Shoebox Utilities

These Shoebox utilities were developed back in the days of Shoebox. They are equally useable with the newer Toolbox and most of the tools have been updated to handle Unicode data. For the sake of discussion, this manual will talk in terms of Shoebox as including Toolbox unless otherwise stated.

This manual also breaks the golden rule of manual writing: Never let the programmer write the manual. My apologies and if anyone would like to offer a better one, I am very open to contributions.


ShUtils is distributed as a .exe program which is an installer. To install, run this program and follow the installation instructions included. If in doubt, just accept each of the default values offered.

Due to a problem with updating the path on your computer. It is advisable to reboot after installation.

The Programs

All the programs are command line based programs and should be run from a command prompt.


SH2XML is a program to convert Shoebox/Toolbox data to XML. It automatically creates an XML document structure from the database type hierarchy of standard format markers. It also analyses interlinear text and breaks this into interlinear blocks in the output XML rather than leaving it as lines of text.

Since XML is a Unicode based file format, it is necessary to convert the standard format data used by Shoebox into Unicode as the XML file is being created. If the data is already in Unicode (as may happen in Toolbox) then that conversion is easy. Other encodings are harder, but SH2XML provides a mechanism to do this conversion easily and simply.

Each field in a Shoebox database has an associated language definition. This language includes such information as possible sort orders, default font, etc. In effect the language definition includes information regarding the encoding of the data. For a Unicode based encoding, SH2XML will identify this automatically. Likewise, if no other information is given, the default encoding (usually the system encoding, which is usually codepage 1252), is used for conversion. But often legacy data needs a more sophisticated conversion to Unicode. This conversion can be done via a Windows codepage number or a TECkit binary mapping.

SH2XML interacts with text conversion via an install once, use anyway, mechanism whereby mappings are installed on a user's system and then are referenced by name rather than needing to know about paths to specific mapping files. To set up the database of mappings and to install new mappings, see the section on the encrem program later in this manual.

SH2XML identifies the particular mapping name to use from information in the language definition.