Excerpt from Windows 2000 and Mainframe Integration, by William H. Zack; published by New Riders books.
Organization and access of Windows 2000 files is left completely up to the program that creates and/or processes the files. The operating system sees a file as a sequential stream of characters. The file system maintains a pointer to the current character in a file so that it can determine when it is at the beginning or end of the file. If the program specifies the correct attributes when it opens a file, it can create, delete, overwrite or extend a file.
This can make editing a file of records created by a record-oriented program difficult, to say the least. Often, successively displayed lines will not line up correctly in the edit window of many editors. Invest in just the right editor to solve this problem.
For a list of other text editors try WinFiles.com.
This was first published in August 2000