Computing Pages

by Francesc Hervada-Sala


The Universaltext Interpreter

UText is an interpreter for Universaltext written in Perl.

Purpose: A tool to produce written output (e.g. a prose book to be published, a dictionary in both electronic and paper format, a website) that automates logical interdependencies and lets us concentrate on the content and its structure.

Procedure: An author writes the source information in plain text files or in word processor documents. The content structure is provided with an embedded unobtrusive prefix notation or with self-defined formats. You can navigate and query the source text structure either with a UText script or with a Perl script and generate from the same source some documents in different formats that extract all or some part of the contents.

Benefits: The content is logically structured, without redundancies and clear represented, it is written and updated comfortably in separate files, input and output can be anytime reorganized easily, the rendering into HTML, doc, PDF etc. is being defined by the transformations applied to the source text and does not require manual work.

Status: The system can now be used by a person with programming skills, I do use it regularly and it works. The UText kernel is stable, parsing and querying are reliable.


Here is a short demo of the interactive shell. The contents of a book are read, some articles and paragraphs are selected and transformed.

Watch this video on YouTube


The Manual describes the UText structure and its interpreter.


Notes on this software, evaluation, future developments.


Last version (Aug 19th, 2015): UText v. 1.2.15 (for Windows)

Brief History

2011-08 / 2015-08 Some enhancements and bugfixes [more]

2010-08 v1.2. New: Script language, interactive shell, add-in modules

2010-02 Generating a complex website and LaTeX books

2009-06 v1.1 New: Selectors, output processors, cms module, manual

2009-02/03 Bugfixes and small enhancements

2009-01 Applied to more web sites with parallel PDF generation

2008-09/12 Bugfixes and small enhancements

2008-03 v1.0 First published on

2007-03 Productive usage on a real web site begins

2005-11 Major rewrite. Alternate parsers introduced. Bugs fixed

2005-03 Cursor navigation introduced

2004-09 Created

For details see the file ”changelog“ in the distribution package.

Universaltext Interpreter. Copyright © 2004-2013 Francesc Hervada-Sala. All rights reserved. This programm is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.

If you are interested in text file generation, you might be interested in these projects:

Almost Free Text —

Gelatin —

Universalt Text Generator —

Print Contact






Brief History



Project Universal Text




Text Engine

Text Repository

Text Server

Text Workbench

Text OS

Design Documents


Universal Text Language

UTL Syntax

UTL Name System




On Text Structure