Transferring ADR Cues - Part 2

Following on from my previous post explaining the background on how text files work, here I will go into examples of how to manage text files and prepare them for import into EdiCue.

Working with text files

The following scenarios are performed in OS X, however the same principles apply to applications that run in Windows. Here we use the OS X applications TextWrangler (freeware app) and Microsoft Excel to check and modify our ADR cue data text files.

How do I check or modify the Text Encoding of a text file?

To check what the Text Encoding of a file is, load the file into TextWrangler either by dropping the file onto the application icon in the dock, or select its File > Open menu item and select automatic for 'Read as'. The encoding of the text file is displayed in the document's status bar.

TextWrangler displaying the current Text Encoding

To change the encoding, simply select a different option from the encoding popup menu in the document's status bar and save the file.

How do I check or modify the Line Ending character of a text file?

To check what the Line Ending character of a file is, load the text file into TextWrangler. The Line Ending character used in the file is shown in the document's status bar.

TextWrangler displaying the current Line Ending character

 To change this, simply select a new option from the menu and save the file.

To see where each Line Ending character is in the text, select the menu item View > Text Display > Show Invisibles. Each Line Ending character will now be displayed as a ⌝ character.

How do I check or modify the Field Delimiter character of a text file?

To check what the Field Delimiter character of a file is, load the text file into TextWrangler. If not already shown, show invisible characters by selecting the menu item View > Text Display > Show Invisibles. Now look through the text and check for a tab, comma or semi-colon character between each field. In TextWrangler a tab character is shown as a △ character.

Sample ADR cues showing tab delimiters and line ending characters

To change the delimiter character for the whole file, select Search > Find to find the existing character and replace it with the required character.

How do I add a field or modify an existing field for all ADR Cues in a text file?

The simplest way to modify the fields of a delimited text file is to open the file in a spreadsheet app like Microsoft Excel.

Load the text file via the File > Open menu item so that the Text Import Wizard is displayed. Step through the wizard selecting the correct line ending character, delimiter character and select 'General' for all columns. 

Once loaded, columns can be added by selecting the column header and selecting Insert, or the contents of a column can be changed for all records using standard copy/paste commands. 

Sample ADR cues changing the character name to 'Susan'

Once changes are complete, select File > Save As and select the required format.

If your text file is tab-delimited, an alternative way of opening and saving the text file in Excel is to copy and paste the text directly to and from TextWrangler.

With your text file open in TextWrangler, copy all text to the clipboard, then in Excel paste the text to the top left cell of an empty spreadsheet. Once editing is complete simply copy all cells in Excel and paste into a new document in TextWrangler – making sure you set the correct text encoding and line ending character before saving.

The advantage of loading data to and from Excel using this method is you aren't limited by the text encoding and line ending options provided by Excel. This will also avoid the problem where Excel can add double quote characters at the start and end of text fields.

How do I prepare my ADR Cue text file for import into EdiCue?

EdiCue can import ADR Cue data from tab, comma and semi-colon delimited text files. The data for each record must be placed on its own line (and only on one line). Exporting the field names in the first line of the file will make it easier to align the fields while importing.

Each cue requires the following fields as a minimum:

    • Character name
    • Cue start time
    • Line

Cue start and end times can be a timecode or footage. The following timecodes formats are recognised: hh:mm:ss:ff, hh:mm:ss;ff,

See the 'ADR Import Spec' PDF file found within the EdiCue application/program files folder for more information.

For more information on how to load the text file into EdiCue, see 'Importing ADR Cue Data' in the EdiCue user guide.

I hope this has helped anyone looking for a way to transfer their cues into EdiCue. Feel free to leave and questions or comments below.


Last modified on Wednesday, 24 February 2016 22:06
Mark Franken

Mark Franken is an award-winning software developer and founder of Sounds In Sync, specializing in cutting edge solutions for sound post-production. His work as a sound editor on some of the top feature films and television shows has inspired him to develop these programs that are used by sound professionals word-wide. He can be contacted via the Sounds In Sync website.


Sounds In Sync

P.O. Box 959
NSW 2482