AscToHTM: Intelligently convert text to HTML

Updates for AscToHTM

This page is used to record the update history of AscToHTM, with the most recent updates listed at the top of the page. In general updates are only available to registered users, who are notified via email as and when updates become available. However they may occasionally fail to get such messages (e.g. if they change address, of if their mail server has temporary problems).

In between updates "micro-releases" may occur with bug fixes and a few new features. Such releases are listed here, and may be downloaded from the same location as the last major release (effectively that file is "refreshed").

If you're a registered user, and you feel you've missed an update notification, simply email with details. If you're not a registered user, but you'd like to be just follow the Registration and pricing link.

Updates to help files and documentation may be listed here. Where these are free to all, direct download links are provided

Note: If you haven't done so before, visit the Vote for AscToHTM! page.

Nov 2004

Version 5.0 is released as a major update, free of charge to all registered users.

Several major new features are added in version 5.0.

  • Ability to fully control table generation. This includes the ability to define alarm states for individual cells in a table, and the ability to represent the data in a column as a series of bar graphs.

  • Ability to tag your own tables for greater accuracy. Ideal for interfacing to software generating the text files which knows the table structure, as this bypasses all of AscToHTM's analysis (world-beating though that is!)

  • Input text manipulation and labelling using "Text commands". Perform text manipulation on the input text to label lines as headings or achieve other affects.

  • Support for non-ASCII character types and character encodings

  • Support for Definition Blocks. Define standard block of text to place into your document at key points (e.g. page footers, disclaimers etc).

  • Support for comma-delimited and tab-delimited tables

Full details are here

Ability to fully control table generation

Oct 2001

Version 4.1 is released, free of charge, to registered users. This version contains

  • Added support for documents using non-ASCII character encoding (such as Chinese, Japanese, Cyrillic etc).

  • Increased font support

  • A new Swedish interface. Many thanks to Dan Sverraby whose web site is at

  • A new "Updates" menu option allows you to go to the web site to check how up to date your version of the program is.

  • A new /TABLE qualifier for the command line interface. This indicates that the entire source file should be treated as a single text table.

  • A new utility A2HDETAG is available to registered users so they can "de-tag" their source files to remove all AscToHTM pre-processor tags, leaving a plain text file fit for publishing, e.g. on Usenet.

Jun 2001

A Micro-release of version 4.03 is released. This fixes a number of small bugs, mostly to do with the newly added FRAMES generation.

May 2001

Version 4.0 is released, free of charge, to registered users. This version contains

  • Support for FRAMES generation. Documents can be split into many page, a contents list placed in the left frame, and user-supplied HTML placed in heder and fooret frames.

  • A new "HTML fragments" feature that allows you to customize the HTML components generated by the software. For example you can replace horizontal rules by images, and create your own navigation bars when splitting large documents.

  • Improved URL parsing, including the abaility to understand "obfuscated" domain names.

  • Support for having lines that begin with particular key words or phrases recognised as headings.

  • Improved handling of Japanese and Chinese characters in files.

You can read the full details in the documentation at

June 2000

Version 3.3 is released, free of charge, to registered users. In addition to the previous 6 micro-releases since version 3.2 this version contains

  • Support for fonts implemented via CSS or the <FONT> tag

  • A new "language skin" feature allows you to load your own translations into the user interface

  • Support for tab-delimited and comma-delimited data being converted into tables

  • A new The Tag Manual to fully document the program's pre-processor.

December 1999

A micro release of version 3.2.06. This version contains the following :-

  • Added support for parsing files with some Mime-encoded quotable strings in them. The new policy Input file contains mime encoding can be found under Analysis->File structure. At present there is some (very limited) auto-detect for this feature.

  • Improved hyperlink parsing. In particular the domain name will be checked to ensure it's plausible using improved algorithms.

  • Stopped "double reporting" of key policy decisions.

November 1999

A micro release of version 3.2.05. This version fixes a couple of reported bugs and adds a number of new options :-

  • Added support for documents with change bars. By default change bars will be stripped out, and the changed text coloured red this behaviour may be changed in later versions. Added the new policy "Input file has change bars" which can be found under Analysis->File Structure.

  • Added support for converting DOS characters. The new policy "Input file contains DOS characters" can be found under Analysis->File Structure.

There is a limited auto-detect of DOS characters when diagrams are present.

  • Changed hyperlink detection to only allow explicit FTP URLs and email addresses that don't start with numbers. These behaviours can be reversed using the new policies "Only allow explicit FTP links" and "Allow email beginning with numbers", both of which are on the Output->Hyperlinks tab.

  • Improved URL and email address validation. In particular I now check the domain name is viable (.com, .edu, etc) and handle better.

  • Improved error handling when writing to full device like a RAM disk or a floppy disk.

  • Now add BORDER=0 attribute to tables. This is a workaround for a bug in Netscape where a gap appears where a border would be when coloured rows are selected.

  • Changed detection of new paragraphs after hanging paragraphs. This fixes an analysis error.

  • Changed the save policy dialog to add the extension ".pol" if omitted

  • More changes on bullet characters, in particular to disallow 'O' (upper case) from becoming a bullet character through analysis. 'o' (lower case may still be. If upper case 'O' is wanted this can still be manually switched on.

  • Increased maximum width allowed in tables to 200 (after encountering a sample at 165). Lines longer than this will be disregarded as candidate table lines.

These changes are available to registered users from the same location as the version 3.2 release.

October 1999

A micro-release of version 3.2.04.

  • This version updates the German user interface.

The OpenVMS version or AscToHTM 3.2 is released

October 1999

A micro-release of version 3.2.03. This included the following :-

  • Introduction of a Portuguese user interface and extension of the Spanish user interface.

  • A small change is made to limit the maximum possible page size detected, and a bug related to mail headers is fixed.

  • Support for IE 3.0 as the browser of choice is added, by allowing the filename rather than file URL to be passed to the browser.

These changes are available to registered users from the same location as the version 3.2 release.

October 1999

Version 3.2 of AscToHTM is released to registered users. You can read about the details of the changes.

July 1999

AscToHTM gets a new home with its very own web site at

  • Preview releases of AscToRTF (the text-to-RTF converter that uses AscToHTM's analysis engine) are now available.

November 1998

A bugfixed version of the Windows help file for V3.0 was released. The version shipped gave "topic not found" whenever F1 was pressed. This is fixed in subsequent releases.

August 1998

Version 3.0 is released with an improved user interface. This was offered as a free upgrade to all registered users. Details of the changes can be read in the on-line documentation.

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