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DEC Text Processing Utility

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The DEC Text Processing Utility (or DECTPU)[1][2] is a dedicated programming language developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) to easily create multi-functional text editors.

TPU is part of OpenVMS. It can be used on a terminal, a console, or on a graphical system like DECwindows.


TPU provides text buffer management APIs in concert with window management APIs which are targeted for the VT100 line of terminals.[citation needed] This allowed split-screen windows with scrolling and hence multiple views of the same buffer content.[citation needed] There are also key mapping APIs provided, allowing a wide range of functionality for editing text. The keyboard mapping could be easily adapted by the admin or the user.[citation needed]

Users could write their own specific editor, to e.g. translate text or short (error) messages to multiple natural languages in a synchronised small text window. The text editor is callable, so you could have small text editors built into specific applications, e.g. a simple mail client. You might redirect output from applications into a text window, using inter-process communication. Therefore one could call web services to return their results into a text buffer.


  • EVE (Extensible Versatile Editor), the first TPU-based editor, delivered with VAX/VMS by mid-1985.[3]
  • In 1986, DEC developed a new version of EDT written in TPU
  • Language-Sensitive Editor, part of VAXset (software development platform)
  • A version of the vi editor was created by Gregg Wonderly at Oklahoma State University called TPUVI or VITPU.[4] VITPU is still available via the DECUS archives online.[5]


  1. ^ Guide to the DEC Text Processing Utility
  2. ^ "DEC Text Processing Utility Reference Manual". Archived from the original on 2018-05-10. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  3. ^ User's Guide to EVE AA-Z302A-TE. Digital Equipment Corporation. July 1985. p. ix.
  4. ^ Gregg Wonderly (September 26, 1988). "v04i092: TPUVI for VMS part 1 of 17". Newsgroupcomp.sources.misc.
  5. ^ Gregg Wonderly (July 22, 1987). "VI.RNO - Installation and help for VI emulation in TPU". OpenVMS Freeware CD V5.0. Retrieved July 1, 2022.