VFP2Text v3

by Frank Perez May 26, 2014

Back in 2008 the first version of VFP2Text was initially released. I was immediately surprised by how many people liked it. Sometimes an idea seems really cool to you, but it's hard to gauge what others will think.

For the sake of those who are new, Beyond Compare is a tool for comparing folders and files. VFP2Text is an add-on utility for Beyond Compare that allows Beyond Compare to perform comparisons on Microsoft FoxPro binary files (DBC, DBF, FRX, SCX, and VCX).

Three years later, VFP2Text v2 was released which added support for Beyond Compare v3 and a couple of minor adjustments. At that time I attempted to add Merge capabilities, but I was never able to get it to work well. Which explains why I never blogged about VFP2Text v2.

After six years of near silence, I'm proud to release the next major version of VFP2Text with some very cool features.

  • Installation Program
  • Update Beyond Compare Settings
  • Human Readable
  • Deleted Records
  • Caching
  • Digitally Signed

Installation Program

VFP2Text now includes a real installation program. The installation program will automatically locate the folder where Beyond Compare is installed and then install VFP2Text into a sub-folder.

Update Beyond Compare Settings

VFP2Text can now automatically update the Beyond Compare File Formats. This simplifies the setup process and makes getting started with VFP2Text easier.

Human Readable

The previous versions of VFP2Text used the CURSORTOXML() function to convert FoxPro binaries to XML. XML was chosen because it is very easy and fast to create, and XML automatically handled MEMO fields.

One of the problems with the XML format is that Table Structure was very verbose and difficult to read.

Another problem with the XML format is that it converted special characters, such as the lessor than and greater than signs.

VFP2Text v3 manually converts every field to plain text in a custom format that is easier to read.

VFP2Text v3 includes the entire table structure (code page, fields, indexes, database name, and etc).

VFP2Text v3 automatically handles special characters.

Deleted Records

The previous versions of VFP2Text ignored deleted records. This made sense for FoxPro source code (e.g. FRX, SCX, and VCX) files, but was not always the desired behaviour for DBF files.

VFP2Text v3 includes deleted records when DBF files are processed.


FoxPro binary files mostly come in pairs. For example, a Report consists of a FRX and a FRT file, whereas a Form consists of a SCX file and a SCT file. Because there is no way for VFP2Text to know which file in a pair will get passed to it (sometimes both, sometimes just one), VFP2Text has to perform the conversion process for either file in a set. That is why the File Formats has multiple extensions.

VFP2Text v3 saves time by caching the last 30 seconds of conversions. For example, once the CDX has been converted to plain text, VFP2Text uses the cache for the corresponding DBF and FPT files.

Digitally Signed

The VFP2Text.EXE and Setup*.EXE files are now digitally signed.

Download VFP2Text http://pfsolutions-mi.com/Product/VFP2Text
Scooter Software Beyond Compare http://www.scootersoftware.com/


Filed Under: VFP | VFP2Text

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About Frank

Frank lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan with his wife and three children.  When he is not writing code, he enjoys long distance running and riding his motorcycle.

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