P R O - B A T version I
Professional Batch File Development Environment
(C)Copyright September 11, 1988 Mark Tigges
All rights reserved.
This program is copyright (C) 1989 by Mark Tigges. All rights
reserved. Non-registered users are granted a limited license
to use this product on a trial basis, and to copy the program
for trial use by others subject to the following limitations:
The program is distributed in unmodified form, complete
No fee, charge or other consideration is requested or
The program is not distributed in conjunction with any
If you intend to use ProBat on a regular basis, please
register and show your support for the author.
Regular commercial, business or governmental use by
non-registered users is prohibited.
1. Table of Contents
1 Copyright Statement 1
2 Table of Contents 2
3 Introduction 3
3.1 Features 5
4 The Pull-Down Menu 5
4.1 Usage 5
4.2 Features 6
4.3 The File Menu 6
4.4 The Screens Menu 9
4.5 The Edit Menu 10
4.6 The Menu Menu 12
4.7 The Options Menu 14
5 The ProBat Editor 17
5.1 Commands 17
5.1.1 Editing Commands 17
5.1.2 Find & Replace Commands 19
5.1.3 Block Commands 19
5.1.4 Miscellaneous Commands 20
5.2 Editor Help 21
6 The Prompt Editor 22
7 The Screen Generator 23
7.1 The Screen Generator Menu 23
8 The Supplementary Programs 26
8.1 PBShow.EXE 26
8.2 PBMenu.EXE 26
9 ProBat Help 28
10 Running ProBat 29
10.1 On a Hard Disk 29
10.2 On a Floppy Disk 30
11 The Distribution Diskette 32
11.1 PrintMan.EXE . . . Usage 32
12 About Ansi.SYS 33
13 Registering your copy 34
ProBat is a program for the Ms-Dos running computer which
makes the process of creating batch files simple and
enjoyable. ProBat uses a pull-down menu system for ease of
- Easy to use pull-down menu system.
- Full fledged command driven editor designed for
writing batch files, that features quick easy
interaction with the menu.
- Distinguishes files in full pathnames when user is
prompted for a file.
- Complete screen generator capable of creating files
of screens that use reverse video, variable intensity,
caps lock, box drawing and variable line types. These
screens can then be recalled within a batch file by
using a separate program called PBSHOW.
- User customizable menu program called PBMENU which
displays your data using handsome graphics. Use this
program on its own or from ProBat whichever way it
allows you ease of command over your hard disk.
- A printing program built within ProBat that
highlights your labels in your batch file. It also has
other printer control commands at its disposal to help
you print out text files with bold print, wide print,
condensed print and pica. These commands must be
manually inserted into the file to print.
- A menu for controlling DOS functions on the .SCR
files with an operating shell function. A menu for
managing your .SCR files, and accessing the screen
generator. A file for managing you batch files and
accessing the editor. And a menu for controlling the
customizable menu program PBMENU.
- A very extensive Help system, can be used from a main
help menu, or touch sensitive from within the menu.
When you start Pro-Bat the main menu selections appear
on the top line and the program identifies itself, showing
the version number and copyright message. It also displays
the registration number and name of the owner of the copy,
you should send in that information if you wish to register
the copy in your own name. A new copy will be sent to you
that displays your name and registration number instead.
NOTE - There are a lot of traps in this program that need to
be understood if your work with ProBat will be enjoyable and
stay disaster free. If you read this manual thoroughly you
shouldn't be confronted with too much of a problem and ProBat
will run smoothly and enjoyably.
4. The Pull-Down Menu
Use of the pull-down menu system is easy. Across the top
of the screen is displayed the five options of the main menu,
these are descriptive headings for the options. By moving the
highlight bar which will at first be positioned at the first
option "File" you can select the other four options. These
are: "Screen", "Edit", "Menu" and "Quit". This is done by
pushing the right or left arrow key, the highlight bar moves
in the corresponding direction. Under all of the options
except "Quit" there is another menu, these four vertical
menus are the secondary menses. They each have a highlight
bar of their own which moves according to the corresponding
horizontal arrow button you push. To select an option you
simply press RETURN. ProBat's ensuing reaction is dependent
on where the secondary menues highlight bar is position. For
instance if you are in the "Edit" menu and the highlight bar
is on "Start a new file" and you select that ( hit RETURN )
then ProBat will display a pop-up box prompting for the name
of the batch file you want to start. If you have the main
menues highlight bar on "Quit" and you hit return then the
program stops running and you return to DOS. You can play
around with this for a while if you want; if you get
somewhere you don't want to be push ESC, it will return you
to where you were. The PullDown menu supports quick
selection, that is by pressing a letter key ProBat will
automatically open the function in the present menu that
corresponds to the letter you just pushed.
Example: In the "Menu" menu there are the following options:
Enter data for menu
Run personalized menu
Check menu batch file
Print menu data
In ProBat this appears with the first letter of each option
If you pushed "C" or "c" regardless of where the selection
bar was in the "Menu" menu ProBat would select the
"Check menu batch file"
option and begin the corresponding process.
- Full movement of command by usage of the arrow keys.
- Home and End pushing these keys depending on a few
factors will get you to either the "Options" menu (End)
of main menu or "File" (Home) function of main menu or
Home will get you to the first option of current
secondary menu and End will get you to the last.
- F1 gets you help on using ProBat. CTRL-F1 gets you
help on the current secondary menu. ALT-F1 gets you
help on the selected topic.
- F10 shows you statistics and settings you have
- Pushing the key 'V' will show you the version of
ProBat you are using.
- Pushing 'CTRL-S' will put the program in suspension
so that you can leave the computer for a long period of
time without having to worry about screen burn.
- Pushing 'CTRL-R' will show you the registration
number and owner of the copy.
- Hitting ESC will almost always get you out of
mistaken selection. Or if you are not in one into the
editor editing the file that is loaded.
- Pushing ALT-Q anywhere including in the editor except
for a menu option has been selected, will quit the
- When there is no prompt in progress pressing ESC will
put you into the editor so that you can edit whatever
file has been loaded there. You will be returned to the
same line you were last editing, however the cursor
position, and therefor the lines position will be
shifted to a position as low on the screen as possible.
4.3 The File Menu
This menu enables you to take care of menial DOS
functions from within the program and without using the Os
Shell function. These are "Dir" and "ChDir" however for
anything else there is the Os-Shell option. Whenever you are
asked for the name of a file when you are in this, or any
other menu for instance you can use full path names for the
file, eg. C:\BATCH\MYSCRNS.SCR, ProBat will go to the
directory C:\BATCH before trying to load the file
MYSCRNS.SCR. With the screen files ProBat reserves no
convention for the file extensions, it does not care what you
call the file. Therefore if you load "DBASE.EXE" if you own
it and you try and save a screen on top of the program then
you are out a $300 program so watch out, don't do anything
dumb. It is a wise thing to call all of your screen files
"????????.SCR" that way you know what your looking at.
This option simply loads a file for use with the screen
functions. With this function the file must have previously
existed, if you want to create a new file to use for storing
screens use the New File option. After selection a pop-up
prompt box appears asking for the name of the file.
This option is a very handy utility. Every time you load a
".SCR" file ProBat remembers it and puts it in a list. Then
when you use the Pick function it shows you that list in menu
form and you pick the file that you want to re-load.
This option is used when you want to start a file for storing
screens. A prompt box appears asking for the name of the new
file and then if ProBat does not find conflict it creates
that file. If ProBat does find a conflict (another file by
the same name on the same directory) then it asks you if you
want to continue. When ProBat asks you if you want to
continue it really means "Do you want to sacrifice whatever
is in that already existing file for this one you want?
Because if you say yes the original will be deleted, and
replaced with this one." So keep that in mind. Used
improperly this option could make you a very frustrated
This option allows you to save the current screen file in use
to another file with a different name. This lets you make
copy of some screens which you use often, even create a file
that lets you archive all of the screens that you have ever
used, or screens that you use frequently.
Selecting this option will let you view the contents of the
current directory in a pop-up window. You will be first asked
to enter a file mask, so that you can view more specifically
those files that you wish to see. If the number of files in
the directory are greater than can be shown at once in the
window then you will be abe to scroll through the files using
PgUp and PgDn. The function is able to display four screens
of files in total. If more files than that exist (400+) in
the directory then they simply will be left out. There
shouldn't be too many occasions when the number of files on a
directory exceeds ProBat's limits.
This option prompts you with a pop-up box for a path name to
switch the current DOS directory to. If an error occurs
then ProBat alerts you to that fact and lets you enter again.
This option prompts you with a pop-up box for a DOS command.
You can use any valid DOS command that you ordinarily would
use and MS-DOS will perform that command. If however you have
more than one command to give to DOS you need only hit return
without entering anything and ProBat will put you in DOS for
as long as you want. When you want to come back to ProBat
just type EXIT and the DOS prompt and ProBat will resume
where you left off.
This option closes your session down. It can also be accessed
by pressing ALT-Q anywhere in Pro-Bat. If you have opted to
generate Pick files then they are created now.
4.4 The Screens Menu
This menu lets you manage all of your screen files. Doing
the tasks to them that need to be done. Such as adding
screens editing screens deleting screen and copying screens
between files. If you have not loaded a screen file then
ProBat will ask you what file you want to use. You can use
full path names to specify files.
Add a screen to the file
This functions is the gateway to the screen generator. When
you use this function ProBat clears the screen and lets you
and your artistic sense loose to create your screen, when you
are finished creating your masterpiece then ProBat adds that
screen to the file when you push F9, to get out of the
generator push F10. For more info go into the screen
generator and hit F1 and you will be shown all the commands
for high and low intensity and reverse video, capital letters
and box drawing characters. Or you can refer to this manual
in the Screen Generator section for more detail.
Edit an existing screen
You must use this function when you want to change a screen
that you have already designed in the file. ProBat will ask
for the number of the screen and then let you edit it if it
exists. When you are finished press F9 and ProBat saves the
screen in the same position that it got it from.
Delete a screen in the file
When you have a screen that you no longer want then use this
function. However all that ProBat does is blank the slot. You
now have a file that has a hole. You can now re-edit that
screen. When you call it up there will be a blank screen.
View all screens in the file
This option shows you all of the screens in the file in use.
When you call it up it starts on the first screen and then
waits for you to press a key - telling ProBat that you want
to see the next screen.
Copy a screen between files
If you have one screen in a file that you want in another
file as well then use this option. Use is pretty
straightforward - ProBat prompts for the source file, the
destination file and then the source files screen number and
then it does the job. If it can't find the source file, the
destination file or the screen in the source file then it
doesn't work. So there is a lot of stuff here that can go
wrong, watch out!
4.5 The Edit Menu
This menu is the menu that lets you do the heart of what
batch files need. They need to be edited and this menu is the
editor. When you are prompted for the name of a file you may
enter full pathnames. When you save that file again it will
be saved in its original directory. Upon loading a file if
you don't specify a file extension then ProBat will assume
you mean ".Bat" and will add it to your file name. Please see
the section of this manual for detailed help on using the
Edit file in editor
This option does the same thing as just hitting ESC anywhere
in the main menu. It will return you to the editor so that
you can continue editing the file that is loaded into the
editor. If that file is NONAME.BAT then a new file will have
Load a batch file for editing
The title of this function is a bit deceiving because what
you load need not be a batch file. In fact you can load any
kind of text file that you want however the editor is best
suited for writing Batch files or computer programs or the
like. Since it doesn't have the option of word wrap and
adjustable margins. After selection of this option ProBat
will respond by displaying a pop-up prompt box asking for the
name of the file that you wish to edit. If ProBat can't find
the file in the specified directory it will tell you so. It
won't load an empty file from this option. You must use the
Start a new batch file option from the same menu. To edit a
file that as yet does not exist.
Pick batch file for editing
This option is very similar in purpose to the Pick option of
the file menu. ProBat remembers all of the recently loaded
batch files, and will, when this option is chosen, display
them in a menu, enabling you to pick easily from this menu
the file you want to edit. After selecting this option a
pop-up box appears, sized depending on the files in the menu,
displaying the files that you have recently loaded. There
will also be a highlight bar which you use to pick the file
you want. Position the highlight bar on the chosen file and
hit Return. That file will then be loaded into the editor and
you will be place at the top of that file ready to edit.
Begin a new batch file
Again the file to start need not be a batch file it can be
any file, however if you don't specify an extension ProBat
will assume .BAT. This option differs from the above only
that it cannot load a file that already has text in it.
Therefore if at the prompt you specify a file that already
exists ProBat will question your intention. If you confirm
your entry ProBat will ERASE THE ORIGINAL and give you a
blank file where the first text can be entered. So for God's
sake be careful! I hate it when my program is an outlet for
inexperienced user's frustration, especially one that didn't
read the manual correctly. If you do use this option to try
and load a file that already exists, and answer YES to
ProBat's question, that you do want to continue, then your
file will be erased.
Delete a batch file
Once again the file need not be a batch file however if you
don't specify an extension then ProBat adds .BAT by default.
This option does not confirm your entry from its pop-up
prompt box before it deletes the file. If for instance you
accidentally give the wrong path or you enter .BAT instead of
.BAK you will be very sorry. So before pushing the ENTER key
make sure that you have entered the right file. If ProBat
can't find the file then it obviously can't delete it so it
will let you know if you make a mistake.
Run a batch file
The restraints on the type of file that this option requires
are a little more stringent than the others in the menu. The
type of file that you specify in the pop-up prompt box must
be an executable file ie. ?.EXE, ?.BAT, or ?.COM. If ProBat
can't find the file then it will let you know, because it
can't run it if it can't find it.
Print a batch file
This option will print all of your batch files for you. If it
finds a label in your batch file then it will highlight it
with bold print, making them stand out from all of the other
text on the page. It will stop for page breaks, and give the
page number and file name at the bottom of each page, and
will also automatically insert a margin of five spaces at the
beginning of each line. If your printer supports compressed
mode and you select it to print your batch files then ProBat
will not be able to bold type your labels.
Save file in editor
This option lets you save the loaded text file to the current
drive and directory. If you don't want to enter the editor,
but you do want to save the file then this is a very handy
option to use. It will tell you wether or not you should
bother saving. If the file has been modified since the last
save then the option will be displayed like this:
Save file in editor SAVE
When you see the SAVE flag you know you should save the file,
if there is no SAVE flag there then the file has not been
modified. If you select the option without the flag there
Pro-Bat will ignore you assume incompetence and not do
4.6 The Menu Menu
This menu takes care of all of the chores that need to be
done concerning the custom menu system. Such as the editing
of your menu - the keys and items. And making sure that your
CustMenu.Bat file will work correctly. You can even run the
program to check it from within Pro-Bat.
Edit menu data
This option is the one you use to create the PBMenu.DTA file.
That file contains the names of your items and whatever you
want to use for your keys. I suggest using succesive numbers.
Instead of letters in some configuration because the third
option of this menu won't work properly otherwise, and it is
very useful. You are shown a table of empty spaces after you
select this option. The empty spaces are what you fill in, to
define your menu. The title refers to the name of the menu.
When you have finished editing push ESC to save the data. If
you edit one space and then push ESC to save without first
pushing RETURN then that one space won't be saved because it
wasn't first entered into menu.
Run custom menu
This option simply runs the PBMenu.exe file. The exact thing
as type PBMenu at the DOS prompt. If the files that the
program needs aren't on the current dos directory then the
program won't run you have to make sure that these files are
all located on the current directory everytime the menu runs.
That includes after you have selected a item and the menu is
Check batch file
This option only checks the Batch file custmenu.bat.
Therefore it needs to read the data in PBMenu.dta first,
therefore both of these files have to be located on the
current directory for this option to work. What it does is
look at all of your labels to see if there are the right
number of numeric labels. ( If you are unfamiliar with labels
please refer to your Dos manuals. Books such as Running Ms
Dos by Van Wolverton are also very helpful.) Therefore if you
don't use numeric labels then this option won't work. It is
your choice and the burden is yours to check you CustMenu.bat
file if you use a different method.
Print menu data
For convenient reference this option will print for you the
data that is in your menu. This is so that you have something
to refer to when you are creating your CUSTMENU.BAT file.
Menu text height
This option allows the user the affordability of changing the
relative height of the text displayed in the menu. For
graphic formats reasons the height of the text is interpreted
differently by different systems. The higher resolution of
some systems displays the Fonts larger then a smaller
resolution. For this reason I have included this option. I
wrote the code on a hercules monochrome card and a height
value of 2 is optimum therefore it is the default. On a CGA
or AT&T it is a different value. Experiment and come up with
the value that you like the best.
4.7 The Options menu
This menu lets you customize Pro-Bat to your tastes. Creating
an environment that lets you work to an optimum level. You
have the choice of turning on/off the sounds, editor window,
mode pick file saves, and changing the colors.
Editor window mode
This option is a toggle on/off option, its value is displayed
as ON or OFF at the right of the selection bar. If the mode
is ON then the editor is displayed inside a thin frame, the
full pathname of the file being edited is displayed at the
lower left corner of the window. If the option is OFF then
there is no frame around the editor and the user gets the
full amount of room possible to edit the file. There is not a
large sacrifice of room when the editor window is on.
This option is a toggle on/off option, its value is displayed
as ON or OFF at the right of the selection bar. If the mode
is ON the editor will create a backup copy of the file when
ever it is saved, naming that copy with the extension .BAK.
If the mode is OFF this service is not done. it is highly
recomended that you leave this mode on.
Generate pick file
This option is a toggle on/off option, its value is displayed
as ON or OFF at the right of the selection bar. If the mode
is on then when you quit the current run of ProBat a file
named PROBAT.PCK is saved. It is a list of all the files that
were on the pick sequences. If the mode is off then ProBat
will not save this file. ProBat will read a PROBAT.PCK file
and use it regardless of the value of this option.
This option is a toggle on/off option, its value is displayed
as ON or OFF at the right of the selection bar. Whenever you
make a mistake for instance naming a false directory or
filename, ProBat will make an obnoxious noise to alert your
attention to your mistake. If you do not like this noise, or
you have a hangover you can turn it off, in effect silencing
This option will let you create the visual effect that you
enjoy the best. After selecting the option a menu and another
box is displayed. When you choose an option from the main
menu, a sample of the choice is displayed in the other box.
For instance say you chose :
Main menu normal text
a portion of the main menu would be displayed, you then have
the power to change the color in which this item is
displayed. Change the foreground color by pushing 'f', the
background by pushing 'b'. If you use the upper case versions
of these letters then the numeric values corresponding to the
colors will decrease, as oppose to increase with the lower
case. When you use Pro-Bat from there on the colors will be
displayed as to your choice.
The method of manipulating the colors is simple. In the CGA
color spectrum (the one that ProBat assumes) there are 15
colors. As the numeric value corresponding to the item you've
selected change ProBat selects the numbered color value in
the CGA spectrum. This applies both for ForeGround and
This option lets you save the environment configuration that
you have created to a file called PROBAT.DTA. When you start
Pro-Bat with a file by this name on the current directory
then Pro-Bat will read this file and use the settings in it
instead of the default set. This makes for convience, you
don't have to change the environment to your needs every time
you use the program. If you have several users of the same
copy, they might not all like the same configuration. These
people could all have a floppy of their own containing there
version of PROBAT.DTA on it. Then these people each load
probat like this :
this way Pro-Bat will look on A:\ for the PROBAT.DTA file.
Remember that when you change the configuration Pro-Bat
doesn't automatically save it. You might be mad next time you
run Pro-Bat if your configuration doesn't appear. So save it.
5. The Pro-Bat Editor
To start the editor refer to the various functions under
the Edit menu section.
To enter text into the editor you use basically the same
technique that you employ in using a type writer. There are
however many important differences.
The cursor always indicates where the new text will be
entered, and you can move the cursor in a number of ways
(the commands to do so are described later). You can correct
mistakes quickly and easily using the delete commands. You
can copy and move text with the block commands. You can
locate a particular string of text with the find command, and
optionally replace it with another string using the
Find-Replace command. And in most cases, you can even undo
your last few changes with the restore line or undo commands.
Each of these commands ( and there are many more ) is
described in the sections that follow. However for a quick
glance at all the commands and their respective keystrokes,
refer to, the quick-reference tables available in the
editor's help section - hit F1 to obtain help in the editor.
5.1 Editor Commands
NOTE - When you see CTRL-? it means that the CTRL key is held
down while ? is pressed.
5.1.1 Basic Editing Commands
LEFT ARROW or CTRL-S - CHARACTER LEFT. Moves the cursor left
one column. This command does not work across line breaks;
when the cursor reaches column 1, it stops.
RIGHT ARROW or CTRL-D - CHARACTER RIGHT. Moves the cursor one
character to the right. This command does not work across
line breaks; when the cursor reaches the right-hand edge of
the text window, the text starts scrolling horizontal until
it reaches the extreme right edge of the line ( column 999 ),
where it stops.
CTRL-LEFT ARROW or CTRL-A - WORD LEFT. Moves the cursor to
the beginning of the word to the left. This command works
across line breaks.
CTRL-RIGHT ARROW or CTRL-F - WORD RIGHT. Move the cursor to
the beginning of the word to the right. This command works
across line breaks.
UP ARROW or CTRL-E - LINE UP. Moves the cursor to the line
above. If the cursor is on the line of the window, the window
scrolls down one line (if there is more text to scroll).
DOWN ARROW or CTRL-X - LINE DOWN. Moves the cursor to the
line below. If the cursor is on the last line of the window,
the window scrolls down one line (if there is more text to
PGUP or CTRL-R - PAGE UP. Moves the cursor one page up with
an overlap of one line.
PGDN or CTRL-C - PAGE DOWN. Moves the cursor one page down
with an overlap of one line.
CTRL-K 0..3 - SET MARKER. Sets one of the ten text markers at
the current position of the cursor. CTRL-K 0 sets marker 0
and CTRL-K 1 sets marker 1 . . .
CTRL-Q 0..3 - GOTO MARKER. Goes to the specified marker. If
the specified marker has not been set the cursor does not
CTRL-Q-P - PREVIOUS CURSOR POSITION. Moves the cursor to its
previous position. This works after a Find or a Find/Replace
function has been carried out.
DEL or CTRL-G - DELETE CURRENT CHARACTER. Deletes the
character which contains the cursor the cursor does not move.
BACKSPACE or CTRL-H - DELETE CHARACTER TO THE LEFT. Deletes
the character to the left of the cursor and moves the cursor
CTRL-Y - DELETE LINE. Deletes the entire line that contains
CTRL-Q-Y - DELETE TO THE END OF LINE. Deletes from the
character position to the end of the line.
CTRL-T - DELETE WORD. Deletes the text up to the beginning of
the word to the right of the cursor.
TAB - INDENT. Indents the cursor to the first character of
the previous line that is past the position of the cursor.
5.1.2 Find & Replace Commands
B - Searches backwards from the current cursor position
toward the beginning of the file.
G - Searches globally. The entire file is scanned for the
search string regardless of the current cursor position.
L - Searches only the marked block.
U - Ignores case configuration.
W - Searches for whole words only, skips out matching
patterns embedded in other words.
n - n may be any number. Find the nth occurence of the search
string counted from the current cursor position.
CTRL-Q-F - FIND. Lets you search for string of up to 67
characters. When you call this command you will be asked for
a search string and then options; you can include any of the
above options in any combinations.
CTRL-Q-A - FIND/REPLACE. Lets you search for a string the
same way as above however it replaces that string with a
specified replace string. There is one more option that is
available for searching : N this lets you skip confirmation
to replace every match.
CTRL-L - REPEAT LAST SEARCH. This command will do the last
search that you did again allowing you to quickly find the
next occurence of the search string without reentering the
5.1.3 Block Commands
F7 or CTRL-K-B - BEGIN BLOCK. Marks the beginning of a block.
The block is not visible unless an end of block marker has
been set. The block is shown in highlighted text.
F8 or CTRL-K-K - END BLOCK. Marks the end of a block. Like
the begin-block command the block does not become visible
unless a start of block marker has been set.
CTRL-K-C - COPY BLOCK. Creates a copy of a marked and
displayed block at the current cursor position. The original
block is left unchanged, and the markers are placed around
the new copy of the block.
CTRL-K-V - MOVE BLOCK. Moves a marked and displayed block
from its current position to the cursor's position. The
markers remain around the block at its new position.
CTRL-K-Y - DELETE BLOCK. Delete a marked and displayed block.
Although the Undo last deletion command ( ctrl-Q-U ) can
usually restore portions of an accidentally deleted block,
there is no command to restore a deleted block in its
entirety so use this command with care.
CTRL-K-H - HIDE BLOCK. Toggles off and on the visual marking
of a block.
CTRL-K-T - MARK WORD. Marks word contained by the cursor as a
CTRL-K-R - READ BLOCK FROM FILE. Reads a file into the text
at the cursor's current position exactly as if it were copied
from another part of the text. You are prompted for the path
and name of the file.
CTRL-K-W - WRITE BLOCK TO FILE. Writes the currently marked
block to a file. You are first prompted for a file name, and
then ProBat writes the block to disk under that name with no
change to its text.
5.1.4 Miscellaneous Commands
CTRL-U - ABORT. Halts whatever command is already in
CTRL-K-S - SAVE AND EDIT. Simply save the current file and
CTRL-Q-L - RESTORE LINE. Will undo any changes done to the
current line since you entered that line. It does not work
after you left that line anymore.
CTRL-Q-U - UNDO DELETION. Restores whole lines deleted with
the delete line command (CTRL-Y) or the Delete block command
( ctrl-K-Y ). It does not restore single characters or words.
INS or CTRL-V - TOGGLE INSERT MODE. Selects Insert or
Overwrite mode. The cursor's size is an indication of which
mode you are in.
CTRL-Q-I - TOGGLE AUTOINDENT. When autoindent mode is in
effect, the new line command ( ENTER ) will return the cursor
to the first character of the previous line.
F10 - EXIT EDITOR. This command will return you to the main
menu. However it does not save the file, so you must keep
that in mind.
5.2 Editor Help
The editor's help system isn't very extensive. All that is
included are tables of commands. When you push F1 you are
faced with a message and a menu from which you can select a
group of commands to choose to get further help.
6. The Prompt Editor
The line editor which is used for all of the prompts has
itself many commands to alter and edit text. If you are
presented with a response already you can enter that response
Home : This moves the cursor to the beginning of your line.
End : This moves the cursor to the end of your line.
Insert : This will toggle the insert specification. If you
have it on then hitting the insert key will call overwrite
and vice versa.
Del : This key will delete the Digit that the cursor is
BackSpace : This key moves the cursor backwards one space at
a time while deleting every character in its path.
ALT-B : This key will automatically enter the path name of
the file in the editor to the prompt editor.
ALT-S : This key will automatically enter the path name of
the screen file that is in current use.
Horizontal arrow keys : These keys will move, in their
respective direction, the cursor one space.
Vertical arrow keys : These keys are treated as the
7. The Screen Generator
The screen generator is a low level word processor that
allows you to type anything on the screen in any video
attribute, including boxes with either of the two IBM line
modes (single and double). The generator does not have any
idea what you are typing in. After you have typed the key the
screen generator forgets what it was. Therefore if you go to
the same place again the generator won't know what is there
so it ignores it. If you type a character on top of another
character the original character will be lost. Arrow keys are
not included as characters, if you hit an arrow key when
there is another character at the cursor the original
character will still be there.
If you are editing a screen by having used the Edit existing
screen or the Add a new screen option and are finished doing
so, you will want to save it. Pushing F10 does not save the
screen before giving you back ProBat, you must first use F9
or your screen will be lost. Be careful, after much thought I
concluded that this was the best way because this way you can
edit - save and continue editing without leaving the
generator or the screen. In short save before you are
finished or mid way in your editing job in case an accident
The theory upon how the screen generator is integrated into
the rest of Pro-Bat is this. You work on screens in a file
environment, each screen being a separate record withen a
file that stores your screens. You can change a screen at
your whim after you have created and saved it once, just like
a word processor. However the first screen in the file is a
special screen. It is numbered 0 and is called the template.
Presumably when you store screens in a file those screens
must somehow be related. For instance in the file EXAMPLE.SCR
all of those screens are for display in the sample menu
system. We can assume that on some circumstances the screens
in the file may look very familiar to each other. This is
where the template comes in. To work on a series of screens,
all you have to do is load the template before you start work
on each screen. Then doing whatever is unique about each
7.1 The Screen Generator Menu
The screen generator has several functions that can be
accessed via a menu. This menu is called up by pressing F10
when you are in the screen generator. Those functions are
Change foreground color
Choosing this option calls up a menu of the 16 different
colors possible in a CGA system, choosing one of those colors
changes the color with which the foreground of subsequent
text is displayed.
Change background color
This option is identical to the above only that you choose
the background color.
Display color table
This option will merely bring up a reference table of the
numerical values of the colors in the CGA spectrum.
Load the template
This option loads screen no 0 into the present screen and
allows you to edit it. The editing you do does nothing to
change the template screen. if you have worked on a screen
and then load the template the work you have done previously
will be lost.
Save this screen
This option will save the screen you are working on in the
correct position in the file.
Abandon this screen
This will merely give you a clear slate by clearing the
screen. If you saved your previous work however then that
work still exists on the disk.
Toggle box mode
When on box mode allows you to display boxes. Selecting this
mode changes the value of box mode. If it was on it will be
turned off and vice versa. To display a box use the following
keys when in box mode:
w rrrrr e ie. W : Top left corner
f f R : Horizontal line
f f E : Top right corner
s rrrrr d F : Vertical line
D : Bottom right corner
S : Bottom left corner
Toggle box style
This changes the line mode between single and double
regardless of the value of the Box drawing mode.
Selecting this option will display a window containing the
-Value of Box drawing mode
-Type of Box style enabled
Quit screen generator
This function will allow you to exit the screen generator
back to the point where you left ProBat. It will not check to
see if you have saved your screen, so if you need to make
sure you do.
8. The Supplementary Programs
On the distribution disk there are two PB????.EXE files.
These two files are not cardinal to ProBat's running however
if you want to take full advantage of ProBat's capabilities
then you will be using these programs. There are two of them:
PBSHOW.EXE and PBMENU.EXE. Each has their own use and each
depend on ProBat to produce the things they need to run
however once they have them they run totally on their own.
This file is used in conjunction with the .SCR files it is
your ticket to displaying the screens you have created in
ProBat from within a batch file.
Usage : PBSHOW %1 %2 where %1 & %2 are parameters you pass to
%1 - The number of screen in the file you want
displayed. The first screen is #0, the
second screen is #1 etc.
%2 - The file that the screen is located in.
ie MYSCRNS.SCR. Therefore typing PBSHOW
0 MYSCRNS.SCR will display the first
screen in the file MYSCRNS.SCR.
This file is used to display your customized menu. If you
haven't defined one using the Enter menu data option of the
Menu menu then it won't work, otherwise it will display the
Keys and Items that you defined.
Usage : PBMENU. All you have to type is the files name. From
there the program will display your menu ( in a very
good-looking graphic format ). PBMENU will take your reponse
and pass it to your CUSTMENU.BAT file as a parameter.
CustMenu.bat : This file is a batch file that does what your
menu says it will do. For example lets say that the user of
your menu selects the first option of your menu. That
response will be passed to this file as a parameter. Lets say
the first option of your menu was
1. Run Word Processor
The user would have typed 1 [RETURN] therefore CustMenu
would be given '1' as its parameter. If you have a label in
CUSTMENU.BAT called 1 then you can differentiate the input
with labels. If you are unfamiliar with labels and batch file
structure please refer to you MS-DOS manual, it should be
explained there. Books such as Running Ms-Dos by Van
Wolverton are also very helpful! So the CustMenu file might
look like this
REM or whatever wordprocessor you own
REM the above line is very important. It must
REM be the last line in each Label or DOS will
REM run each label that appears after the one
REM you wanted before returning you to the
REM one label for each key of your menu would
REM exist here.
REM Or whatever directory you hold the PBMENU
REM program in. This line is very important
REM because otherwise PBMENU won't be able to
REM find CUSTMENU.BAT to run your next choice.
9. The Pro-Bat Help System
The ProBat help system is a very extensive one. If you
can see it in the main menu then you can get help on it. It
is easy to use and very comprehensible.
By hitting the key F1 you have a resource of information
which is much more concise though certainly comparable to
this manual's. By working your way through the help system
using the menus you can eventually find what you want.
However this is slow and becomes too repetitive if you want
to look at twice very quickly. To solve this problem there
are two other ways to access the information: ALT-F1 and
ALT-F1. Pressing this combination of keys gives you very
specific information. It will tell you all about the part of
Pro-Bat that the highlighted selection bar is positioned on.
For instance say you are in the Screens menu and the
highlight bar is on Delete a screen from file and you press
ALT-F1. Strange and wonderful things happen. You get
information on what Deleting a screen from file is all about.
With this method of Help access the beginner can quickly get
the gist of how to use the program. And more or less what the
program can do for you.
CTRL-F1. To complement ALT-F1 there is this capability.
If this sequence of keys is pressed then you will get help on
whichever menu is currently open. Say that you are in the
Edit menu. You press CTRL-F1 and you get a message revealing
what this menu is all about and also a menu with each item of
this menu included so that you can select more specific help.
NOTE - The help system should not be used as an alternative
to the manual. Before using Pro-Bat heavily you should
understand a large protion of the manual. The program was not
written by a professional and doesn't have a large degree of
file protection written into it. If you have read the manual
thoroughly you shouldn't run into any problem. I'm not saying
that something WILL happen so READ THE MANUAL but there is
nothing wrong with some prevention.
On-Line help can be reached by phoning me at 1-(604)-365-6676
or 1-(604)-926-0366 (use the 1 only if it is long distance).
I am only too glad to provide technical assistance, I realize
its need and I enjoy helping you, so feel free.
10. Running Pro-Bat
ProBat is a very well behaved program if you run it the
way it likes to be run. By this I mean that if you keep a few
things in mind about where files are and when you need and
when they should be where you should avoid that noisy alarm
that always sounds when something goes wrong.
10.1 Running off a hard disk setup
With the fixed disk type set-up, I have found that using one
directory say "c:\bat" to store absolutely everything you
need for ProBat on that directory, and include that directory
in your path command. That way when you want to run the menu
program, if the last line of your CustMenu.BAT file is
"CD\BAT" then the program will always return to where the
files that it needs are located. The only problem though is
with using the PBShow progam. Say that one of your batch
files is of in some directory and it wants to run the PBShow
program. What does it do? It will run the program but it
won't find whatever .SCR file you want because it is located
in C:\BAT. You have two options, 1) relocate the .SCR file or
2) always use a pipe command with PBShow like this: "CD\BAT |
PbShow 0 MyScrns.scr | CD\WORD". With this set up DOS will go
to c:\bat run PbShow and then go back to c:\word, if that's
the directory the file was in - whatever! Both will work, but
I recommend the latter. With this way you know where in hell
all your .SCR files are, and you don't have to use long
repetitive path names when refering to them inside Pro-Bat.
It is however slower because the directory has to be changed.
By storing all of your Pro-Bat stuff on one directory you
don't have to worry about editing batch files that are on
another directory like the autoexec batch file. Because you
can refer to it as c:\autoexec.bat and Pro-Bat knows what you
are talking about. It is for this reason that I included that
function in Pro-Bat. It makes running the program a lot
simpler. With this kind of a set up you won't have to use the
Change dir function in the file menu but it is there if you
If you do decide to take advantage of the Menu you can create
then you should do this type of a thing: Write an autoexec
batch file that at the end changes directory to c:\bat and
runs the menu program. Things should go smoothly, don't
forget to add the line CD\BAT to the end of the autoexec file
or PbMenu won't run properly.
10.2 Running off a floppy setup
ProBat does really work best on a hard drive, but what
program doesn't? Anyway with a little thought ProBat can be a
great help even on floppy setups. If you only have one floppy
though you're out of luck. All you can do is run the program
and write batch files. You can take full advantage of the
screen utility but all you do with the menu stuff is look at
it. Or you can look at your bank account and go and by a 5
meg HD if its all you can afford. The speed of a HD alone is
worth it. To run the PBMenu program you always need the
system diskete in the drive that the machine booted from,
always. So if you want to use the Menu program it is
possible. However there is a draw back. (Isn't there always?)
Because PBMenu has to read a .DTA file (PBMenu.DTA) it takes
a little while running of a floppy. Soooo, what you can do is
this - configure a ram disk. See your Ms-Dos manual for
particulars on doing that ( if you're not running Ms-Dos 3.x
forget about it ). What you can do with that is create a
system diskette that has an autoexec file on it like this:
copy PBMenu.* d:
copy CustMenu.bat d:
After this, your CustMenu. bat file will look something like
this when asked to run the Word process label (say it is
5 echo off
7 echo Please insert the Word Process diskette in drive B
11 goto DONE
( Line numbers for reference only. )
This way you have control over your applications if
you want it without having to worry about DOS commands. If
you are not familiar with the PAUSE command in line #8 it
displays "Strike a key when ready . . ." this way you have
displayed a message to the user saying that when you are
finished the task you should do hit a key to continue.
Remember that the disk you booted the system with should
always remain in the A drive because PBMenu has to look at
Command.COM everytime it runs CUSTMENU.BAT. That is where a
hard drive is nice because it takes a while to read the .COM
NOTE - If you want disk transfer of files ( reading and
writing ) to work faster try adding the line "Buffers=30" to
your config.sys file.
11. The Pro-Bat Disk
The distribution disk holds the following files:
ProBat.exe -> Pro-Bat the executable program.
PBMenu.exe -> The executable menu program.
PBShow.exe -> The executable program for displaying
PrintMan.exe -> The executable program to print the manual.
ProBat.man -> The Pro-Bat manual.
ReadMe.now -> Text file with last minute specific notes.
RegForm.txt -> Registration form to send in.
If your version doesn't contain all of these files and you
would like them then write and register and I will send you a
complimentary disk. If you don't have the registration form
then you must include if you don't mind, your first and last
names, your phone number (area code too please) and your
address, along with the twenty-five dollar registration fee.
Please also include the version of the copy that you are
currently using and the registration number. This, so that I
can justly reward whomever gave you the copy. Please see the
below section Benefits of Registration for enticement to
register. Make checks payable to me, Mark Tigges.
In addition the diskette contains several files that are
for the example on using ProBat. Study these files and
understand there use and purpose and you will understand
ProBat. They are:
-> Example.SCR - holds the screens for the menu system
-> CustMenu.BAT - batch file to carry out menu options
-> PBMenu.Dta - data file holding menu data
11.1 PrintMan.EXE . . . Usage
To print this manual properly you must use this file. At the
Dos command line just type PrintMan. If you include "CRT" as
a parameter then the manual will be printed to the screen.
12. About Ansi.SYS
Ansi.SYS is a file included with MS-DOS. What it can do is
this, give you control over: video attributes, cursor
position, and other things. Therefore if you have used
PBShow.EXE to display a screen you may want to move the
cursor to a specific place on the screen. To do this you use
Ansi.SYS commands in your batch file. The commands are much
to lengthy to repeat here, they are in your Ms-Dos manual
anyways. Besides if I listed them here I would be plagerizing
from my MicroSoft press Ms - Dos manual - that is against the
law so I won't. However these commands can be used just about
anywhere and I use them extensively in my favorite system
prompt. I have displayed that prompt for you below as an
Quite lengthy. This is what it says.
$e[s - save current cursor position
$e[7m - change display attribute to reverse video
$e[1;1H - move cursor to position 1,1
$p - display the path
$e[m - put display attributes back to normal
$e[K - delete to the end of line
$e[1;67H - move cursor to position 1,67
$d - display the date
$e[2;67H - move cursor to 2,67
$t - display the time
$h$h$h - delete last 3 characters - hundreths of seconds
$e[u - restore the cursor position, from the saved value
. - the actual prompt that is there on each line
By the way if you want to use the ANSI commands you have to
include in your config.sys file the line "device=ansi.sys",
you also have to make sure that ansi.sys is on the root
directory of the system disk that you are using to boot.
13. Registering Your Copy of Pro-Bat
Pro-Bat is more or less a piece of software that you can use
for free. However it is very highly recomended that if you
have copied Pro-Bat from someone and you have come to the
conclusion that you want to use Pro-Bat that you should
follow these steps to register:
1. Fill out the registration form supplied on the
distrubution disk in the file named RegForm.txt. The
owner and registration number of the copy is displayed
when ProBat starts at the version screen. Hit CTRL-V
in the PullDown menu and this screen will be repeated.
Hitting CTRL-R will bring up the registration
information and a message about shareware, you can
find the necessary information there as well.
2. Send me the completed form with enclosed check or
money order at
2925 Altamont Cr.
West Vancouver B.C.
as well as an explanation for your planned use of the
program, simply because I am very interested.
The cost of registering your copy is $35 US, please
enclose this sum with the registration form. It would be
greatly appreciated if you also enclosed some hints about
what I should add for future versions. If you have noticed
any bugs in the program, or you think something else should
happen at one point in the program, then please include that
If you are a business and would like to use Pro-Bat to
help set up systems in your offices then you can get a lower
price per unit ($5.00 discount per 5 units to minumum of
$10.00 per unit).
If regform.txt is not present on the distribution disk
then send the following information:
Your : - Name
- Phone #
- Address ( inc. Country )
- The registration number of the copy you are
- The Version number
- Amount ($) enclosed
- If you want the same version you are using or the
newest version. There may be a slight increase in
cost for subsequent versions.
/Benefits of registration
1. Version updates for the price of a disk plus five dollars.
2. If somebody else registers a copy with your number then
you get the five dollars taken away from your next version
3. A version of Pro-Bat that has your name written into it.
Instead of somebody elses.
4. A free conscience.
Thank you for registering. ShareWare is a benefit to both
user and author however it can't succeed without your
cooperation and support.
Enjoy the program.