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About .NFO Files - Viewing and Adding to Torrent Descriptions

Introduction

What’s an .nfo file anyway? An .nfo file is a text file containing information. Scene releases usually come with an .nfo file describing the release, and most of you have probably seen one, but never really cared/known about the details. .nfo files are not only text files, but more specifically MS-DOS text files using code page 437 and a line width of 80 characters. They often contain ASCII art, which means text characters composed in such a way that they make up an image. Code page 437 isn’t very well supported in today’s software, so much of the beauty gets lost if you don’t know how to watch these files. Luckily all characters in code page 437 are also available in Unicode, which means that with appropriate conversion, .nfo files can be added to the description of your scene torrents, making them more visually attractive.

This tutorial will show you how to:

  • View .nfo files in their full glory.
  • Add the information from an .nfo file to the description of a torrent on waffles.fm or what.cd. (And possibly other trackers and sites as well).

There are special tools for viewing .nfo files, however, this for this tutorial you’ll only need a standard copy of Windows XP and a decent browser, like Opera or Firefox. This tutorial will not show you how to create .nfo files.

Viewing .nfo files

Viewing an .nfo file correctly in Notepad is really easy. All you need to do is adjust the font settings as follows:

  • Format > Font… Choose the font Terminal.
  • Make sure the style is set to regular, and not bold or italic.
  • For best effect, choose one of the listed font sizes, not something like 10 or 20.
  • Make sure Format > Word Wrap is off.
  • When done, you might want to switch the font back to Courier New.

Comparison:

NFO file notepad comparison

Now isn’t that just very delicious?

Adding an .nfo file to your torrent

However, that won’t help a single bit when it comes to adding the contents of an .nfo file to your torrent description. The notepad trick only changes the font, it doesn’t really convert the text. However, you can use Windows’ terminal to convert the character encoding.

1.) Summon the command prompt by doing Start>Run>Cmd.

2.) Type the word type followed by a space.

3.) Drag and drop the .nfo file to the command prompt window. You should now have a line that says type “C:\Downloads\Release Name\Group Info.nfo” or whatever the path is.

4.) Press enter, and watch the .nfo file scroll through the window.

5.) Right click anywhere inside the terminal and choose Mark. If right clicking doesn’t bring up a menu, right click the title bar and choose Edit>Mark.

6.) You’re now in mark mode. You should now select everything. Remember that that the marked area is a rectangle, not a range as in a text editor or web browser. So you need to start out in one corner and end up in the opposite one. (Like the lower left->upper right) The terminal auto-scrolls if you hit the top or bottom, so you can get it all in one go. When you think you’ve got it all, press enter. The contents are now on your clipboard.

NFO file terminal

7.) The contents are now on your clipboard and can be pasted into tour description. However, there’s one last thing you need to do. You need to change the font to Courier New. You do this by putting [.font=Courier New][./font] around your text. (Remove the periods. They are only to stop the parsing of the BBCode so that you can read it).

8.) If all works well you now have a torrent with an .nfo file. It almost certainly will be messed up in IE! But nobody should be using that browser anyway.

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