Programmer's File Editor
Better known as simply PFE, the Programmer's File Editor is a fairly simple freeware Microsoft Windows programmer's editor that has an avid cult following even though the program has not seen an update since 1999, with a small number of OS/2 users running the Windows 3.x version as a WinOS/2 task, but it is also available in a 32 bit version.
Although the software had a number of innovative features in its day, understanding what exactly makes it worthwhile today is not all that easy, but it may be that in addition to inertia and the relative simplicity of the tool, that it has a few nifty features where it senses what sort of file it is dealing with before it opens it and that may be a real time saver for some people.
PFE has no macro language or support for the use of external language for such use, but it does have a fairly good keyboard recording, playback and macro editing support and allows the use of external batch files for processing input, output or to control external programs such as compilers etc. It also has a rather unique automation feature in that it allows the external processing of a text file by another program, the output of which PFE then automatically opens up in another window, but as PFE lacks parsing features such as diff this is not as useful as it might seem at first.
Unusually the editor does not parse the files that it edits, this means that it is faster than most programmers editors at opening and closing files and in theory means it can handle files as large as virtual memory is available to it, although in practice it has some problems with very large files. But at the same time it means it does not have and will never have any feature that require parsing such as diff, syntax highlighting and so on.
- Last known version: 1.01 in variants for 16 and 32-bit Windows on x86 hardware, older 0.7x versions support Windows NT PowerPC as well.
- Alan Phillips
- David Mertz: A review of PFE (2000)
License and availability
- Closed source freeware, available from the author's homepage.