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A fairly powerful text-mode editor introduced in 1991 for DOS as a sort of an low budget shareware alternative to BRIEF, initially modelling most if not all of its functions on that editor and came in a standard DOS edition known simply as BOXER, the name is a bit of a in-joke, BRIEF was made by a company called Underware, and Boxer is another style of men's underwear, as far as we known there is no text editor out there called Y-Front.

One of the main problems with the early versions of BOXER was that it had no support for virtual memory and could thus only open up files that were small enough to fit into available conventional memory otherwise Boxer would just exit. As you edited the file the buffers and macrospaces grew bigger which meant that the available memory became less and less, in extreme cases making the application crash. The company promised a fix for this and supplied a utility that split the larger files into smaller parts but actually never developed a virtual memory capable version of the program. With version 5 of the application they started to a new higher priced version that fixed this by allowing you to use larger memory, the BOXER/TKO version came with a memory extender that worked on 286 and newer machines. With version 6 of the program the company also started to offer BOXER/OS2, a port of Boxer to OS/2 2.0 or higher that used the 386 flat memory model.

As a straight DOS port the BOXER/OS2 product was never really a good OS/2 citizen, it prints to a LPT port like a DOS program rather than through the OS/2 print mechanisms so each printer has to have a driver, clipboards are not supported, long file names and cases are only correctly supported in the very last release of the program (7.5c). It is not windowed unlike the original DOS versions, all open files are displayed in the same window so you will have to open multiple instances to view multiple files and so on, this also means that the only unique feature of the DOS version, synchronised window scrolling, is not available.

In many ways the BOXER/TKO was a better fit for running under OS/2 than the OS/2 version itself, not only does the memory extender work in OS/2 but features missing from the OS/2 version like windowed operation and extended screens are present, and that version even had automatic sensing of replacement ANSI.SYS programs like UltraVison, which allowed you to use huge column widths in OS/2. The company released an MS Windows version called Boxer 99 in 1999 and stopped all development of the OS/2 and DOS versions that same year although they remained for sale for a few years after.

Note that while BOXER strived for BRIEF compatibility it supports neither of the macro languages that BRIEF came with and in fact has no macro language support at all with the exception of a rudimentary keyboard buffer recording and playback.


  • Jul 1997: 7.5c
Note that OS/2 versions prior to this one are not fully compatible with long filenames and cases under OS/2, i.e. only upper case 8.3 file names are written by the editor and longer names may be truncated.
  • Latest BOXER/TKO and BOXER/DOS versions: 7.5a - 1997

Language Support

  • English - Built in.
  • German - Separate download.

Syntax highlighting

Screenshot from Boxer 7.5c


Ada, ASPECT (Procomm & Procomm Plus scripting language), Assembly language for: 80x86 and AT&T DSP32SL; AutoCAD DCL, AUTOSIG Script Language, Basic, Batch files for: DOS, 4DOS and 4OS2; BRexx, C, C++, Clipper, Cobol, COMMO Script Language, dBase, DOS CONFIG.SYS, EIFFEL, FORTRAN, FoxPro, GML (IPF), HTML, Windows INI Files, Java, LaTeX, LISP, Make files, Modula-2, OPL, OzCIS Script Language, PAL (Borland Paradox), PAL-Edit, Pascal, Perl, PPL (PC Board v15), PROGRESS, QBasic, Q-MODEM Script Language, Resource files, REXX, Robocomm Script Language, SALT (Telix), SIMPLE (SALT), TAPCIS, Telemate Script Language, Microsoft Visual Basic and xBase.


Assembly language for Microchip 16C715, Mitsubishi 37451, PL/M-51 and 8051; CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), Dataflex, Ground Control, JavaScript, KiXtart version 2001, MivaScript, Oracle SQL, PHP, Progress v8, Python, Ruby, Spacecraft Control Language, Tcl/Tk, TOS (Cisco), VBScript and WinBatch.

These are all separate downloads that were available from the Boxer Software homepage, the current version has a lots of more contributed syntax highlighting files but it is not known if they are compatible with the OS/2 & DOS versions.

Macro support

  • No Macro language but simply an editable keyboard recording macro function.
  • REXX is not supported.

Keyboard mappings

  • Built in: BOXER (DOS), BOXER (CUA), Borland IDE, Brief, EPM, Lugaru Epsilon, MS Word, Multi-Edit, Norton, PFS:Write, QEdit, VDE, WordPerfect, and WordStar.
  • You can add your own.


  • Commercial software - Discontinued.
  • The BOXER/DOS version retailed for USD 35, later upped to 55.
  • The BOXER/TKO and BOXER/OS2 versions retailed for USD 95, later lowered to 89.





  • David Hamel
  • Boxer Software
P.O. Box 14545
AZ 85267
Tel: +1 602 485 1635.