Document Pane

The document pane displays the input file's layout, including spaces, field separators, and control characters. The input file's appearance in the document pane is determined, in part, by its format.

This section covers the following topics:

Example - .txt Files

Stylus Studio uses slightly different displays for character-separated and fixed-width .txt files. Consider this file, which uses commas as the field separator:

Moto Guzzi,LeMans,2001,12393


Figure 162 shows how this character-separated input file appears in the Convert to XML Editor's document pane. By default, Stylus Studio aligns columns and fills the empty cells of the shorter rows with a light blue to aid readability:

Figure 162. Character-Separated File in the Convert to XML Document Pane

You can remove these spaces from the display and view the file in its native format by clicking the Align Fields button ( ) on the tool bar, or by selecting Convert to XML > Align Fields on the menu. This results in the layout shown in Figure 163.

Figure 163. Character-Separated File without Aligned Fields

Fixed-width files are displayed in a slightly different fashion. Consider this fixed-width input file:

Deep-sea octopus      Bathypolypus arcticus        
Blue-ringed octopus   Hapalochlaena lunulata       
Caribbean reef octopusOctopus briareus         
Giant octopus         Octopus dofleini          
Common octopus        Octopus vulgaris
Red octopus           Octopus rubescens        
Octopus Salutii       Octopus salutii       
Octopus Macropus      Octopus macropus 


In a fixed-width file, the empty cells represent actual values (spaces) in the input file. In the second row of this input file, for example, there are three spaces between the first and second columns:

Figure 164. Fixed-Width File in the Convert to XML Document Pane

Display of Delimiting and Control Characters

Stylus Studio displays delimiting and control characters in a way that distinguishes them from plain text values.

  • Delimiting characters, like the comma used in the example in Figure 162, are displayed with a dark blue background. For files that include sub-fields or arrays (like EDI, for example), the sub-field separator character is shown in a different shade of blue. Sub-sub-fields delimiting characters are shown in a shade of purple.
  • Control characters (line feeds and carriage returns, for example) are shown using their abbreviated ASCII value. A carriage return (0x0D) line feed (0x0A) is shown as , for example. ASCII abbreviations are aligned vertically, to preserve space, as shown in this representation of the ASCII value for tab (0x09): .

Stylus Studio understands all Unicode characters,. When editing Line-Oriented Region and Field Name values in the Properties window, you can enter mnemonic values for the C1 and C0 control characters in the following ranges:

  • C0 control characters with a value from >= 0x00 to <= 0x1F
  • C1 control characters with a value from >=0x80 to <= 0x9F

For example, you could enter TAB or HT in the Field Separator field in the Properties window, and Stylus Studio would correctly interpret that value. For a list of commonly used control characters, see Specifying Control Characters.

  • Characters that are discarded from output (like line terminators such as CR and LF and comment lines) are displayed against a gray background.

You can hide control characters by clicking the Toggle Control Characters button ( ) on the tool bar, or by selecting ConvertToXML > Toggle Control Characters from the menu.

Field Names

User-defined field names - values that Stylus Studio uses to create the element names in converted XML - are displayed in green, as shown here:

Figure 165. User-defined Field Names are Shown in Green

You can edit these names

  • In-place, by double-clicking the field name
  • In the Field Element Name field of the Properties window

If the field names are taken from a row within the file itself, Stylus Studio displays a blue arrow in the document pane margin to indicate this.

Figure 166. Blue Arrow Indicates Field Names Taken from the File

See Naming Fields to learn more about naming fields for XML output by Convert to XML converters.

Document Pane Display Features

In addition to aligning fields in character-delimited files, the Convert to XML Editor's document pane has several other features that aid readability.


You can display a ruler that identifies each column:

Figure 167. Ruler Helps Identify Columns

To display the ruler, click the Toggle Ruler button ( ) on the tool bar, or select ConvertToXML > Toggle Ruler from the menu.

Displaying Pattern Matches

You can define match patterns using regular expressions to control which rows are converted to XML and, optionally, the name to use for these rows. You can highlight rows that match the patterns that you have defined, as shown here:

Figure 168. Matching Rows Are Displayed in Yellow

To highlight matching rows, click the Highlight Matching Rows button ( ) on the tool bar, or select ConvertToXML > Highlight Matching Rows from the menu.

Matching rows are displayed in light yellow, with a green check in the pane's margin. A red X identifies rows that do not match the current pattern. Gray squares identify rows that match a pattern other than the pattern defined for the row that currently has focus. See Specifying Multiple Match Patterns for more information on this feature.



Only rows that match the same pattern that the current row matches are highlighted. Also, tooltips appear when you hover the pointer over the match symbols. These tooltips display the pattern that the row matches.

See Pattern Matching to learn more about using regular expressions to define match patterns.

Grid Lines

The document pane displays both vertical and horizontal lines by default; you can hide/show them independently. In the example shown in Figure 169, horizontal lines are hidden from the display:

Figure 169. You Can Hide Horizontal and Vertical Grid Lines

To hide horizontal and vertical grid lines, click the Toggle Horizontal Grid Lines ( ) and/or Toggle Vertical Grid Lines ( ) buttons on the tool bar, or select ConvertToXML > Toggle Horizontal Grid Lines and/or Toggle Vertical Grid Lines from the menu.



Hiding horizontal lines while displaying the ruler is an effective way to quickly scan columns.


By default, the input document is displayed using the Courier New font in 12pt. You can change the display font to suit your personal preference using the Edit > Change Font and Edit > Font Size menus.

Moving Around the Document

You can move the cursor around the document using

  • The Space bar on your keyboard
  • The directional arrows and Page Up, Page Down, Home, and End keys on your keyboard
  • Your mouse (click on the character on which you want to place the cursor)
  • The Go To dialog box

Figure 170. Use the Go To Dialog Box to Navigate the Document

Using Go To

You use the Go To dialog box to jump to a specific location in the file you are using to create your converter. You can use it to move the cursor to a specific

  • Position in the file
  • Region
  • Position or row within a region
  • Column within the current row

When you first display the Go To dialog box, values in the Go To fields reflect the cursor's current location within the file. The values in the Maximum fields display the maximum values for each category (file size, number of regions, and so on) for the portion of the file read into the Convert to XML Editor by Stylus Studio.

To display the Go To dialog box, select Edit > Go To from the menu.
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