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Text editor - word processor (Rainbow 1981-09)
|Looking for CoCo help? If you are trying to do something with your old Color Computer, read this quick reference. Want to contribute to this wiki? Be sure to read this first. This CoCo wiki project was started on October 29, 2004. --OS-9 Al|
This page was last updated on 05/2/2019. Total Pages: 647. Total Files: 937.
I have to wonder whether john Waclo, the author of the COLOR Computer TEXT EDITOR/WORD PROCESSOR is a psychic or just an excellent programmer.
Frankly, the typesetter for the RAINBOW, was a bit red-faced to see all the typos in last month's issue. I guess that comes from having a secretary do all the real work at work!
Anyway, within days after RAINBOW #2 came out, John's TEXT EDITOR/WORD PROCESSOR arrived for review. And, if you see a significant improvement in the number of typos in this month's issue, you can thank John.
This program (available from Waclo, Box 11224, Pittsburgh, Pa, 15238 for $49.95 plus $2 for shipping and handling) is absolutely excellent! It does everything you could ask a word processor to do --and it does It extremely well. Anyone who wants to do any writing with his COLOR Computer will find the Price of the TEXT EDITOR/WORD PROCESSOR well worth the money.
Moreover, I believe you will find the support to be excellent. We did have a little trouble getting the form-feed (!I!) to work with a LP VII, but John had an answer within 12 hours. Now that's support.
First, we'll deal with the 16K version of the TEXT EDITOR/WORD PROCESSOR, and then explain a little about the very powerful enhancements for 32K.
You can input 200 screen lines of copy in a free-form format. What that simply means is that there's no hassle about doing it. Just sit down and start typing.
Anything you type can be saved on tape. And, as an added feature, you can save part of an item on tape, load it back in, and then type in more material direct from the keyboard. Or, you can combine two (or more) tape saves. It’s really easy.
At any time, you can "escape" from the input area and enter the text editor. And, you can jump back and forth at will. In addition, you can Just "park" the whole thing, which leaves a message on the screen saying that the program is up and running.
You can also check to see how many lines and characters are left in the free memory, and you can scroll through the text. you can also display a line at a time.
With the editor, you can delete, insert or edit any line of text. And, there is a very powerful "find" command that lets you search the whole text for any word.
It finds each reference to a word or phrase. There is also a scan for section headings or endings -- which works very quickly in 16K.
From the direct keyboard input, you can tab over with one key -- and you can center lines with one key.
If all that isn't enough, you are able to print out a draft of your copy ... with the lines numbered for easy editing. If you want only a partial draft, that is possible, too!
Once copy is input, you are ready to output, and the WORD PROCESSOR/TEXT EDITOR gives you a wide range of options there, too.
You can set your right-hand or left-hand margin, decide on line spacing (single, double or triple), set up a form-feed so you don't have to worry about positing the copy on paper, paginate, make up to 50 copies of the same thing, and right-hand justify text!
For those of you with 32K (and I urge you to get it), there are 500 screen lines available -- and John is working to extend that to 650. But, if you think 200 lines is too short, I think you would be interested to know that I have used only 178 screen lines to get this entire review. in other words, 200 is quite a bit. Five hundred is something else.
But so are the other features of the 32K version...
Additional commands include "move," which allows you to transfer blocks of text from one part of the copy to another. "Copy" works much the same way, except it duplicates text -- leaving the original in its place and adding another copy in a new location. There is also a block delete command that allows you to delete whole batches of copy at once.
But, the real beauty of the 32K version is its word processing ability. This allows you to use a variable text concept to insert variable information at designated places in the text. For a letter, all you have to do is insert a single control character for the name, address, city-state-zip and the salutation after "Dear". Then, build a variable file with different names and so forth.
Once you have done that. you can write a letter, use both the text and variable files, and have the same -- personalized -- letter going to a whole bunch of people. Keyboard work after building the file and writing the letter? One command!
Best of all, you can save the variable file to tape and use it again with a different series of letters. You can also edit the variable file in the same way you can edit text.
If, from reading this review you set the idea I am enthusiastic about John Waclo's TEXT EDITOR/WORD PROCESSOR, you are right. I am confident you will agree once you see it.