This page describes, in Unix manual page style, a program available for downloading from this site which encodes binary files in the “Quoted-Printable” format used by MIME-encoded documents such as electronic mail messages with embedded images and audio files.
qprint - encode and decode Quoted-Printable files
qprint [ -d / -e ] [ options ] [ infile ] [ outfile ]
The MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) specification (RFC 1521 and successors) defines a mechanism for encoding text consisting primarily of printable ASCII characters, but which may contain characters (for example, accented letters in the ISO 8859 Latin-1 character set) which cannot be encoded as 7-bit ASCII or are non-printable characters which may confuse mail transfer agents.
qprint is a command line utility which encodes and decodes files in this format. It can be used within a pipeline as an encoding or decoding filter, and is most commonly used in this manner as part of an automated mail processing system. With appropriate options, qprint can encode pure binary files, but it's a poor choice since it may inflate the size of the file by as much as a factor of three. The base64 MIME encoding is a better choice for such data.
qprint returns status 0 if processing was completed without errors, 1 if an I/O error occurred or errors were detected in decoding a file which indicate it is incorrect or incomplete, and 2 if processing could not be performed at all due, for example, to a nonexistent input file.
If no infile is specified or infile is a single “-”, qprint reads from standard input; if no outfile is given, or outfile is a single “-”, output is sent to standard output. The input and output are processed strictly serially; consequently qprint may be used in pipelines. The program can process files of any size supported by the system containing text lines of arbitrary length.
Encoding a file with a large percentage of non-ASCII characters may dramatically increase its size. This is inherent in the design of Quoted-Printable encoding.
The archive contains source code for the utility, a Makefile for Unix systems, and a ready-to-run executable for 32-bit Windows platforms. Windows users may also download qprint.zip, a ZIPped archive containing the Windows executable. Prior releases remain available.
This software is in the public domain. Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose and without fee is hereby granted, without any conditions or restrictions. This software is provided “as is” without express or implied warranty.