where do I find a list of control characters like Bold, centred

Asked by rpalmer47@gmail.com

I have files made on a Canon Starwriter 85 I need to change the control character for Centred, Bold, Underlined to the one s for Open Office, How do I find a list? I know that \n is line feed \t is tab

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Tony Pursell
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marcus aurelius (adbiz) said :

what exactly are you trying to do?

i google starwriter 85 and it appears to be a printer. however, canon's website doesn't list such a device. if it's a printer, the printer driver handles things like bolding, underlining, etc.

what are these "files" that you have "made on a canon starwriter"? is it a word processing program?

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rpalmer47@gmail.com (rpalmer47) said :

Cannon Starwriter was a word processor/printer sold in late b1980's and 1990's I have a large number of files created on this machine and I want to make them readable under Open Office / ubuntu

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marcus aurelius (adbiz) said :

getting something like that to work on today's computer is going to be difficult. there were lots of different systems like that in the 80s (i.e. AES, Phillips, Xerox, Wang) and none of them were compatible with each other. let alone, they each had their own operating system and disk format. All of tme created text files.

there probably isn't anything you can do, because i strongly doubt they had any way of transferring the files outside the system. you'd be lucky if you found a 8" floppy anywhere. and it's not something that's used today.

probably the only thing you can do is print the documents, then scan them and use ocr to convert them.

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rpalmer47@gmail.com (rpalmer47) said :

The files were saved on a 3 +12 inch disc and I had lots of trouble reading them, and some I cannot. I could not do it under Vista but Linux Mepis has brought up some of them, but they come up as a stream of text with formatting characters like ##u##. By experiment I can find what they mean in most cases, I can find them but need the control characters to replace them with under open office, eg for Bold, underlined and centred. It seems that they have a tendancy to turn into Binary files if I save them to DVD. I can inly use Flash memories, which is a nuisance.
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marcus aurelius (adbiz) said :

floppy disks tend to lose their magnetic coating over time, so that's why you can only retreive some of the files and not others. the ones you can't read are kaput.

looks like the system was based on unix then, and had the filesystem that unix used.

no, you don't need to know what the codes are. seeing that they're text files, just import them into writer in openoffice. and where ever you see ##u##, you can highlight the word and underline it, then at the end, do a search and replace to delete the ##u##.

i'm not sure if you can do a find and replace to replace occurrences of ##u## with underlining in writer, but you can do it with wordperfect.

looks like it's a project for some rainy day, week, or monsoon season :D

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Best Tony Pursell (ajpursell) said :

You might be able to do it with Find & Replace. You will need to click on More Options and enable Regular expressions. Click on Help and follow the link to Regular Expressions to find out how they work.

For instance, if bold text is bounded by ##b## at the start and end of a bold string, put this in 'Search for'


and this in 'Replace with'


Then before you hit Replace or Replace All, make sure your cursor is in the Replace With box and click on Format. Set Font, Typeface (Bold in this case) and Size as required on the Font tab. You would set things like underlining on the Font Effects tab. All the replacement text is set to whatever you specify in the Text Format (Replace) dialogue. There are no 'control characters' that you use.

Good luck!


PS If this answers your question, please mark it as Solved

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rpalmer47@gmail.com (rpalmer47) said :

Thank you, your answer is correct but it is very difficult to do, in practice because it is hard to find out which control code eg ##U## refers to what. Your way of changing font , cursor in replace box and click Format, also works and is very clever. Many, many thanks. I am intrigued to know how you, Tony, got my question?