CiderPress II

Viewing Files

The file viewer can display the contents of a file read from a file archive or disk image in various forms. Two basic conversion modes, plain text and hex dump, are available for all types of files. The converted output usually appears in the Data Fork tab.

The Plain Text converter does its best to display the contents of the file as text. Control characters can be converted to Unicode "control pictures" or dumped in their raw state (which is reasonable when exporting to a file but not recommended for the internal file viewer). Some control characters, such as carriage return and newline, are converted to the local end-of-line character. You can specify the character set to use with the radio buttons, choosing whether the source is high/low ASCII (e.g. DOS 3.3), Mac OS Roman (e.g. HFS), or ISO Latin-1 (e.g. documentation in a ZIP archive).

The Hex Dump converter displays the contents as hex values, 16 per line, with printable values shown in a column on the right. Control characters are replaced with a dot glyph. The character set can be chosen from the usual set.

Files with a resource fork will have a text dump of the contents available in the Resource Fork tab.

The Notes tab will be enabled if the file converter found something of interest. This could be comments embedded in the file, information about the file format, or complaints about errors found during processing.

The arrow buttons at the left and right sides of the window can be used to move to adjacent files. If you selected multiple files before opening the file viewer, only those files will be available to view. If only one file was selected, the buttons will move between all files that were shown in the file list panel.


Many files will have a specific conversion available. Word processor documents, spreadsheets, and graphical images can be converted to a more modern format. There are four types of output:

  1. Simple text. Exports as .TXT.
  2. Fancy text. Text with formatting, such as changes to font size, style, and color. Exports as .RTF.
  3. Cell grid. Used for spreadsheets and some database files, including random-access text files on DOS 3.3 disks. Exports as .CSV.
  4. Bitmap. Used for anything graphical. Exports as .PNG.

Technically there is a fifth type, "host image", which is used for GIF, JPEG, and PNG files. These can be displayed directly by the Windows application, so there's no need to convert them first. For .pdf, .rtf, and Word documents identified by HFS file type, the file will be extracted to a temporary file and displayed with the system's default handler for the .pdf, .rtf, or .doc filename extension.

The set of conversions that can be applied to a file are determined automatically, and placed in the Conversion pop-up menu. They will be sorted by applicability, with the best option at the top (clicking the Best button selects the top item in the list). Selecting a new conversion causes the contents to be reformatted and displayed.

A conversion may have options associated with it. For example, Plain Text allows you to select the character encoding, while Apple II Hi-Res Image has a checkbox that selects black & white or color. The options you select are temporary, unless you click the Save As Default Configuration button, which will save them in the settings file as the file viewer default.

When viewing a text file, the Find box will be available. This allows you to search forward or backward through the text for a simple text string.

When viewing a bitmap, the Graphics Zoom slider will be available. This scales the image in the viewer, allowing you to zoom in on part of an image.

The Open Raw button only affects DOS 3.3 files. It allows files with types T, I, A, and B to be opened as a series of 256-byte sectors, so you can see the file headers and the data stored past the declared end of file. Selecting this is usually required for random-access text files, which will ordinarily appear truncated or empty. When this is checked, some of the standard file viewers won't work, e.g. you won't be able to get a formatted listing of an Applesoft BASIC program because the file now starts with an additional header.

Copy and Export

Converted files can be exported directly from the file viewer. There are two ways to do this.

Clicking the Export button opens a file save dialog. A filename, based on the file being viewed and the conversion type, will be filled in as the default value. Select a location for the file and click Save.

Clicking the Copy button copies the file to the system clipboard. It can be pasted directly into other applications. For fancy text documents, the conversion will be available as both plain text and formatted text, allowing the receiving program to pick whichever is best suited.

It's also possible to select a range of text in the viewer window and copy that to the clipboard with Ctrl+C.

The export will reflect the current state of the file viewer. Whichever converter and options you have chosen will be used when generating the output file. If you have selected the Resource Fork or Notes tab, the contents of that tab will be exported.

The only exception to this is that the Graphics Zoom setting is ignored. Graphics are always exported at the base resolution.