Dec 182017
This is version 4.0 of Fred's Checkbook. A good checkbook manager and home ledger program.
File FC4.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Financial and Statistics
This is version 4.0 of Fred’s Checkbook. A good checkbook manager and home ledger program.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
FC4.DOC 79965 20369 deflated
FC4.EXE 110944 47357 deflated
FC4ACCTS.DTA 58 21 deflated
FC4CHART.DTA 0 0 stored
FC4ENTRY.DTA 0 0 stored
FC4EXPEN.DTA 43 18 deflated
FC4HELP.DTA 23040 5906 deflated
FC4INFO.DOC 7540 2878 deflated
FC4TECH.DOC 3191 1156 deflated
FC4USERS.DTA 100 45 deflated
LICENSE.DOC 2910 897 deflated
README.EXE 24224 12327 deflated
VENDOR.DOC 1516 714 deflated

Download File FC4.ZIP Here

Contents of the FC4.DOC file

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Fred's Checkbook!

and Financial Consultant

Personal and small business
checkbook & expense ledger program

Copyright 1989 by Jon Kolstad
All rights reserved


Jon Kolstad
560 Norton Lane
Arnold MD 21012

Phone support
(301) 757-1740 ext. 38
(301) 974-1246

Toll free Master Card & Visa
registration at 1-800-874-9702

Requirements: Fred's Checkbook! 4.0 runs on IBM
personal computers and compatibles. DOS version 2.1 or
higher and 384k (256k available memory) are required.

Copyright 1989 by Jon Kolstad
All rights reserved.

You may freely distribute an occasional copy
of this program to friends etc. Please refer
to item one (1) below.

If you are a software distributor of any
type, "Freeware", "Shareware", "Public
Domain", "Bulletin Board", etc. then you must
meet the following conditions:

1. The program and all supporting files
including help screens, and documentation
must be complete and un-modified.

2. You must notify the author, in writing, of
your intent to distribute this program,
including the purpose and conditions of your

Send notification to:

Jon Kolstad
560 Norton Lane
Arnold MD 21012


The author provides this software by making
no claim to it's suitability for yours or any
other purpose. In no event will the author be
liable to you for any damages, including any
lost profits, lost savings or other
incidental or consequential damages or for
any claim by any other party, even if the
author has been advised of the possibility of
such damages.

Originally published in 1984
Now in use world wide.
Conceived, written, and produced in
the United States of America

Written in Borland's Turbo Pascal 5.0 on a Northgate 386/16
with the assistance of Blaise's Power Tools Plus 4.0
Documentation produced with Wordperfect 5.0


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

What's New? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Kick Starting Fred's Checkbook! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

The Family Group Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Using Fred's . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Three Comfort Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Function Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Hot Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Alt-C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Alt-D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Getting Started . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

The worst thing that can happen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

The HELP key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Account Statistics Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Customizing For Your System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Data Drive & Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Help Drive & Path . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Printer Number . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Sound: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Calculator Decimal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Window Colors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Negative Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
To add a new category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Sorting Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Recording New Transactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Item . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Checks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Deposits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Machine or Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Assign (or whatever) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Amount . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
ID Category . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Cleared Y/N ? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Deleting an Entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Correcting an Entry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Editing Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Editing Amounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

ID Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
ID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Definition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Sorting Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Find a Record . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Delete Old Entries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Get Program Info. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Exchange DTA & BAK File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Colors & Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Shell to DOS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Balancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Reporting Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

There are three major report types: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Totals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Details . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Ledger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Chart of Payees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Printing Checks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Setting Up to Print Checks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Using the Alignment Grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Quitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
To make backups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Shareware Facts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

I N V O I C E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29


Thank you for choosing Fred's Checkbook!. This program was
designed to be fast, efficient, easy, logical and fun. Fred's has
been most popular with people who see an area that a computer
would be useful but, they really don't want to spend too much
time learning more new software. You will usually find everything
necessary to get the job done on the bottom line of the screen.
If you need a little more help, just press function key F1, the
same help key used by most other popular software.

Those who are familiar with older versions of Fred's Checkbook!
will recall that a professional bookkeeper suggested that the
easiest accounting system, is one that funnels all funds through
your checking account. In preparing my own tax returns I've
certainly found that to be true. My check register and canceled
checks are by far the most useful and centralized source of
expense information that's available.

In designing an easy to use home or small business accounting
program, I wanted to come up with a program that would have the
basic "feel" of the manual system most people use. Fred's
Checkbook! keeps track of your expenses, income, up to 99
accounts with balances and up to 500 payees for your regular
payments. It has a very easy to use statement reconciliation
method and prints nicely formatted reports including totals,
details, or just the register for any time period.

It creates reports in memory so that you can page through the
report and examine it before printing or writing it to a disk
file. The reports are designed to be given to your tax accountant
or CPA, in a format that will please them.

What's New?

Many new features have been added to Fred's. These new features
are the result of users of older versions writing wish lists of
what they would really like to see. I would like to thank the
many users of Fred's who have taken the time to register their
copies and write to me regarding this software.

o Check printing for just about any style of check;
continuous, stub on top or bottom, or laser.

o Multiple accounts are now available, up to 99 with 10,000
entries possible with each account.

o Reports can now be produced by selecting any combination
of categories from 1 to 250.

o Searching by entries or groups is now available.


o You can now store and retrieve payees, making regular
monthly payments much faster and easier.

o Sorting entries in several different ways is now

o Shareware vendors must register with the author before
distribution. Many users have the impression that they
have purchased the software when they send in $5 for a
disk full. This misunderstanding needs to be rectified.

o Highlight bar selection windows that work with the arrow
keys or by pressing the first character of the item that
you want to select (speed searching) in most areas of the

o More on line help screens.

o Print out of check register (ledger) between any two
dates. Your accountant will love this feature.

o Backups are easy to make when you finish the program. This
allows you to use a RAM disk for speed, then quickly make
backups just as you quit the program.

o Reports are now created in memory so you can view the
report using the cursor control keys. After creating the
report you can then print it or save it on disk. A new
feature allows you to see the directory of files currently
on the disk.

o You can now view, print or make copies of reports
previously saved on your disk.

o The cursor control keys (PgUp, PgDn, Home, End etc.) are
now active in all of the program.

o New utilities allow you to do some interesting things,
like switching the backup file, that is now created when
sorting, with the current entry file. This allows you to
view your entries in two different sort orders. It also
allows you to recover items deleted by accident, if you
realize it soon enough.

o You can set the margins of the reports, and even eliminate
the headings if desired. This can make the transfer of
data to other programs easier.

o File structures are now included on the disk so that
anyone with Turbo Pascal 4.0 or higher can write their own
programs to access the data files in Fred's Checkbook!


Kick Starting Fred's Checkbook!

Copy FC4.EXE and FC4HELP.DTA to your drive & directory.

Change to that drive/directory and type:


You will be informed of missing files that need to be created and
then you will be in the program ready to enter your first check.

The best part of Fred's is that you can set it up as you make
your entries. No need to do extensive set up. If you have a color
monitor you should definitely press F7 so that you can set the
colors to your liking.

If you know anything at all about computers, you don't need to
read any more of this manual. Just remember to read the bottom
line of your screen, and always quit the program by using F10.
Everything else is fairly consistent with most other popular
software conventions. F1 is the help key, Esc key is the ooops
key, etc.

The Family Group Concept

Expenses and income are usually part of larger sets or groups. In
Fred's, a family is one of these sets and you can have as many of
them as you have expense/income definitions. They basically

generate sub-totals in reports and help you to organize your

Using Fred's Checkbook!

For the program to work, all you need on your disk is FC4.EXE,
and then type FC4 and the key. The program will load and
inform you of missing files, that you will want to be created,
and you are on your way.

The only file that can't be created by FC4.EXE is the help file
called FC4HELP.DTA. If you think that on line help would be nice
make sure you have that file on the disk too.

At this point you can begin making entries, definitions, naming
your account, printing reports and generally enjoying all of the
features of Fred's Checkbook!

Three Comfort Keys

Function keys F1 and F10 and the Esc key. F1 is the HELP key.
Press this key any time you would like a little more information
about what you see on the screen.


F10 means that you are finished making changes to whatever you
are doing and are satisfied with the results. It is also the
correct way to exit the program. It makes sure that all of your
data is saved and allows you to make quick backups before

The Esc key un-does whatever you are doing and puts the data back
the way it was before you changed it. (I think of it as the
ooops! key.)

Function Keys

F1 - is the HELP key. Use it for more information about the
feature of the program that your are currently using. It
only gives you help related to what you are doing but, other
options may also be available. For example the calculator is
available almost everywhere in the program even though the
help screen doesn't say so. (For F1 to work you must have
the file FC4HELP.DTA on your disk.)

If you want to keep the help file on another drive or path,
you can set the help drive & path under "Colors & Options"
from the utilities key F7. If no help screen pops up then
the only help available is on the bottom line of your

F2 - Balance. The program will first look through your entries
and find only the ones that don't have a check mark to the
right. It then takes those entries and sorts them by check
number, Deposits, Machine, and Service and sub-sorts those
groups by date. The number shown in the left balance box is
your previous balance. As you check off the entries that are
on your bank statement, the number will change. When you are
finished, it should be the ending balance shown on your

F3 - Print Check. This key takes you to the check printing
functions of Fred's Checkbook!. From here you can either
print the check immediately or use the set up features to
help you print checks.

F4 - Reports. A new window will pop up here and allow you to set
the beginning and ending dates for your report, set the
margins, or view an old report that has been saved on the
disk. The report is now created in memory and you can scroll
through and view the report, then print it or save it to a
disk file.

F5 - Payees. This is where you can store the names and addresses
of people and businesses that you pay every month.

F6 - Categories. This is where you enter expense category ID's


and definitions. You can insert, delete, sort or edit
categories whenever this window is showing.

F7 - Utilities. From here you have the following choices:

Find a Record
Delete Old Entries
Get Program Info.
Exchange DTA & BAK File
Colors & Options
Shell to DOS

F8 - Accounts. Fred's Checkbook! will keep track of up to 99
accounts with support of 10,000 entries per account.

F9 - This is the sorting key. The program can sort using several
different keys; Check numbers, dates, amounts, and ID's.

If you are looking at the category screen then you will have a
choice of sorts by group (sub-sorted by definition) ID or
definitions. (Again, an alphabetical ascending sort.)

F10- Finished.. This key has two different uses. If you are in
the part of the program where you are just scrolling through
your entries, pressing F10 will make sure all of your data
is saved and end the program. (Returning you to the
operating system.) Any other time, pressing F10 will update
whatever you are doing and move back a level in the program.

Hot Keys

The calculator (Alt-C) is activated by holding down the Alt key
and pressing the letter "C". The calendar is activated by
pressing Alt-D. If you want to change these, there is a utility
program provided on the registration disk to help you.

When you have a list of items displayed such as the chart of
payees, list of categories, or list of accounts, you can press
the first letter of what you want to find and the program will
search the list and take you there, if found. Since you can have
the categories sorted in various orders, this is a handy feature
which with each key press, will scan through all items in the
list starting with the letter that you press.

Even though the prompt on the last line gives you some help in
making a choice, many of the choices can be made by pressing the
letter key of the desired selection. (e.g."D" for Details or "S"
for Screen)

Getting Started

You can browse this section, enter either sample data, or your


actual data and then try the various options and features of the
program. I suggest using your actual data instead of samples
because you won't have to re-enter it later.

A lot of effort has been put into the behind the scenes error
checking so that you can use the program with confidence. You
don't need to worry about making a mistake by pressing the wrong
key. One guy called me and said that he had left his computer un-
attended and his two year old had come in and made a few entries.
Against all odds, the kid managed to get into the options menu
and type in some garbage for a new data path. Needless to say
this guy breathed a sigh of relief to get some help and find out
that his data was still in tact!

The worst thing that can happen is for the power to go off in the
middle of writing your sorted data to disk. Although the odds are
in your favor that the power won't go off during these few
seconds, it is still smart to KEEP CURRENT BACK UP FILES OF YOUR
DATA. Then you won't have to worry about anything. Enough for the
"fear of God" let's go on...

If you have read this far, then I presume that either you are
afraid to start or that you have already explored many of the
features and want to fill in any gaps you may have overlooked.
The easiest way to get started is to have the following files on
your default drive: (or in your default directory)


To explore some of the features let's assume that you are using a
360k floppy disk in drive A: and that all of the above files are
on that disk. Now at the A>_ prompt type:


The program load's support files and then dispalys the FC logo.
At that point, "press SPACE bar to continue" will appear at the
bottom of the screen. So go ahead and press it.

The opening screen will show one large window with two small
windows under it. The big window is where your entries will be
displayed. The small window on the left shows the function key
actions and the small window on the right is the account
statistics window that displays more information about the entry
you are at and some other useful things.


Function Key Menu
(lower left box)

This window shows functions available by pressing the appropriate
function key. If you happen to be using one of the features (e.g.
balancing) some of these functions won't be available.

The HELP key: By pressing function key F1 you get help. The help
screen that is displayed, is the one that most likely relates to
the options available to you at whatever point in the program you
are at. Right now, with no data, the help is related to getting
you started with entering data. When you have finished reading
this help screen "Press SPACE bar to continue".

Another handy key to remember is the Esc key. It will take you
back a step at a time, to the main entry screen. Remember
however, that if you were making changes to actual data the Esc
key will cancel those changes and restore the old data. (Handy
right after you say "Ooops" or some other expletive.)

To start a "Sample Account" press F8 which will show the accounts
currently on the disk, and then press F4 to add a new one. You
can now type in a name for the account, and then type in the
beginning balance, say 500.00 dollars. Now press F10 to save this
information and add the account to the main list. The account
names are quick sorted and the highlight bar is on the newly
created account ready for you to press the key to select
it. Go ahead and select it now.

At this point, all of the function keys work except for F2 & F9
because there is nothing for them to do. Let's examine what is on
the screen.

Account Statistics Window
(lower right box)

The top line of this window shows the name of the account you are
working with. I usually like to use the bank name and account
number, which you will recall, can be changed by pressing F8. The
center line shows the expense/income ID code, group and
definition. This changes as you scroll through your entries.

The right balance box shows the ending balance of this account
which if you are following along will now say 500.00. The left
balance box shows what the balance was at (and including) the
entry you are pointing to with the cursor. Again if you're
following along, this will also say 500.00. As you add entries or
make corrections, the "Account Statistic" window will reflect the

Customizing For Your System


F7- Colors & Options

Use the up and down arrow keys to move between the different
selections. The bottom line of the screen will display help.

Data Drive & Path: If you are not familiar with DOS, it would
probably be a good idea to leave this line blank. DOS is very
particular about what you type in here and not very forgiving so
be careful. If you make a mistake, the program will let you know
and allow you to fix it. Also, if you make a mistake, you can
press F10 to have the program fill in a legal path for you.

Help Drive & Path: If you are comfortable with DOS this feature
can be handy in that, you will only need one copy of the help
file on your disk. One difference here is that if you make a
mistake, the program won't be able to find the help screens.

Printer Number: By pressing the 1, 2, or 3 number key at the top
of your keyboard, the printer selection will change. If you have
more than one printer connected you can select which one that FC
will send output to (usually #1) when you print reports. If you
select a non-existent printer, you will get an error message that
the printer isn't ready, when you try to send reports to that

Sound: You can choose 'on' or 'off', press the space bar to
change. Having the sound on really doesn't make very much noise,
only enough to get your attention.

Calculator Decimal: The calculator display will round off to the
desired number of places. The default is two but, if you want to
change it, press one of the number keys at the top of the
keyboard. (0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) Even though the display is rounded
off, the actual accuracy is 11 significant digits, and is limited
only by Borland's Turbo Pascal compiler version 5.0 real number

Window Colors: If you have a color monitor, there is no doubt
that choosing your favorite display colors will make the program
run better. Use the arrow keys to move between the window
selections. Function keys F5 and F6 will change the color of the
letters on the screen, and F7-F8 keys will change the background.
Holding one of these keys down will quickly scroll through all of
the colors including blinking ones. (I don't like the blink but,
it is an attention getter for warning windows!)

WARNING: If you choose a light color with the same color
background for the help window, you may not be able to
read the balances in the Account Statistic box. The
thing to consider here is that no one else can either.

When you are satisfied with all of your choices, press F10 and


they will be immediately activated and also saved to disk. If you
press the Esc key, the old defaults are retrieved from disk and
nothing will be changed.

F8 - Accounts

For the name, you can replace the one showing. I like to use the
bank name and account number. What you type here is what will be
used for the headings for your reports later on.

To change the amount, use the number keys at the top of your
keyboard (or on some keyboards a separate keypad) or press the
Num Lock and use any keypad. The decimal and commas will
automatically be placed in the display. If you make a mistake,
press either the backspace or the Del key. These keys delete the
digit under the cursor and move everything else over to the
right. You will notice that when you enter the digits, they are
stuffed in from the right side like many calculators.

Negative Numbers

Negative numbers are displayed in parenthesis. You can enter a
negative number by pressing the minus key before entering your
number. If you delete the numbers back to zero, you must press
the minus key again to enter the negative number.

Again, when you are satisfied with your entries, press function
key F10 to make them permanent. If you press the Esc key, the
changes will be ignored.


From here you will define your income/expense categories. By
pressing the help key you can see, from the display in the upper
right hand corner of the screen, an example of how you might use

To add a new category, press F4. This will create a new line and
activate the edit mode. Now type in an ID code, family group (if
you want to use this feature) and definition. The ID code should
be unique. Although the program will allow you to use duplicates,
it will only recognize the first one encountered in the current
sort order for reports.

Sorting Categories

By pressing F9 you can have the computer sort your categories by
Group, Definition or ID code, in ascending alphabetical order.
You can either move the highlight bar to the type of sort and
press the key or press the first letter of the sort to
save some key strokes.


When you have finished adding definitions, press F10 to record
them to the disk.

CAUTION: If you press the Esc key to exit, your work will remain
in memory but NOT SAVED to disk. So be careful about
using the Esc key to exit this section, something may
be missing the next time you use the program. If you
accidentally use the Esc key, press F6 again, sort the
definitions, then press F10. The reason for this is
because when you first press F6, the program waits to
see if you change anything before it writes to the disk

Recording New Transactions

(Check Deposit Machine Service Assign)

These are the five types of transactions that you can make and
they are similar to the types used by banks and S&Ls. They are
checks, automatic teller transactions, bank services and
deposits. This program allows for one additional type called
"Assign" which is any transaction that doesn't have anything to
do with the bank but, needs to be recorded in your ledger for
expense/income tracking purposes.

The Item Area

The first column in the entry window is called the item area. The
information there is used by the program to determine how the
remaining information on the line is to be treated in regards to
reports, bank reconciliation and current balances.

If the program finds a number there, the entry is
assumed to be a check and when you enter the amount, it
will be subtracted from your account balance.

If the first letter in the item box is a "D" then the
amount will be added to the balance.

If the first letter is an "S" or an "M", then the entry
is treated as an expense and the amount is subtracted
from the account balance.

If the first letter is an "*" asterisk, that means it
is marked for deletion and is ignored by the program.

If the first letter is an "A" or any other remaining
character, the account balance doesn't change and the
amount is only significant in the reporting section,
where it will treated as an expense.



To record a check in your ledger, you can use the automatic
feature of pressing either the key or the "C" key. The
number that pops up is the next check number in sequence.

If you want to change that number, press the Left_Arrow key (or
Up_Arrow key) which will move the cursor over to the item area
and allow you to change anything displayed there.


By pressing the "D" key the word "Deposit" is displayed in the
item area and the amount entered will be added to your account
balance. If you accidentally enter a deposit as something else,
you can go back and change it to a "DEPOSIT" and the program will
make the correct balance adjustments.

Machine or Service

These words are typed into the item area when you press the "M"
or the "S" key and are treated as expenses. The amounts are
subtracted from the account balance and sorted into their own
groups but, otherwise are identical.

Assign (or whatever)

The assign feature is used to enter items into your ledger that
you want to keep track of but, don't have anything to do with the
bank. By using "Assign", you merely attach an amount to an
expense/income definition. This type of item doesn't change the
account balance and is automatically cleared so that it won't
show up when you are reconciling your bank statement. The
assigned values are only used by the reporting section, where
they are treated as expenses and therefore subtracted.

The Date

The date is in the format of Month-Day-Year. You can use the
arrow keys to move across the area, type in the correct date then
press the key to move on to the description.

The Description

This is where you enter the payee of the check or any other
information that will remind you of what the entry was for. You
can also press F5 here to select a name from your "Chart of
payees". This is handy for regular payments. More about the
chart is explained in a later section.

NOTE: If you leave the description blank, it will be
filled in with the ID category description.


The Amount

The amount area allows only numbers, and if it is the first
character, the minus sign. I suggest that you don't use negative
numbers yet, until you see how the reports are generated.

The amount is filled in from right to left like most calculators.
The decimal and commas will automatically be added where
necessary and if you make a mistake, you can press either the
back_space key or the Del key. The number under the cursor will
be deleted upon each key press until the amount becomes zero.

When you have the correct amount showing, press the key
to move to the ID area.

The ID Category

This is where you will enter the unique code that defines a
specific category from your expense/income definitions. If you
need to see those definitions, press F6.

The program will allow you to enter anything that you want to
here but, if it can't find a definition, question marks will be
displayed in the definitions line of the account statistics
window. You can either add a new category now, or wait until
later. The program will catch up with you eventually.

Cleared Y/N ?

The best thing to do is press the key, because the
program has a pretty good idea as to what really belongs here. Y
or N is only used if for some reason the item has accidentally
been cleared in another section and not corrected there.

In the case of bank related items, no mark will be placed here
when you press the key. If the entry has nothing to do
with the bank or it has been cleared automatically when you
reconcile your account, there will be a check mark displayed

Pressing the key here also causes the entry to be stored
to the disk and lets you move on to add another entry. If you
want to change the status of the cleared mark press Y or N.

Deleting an Entry

The way that this program takes care of deletions is by first
having you mark the entry or entries using the Del key. After
marking them, you can press F9 to sort the file and the marked
items will be permanently removed.

It's easy to mark an item for deletion, you move the cursor to


the entry and press the Del key. The mark used by the program is
the asterisk "*" for the first character of the item area.

You will also notice that when an entry is marked for deletion,
the balances are also adjusted accordingly.

While an entry is marked, the program ignores it as though it
didn't exist. To un-delete an entry just press the Del key again
and the mark will be removed and the balance restored. Once you
have pressed F9 to sort the records all of the marked entries are
permanently removed from your data files.

Correcting an Entry

You can move freely up and down through your entries by using the
cursor control keys. When you get to the one that you want to
change, use the right_arrow key to move over into the record.
This activates the edit mode. You can move around in the entry by
using the arrow keys, the tab key, and the key.

The editor is initially in the insert mode which is indicated by
a the cursor appearing as a large box. Insert mode means that
what you type will push everything else in the box over to the

To change to the replace mode, press the Ins key once. The
replace mode means that whatever you type at the cursor will
replace what you see on the screen.

Editing Keys

The back space key erases the character preceding the cursor and
moves the rest of the line over.

The Del key erases the character under the cursor and moves the
rest of the line over.

The Home key moves the cursor to the beginning of the area.

The End key moves the cursor to the end of the line.

The Tab and Back Tab move between the fields on the line.

Editing Amounts

To change an amount, press the backspace or the Del key until you
have erased the error. Now, using the number keys at the top of
the keyboard, type in the corrections.

When you are finished editing the entry, press F10 to save the
changes. If you change your mind and wish you hadn't made any
changes, press the Esc key and the original will be restored.


ID Categories

By pressing F6 the expense/income window will pop up and display
the first page of definitions.

You can define up to 250 separate categories. To add a new one
press F4 and a new line will be inserted ready for you to type in
the new definition. The bottom line of the screen will give you
some help, or you can press F1 for additional help.

The "ID" is any one to five character unique identifying code
that will be the code that you will type in to define what group
a particular entry is a member of.

The "Group" is optional and is usually only necessary if you have
many definitions. Examples of these are shown on the category
help screen.

The "Definition" of the ID code is, of course, the explanation of
what the ID means. One important thing to remember is that if you
want the program to automatically type in payee descriptions,
this is where you would type in that name. For example if every
month you send a check to the "Local Electric Company", then you
could use the ID code of LEC when you are making entries and if
the description area is blank, the program will type in the
definition of LEC (namely "Local Electric Company") for you.

When you are finished entering categories, press F10 to save them
to disk. Don't use the Esc key because your work will not be
written to disk.

Should you want to delete a category, move to that line and press
the Del key. You will then be asked to verify the deletion. As
before, be sure to exit by using F10.

Sorting Categories

While viewing your expense/income definitions, you can press F9
to sort them. A small sort window will appear and allow you
select a sort by pressing the first letter of the desired sort.

There are three sorts orders. The ID and definition sort are in
alphabetically ascending order. The group sort is first by group,
then, within each group, by definition.


Function key F7 gets you into some interesting features of Fred's
Checkbook! such as searching, deleting etc..


Find a Record

To find a record, select "Find a Record" from the utilities menu
and then select what you want to find. The program will then ask
you to enter some related value or search pattern. It then
searches through the currently selected account records for any
items that match. You can now move through those items and make
corrections, deletions etc. just as from the main entry screen
but, dealing only with a group of items.

NOTE: The description search looks for a match anywhere in the
description. The other searches look for exact matches.

There are a few differences in the screen values when you are in
the search mode. (1) The balance in the left balance box is the
net total for the items that match. (2) The top of the screen
displays the number of matches found.

Delete Old Entries

When you use this method for deleting, your account balances are
not altered and items not yet cleared by the bank are not
deleted. Use this method of deleting for "old" entries (e.g. last
year) when you want to get rid of no longer needed data. The
program works faster with smaller data files when creating

Get Program Info.

Program info is a display of system status, number of records,
available memory, free disk space and what record you're at.

Exchange DTA & BAK File

When you sort your entries for a given account, the program
renames the old entry file as a .BAK file. So, if you want to
restore your old file, you can select this feature. When you
select this feature what is actually happening is the program
exchanges the names of the two files.

Colors & Options

From here you can change the screen display colors for the
various windows and highlight bar. You can also change optional
features such as the default printer, sound on or off, calculator
decimal precision and you may also designate a specific data
drive and path or help drive and path.

Shell to DOS

This is a actually a window to DOS. What happens is that Fred's
Checkbook! remains in memory and allows you to do DOS stuff, then


when you type the EXIT command, Fred's will reappear.

Several errors can occur when trying to use this feature and the
program will notify you of the error. The most common are:

(2) COMMAND.COM could not be found.

(3) Path specified in COMSPEC= not found.

(8) Insufficient memory to execute COMMAND.COM.

(account reconciliation)

BEFORE you press F2 to balance, make sure that you have entered
everything. You can make corrections in the balance but, you
can't add new entries. So take a look at your bank statement and
add interest deposits, service charges, check printing charges
etc., anything that the computer doesn't know about. It will make
balancing much easier. (Not only easier; but, not impossible.)

When you press F2 the program looks up all of the entries that
don't have a check mark next to them. After retrieving all of
those entries, the program sorts them into groups consisting of
Checks, Deposits, Machines and Services. Then they are sorted by
date within each of these groups.

The cursor will be positioned at the oldest outstanding check.
The left_balance in the account statistics box should show your
previous balance, or beginning balance of your bank statement.
(Or to put it another way, the ending balance from your last

The bottom of your screen informs you to press the key if
the item at the cursor is on your bank statement, and press the
SPACE bar if it isn't.

You will notice that the left balance changes as you press the
key. The item is checked off, and the cursor moves to the
next line.

You can also move through the entries by using the up and down
arrow keys. If you accidentally check off the wrong item, or
forget one, just move back up to the item with the up arrow key
and press the key or space bar.

When you are satisfied that each item shown on your statement has
been checked off, look at the left balance box. That number
should be the ending balance shown on your statement.

If the balance is incorrect, you may have forgotten to enter


something like a bank service charge or interest on checking.

If you're like me, you may have forgotten to enter one of those
money machine withdrawals. You'll have to leave the balancing
section to add the entry.

If the error is in one of the entries on the screen, all you have
to do is go up to the item and press the left arrow key to move
in and correct it.

If you have forgotten to make entries, press Esc (so that the
check marks won't be saved) add the new items, then press F2 to
begin the balancing again.

If you know for sure what the problem is you could press F10 to
save the check marks. This will save you from having to go
through all of the unmarked items again.

Don't forget that you have a calculator by pressing Alt-C to help
you figure out what may be missing and by how much.


Finally we come to the fun part of computing, making the computer
do some work. By pressing F4, the screen will clear and the
report window will be displayed. The bottom line of the screen
will remind you of how to modify the different report models or
press F1 for additional help. Actually, the best way to see how
the reporting section works, is to create and view some reports.
The are created in memory, so you can view as many different ones
as you want, without filling up your disk or making some paper
company rich.

Reporting Dates

When creating reports, the program first looks at the beginning
and ending dates that you enter and then if valid, goes on from
there. The report includes items on and between the dates that
you enter.

The first time that you enter the reporting section, the dates
shown will be the starting date of January 1st of the current
year and ending at today's date. Handy for seeing your year-to-
date totals by merely pressing F10. You won't have to bother
entering those dates.

You can basically enter any dates that you want just as long as
the starting date is before the ending date. The program will
even accept that error but a report with all zeros isn't too much
fun to look at.

The reports can cross year boundaries so, if you have a different


fiscal year, the reports can fit to your needs.

There are three major report types:

Ledger (check register)

The reports are printed by pages and also numbered. The title of
each page shows the account name, the reporting method, dates,
and the page number.

The margins are pre-set and are designed to fit nicely on an 8
1/2 x 11 inch piece of paper but, you can change them if you need

The report you select is first created in memory. From there you
can press F6 to send the report to your printer or disk.

If you send the report to the disk, an additional line appears so
you can enter a file name. Although the directory displayed is
the current one, the name can include any legal drive and path.

If you enter a non-existent drive, path name, or an invalid file
name, the report won't be written to the disk. There will be no
other ill effects and you can then try again.

If all is well, the bottom line of the screen will inform you
that the program is writing to a disk file.

You will be warned if you are about to replace an existing file
and can then decide what you want to do from there.

The detail and ledger reports, print the entries in the order
that they are stored on the disk, that is, your last sort order.
With detail and total reports, the position of the item in the
report is affected by the way you have your expense categories

The default category sort is by group which is performed
automatically when you enter the reporting section. If you want
to change that order, press F6, F9, select the order, and then
F10. The reports will be created in the new order until you
either change the order or leave the report section.

To leave the reporting section select "Quit" or press the Esc.

If you don't leave the program, the reporting section remains
just as you left it. (Except for the category sort order which
will be sorted again by group, because that's the only order that
makes any sense for reporting totals.)


Chart of Payees

Most of us have monthly bills that we pay to the same people
twelve times a year, ad infinitum. These same people print
friendly reminders under the flap of the return envelope like:


1. Remembered to enclose your payment page?
2. Made you check payable to XYZ Inc?
3. Put your account number on your check?
4. Made sure the address shows through the window?
5. Signed your check?



H_O_L_Y C_O_W ! You'd think these people have a bunch of
morons for customers. Makes you feel good doesn't it. I guess I
can tolerate the first reminders but, that last one hits me where
it hurts. I love to write notes and comments right on my payment
page, all around the edges and in any available blank space.
Personally, I can't think of a better place to write my notes,
there's certainly no room left on the envelope!

Anyway, Fred's Checkbook! helps you to get a couple of those
things right by providing a way to store all of that account
stuff and then to print things like your account number and
correct payee on the check. A task that gets old pretty fast.

To get to the chart of payees, press F5. It's available at
various locations in the program. One is while you are in the
middle of an entry at the description field. By pressing F5 here
you will be presented with a window displaying the names of your
payees, and you can select one by pressing the "Enter" key.

With the payee names showing you can use the cursor control keys
to look through them and then press the key to select
one. The payees are displayed in alphabetical order, and to help
you find them faster, you can press the first letter of the name
you're looking for and the program will help you search.

If you have 5 names that start with "S", pressing the "S" key
will step you through all of them.

To add a new payee record, press F4. Fill in the blanks and press
F10 to save the new payee.

To change or view a payee record, press F2. After making the
changes, press F10 to save them, or Esc if you change your mind.


Printing Checks

Before you can print checks, you must set up, for your printer.
Otherwise nothing will happen when you try to print a check.

Set the cursor on the check you want to print and press F3. An
option window will pop up and you can select to print that check
by pressing the key.

Setting Up to Print Checks

From F3 you can select "Set up printer" which will display
another option window allowing you to "Edit printer table" or
"Print alignment grid".

To set up for your printer and checks, you will need to print an
alignment grid. This grid will help you find the positions on
your checks in relation to how your printer will print them.

Using the Alignment Grid

The grid is 70 characters wide and 50 lines long. Print the grid
on light weight paper because you next want to lay the grid over
your checks so that the top left corner of the grid is on the top
left corner of your check. For everything you want to have
printed on your check you will have to mark that position on the
grid. The easiest way I've found is to hold the grid and the
check up to a window and circle the positions on the grid with a

After you have found all of your print positions on the grid,
select "Edit printer table" and enter these coordinates into the
table. Be sure to exit by pressing F10 to make sure the positions
are saved. You can then go back and make adjustments if

The basic concept here is to tell the computer how many
characters over and how many lines down you want each part of the
check printed. If you don't want an item printed, enter it's line
number past the length of the check. (e.g. If you don't want the
address printed and your checks are 22 lines long, put the
address on line 25. That way it will be ignored when the check is
being printed.)

Always exit Fred's Checkbook! by pressing F10. The program will
update all of your data files and then allow you to make quick
backup copies of them before ending.

To make backups select the drive that you want the copies sent
to, and relax. You must use a formatted disk and be sure that you


want the files copied there. The program copies the data files to
the drive & disk you choose and writes over existing files to
update them. If you don't want to make backups, press "N" or the
Esc key.

The backup system used here, only copies the files currently in
use. i.e. The current account that you are using, it's support
files, and your chart of payees if they have been in use.

Restoring Backup Files

If for some reason you need to restore backup files from a floppy
disk, there are several methods. The easy way is to use the DOS
"Copy" command by first making the drive with the backups the
default drive, then type:


Where "D:" is the destination drive. (and path if needed.)



Although this documentation doesn't go into every
tiny detail, most people find the program quit easy
to use and not very prone to mistakes so enjoy..

If you have any comments, suggestions, questions,
or would like to point out other uses you have
found for the program you can write and let me

Many of the "nice" features of this program have
been suggested by users of previous versions so
don't be afraid to speak up. The feature you want
most may show up in the next version.

Jon Kolstad
560 Norton Lane
Arnold MD 21012


Shareware Facts

Many excellent programmers have withdrawn their products from
shareware because of the lack of support. Until you have actually
produced a sizeable effort such as Fred's Checkbook! you will
never know the amount of time, money, and work that goes into it.

This program has been a labor of love but, also deserves your
financial support. You would expect the same. Most shareware
authors I know don't even make minimum wage with their efforts.
So forget the idea that "Those guys are getting rich off this
stuff". It simply isn't true.

I know a lot of people are using Fred's because I receive about
twenty calls per week. The sad part is that I'm lucky to see even
one check in that same week.

I really appreciate those of you who have registered and
supported this program. If it wasn't for you, version 4.0 would
never have come to pass. Thank You!

For the rest of you, I really need your support. I make my living
writing software and have done everything I can think of to make
registration as easy as possible, including adding a toll free
phone number to register by Visa or Master Card.

Don't let procrastination rob us all of a great way to share

Register today and receive:

1. The latest version of Fred's Checkbook!

2. Sample checks and catalog of computer forms.

3. More software including the latest Fred's Utilities.

4. Satisfaction of supporting someone who's efforts have
made life a little better for you.


Call 1-800-874-9702 to register by Visa or Master Card, or

use the invoice on the following page and send a check.




560 NORTON LANE DATE ___________
ARNOLD, MD 21012

SOLD TO:_______________________________________________




---------- ----------

T H A N K Y O U !



Account 3, 5, 7, 9-16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25
Account statistics 3, 10, 11, 16, 20
Alt-C 9
Alt-D 9
Amount 3, 13-17, 27
Assign 3, 14, 15
Asterisk "*" 17
Back space key 17
Back Tab 17
Balance 8, 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20
Balancing 4, 11, 20, 21
Blink 12
Calculator 3, 8, 9, 12, 19, 21
Calculator Decimal 12
Calendar 9
Categories 3-5, 8, 9, 13, 18, 22
Category 3, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22
Chart of payees 4, 9, 15, 23, 25
Check number 8, 15
Cleared Y/N ? 16
Color 7, 12
Colors 3, 4, 7-9, 12, 19
Colors & options 19
Comfort keys 3, 7
Correct 17
Correcting 17
Corrections 11, 17, 19, 20
Date 3, 8, 15, 20, 21, 28
Decimal 3, 12, 13, 16, 19
Del key 17
Delete 4, 9, 13, 17-19
Delete an entry 17
Deleting 16
Deposits 3, 8, 14, 15, 20
Description 3, 15, 18, 19, 23, 28
Details 22
Drive & Path 12
Edit 9, 13, 17, 24
Editing 4, 17
Editing Keys 17
End key 17
Esc key 7, 8, 11, 13, 14, 17, 18, 25
Exchange 19
Expense categories 13, 22
Facts 27
Family 3, 7, 13
FC4.EXE 10


Function keys 3, 7, 8, 11, 12
Functions 8, 11
Good idea 12, 16
Grid 24
HELP key 7
Home key 17
Hot keys 9
I N V O I C E 28
Income 5, 7, 11, 13-16, 18
Insert 9, 17
Interest 20, 21
Keypad 13
Ledger 1, 4, 6, 14, 15, 22
Menu 10, 11, 19
Mistake 10, 12, 13, 16
Monthly 6, 23
Negative Numbers 13
Ooops 7
Payees 4-6, 8, 9, 15, 23, 25
Payments 5, 6, 15
Printer Number 12
Printing Checks 4, 24
Quit 22
Quitting 24
Reconciliation 5, 14, 20
Register 5, 6, 22, 27
Registration 27
Reports 4-8, 12-14, 16, 19, 21, 22
Restoring Backup Files 25
Savings 2
Service 3, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21
Shareware 6
Shell 19
Sorting 3, 4, 6, 9, 13, 18
Sorting key 9
Sound 3, 12, 19
Space bar 10-12, 20
Speed searching 6
Tab 17
Totals 4, 5, 7, 21, 22
Un-do 8
Utilities 18
Window colors 12
Year 10, 15, 19, 21-23


 December 18, 2017  Add comments

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