Text Files

This section summarizes I/O using file variables of the standard type Text.

When a text file is opened, the external file is interpreted in a special way: It is considered to represent a sequence of characters formatted into lines, where each line is terminated by an end-of-line marker (a carriage-return character, possibly followed by a line feed character). The type Text is distinct from the type file of Char.

For text files, there are special forms of Read and Write that let you read and write values that are not of type Char. Such values are automatically translated to and from their character representation. For example, Read(F, I), where I is a type Integer variable, reads a sequence of digits, interprets that sequence as a decimal integer, and stores it in I.

There are two standard text file variables, Input and Output. The standard file variable Input is a readonly file associated with the operating system's standard input (typically, the keyboard). The standard file variable Output is a write-only file associated with the operating system's standard output (typically, the display). Before an application begins executing, Input and Output are automatically opened, as if the following statements were executed:

AssignFile(Input, ''); Reset(Input); AssignFile(Output, ''); Rewrite(Output);

Note: For Win32 applications, text-oriented I/O is available only in console applications, that is, applications compiled with the Generate console application option checked on the Linker page of the Project Options dialog box or with the -cc command-line compiler option. In a GUI (non-console) application, any attempt to read or write using Input or Output will produce an I/O error.

Some of the standard I/O routines that work on text files don't need to have a file variable explicitly given as a parameter. If the file parameter is omitted, Input or Output is assumed by default, depending on whether the procedure or function is input- or output-oriented. For example, Read(X) corresponds to Read(Input, X) and Write(X) corresponds to Write(Output, X).

If you do specify a file when calling one of the input or output routines that work on text files, the file must be associated with an external file using AssignFile, and opened using Reset, Rewrite, or Append. An error occurs if you pass a file that was opened with Reset to an output-oriented procedure or function. An error also occurs if you pass a file that was opened with Rewrite or Append to an input-oriented procedure or function.

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