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Can someone help me write a program?

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I'm very new to programming; I basically understand the concepts of how it works, but don't know the methods or the languages.

 

I'm wondering how advanced I would have to become at programming to create a program which could read text files, but display letters in defined colours. For example: The program would load a text file that says "Hello world" and display the words "Hello world" with every letter 'o' being blue, and every letter 'l' being red.  I picked those colours at random for the example, but the idea would be that the program would allow you to select the colour to letter relationships yourself.  Having to actually edit the code to change those relationships wouldn't bother me if I knew how to do it though.

 

From what I've read about programming, I can't imagine this would be an incredibly complex task.  

 

Any advice on the subject?  Know of an existing program that does this already?  I need your help!

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 I have a friend helping me too, so I should be fine to work on it myself.

I would like to run it on Windows.  The display format of the text output doesn't matter as long as it can be read, and that the colour relationships can be editied.

Well, here are what I think would be the steps:

The relationships between colours and letters are defined

A process is written for outputting a coloured version of the input letter

The program scans the full text input letter by letter

 

The program outputs the the new text, letter by letter.

  

 

** As I wrote the above, my friend actually just offered to write the program quickly and leave comments that would help me understand it.  I appreciate your help, and I still intend to follow up on what you said though.  That 'core skill of programming part'  actually makes a lot of sense.

Thanks!

 

 

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If you ever want to learn the basics and make some simple games on the way there's a really good tutorial: 


Thanks for the help.  It seems like you tried to post a link to this tutorial, but it's not displaying (at least for me).

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There is an app (which is quickly becoming my favorite app ever) called Editorial.

It's for ipad and iPhone.

I made an extension to this app which does the very thing you are describing.

I had to learn about regular expressions. And I used a bit of HTML and CSS also.

For any type of complex searching, regular expressions are very useful.

I attached a photo.

I'm not too advanced myself, and have made a small tutorial on regular expressions also.

It's a great app for learning python also, as well as UI design, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

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Something that's portable and cross-platform is good ol' Javascript and HTML. It's more complicated than using the command line and a Python library, but anyone with a web browser could load it without having to install anything. Just another suggestion.

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The file looks something like this once I run my extension:

What it does is find every occurrence of a user-specified word and wraps it in an HTML "bold" tag. Then it styles the word with a color attribute.

The app I used made the process easier before I knew how to do regular expressions (learned regular expressions in a day). But with regular expressions I was able to do a more complex task, like comb a document for all emails, sort them alphabetically, and replace all text in the document with only the emails, in a list.

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