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Free Software for Programmers

If you don't find what you are looking for here, also look under Downloads.  If you are looking for tips, click these links (a new window will open – just close it to return here):  Excel Tips, Microsoft Word Tips, Microsoft Access Tips, Maximizer Tips, Tips on Windows and other Programs.  For code samples, click here: Excel Programming Tips.
The following programs are either of general use or specific to programmers of Visual Basic, QuickBasic, or TransEra High Tech Basic (HTBasic) / Hewlett Packard "Rocky Mountain" Basic. All may be downloaded free of charge.

In the case of Shareware, if you find the program useful, we ask for a small contribution (shown below in Rand (R) if you are in Southern Africa (a SADC country), otherwise in US$). You may pay by cheque, Postal or Money Order (postal address here), or by Credit Card.

If it's not labelled "Shareware", it's CareWare.  CareWare is free, but we ask that in return you do something to improve the planet:  You decide what and how much.  Some suggestions:  Give away something you've created; help someone else; watch an hour less television; plant a tree; say encouraging words to young people, make them feel welcome on Earth (many do not)...  More about CareWare.

File Type: DOS programs will all run from the DOS prompt (Command Prompt) on Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000/XP unless otherwise indicated. Windows programs will run on Windows 95/98/NT/ME/2000/XP. Visual Basic source code can be compiled on Visual Basic 5 and 6 unless otherwise indicated.  Excel files require Microsoft Excel 2000 or later.

Installation Instructions:

Windows programs are zipped. Unzip the file to a suitable folder (e.g. C:\Temp ) and run Setup.exe.
To get WinZip, click here.

DOS programs: Copy the EXE to a suitable folder and run from there. For help, just enter the program name at the DOS prompt. To get the DOS prompt from Windows click Start > Run, enter cmd [OK].



All programs and code are supplied "as is" and without warranty of any kind. Under no circumstances will Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd trading as Software Africa or any of its staff accept liability resulting from the use of, or the inability to use, these programs.  If you find any bugs, please tell us.

To start downloading, click the program name below:

& Link

File Type


Size & Price (if any)

Visual Basic Programming tools for Windows:

FlagChanges Version 1.7


Add a comment with your initials and the date to the end of changed lines of code, so that your changes are recorded within the program.  Wrap lines to a given number of characters (useful for e-mails).  Also comment and uncomment lines and connect to web site / send e-mail.

1.4 MB (zipped)

Shareware (R25 / $25)*



Suite of three programs to replace text in files:  (1) RiRep - text files, (2) RiRepBin - binary files, (3) RiRepFile - Text files using change list from a text file.

1.8 MB (zipped)


RiReplace Source

VB Source code #

Visual Basic 6.0 Source Code for the RiReplace suite above, 14 April 2006.

11 KB (zipped)


VB Resource File Tool for Excel Excel with macros This spreadsheet allows you control over your Visual Basic 6.0 String Resource File for language localisation.  Maintain the list in Excel (with changes flagged and dated), write it to a Tab-delimited file using the Ctrl+Shift+T macro, then use the great free program Translator's Advanced Resource Converter (TARC) from resourcemining.com to convert the text file into a RES file! 98 KB


General Tools for Windows



Windows File-Matching Utility.   Compare two folders, automatically mark newer files, user may change selection, copy files in either direction.  Version 1.8 of 8 March 2006 allows file lists to be output to a Tab-delimited file for use in Excel, and has code for setting the scroll bar on a list box.

1. 7 MB (zipped)

Shareware (R25 / $25)*

Quotation System page

Excel with macros

Excel spreadsheet for producing general small business quotations. You can enter your own price lists. Output can be personalized with your company name and details.

818 KB (zipped)

Free.  Register (also free) to personalize the output.

DOS Tools, but still useful!


DOS (not NT/2000)

Compare date/times and sizes of files with the same names on two paths.  Optionally make batch file to COPY later files to the other path.  For a Windows version, see WinMatch below.

73 KB zipped to 44 KB

Shareware (R25 / $25)



Convert a file SAVED in HTBasic to DOS ASCII format for editing with a text editor.

39 KB zipped to 28 KB
Shareware (R25 / $25)



Renumber lines in program code Text file (for Visual Basic, QuickBasic or HTBasic (DOS ASCII file format)).

52 KB zipped to 36 KB

Shareware (R25 / $25)



View a binary file as Text/Decimal/Hex.  Move forwards and backwards, find, mark and copy selected parts to another file.

66 KB zipped to 43 KB

Shareware (R25 / $25)



Split a large ASCII text file into smaller files for easy editing (e.g. with E.exe below).

45 KB zipped to 33 KB

Shareware (R25 / $25)



Split a large Binary (program, etc.) file into smaller files for zipping or to fit a diskette.

44 KB zipped to 32 KB
Shareware (R25 / $25)



Read and explain printer file written for a Hewlett Packard PCL-5 printer (e.g. HP LaserJet 4).  For debugging printing etc.

67 KB zipped to 44 KB

Shareware (R25 / $25)



Very versatile Block Text Editor with Find/Replace, macro capabilities etc.  (Origins unknown, as far as we know it may be distributed free of charge)

77 KB zipped to 38 KB



Text file

Help file for E.exe (also see quick reference card below).

16 KB zipped to 4 KB

EQuickRef TIFF file

Quick Reference Card for E.exe: All popular keys, functions, and tips.

61 KB zipped to 55 KB
Shareware (R10 / $10)




Interactive prompt for Batch files.  v1.01.  Written by Raymond Leach.
Usage: ASK "<prompt>"
Sets ERRORLEVEL=2 if user answers N.  See AskDemo.bat

13 KB zipped to 8 KB


* Source code# is available separately for these programs at double the Shareware price.

# All Source code is made available subject to the following conditions:

1. The code may not be used to develop competing products offered free, for sale or as Shareware.
2. Developments of the code must be returned to Communication in Action (Pty) Ltd (rick@softwareafrica.co.za) who may, with due acknowledgement but no payment, incorporate the changes into new editions of their programs.

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