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I wrote this handy little utility program because I was tired of Windows 98 taking several minutes to repaint the folder windows when I dragged multiple package files into Downloads.  In addition, I had to make folders for each site to place the package files in, leading to more time spent and introducing potential misspellings.  My answer: SimText!

An artist I really liked tended to name her wallpaper files oh so creatively "white1," "blue3," etc.  I got very tired of opening the files with SimPE so I could look at the descriptions, so SimText acquired the ability to read the TXT/STR/CTSS# descriptions and allow you to change the filename to the description!

Installing SimText

To install SimText, simply unzip it and place it on your hard drive in a convenient location.  Double click its icon, and you'll see this dialog:

About SimText

Yes, I really started writing this program in 2006! 

Note for users of Vista and later operating systems: I do not recommend placing it anywhere under Program Files due to the protections on that folder.  You will also need to right click the icon and choose "Run as administrator," even if you are the only user on your computer.

Anyhow, here's what the buttons do:

  • Set Menu Options -- Adds several options to the context menu for package files, including a best guess at where your My Documents folder is located.  If  you uninstall SimText or install a newer version of SimPE, you may have to run SimText and choose this option again.
  • Advanced Options -- Allows you to navigate to your My Documents folder before adding the options to the context menu.
  • Clear Menu Options -- Part of the uninstall process, you must run SimText from its icon and click this button before deleting the SimText executable.

Advanced Options

Advanced Options
This dialog shows you the "best guess" for the location of the Downloads folder.  If  you're running Windows Vista, The Sims 2 Double Deluxe or any of the other 3-in-1 expansion packs for The Sims 2, it will probably be wrong.  To correct this, simply click the Set Path button.
Set Path
This dialog allows you to navigate to the location of your Downloads folder.  You may also type the path in the entry field.
Any Cancel button will stop the configuration process and return you to the Desktop.
OK saves the path you have selected and adds several options to the context menu for package files.

Normal Operation of SimText

Simply right click on any package file or select several and right click one of them.  A context menu similar to this one will appear:
Context Menu
 You'll notice some new options below the standard "Open," which probably opens your package file in SimPE, if  you have that program installed.
  • One Click Install -- The workhorse of SimText.  It will grab the name of the folder where the package file currently is, such as XMSims or Wooden Simolean, create a folder with that name in your Downloads folder, and move the package file into it.
  • Rename Using STR# Resource -- This powerful function of SimText displays the STR# and CTSS resources found in the package file and helps you compose a new file name from them.
  • Sims2 Disable -- Allows you to quickly disable groups of package files for testing and mod conflict resolution.

One Click Install

This option seamlessly moves all selected files into a subfolder of your Downloads folder with the same name as the folder they are currently located in. 

If this folder does not exist, you will be asked if SimText should create it for you.  For this reason, you may want to install just one package file first, then install en masse.

If this option seems to do nothing, there will be an error log created in the same folder with the SimText executable.  Check that file for helpful information.

Rename Using STR# Resource

Creating the New Filename

In this particular case, the creator chose a good filename!  However, if you have a files with names like Hair01-1, SimText will greatly simplify giving them more meaningful names by showing you the ToolTip text assigned by the creator.  Just click in the upper entry field where you want the ToolTip text to appear, select the line in the lower list box, and click the Insert button.  The original filename is the first entry in the lower list box as well. 

Note: TSR prefers BodyShop content to retain the numeric prefix created by BodyShop. Although this is no longer necessary, I suspect that it has roots in pre-release BodyShop, which required file names to remain completely unmodified.

Sims 2 Disable

This option changes the suffix of the file name from .package to .packagedisabled.  This should prevent your game from loading that piece of custom content the next time you play.  To reenable the custom content, just right click again and choose Sims2 Enable

Disabled Package Context Menu

Batch Mode

You may select multiple files before right clicking and selecting one of the SimText menu items.  This is great for install, enable and disable, but opens separate and simultaneous dialog boxes for renaming.  I recommend limiting batch sizes when renaming.

Oops, I Didn't Mean to Do That!

All of SimText's operations can be reversed by choosing Undo from the Edit menu of any folder window. 

Uninstalling SimText

You must follow these directions to uninstall SimText, or unusable menu items will be left in your context menu!

  1. Run SimText from its icon.  Choose Clear Menu Items.
  2. Delete the SimText executable and its log file from the folder you placed it in during installation.


Works perfectly with Win98 and WinXP.  Modified to work with Vista, but I don't have that operating system, so it's untested.  I have people testing under Win7 and will report back!

Warning: If you uninstall or update SimPE, you will need to run SimText from the prompt again.  This is because SimPE assumes that it "owns" all associations with the "package" suffix, deletes all of them, and recreates just the ones it needs.  SimPE is a lot of things, but sometimes, it just isn't a good Windows citizen!

SimText.zip26.35 KB

Win 7 Suggestion

MaryH at Simbology discovered the following:

Tonight I did the most obvious thing I should have done the first time:

I put the program in the same folder as Sims 2 is. (I'd completely forgotten that the target has to be in the same folder as the program itself...)

It works! It comes up with 'Rename with STR# Resource", and the underlying text (if any) with the options for the program.

If nothing else seems to work, try this!

Which Sim is which?

Although SimText can't search your Characters folder to see which file is Dustin Broke, it can tell you the names of the Sims stored in each file!

Right click a likely file and choose "Rename Using STR# Resource." The dialog will display the Sim's first name, last name, and file name. Close the ones you don't want, write down the file names for the ones you do!

Hi Catherine!

Yes, that's what the program is supposed to do when it looks like
it's just quit. That's the configuration step. Now comes the magic!

Right click on a .package file, or drag a selection rectangle around a group of them, then right click. As shown above, there are several new options for your files. You can install files from anywhere on your hard drive, rename your files, enable and disable your files, and other fun things.

Yell if you need more help! I have flagged your account so I should see any future comments.

SimText - I can't get it to run...

Hi Miros,
BO sent me here - specifically for the SimText program. It sounds exactly like what I need! But, I can't make it run :(
I'm on a Vista 64bit :rolleyes: I know, I know...
I have installed SimText on the C/ (not in prog files - though, it didn't work there either!) I have it set to run as an admin (I am the only admin/user on this machine) and I tried compatibility mode too. No success.
When I double click the icon, I get an OS message saying the signature, or some-other-such, are not valid. When I disable that notification, I can get the program to open to the first screen (The 'About' with 'set menu options' and 2 other buttons.) But clicking any of these buttons does nothing - well, except, go back to my blank desktop.
Before fretting any more about this - would this program do what I need? If I can get it to work?
Here's what I need: (cutNpasted from MTS2)
I need a programmer to make a program...
Hi. I really need help. I am NOT a programmer - have not the foggiest of ideas about it Blush

Here's the back-story: I used to use Paladin's Sims2Categorizer on EVERYthing. Then, when Delphy came out with the DDO (and I became more proficient at SimPE) I quit using the Sims2Cat. Also, after the Compressorizer came out, it was said that Sims2Catted files didn't like being Compressorized. 
So... since 2008/9 or so, I have had everything always Compressorized; and only recatted things with SimPE/DDO. 
(Note: by "recatted" I mean I have changed catalog placement and prices so things are to be found where I think they should be, in the game's catalog - I have done this for just about EVERY item) I'm not OCD, I'm CDO!!! 

Somewhere in my 44,000+ DL files I know I still have a few 100 (or maybe even 1000!) items that were recatted with the Sims2Cat and then Compressorized - which is a VBT.

Here's what I need: actually it may be 2 separate programs - and nothing needs to look too fancy. (Quick and dirty is fine by me)
--- I would like a program that can tell me which of my files has been changed by the Sims2Categorizer. This should be able to be done because I can see the info in SimPE when I look at the item's Catalog Description in the far right box, labeled Desc. it says, "Edited by Sims 2 Categorizer." (And, yes, I'm a lazy-butt. I really don't want to spend the 30 seconds on each of my 44,000+ DLs to open it in SimPE, click on CatDesc, look at the box, and write my findings down on scrap paper.) There just HAS to be an easier way!!!

The other program I need is one I'm not sure can be done... But, It would be so much easier on us CDO folks, if it were possible 
--- Is there a way to open everything up in, like, say, the DDO; and change the prices and categories from there - all in one big spreadsheet type of page. I am pretty fast at doing it in SimPE, but, as I think I may not be able to find someone willing to write a program like the one I need, I'm thinking I might just have to reDL every file I have that's older than 2009 (which is over 1000 files) and recat/reprice them all over again. *sigh* I really don't want to do that...

...but, I keep getting crashes. I know it's an old file somewhere that's gotten itself borked (and I really think the compatibility issue between Sims2Cat and the Compressorizer, may indeed be the culprit.) 

Yes, I have followed all the 'crashing' error suggestions - I've been trying to figure this out for a few years now. CDO, and deter-minded (determined) = bad combo.

OK, I'll stop rambling now...
...please help?

Brain fart!

I just realized you need to find the files internally marked "Edited by SimCat." Somehow I never saw that before!

As I described in the section about seeing the names of the Sim stored in each file in Characters, you can right click your suspect files and choose "Rename Using STR# Resource." You should get a dialog for each file showing the Description and other things stored in the STR# resource. Close each dialog not so internally marked; write down the filename of each suspect file.

Another thing that will appeal to your CDO: you can sort your folder window by date, oldest first, so you only have to check the files that date to BEFORE you quit using SimCat!

Very sorry I didn't notice the part about the description before. Although it wasn't one of the reasons I wrote SimText, I have personally used it for quick looks at the internal Description myself.


MaximillianPs and Pleun from Simbology have tested this under Win7 with the following results:

  1. You must run from the icon as administrator to add the context menu items.
  2. "Clear Menu Items" doesn't seem to work, even when run as administrator.

However, the SimPE installer removes all context items for package files, so you can try installing an upgrade for that program.


AceofSpades from Garden of Shaddows reports that it works perfectly under Vista!