your Windows directory, if you don't mind having stuff that isn't "original equipment" in there; or alternatively, if you start Notepad up in a separate data file directory, as 3.1's Program Manager lets you, you might want to put PowerBar/Notepad in that directory. If you use Program Manager as your shell, use the standard procedure for installing a new launch icon. See the Windows 3.1 User's Guide, pp. 78-83. If you use some other shell or nonshell program manager, follow its app installation procedures.

Associating Your Notepad Files With PowerBar/Notepad

If you find that you use PowerBar/Notepad whenever you work with text files, you can reassociate your text files with PowerBar/Notepad instead of with Notepad. The effect is exactly the same: When you open a text file from an icon, command line or file manager, it will be loaded into Notepad by PowerBar/Notepad. Use File Manager's Associate... command, from the File menu. See the Windows 3.1 User's Guide, pp. 131-132; but please note that you should Browse to find and enter the PowerBar/Notepad program name for association. If you set up associations with Notepad by directly editing WIN.INI rather than using File Manager, enter PowerBar/Notepad's entire path in all capital letters, and be sure to delete the line associating *.txt files with WRITE.EXE. You will need to restart Windows for the new association to take effect.

If you regularly use Notepad, you may find that you can gain from putting PowerBar/Notepad on the Run= line of WIN.INI or in your Startup group. Since PowerBar/Notepad can exit Windows as well as launch any application or preassociated file on your system, it can act as a session "shell" (though, like every other Visual Basic app, it cannot be used as your Windows shell!).
How PowerBar/Notepad Works for You

When you use PowerBar/Notepad, you do not have to launch Notepad itself! PowerBar/Notepad will launch Notepad for you. PowerBar/Notepad will open up Notepad, maximized, and itself. It also turns on Word Wrap in Notepad as soon as it opens up. So you can get rid of that Notepad icon in Program Manager if you find that you like working with PowerBar/Notepad. If you have associated your *.txt files with PowerBar/Notepad, PowerBar/Notepad can start up Notepad and automatically open a file.

In this way, PowerBar/Notepad is virtually seamlessly integrated with Notepad; if you associate it with your Notepad files, you can almost think of it as not another program, but as part of Notepad, much the same way a floating icon or styles palette is part of Ami Pro. (You could even use the Notepad icon for PowerBar/Notepad in Program Manager, since starting PowerBar/Notepad is also starting Notepad itself.) The point is to make Notepad a more powerful, more "full-featured" word processor. The "seams" you may notice are: If you try to use PowerBar/Notepad while Notepad is not running, the "pb/n" title will disappear from the PowerBar/Notepad title bar as an indication that Notepad is not running; and PowerBar/Notepad has its own "About..." box.

PowerBar/Notepad is almost entirely mouse-activated.

PowerBar/Notepad automatically places itself on the right-hand edge of your screen, leaving just enough room for Notepad's vertical scrollbar, since the left visual margin is set by Notepad. You can move the bar like any other Windows window by dragging its title bar; an item in the Options submenu will put it back in its original position. You can minimize, but not resize the bar.

By default, PowerBar/Notepad also floats on top of all other application windows, so that it is always at the ready when you're working in Notepad. You can choose, from the Options submenu, to sink it or float it.

You'll see a clock (which can be turned off; see below) on PowerBar/Notepad's menu bar. Clicking on the clock will drop down PowerBar/Notepad's menu.

You can close PowerBar/Notepad itself by clicking the bottom button on the bar.

The Buttons on the Bar

The PowerBar/Notepad buttonbar is self-explanatory. Most buttons correspond to a menu choice in Notepad. Those that don't include a set of 5 buttons adjacent to Open: *, which opens the Open File dialog with all files (*.*) in a subdirectory listed; txt, bat, ini and doc, which open the Open File dialog with files of the respective extension listed(*.txt, *.bat, *.ini, *.doc). These buttons make it easy to quickly get to a file of a particular extension type. Note that they will cause unsaved changes in an open file to be saved, unless the file has never been saved. Sel All is Select All, and highlights all the text in the current file for copying, cutting or deletion. Clock toggles the menu clock off and on. Notepad launches another instance of Notepad. Tile calls up the Windows Task List and uses it to tile all open application windows on your desktop. (Note that this will not work if you have deleted, disabled or otherwise changed your task manager settingin system.ini.) Exit Both closes Notepad and PowerBar/Notepad. Exit PB/N closes only PowerBar/Notepad.
The Clock Utility Menu

The Clock Menu PowerBar/Notepad opens up with a clock where a menu heading would normally be expected. Clicking on the clock drops down the Utility menu, just as if there were a normal heading. You can turn the clock off and back on in the menu's Options submenu. When the clock is off, the menu heading becomes "Utility."

File Search/Load A file search and open utility. The search box will pop up on your screen ready to use. It consists of:

A mask setting. The default setting is *.txt, to search for Notepad files. But you can change it to search for any filename or extension you wish. (Enter filespecs only here--filename and/or extensions, including wildcards; do not enter directories or drives.)
A drive drop-down list. You can change the drive you wish to search here.
A directory list. Here you can travel through the directory structure of the disk and drive you want to search; double-click on the target or initial subdirectory.
A matching list box. This will list all the files that match your mask.
Command buttons. These start and halt searches, open a selected file and exit the search box.

To search for a file, set up the mask, the drive and initial directory, then click the Start Search button or press AltS. The searcher will move through the designated directory and its subdirectories to find all the files that match the mask you set up. (To search an entire disk, specify its root directory.) Matching files will be listed in the box on the right of the File Search window. You can stop a search in progress if, say, you already see what you need; just click the Quit Search button or press AltQ.

To open a file, note the condition of the file you're working on currently, if there is a file open: Has it been saved--ever, or lately, or does it have changes you'd just as soon dispose of? PowerBar/Notepad can either save your most recent, unsaved changes and then open the selected file, or discard the most recent changes before it opens the selected file. If you are opening in place of an unused file, or in place of a file that has not changed since it was last saved, either button will open the selected file without error. Select the filename you want to open, and then click the appropriate button.

PLEASE NOTE: If the file you are using has not been saved even once, do not use the File Searcher's button option to save the file; PowerBar Notepad cannot finish its open operation by itself if you try to use it on a never-saved file. So first save the file through the buttonbar. Alternatively, you can go ahead and use the save button, but you will be prompted as to whether or not you want to overwrite the file you're trying to open; answer NO. You'll note that that file name now appears in the Save As... dialog's filename space; simply overtype the new file's new name, and press Enter; then, when the file open dialog pops up, enter the keys Shift Ins or Ctrl V and Enter to open the file you wanted opened.

Edit Suite Submenu This submenu gives you quick access to the Windows initialization files WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI, as well as the bootup configuration files, AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS. Note that if you have a file open with unsaved changes, your changes will be lost if you use these menu items! Be sure to save before using them.

AutoSave Submenu With this submenu you can choose a new timed AutoSave interval, or turn off AutoSave altogether. It can be turned off and back on again in a single session. Botht the AutoSave submenu and its own interval submenu will indicate the current AutoSave interval or Off status. The default is On with a 5-minute interval between saves; you can also choose a 3-, 8- or 12-minute interval or Off.

PLEASE NOTE: AutoSave is based upon a running timer (as is the menu bar clock, also), so if it is On there is a chance that, on some machines, you will note a small deterioration in performance if you leave PowerBar/Notepad running while you work in some demanding applications. PowerBar/Notepad's AutoSave will activate according to the specified interval even if you are working in an application other than Notepad, so if you are going to do so and don't want to have PowerBar/Notepad abruptly take you away from your work (or play) by popping back to save the Notepad file, you should turn off AutoSave before going on to another application.

Character submenus On these three submenus you will find an extensive selection of special symbols and characters that are frequently used in business and academic documents. Put the I-beam insertion point where you want the character to appear, drop down to the desired character on one of PowerBar/Notepad's three character submenus and release. The character will appear in your Notepad document.

Note that the Numeric menu uses captions like "e" and "x"; however, when you select these characters, only the symbol--i.e., "" or ""--will appear. In the Marks/Symbols menu, the two bullet characters are difficult to see--or, rather, the small one is difficult to see and the large one cannot be reproduced by Windows' menu font as a bullet; thus their captions include SmBlt and LgBlt. Not all typefaces have bullets or full ANSI character sets; you may find that choosing one of these characters inserts a square, a space or a vertical block into your document; if so, select it and put it in another face, such as Windows' TimesNewRomanPS, that has the bullet or ANSI character you need.

Time/Date Stamps This submenu gives you 12 different time and date stamps for immediate entry into your text at the cursor insertion point. Just drop down the menu to the format you prefer, release, and it'll copy the time, date or both to your file. (The stamps use the Clipboard to format the date and time, so anything on the Clipboard will be cleared and replaced with a time/date stamp.)

Runners A submenu that lets you start several Windows applications that can be useful when working with word processor files. In addition, Run... will pop up a Run... dialog into which you can enter a command line or associated file name. PowerBar/Notepad assumes that the named applications are in your Windows directory, or at least on your path. All apps are started in "normal" size, except File Manager, which is opened maximized, and become the active application. If you use Program Manager or File Manager as your Windows shell, choosing the shell from the menu will restore and activate its window, not run a second instance of either. The DOS session is a full-screen session, not windowed.

Options This breaks into a submenu with four more sections: One that allows you to maximize, iconize and window Notepad, just as is you were to use Notepad's control menu or its sizing buttons; one that lets you set PowerBar/Notepad's window to sink as a normal Windows window would do, or to float on top of other apps if it had been set to sink; one that allows you to easily and precisely return PowerBar/Notepad to its original screen position if you have moved it; and one that sets your printer to print in either Portrait or Landscape orientation. Check marks indicate the current status of most of these setup options.

PowerBar/Notepad's defaults for these options are:
Notepad is maximized.
The PowerBar floats.
The PowerBar is in its original position, at the top of the screen and just to the left of Notepad's vertical scroll bar.
Notepad sets the printer in Portrait mode.

Exits Exit Notepad & PB/N exits both programs, like the Exit Both button. Exit Windows closes Windows. You will be prompted to save any changed files before anything closes, so these are safe exits.

Fooling PowerBar/Notepad

PowerBar/Notepad can be fooled, because it is not fully system-aware. Thus if you change the printer orientation from Notepad's menu options rather than from PowerBar/Notepad's Options submenu, the Options submenu status check may not indicate the true orientation of the printer. Similarly, if you resize Notepad from its own system menu or sizing buttons, or if you run multiple copies of Notepad or open another copy of Notepad, either along with the original startup copy or after closing down a startup copy, PowerBar/Notepad's Notepad size indicator checks may be wrong for the particular copy you are working in. These will not cause malfunctions, and using the PowerBar/Notepad options will execute functions properly and update immediately (in the case of size, for the copy you update only). But you should know that there are these possibilities; if you use the Options menu exclusively for these functions you'll almost always find PowerBar/Notepad to accurately reflect the state of Notepad.

"Why Can't I Save Settings?"

If you prefer an alternative set of defaults, PowerBar/Notepad has no way to save them. Why? This is a decision based on expressed dislikes of many Windows users. Windows and Windows applications are big programs. Making them capable of saving settings makes them much bigger, or adds files to your hard disk--usually some kind of initialization (.INI) file--or requires writing a new section into WIN.INI. I purposely decided against these options, because I want to keep PowerBar/Notepad as compact as possible and as neat as possible. Which means I don't want to dot your hard disk with extra files or mess around with your Windows files.

You can open the program with different defaults by recording a Recorder macro to start PowerBar/Notepad and set new defaults, and then creating an icon for the macro. To do so, record the macro and save it in a file. Then create an icon with a command line like this:
recorder.exe -H [hotkey] [filepath/name]
The -H is case-sensitive--it must be upper-case. The convention for hotkeys is to use ^, the carat or shifted 6, for the Ctrl key; % for Alt; and + for Shift; then use the key spelling from Recorder's Shortcut Key list box for the rest of the key name. (For icon-launch purposes, you can even use keys that are not on your keyboard, such as F keys above 12.) Thus a command line might read:
recorder.exe -H ^+F16 c:\win31\pbwstart.rec
Double-clicking on this icon will start Recorder, load your file, and run your macro to configure PowerBar/Notepad. Note that Recorder must not be running for an iconic macro launch to work.

If you think you'd like PowerBar/Notepad better with different defaults, let me know. Maybe the program should be able to save defaults. Alternatively, send an extra $7 with your registration fee, and I will make a customized default version for you.

PowerBar/Notepad: This and The Next Edition

PowerBar/Notepad v. 1.0 was written on a Gateway 486/25, and got its base code from PowerBar/Write. But they are very distinct programs, with different features reflecting their different requirements and users' needs..


PowerBar/Notepad is shareware; as usual, please limit yourself unregistered use to a maximum 30-day trial period. If you like and use PowerBar/Notepad regularly, please register it. This gets you the following: The feeling that you've gotten something for your money, which is almost always superior to feeling that you've gotten away with something. The knowledge that you're encouraging ideas and better programming in the future. Notification of updates, and perpetual license to subsequent editions of PowerBar/Notepad. And if you pay the higher registration price, automatic updating to the next version by mail.

$10 -- Standard registration license: Registers PowerBar/Notepad for use on any three computers, and I don't care whose--pass it to two friends, put it on a desktop at home, a mobile laptop and a desktop at work--you choose. (With the exception that you cannot assume that someone else, unknown to you, has registered the program without using up all his or her rights to three installations; this is a personal license for you and two others you choose, and unless you were chosen, and received from the chooser a copy of the license, you are not registered for legal post-trial period use.) You'll receive license copies by mail. Registration is perpetual. But you're on your own as to finding future versions. $7.50 for registrants of other PowerBar applications.

$15 -- Same as standard registration, except that I'll send you the next major update by U.S. mail. $12.50 for applicants of other PowerBar applications.

For an additional $5, added to either the $10 or the $15 registration, you can get the Visual Basic code for PowerBar/Notepad, or for an additional $7, a version with customized defaults (let me know what settings you want changed).

Send check or money order payable to Argyle Softstuff, or, if you want to risk it, cash, and the name of the bulletin board or other source from which you got this program, as well as comments, complaints, compliments, ideas for improvements or additions, to:

Argyle Softstuff
David Stewart
2087 Edgewood
Berkley MI 48072


You can write to me, David Stewart, at the above address, or you can drop me a line on Prodigy, ID CTKJ00D (those are zeros between the J and D), or America Online, name Doc Yeah or Eniac I (that's Eniac "eye"). CompuServe members, as well as members of many other on-line services, can send mail and receive upgrades via the mail gateway between such services and America Online.

About the Programmer

David Stewart is an advertising copywriter, a widely published free-lance writer, reviewer and editor and now a learning programmer. He is working on a book on radically customizing Microsoft Windows--far beyond the Control Panel and WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI settings.
If you want your programs or products or company to have a sophisticated advertising program, but can't afford an agency, or you would like to give your documentation or any other writing the touch of a professional writer or editor, contact him at the address above, on Prodigy or America Online, or by phone: call directory assistance at 1-313-555-1212 and ask for David Stewart in either Royal Oak or Auburn Hills (depending on whether he has moved his residence yet or not).

Disclaimer and other tiny print.

Man, I hate this part. Just like the big software companies, I disclaim all responsibility for effects of the use of PowerBar/Notepad. All warranties, either express or implied, including but not limited to fitness for any particular purpose other than interacting with Windows Notepad are disclaimed. Nor will Argyle Softstuff be liable for any damages whatsoever arising from the use of this program. Let's keep the lawyers out of this: If you have a problem, let me know.

PowerBar/Notepad 1.0
Registration and User Survey

Please print out this page and give me the following information for registration:
I downloaded PowerBar/Notepad from: _____________________________________________,(bulletin board/on-line service)
which is in: ____________________________________ at _( )___________________.
(city/state)(phone number)

My Name: _________________________________________
(Company Name: ___________________________________)
Street Address: _____________________________________
City/State/ZIP: ______________________________________

Version downloaded: ________

Registration choice:REGULAR, $10 ___ REGULAR/PREVIOUS REGISTRANT, $7.50 ___
INSTANT UPDATE, $15 ___ I.U./PREV. REG., $12.50 ___
Media size: 5" ____ 3" ____
Other options:VISUAL BASIC CODE FILES (w/registration only!), +$5 ___
CUSTOM DEFAULTS VERSION (w/registration only!), +$7 ___
Please make check payable to David Stewart, or to Argyle Softstuff. Send cash at your own risk. Sorry, we're not big enough to take credit cards.



I will take very seriously what users say about my PowerBars; among the features in PowerBar/Write 2.2, the clock toggle, time/date stamps, printer orientation toggle and float/sink shortcut keys began with user suggestions; inPowerBar/Notepad 1.0, several features came from ideas submitted on Prodigy. For future versions, I'd like to know how PowerBar/Notepad fits in with how you work and what you'd like to see on it--or even what you'd like to see off of it.

Do you use PowerBar/Notepad every time you use Notepad? __________________
Have you replaced your Notepad icon with one that launches PowerBar/Notepad? ____________
Have you reassociated your Notepad files with PowerBar/Notepad? __________________
If not, why not? _____________________________________________________________

Did you use Notepad regularly before getting PowerBar/Notepad? __________________
If not, do you (or do you think you will) now? _____________________
Does PowerBar/Notepad answer needs you felt Notepad had before? __________________

Do you like the option defaults:
1) Menu bar clock ON:________
2) AutoSave ON:________
3) AutoSave 5 minutes:________
4) Notepad max on launch:________
5) Bar floating on top:________
6) Bar screen position:________

What features on PowerBar/Notepad do you like best?

Which features do you like least?

Which ones are good, but too numerous? E.g., are there too many AutoSave interval options, or too many time/date stamp options?

What would you like to see added?

What would you like to see left off?

What would you like to see changed, and how?

If you didn't like using PowerBar/Notepad but decided to fill out this survey anyway, why didn't you like using PowerBar/Notepad?

Thanks for the help!

 December 6, 2017  Add comments

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