CleanHaven: clean up and manipulate text and lists like a pro


CleanHaven is a free text cleanup and manipulation app for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

This is not a simple program that merely converts text-case and removes unprintable characters (similar to the many “email cleaning” apps that are out there); but is a sophisticated, well designed ” swiss army knife” of a tool for text manipulation functions.

The functions on offer span a wide range, from simple case conversion and character removal (such as excess carriage returns or non-ASCII characters), to combining lines separated by carriage returns into paragraphs, deduping lists lists (as in the screenshot above), filtering correctly and incorrectly spelled words in a text, general search and replace, removal of trailing spaces, tabs or punctuation, and a table view where you can manipulate your text in a spreadsheet style grid, to name just a few.

CleanHaven Screenshot1

This is the kind of program that can give a reviewer a hard time, in the sense that it offers such a wide range of functions that it becomes impossible to cover them all. Therefore, I have decided to aggregate the different functions into a single image instead, which can probably better illustrate what is on offer here at a glance without my having to explain them all. See image below.

CleanHaven functions

Here are more notes on this program:

  • The interface: is quite nice. There are 6 dropdowns in the main area that offer various functions (see image above), but what is nice is that you are able to manipulate the text then use the results in the output screen as your source text, in order to quickly string together a number of interventions in succession.
  • Tables: CleanHaven supports a table view, whereby you could paste any text from Excel, from a CSV file, or any other source and it view these within CleanHaven in a grid. It will even recognize the first row as column headers, and let you click on the header to quickly sort your text. (Note: use the ’settings’ tab to define the column that CleanHaven should use in performing operations such as deduping, etc.)
  • Export to CSV: or tab-delimited text files is supported

Freewaregenius 5-Star Pick

The verdict: CleanHaven is unique in two respect; first, in the breadth and sheer range of text manipulation options that it offers, and second in its spreadsheet style handling of tables. Because of all the power it packs under the hood, it can seem a tad too complex at first glance if all you want to do is something straightforward, such as simply combine the truncated lines from an email into a single paragraph; however, it will only take a minute or so to intuitively figure out exactly what you need to do to get the results you seek.

But what is more impressive is its handling of tables. You should not expect this program to handle large amounts of data (pasting 200,000 rows in 5 columns from Excel then switching to table view effectively crashed the program); however, for most “normal” table and list management tasks it will perform admirably.

This program is definitely a keeper. No matter what you do or how you use your computer, you could definitely use this in your collection of tools; it will invariably come in handy and it will deliver beautifully.

Version Tested: 2.1

Compatibility: WinAll, MacOSX, Linux

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 3.2 megs for the Windows version)

  • Rens

    A lot of possibilities for textcleaning and manipulation. Thats good! The handling of CSV-files is disappointing. A CSV-file with this format “column1″,”column2”, etc… pasted or opened in the program is shown as one column. It is not possible to select more than one column in the program to clean/manipulate. I will keep using Calc to edit/clean multiple columns at the same time in CSV-files.

  • Samer

    @ Rens: after pasting your text into a single column, you have to go to the “setting” tab and choose “view as table” from the dropdown. That is how I got the grid style table shown in the topmost screenshot above.

    While it is not possible to select more than one column, you could manipulate each column in succession, one after the other (also via the settings tab).

    I agree it is better to use a spreadsheet for some of these operations. I don’t think CleanHaven is intended as an alternative to a spreadsheet, but it sure can do a great many things to both text and lists.

  • I would be interested in a comparison with CSVed another program that is highly capable of manipulating CSV files. I like the fact that CleanHeaven seems is available for Linux too.

  • Monimonika

    One very crucial feature is missing from an otherwise perfect program.

    There is no way to show invisible/hidden characters (spaces, tabs, etc.) within CleanHaven. So, if I see gaps within sentences, I have to click through the text to find out if the gaps are tab characters, or a bunch of space characters. Being able to see these characters would make fixing them very much more easier and quicker.

  • Monimonika

    I am still having trouble seeing the 5-star value of this program. How is it supposed to help in removing extra carriage returns and/or line feeds if they’re not visible and I can’t tell them apart??? In my regular document viewer, I could see the (normally invisible) extra spaces/tabs or carriage returns/line feeds at a glance and get started right away manually fixing them up.

    In CleanHaven, I’m wasting time trying to figure out if any of the removal procedures had any effect on the pasted-in text when some clue as to what invisible characters I’m dealing with would’ve been very helpful in quickly choosing the right options.

  • Kent Dyer

    While not Free, I think I will stick with Araxis Merge for csv/txt files.. WinMerge should do the same kinds of things.



  • Chad

    Seems the program is no longer free. I went to download it today, and was going to be charged $49.00 for it.

    Recommend removal from this site.

    • Samer

      @ Chad: that’s too bad. I’ll see if I can upload and provide a link to the last freeware version.

  • Ferdinand

    Agree with Chad above – program is no longer free ..?