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Old 10-07-2007, 05:01 PM   #12
ericbsmith
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Binghamton, NY, USA. Near the river Styx in the 5th Circle.
Default Re: GCA4 FAQ - GURPS Character Assistant 4 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: So you say the files GCA uses are plain text. What does it take to edit the files? What issues should I be aware of?

A: Any text editing program can open, edit, and save the files. Windows comes with Notepad and WordPad, which can be useful for most purposes. Be wary of using word processing suites, such as Microsoft Word, to edit these files. Word processors often have auto-formatting, auto-correction, and other features built into them that will insert non-standard characters or correct punctuation formatting to be grammatically correct, but will be incompatible with GCA. If, for some reason, you do use a word processor make sure to turn off these auto- features.

Editing GCA Data Files (.gdf) will be discussed in further detail below; normally you will not want or need to edit GCA Character files (.gca4). GCA Character Sheet files (.gcs) are written in VBScript, so if you know how to program with VBScript you will be able to modify and write these. If not, you would need to learn (I'm told that VBScript is an extremely easy programming language to learn).

If you wish to modify the official files it is best to do so by saving them under a different name. The official files are prime candidates to be overwritten by future updates.

When saving a new file for the first time (or an existing file under a new name) you should always use the Save As command so you can specify the file extension - .gdf for Data Files or .gcs for Character Sheets. That is, you would specify the name to be something like My File.gdf

You also want to make sure to always save in plain text format (Text Document within WordPad). If you save in Word, Rich Text, or any other format besides plain text, GCA will not be able to read the file and will give you errors if you try to load it in GCA. Whenever possible you will want to save in UTF-8 (without BOM) encoding; in Notepad there is an encoding option below the file name in the Save As dialog.

Last edited by ericbsmith; 08-19-2017 at 10:18 AM.
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