Contents of the AQ.DOC file
A L P H A Q U O T E
(C) Copyright 1989, 1990
111 Eighth Street, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
This program is produced by a
(R) member of the Association of
o Shareware Professionals(ASP).
Association of ASP wants to make sure that
Shareware the shareware principle works
o Professionals for you. If you are unable to
resolve a shareware-related
MEMBER problem with an ASP member by
contacting the member directly,
ASP may be able to help. The ASP Ombudsman can help you resolve a dispute
or problem with an ASP member, but does not provide technical support for
members' products. Please write to the ASP Ombudsman at P.O. Box 5786,
Bellevue, WA 98006 or send a Compuserve message via easyplex to ASP
ALPHAQUOTE is Shareware, not in the Public Domain. You are
granted, at no charge, the right to determine the suitability of
this software for your needs. If you do find ALPHAQUOTE suitable
and make use of it, you are expected to register with the author.
Registration will remove the delay screen, grant unlimited
telephone support privileges and provide printed documentation with
ample screen examples. Your contribution helps shareware authors
bring better and more affordable software to you. Please
redistribute this program to others.
Visa and MasterCard honored
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY
DUE TO THE LARGE NUMBER OF HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE ENVIRONMENTS INTO
WHICH THIS PROGRAM MAY BE PLACED, NO WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A
PARTICULAR PURPOSE IS OFFERED. THOROUGHLY TEST THIS PROGRAM WITH
NON-CRITICAL DATA BEFORE RELYING ON IT. THE USER MUST ASSUME THE
ENTIRE RISK OF USING THIS PROGRAM. THE SELLER'S MAXIMUM LIABILITY
WILL BE LIMITED TO REFUND OF THE PURCHASE PRICE OR PROGRAM
To register ALPHAQUOTE 2.0 please fill out this form and send it with
a check, Visa or MasterCard number in the amount of $29.00 to:
111 8th St., S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
VISA/MASTERCARD NO. ___________________________________
EXPIRATION DATE _________/__________/_______________
Total enclosed _____
Disk Size: __ 5 1/4'' __ 3 1/2''
Where did you get this program? ____________________________________
TABLE OF CONTENTS
IF YOU ARE A TRADITIONAL TYPESETTER?.........................1
WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT A TRADITIONAL TYPESETTER.................1
ALPHABYTES, INCORPORATED is a member of:
The Association of Shareware Professionals
Printing Industries of America
Printing Industries of Metropolitan Washington
National Composition and Prepress Association
ALPHAQUOTE is a typesetting estimating and copyfitting program written
for the IBM-PC and close compatibles. The intent of the program is to
offer the user an easy, fast, and consistent method of pricing work
or comparing the price of desktop publishing with traditional
typesetting. This 2.0 version has been totally rewritten in the 'C'
programming language. New additions include the ability to print
attractive reports, save estimates to disk, instantly preview estimates,
and calculate from printed pages as well as from a character count.
ALPHAQUOTE features a pop-up calculator that not only does standard
math, but performs difficult typesetting conversions such as inches
to picas and points and picas and points to inches. The methods
and formulas in ALPHAQUOTE are based on the author's 20 years of
experience in the typesetting and printing industry.
With the high number of variables in typesetting or desktop publishing
no estimating program can offer 100% accuracy. However, by answering
the questions in ALPHAQUOTE consistently and honestly, this program will
deliver highly accurate results. ALPHAQUOTE's results can never be
any more accurate than the data you supply.
WHAT IF YOU ARE A TRADITIONAL TYPESETTER
ALPHAQUOTE was a commercial software program written specifically
for the typesetting industry. With the recent success of shareware
as a marketing tool for software developers, ALPHAQUOTE has been
rewritten and re-released as shareware.
A traditional typesetter will find ALPHAQUOTE straightforward.
Enter your company's hourly rates in the [S]etup section, then answer
the questions in [E]stimate/Copyfit. Be sure to determine which strategy
you will be using before beginning.
WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT A TRADITIONAL TYPESETTER.
One of ALPHAQUOTE's great strengths is its ability to show the
non-traditional typesetter or desktop publisher what his or her product
is worth compared to the traditional method. Whether it's for budget
purposes, or to show the "BOSS" what you're worth, ALPHAQUOTE is an
One great difficulty non-traditional typesetters may encounter is
the determination of the hourly rates for a particular area.
Determination could be made by calling a local traditional typesetter
asking for hourly rates, but a favorable reply would be doubtful.
To solve the problem a program named generate.exe was included in
the archive you received. When run separately, generate.exe will create
hourly rates specific for your operation. Generate.exe asks four basic
questions relating to geography and type of work you wish to estimate.
By default, the setup information, contained in a file named "alpha.dta"
is calibrated for the Washington, DC area. You may leave the setup as it
is or run the generate.exe program to customize the rates for your area.
Generate will change the setup file "alpha.dta" to reflect the new hourly
Copy the archive file you received (AQ??.EXE) to a subdirectory of
your choice. After changing to that subdirectory type the name
of the file (example AQ20). The program will be unbundled automatically.
To activate ALPHAQUOTE:
This unregistered copy of ALPHAQUOTE will display a 20 second plea
for registration before the program begins. Registered versions of
ALPHAQUOTE will bypass the delay, provide a printed manual and free
ALPHAQUOTE can be used to estimate many different types of
publications such as magazines, newspapers, newsletters and books.
There are two basic estimating strategies to use with ALPHAQUOTE
-- one strategy for a consistent layout and another for an
For example, books and technical documents generally have a
consistent layout. Page after page is virtually the same with an
occasional chapter drop or piece of spot art or halftone. For these
projects ALPHAQUOTE is quite straightforward. Answer the questions
from the various menus as they are presented and when finished, press
'V' from the MAIN MENU to preview the results.
Magazines are an example of inconsistent layout. The opening pages
may be two columns and later one three columns. The typeface and
point size may vary and some pages may be more complex than others.
The best approach to an inconsistent layout is to estimate each
ALPHAQUOTE allows input based on the number of characters or number
of pages to describe the length of the document to be estimated.
For an inconsistent layout, answer the Number of Characters
question with zero (0) and the Number of Pages with 1. Answer all
of the other questions appropriately. Press 'V' from the MAIN MENU
to see the results for page 1. Select 'E' from the MAIN MENU.
Using the PGDN, PGUP and CURSOR keys, navigate to the items that
change for page 2.
For example, page 1 is a 2 column page, but page 2 is 3 columns.
Navigate to the columns question change the 2 to a 3 then press F2
for the result. ALPHAQUOTE will quickly recalculate using the new
information. Go through the entire job looking for exceptions, making
just those changes, and then press F2 for an immediate preview. Magazines
tend to have sections that are the same. Lumping like sections
together will speed the estimating process.
Unfortunately, version 2.0 of ALPHAQUOTE does not keep track
of the individual pages when estimating an inconsistent layout.
Keep track of each page, and then add them together after the last page
for a job total.
The MAIN MENU shown below is the access point for all of the
functions of the ALPHAQUOTE program. Select the letter of the
function you wish to use. After completion of the function,
ALPHAQUOTE will return to the MAIN MENU at which time another
selection can be made. Please read all of this documentation
before attempting to run the program.
M A I N M E N U
The answers to the questions in the SETUP function need only to be
entered initially or when hourly rates change. Answer the questions
as they appear. If SETUP has been completed once, those values will
appear in the response boxes when SETUP is recalled. They may be
modified at this time.
All penalty and credit percentages are percentages which will be
applied against the base price. In the example, a response of Fair
for Copy/Pasteup conditions, will result in 15% of the base price ADDED
to the base price.
example Copy/Pasteup conditions percentage PENALTY factors
Good % 5 Fair % 15 Poor % 30
Telcomm/Media percentages are CREDITS and will SUBTRACT that
percentage from the base price. Use the Language/Tabular penalty for
any more difficult work such as math, run-arounds, or tabular.
example Telcomm/Media coding CREDIT percentage factors
Good % 7 Some % 20 All % 30
Page two of the SETUP function contains questions pertaining to
Company Name, Company Address, Company City/State. The responses
are used to form the masthead portion of the printed report
produced by selection [P]rint of the MAIN MENU.
ALPHAQUOTE contains a generic printer driver program that
works on most printers. Select "D" for a dot matrix printer, "L" for
a letter quality printer or "G" for generic. For LaserJet owners
select "G". This completes the SETUP function. Again, this function
needs to be accessed only when changes occur to the hourly rates or
After selecting [E]stimate/Copyfit from the MAIN MENU three questions
appear. The questions are are Customer Name, Description, and Estimator.
The answers not only serve to identify the estimate but are also a part
of the printed report. Please note that at the bottom of the screen
appears a box with six F key (function key) options. These six
keys may be pressed for instant response from almost anywhere in
the program. You may navigate (cursor up, down, etc.) to any question,
change that answer, then press F2 to view the effect of the change.
F1 HELP F2 STATUS F3 CALC F4 MAIN F5 DOS F10 QUIT
F1 Context sensitive help from almost anywhere in the program.
F2 Instant recalculation with a preview of the estimate.
F3 Graphic arts calculator
F4 or ESC Return to the MAIN MENU.
F5 Shell to DOS. Type exit to return to ALPHAQUOTE
F10 Quit to DOS
Please answer the questions as they appear. You may use PGUP, PGDN,
or CURSOR UP, DN, LEFT, RIGHT or BKSP. The insert key is a toggle for
insert and overstrike.
Enter the number of characters. This may be derived from reading a
disk directory (if needed use F5 DOS to get a disk directory) or, in the
case of manuscript, counting the number of characters on an average page
then multiplying that times the number of pages.
If you do not know how many characters are in the job, enter 0 (zero)
and the next prompt will be Number of Pages. This refers to typeset pages
and is very useful in estimating jobs that are already typeset and
printed. Enter the number of pages and ALPHAQUOTE will calculate the
number of characters after you have filled in the point size and leading.
Note that any answer other than 0 in the No. Characters prompt will cause
the cursor to skip to point size. The program must know either the number
of characters or the number of pages. If you choose to estimate from
characters you will not be allowed to change the pages. ALPHAQUOTE will
calculate the pages for you. If you choose pages, ALPHAQUOTE will
calculate the number of characters for you.
Enter the point size in points and decimal tenths. Enter the leading
in points and decimal tenths.
Enter the column width in whole picas, then points.
example: Width 21 Points 06
At the prompt for Characters Per Pica, a pop-up box appears which
contains typical characters-per-pica values for large, medium and
small typefaces. You may use these values or values from your own
reference. A list of typefaces and the size categories they fall
in can be found in the HELP system under selection [H]elp. HELP
also contains a graphic description of the relationship of point size
Enter the number of columns (1,2,3, etc.). Enter the Page Depth or
image area in picas and decimal tenths. Enter the Page Density. Page
Density is the relationship of type to white space within the image area
on the average page. Use the value you feel best describes the percentage
of type on a page. If the type density varies greatly throughout the job,
divide it into similar sections, calculating each section and then adding
Enter the Foreign or Tabular Percentage. This is the percentage of
the job that consists of foreign language, tabular, math, or other
more difficult material.
Copy Condition relates to the legibility, organization, and
completeness of the copy. The response to this question references
the penalty percentage entered in SETUP and this percentage is added to
the base price. If the job is telecommunicated or is supplied on disk
the answer to this question should be 0. If the next question,
Media/Telcom is answered Y, then another question will appear asking
for the amount of coding supplied. The response to this question
references the credit percentages in SETUP. This percentage is
SUBTRACTED from the base price.
Is Pasteup required Y/N. If the answer is Y, then several other
questions appear. Pasteup dimensions are entered in inches and decimal
inches. Condition relates to the condition of the pasteup. Things to
take into consideration here are the condition of the customer supplied
dummy, printed sample, necessity of halftone sizing, organization and
cleanliness. This response references the penalty percentage values in
SETUP and this percentage is ADDED to the pasteup price.
Design (hours) should be answered with hours and decimal hours.
This response is multiplied times the design hourly rate and becomes the
Enter the Overtime rate as follows ( 1.5 = time and one half,
2 = double time, 3 = triple time). Percentage done on overtime is
the portion of the job, expressed as a percentage, that was actually
performed on overtime.
Outside charges are considered to be any charges incurred away as
outside costs. Include such costs as printing, headlines, and additional
Delivery charges should include all possible deliveries. Examples
are initial pick up, galley proofs, page proofs, and the final delivery.
Outside purchases and Delivery charges are entered as dollars and
ALPHAQUOTE contains a generic printer driver which will work on
most printers. Select [P]rint from the MAIN MENU and the printer will
be activated, printing the information from the SETUP, and the values
for the current estimate. The printed report is intended for filing,
although subsequent versions of this program will offer a PostScript
output driver suitable supplying printed estimates for direct
presentation to the customer. You may make use of the notes area and
fill in the name of the person to whom the estimate was given.
The VIEW STATUS (preview) function is enabled by selecting [V]IEW
STATUS at the MAIN MENU or pressing F2 elsewhere in the program. VIEW
STATUS opens a window that totals and displays the data gathered at
that point in the program. Cost information is broken down into base price,
additionals (penalties and other charges), total price, and price
per page. When an estimate is recalled from disk, the status
should be checked. This will allow verification of the file and
retotal the values present. Press F3 to zoom in, for more cost detail.
The COST SUMMARY window gives more specific price information. Each
penalty, credit, and work area charge is displayed. Telcomm is
shown as a credit and is subtracted from the total. Price per page
is the total price divided by the number of pages.
RESET SATUS will initialize the status window. All of the values
will return to zero. For your convenience, the Customer Name, Job
Name and Estimator will remain. Always use this option to clear the
screen prior to recalling an estimate file from disk.
This option allows [R]etrieve, [S]ave, and [D]irectory. All
estimates, when saved, are automatically given the extension ".est".
Answer the prompt for drive, path, and file name in the standard
d:bugle,c:\xywrite\bugle, c:\xywrite\alpha\bugle etc.
For both the [R]trieve and [S]ave option, the ".est" extension is
automatically supplied. Give only the name for the file (Bugle,
Acme, etc.). The [S]ave option will issue a warning if the estimate
file you are trying to save already exists.
To obtain a directory listing from a subdirectory, please include
the trailing backslash (d:\xywrite\*.est). The ".est" is provided.
Prior to retrieving an estimate from disk, use option [R]ESET STATUS
from the MAIN MENU to clear the previous status information.
ALPHAQUOTE offers extensive on-line help which is available through
option [H]ELP of the MAIN MENU. Nine pop-up help areas are currently
included with the program are all available from the MAIN MENU
option [H]ELP. While in other sections of the program, help screens
specific to that area are available by depressing F1.
A pop-up calculator is available in ALPHAQUOTE. Press F3 anywhere
in the program or [C]ALCULATOR from the MAIN MENU and the calculator
will pop on the screen. The calculator features addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division. Additionally, the calculator converts
inches to picas and points and, conversely, converts picas and points
to inches. Enter the first number at the prompt. Next enter the
operator (+ add, - subtract, multiply, / divide) followed by the second
number. Press enter and the total will appear on the right.
To convert from picas and points to inches, enter the picas and
points with a comma separating them (21 picas 6 points = 21,06) at
the prompt. Fewer than 10 points must have a preceding zero (01, 02,
03, 10, 11, 12). Enter P for the operator. The result will be
display as inches and decimal tenths of inches. To convert from
inches to picas and points enter the inches as inches and decimal
inches at the first prompt. Enter I as the operator. The result
will be displayed as picas and points.
Enter the 1st number [ENTER] 256
Enter the operator(*,+,-,/,P,I) 256 *
Enter the 2nd number [ENTER] 256 * 2
The answer 256 * 2 =512
Two additional features of the calculator offer pica
and inches conversions.
Enter the Picas & points (note 25.06
.06 not 6) [ENTER]
Enter P as the operator [ENTER] 25.06 P
The answer 25.06 P Picas & pts -> 4.25 Inches
To convert inches to picas and points use the I
Another program available from AlphaBytes is CODE TO CODE. CODE TO
CODE is also shareware and registration is $29.00. CODE TO CODE
automatically removes cryptic codes left in text files by typesetting
and desktop publishing programs. Codes can be stripped completely, or
moved to another file. If the codes are moved to another file, the
stripped file can be edited and then have the codes reinserted in their
new relative position. The program can automatically split and
rejoin large files allowing several people to work on the same job at
the same time. CODE TO CODE is menu or command driven.