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Add powerful new text formatting options to almost any application with Dolphin Text Editor Menu

06 February 2012, Mike Williams

If you occasionally need to format a text document in advanced ways, perhaps adding line numbers or sorting its lines alphabetically, then your first thought might be to find and install a programmer’s editor. But these can be expensive, and complex, leaving you with a whole new editing interface to learn.

A better idea might be to install Dolphin Text Editor Menu. The program runs in the background, ready to work with virtually any application where you can enter text: Notepad, Wordpad, Word, Excel, Visual Studio, browsers and more. So you can use your preferred application as normal, then when you need some advanced option, just select the text you’d like to format, press Dolphin’s hotkey (Ctrl+Num Pad 0 by default) and the program’s menu will pop up.

Add new text formatting features to Notepad, Word, Visual Studio, websites and more

The functions on offer here are fairly basic, but provide most of the core functionality you’d expect. There are tools to add numbers or text to the beginning or end of lines, for instance. The program can sort lines in various ways. And you’re able to remove blank lines, duplicate lines, leading or trailing spaces, and so on.

Dolphin also provides various options to change the case of your selected text. It can clean up text by removing hidden formatting, HTML or BBCode tags, say. And assorted other miscellaneous options will do everything from split up paragraphs into separate sentences, to count the words, lines and characters you’ve selected.

What you don’t get here are the more advanced programmer’s editor-type features, such as syntax highlighting or regular expression find and replace: Dolphin is more about covering the essentials. It does this well, however, is supremely convenient (it can even be installed to a USB stick for running anywhere) and free for personal use (commercial licences are $5), so it seems impolite to complain.

If you do think of ways in which Dolphin Text Editor Menu could be improved, though, the developer points out that the program is “being actively developed, so any requests for additional functionality will be seriously considered”. Pass on your thoughts at Animal Software’s forum.

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