E X P R E S S C H E C K
P.O. Box 1800
Duvall, WA 98019
(C) Copyright 1989
Changes are periodically made to the information contained herein.
These changes will be incorporated into future editions of this
A User Response Form is provided at the back of this manual. If this
form has been removed, please address your comments to:
P.O. Box 1800
Duvall, WA 98019
ExpressCheck is a proprietary product published by Expressware Corpor-
ation, Duvall, Washington.
All rights reserved except those expressly granted to the user by this
2 Installing ExpressCheck
8 Keyboard Conventions
11 A Guided Tour
14 Adding New Transactions
22 Find Transactions
25 Check Register
26 Sort the Transactions
27 Report Section
36 Bill Reminder System
41 Maintenance Section
48 Quitting ExpressCheck
48 Customizing ExpressCheck
57 Distribution Notice
58 Glossary of Terms
59 User Response Form
61 Order Form
What is ExpressCheck?
ExpressCheck has a simple goal in life, to help you manage your
checking accounts. Because the various screen look just like your
paper checks, deposit slips, ATM machines, and check registers, you
will find the program extremely easy to learn and use. But Express-
Check goes far beyond the usefulness of a check register. Every check
and deposit can be recorded to various budget codes that you set up.
This makes it possible for you to see at any time during the year where
you stand in regard to your spending. How much do you spend on food
each month? How much have you given in tax deductible donations? Car
payments, electricity, gasoline, entertainment? Without Express-
Check you either guess at where you spent all your money, or you spend
long hours with a calculator. With ExpressCheck you can find out in
just a few seconds.
Entering checks and deposits is fast and enjoyable. Recurring payments
can be entered with two keystrokes. Budget codes can be defined on the
fly and you can pop up a window with all the currently defined codes
whenever you need them. ExpressCheck will even print the checks for
you on any kind of tractor feed forms.
Pre-defined reports can be printed that give you monthly or
year-to-date totals for any or all budget codes, average monthly
amounts per budget code, a check register with running balance, all
transactions that have not yet cleared the bank, checks or deposits
that included certain budget codes, or all checks made out to certain
payees. Many of the figures that go on your tax return are at your
Never again will you cringe at the thought of having to balance your
checkbook. Pop up the electronic check register and run down with your
bank statement marking off the cleared checks, deposits and services
charges listed. Then push a key and have ExpressCheck display your
current balance, checks and deposits outstanding, how many checks and
deposits you marked as cleared and what your bank statement balance
A powerful search feature allows you to quickly find out if you really
did pay last months car payment, or if check number 4284 has cleared
the bank yet, or what the payment to the ABC Company was for.
ExpressCheck will bring order into your financial life. Knowing where
you are spend your money makes it much easier to plan for the future.
@Page 1 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
Will It Run On My Computer?
If your computer is 100% compatible with the IBM PC, XT or AT, then
ExpressCheck will definitely run on it. Some semi-compatibles may
require some special configuring. Generally, if your computer uses the
PC-DOS or MS-DOS operating system, then ExpressCheck will probably run
on it. There are some minimum hardware requirements:
PC-DOS or MS-DOS version 2.0 or higher
At least 320K of RAM memory
One diskette drive
Your computer may have either a monochrome or 80-column color monitor.
If you have a color monitor, ExpressCheck will format its screens in
your choice of colors. A printer is optional, but is of course needed
if reports or checks are to be printed.
How Do I Get Started?
The first step is to install the ExpressCheck software on your compu-
ter. Usually this is a simple process, but there are some PC's with
unique configurations which require special procedures.
ExpressCheck may be run on a computer with one or two diskette drives
or a computer with a hard disk drive. If your computer has one or two
diskette drives, the installation process is explained in the sections
following the hard disk installation.
These installation instructions assume that you have a basic under-
standing of DOS commands and terms. If you are not familiar with terms
such as subdirectory, path, formatted diskette, etc. you will need to
consult your DOS manual for more information.
@Page 2 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
Computers With Hard Disks
When using ExpressCheck from a hard disk, it is possible to put the
program modules in one subdirectory and your account files in one or
more other subdirectories. This is not a decision that you need to
make now; the path to the account files can be changed anytime Express-
Check is started.
For simplicity, these installation instructions assume that the program
files and the account files will reside in the same directory on your
hard disk. This subdirectory may have any valid name. For this
example we will create a subdirectory called CHECK from the roots
directory and put the programs in it.
Put the ExpressCheck Program diskette in drive A and enter the DOS
commands shown below. The small print on the right indicates what each
command is doing.
C: Make drive C: the current drive.
CD \ Change to the root directory of drive C:
MD CHECK Make a new subdirectory called CHECK
CD CHECK Change to the new CHECK subdirectory
COPY A:*.EXE Copy all the program files
Now put the ExpressCheck Supplemental Disk in drive A and enter:
COPY A:EXAMPLE.* Copy the Example checking account
The new CHECK subdirectory now contains all the ExpressCheck program
files as well as a sample checking account file that will be used as an
example throughout this manual.
There are a few other files on the ExpressCheck diskette that you don't
need to copy onto your hard disk. One of these files contains the
on-disk documentation and another is a batch file used to print the
document file. Since you already have a copy of the manual, you won't
have to print another. Two other files contain and print an order form
that can be used to order other Expressware products. If you share
ExpressCheck with your friends, be sure to give them a complete copy of
the ExpressCheck Program diskette so that they will have the files
needed to print the manual and order form.
@Page 3 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
Computers With One Diskette Drive
If just the ExpressCheck program files are copied onto a blank disk-
ette, there is enough room remaining to easily fit a checking account
file that is large enough to accommodate more than the number of checks
that are written by the average household over the course of a year.
Because of this, ExpressCheck can be used on computers that only have
one diskette drive. Although there is room on the diskette to put a
copy of DOS so that the diskette can be self-booting, it is recommended
that you boot from a separate DOS diskette to save as much room as
possible for you checking files.
To install ExpressCheck on a single-drive system you will need one
blank, formatted diskette to be used for both the programs and data.
Place the original ExpressCheck Program diskette in drive A and type:
COPY A:CHECK?.EXE B:
Note the question mark, don't forget to include it in the command.
This will copy CHECK.EXE, CHECK2.EXE, CHECK3.EXE, and CHECK4.EXE from
the Program Disk to your blank disk. You computer will prompt you to
switch disks as needed. When the four files have been copied, type:
COPY A:CHKRTM.EXE B:
This will copy the runtime module to your work disk.
If you are using ExpressCheck for the first time you should copy the
Example account files to your working disk to use in the Guided Tour
section following the Installation. To do this, place the Supplemental
Disk in drive A and type:
COPY A:EXAMPLE.* B:
Be sure to put the original diskettes in a safe place.
@Page 4 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
Computers With Two Diskette Drives
To install ExpressCheck on a two diskette drive system you will need
two blank, formatted diskettes. If you want to be able to boot your
computer from the working program disk, be sure to use the /S option
while formatting it. (See your DOS manual if you need any further
explanation of how to do this). Place the original ExpressCheck
Program diskette in drive A and place the first of the new blank
diskettes in drive B and type:
COPY A:*.EXE B:
This will copy all the program files onto the new diskette and will
create a "working diskette" which should be labelled "ExpressCheck
The second blank diskette is used for a "Data Disk" where all the
checking account information will be stored. If this is the first time
you have used ExpressCheck, you should copy the Example checking
account files onto the second diskette for use in the Guided Tour
section following the Installation. To copy the example files, make
sure the original ExpressCheck Supplemental diskette is still in drive A
and your new blank data disk is in drive B. Type:
COPY A:EXAMPLE.* B:
The original ExpressCheck diskettes should be stored in a safe place.
Computers With Color Monitors
If your computer has a color monitor and a graphics board, ExpressCheck
automatically displays its screen in color. If you prefer different
colors than those ExpressCheck uses, see the section titles CUSTOMIZING
EXPRESSCHECK for changing screen colors.
ExpressCheck detects whether your computer has a monochrome board or a
color graphics board, and then uses colors or black/white accordingly.
Some computers have a black and white monitor connected to a color
board, which tricks ExpressCheck into sending colors to the
black-and-white screen. This can cause some characters to appear hazy
and unreadable, or in some cases, some characters may not appear on the
screen at all.
If this condition occurs, or if you suspect it is occurring, press
again using the /M command line option (more on this later). Or you can
customize the various screen colors to black-on-white and
white-on-black using the CUSTOMIZING EXPRESSCHECK section explained in
the next section.
@Page 5 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
Please do not use the original Program Disk to run ExpressCheck. If you
are running from diskettes, make a working copy of the program disk-
ette, and store the original in a safe place.
Users with hard disks use the following commands to start the Express-
C: Make drive C: the current drive (if not already)
CD \CHECK Change directory to the new CHECK subdirectory
CHECK Start the ExpressCheck program
Users with only diskette drives use the following command to start the
program. From the A:> prompt type:
The ExpressCheck loads into memory, and after a second or two, this
banner screen appears:
(picture of Banner Screen)
If your banner screen does not display, or if it has some unreadable
characters, you probably have a special hardware configuration that
ExpressCheck cannot properly detect. See the /M command in the next
section, or refer to the section titled TROUBLESHOOTING near the end of
At the bottom of the banner screen you are prompted:
Press any key for Main Menu
When you press any key, the main ExpressCheck program loads and a
screen appears that asks which disk drive (and path, if any) the
ExpressCheck checking account are on.
ExpressCheck anticipates your response to these questions, and has
filled in some "default values". If you are running from diskette,
ExpressCheck assumes your data is on drive B. If not, type the correct
@Page 6 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
If you are running from a hard disk, ExpressCheck assumes your data is
on drive C, in the same directory as the ExpressCheck programs. If
not, change the path name.
If the drive letter and subdirectory are correct, just press the
illustration of this screen and further instructions on running
ExpressCheck are in the following chapter, titled "A Guided Tour".
Command Line Options
In the previous example we simply typed CHECK on the command line to
start ExpressCheck. There are other things that could have been typed
on that same line. For example, the drive letter and path could have
been included on the command line, and then ExpressCheck would have
skipped the screen that asks for the drive and path. Here are some
examples of valid start-up commands:
CHECK B: Indicates data is on drive B
CHECK \ACCOUNTS\ Indicates data is in subdirectory
\ACCOUNTS on current drive.
CHECK PERSONAL Selects account called PERSONAL on the
Selects account called PERSONAL from
subdirectory \ACCOUNTS on drive B
If an account name is specified on the command line but the account
doesn't exist, ExpressCheck assumes you want to create a new account,
so control is passed to the Define screen. In addition to the drive,
path and account name, the command line may contain one or more of the
/M Monochrome (black and white) display: This command is sometimes
necessary when using ExpressCheck on a monochrome graphics monitor with
a color graphics board. Users with color graphics monitors can also
use the command to make the screen appear in black and white.
/S Turn off the sound: ExpressCheck makes a distinctive "beep" when
it accepts a data field from the keyboard. It makes a slightly
different sound when an invalid character is entered. Some computers
have louder speakers than others, and the sound may be annoying to you
or to others around you. Use /S command to turn it off.
@Page 7 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
/B Use BIOS calls for screen display: Some computer's video memory
is not fully compatible with the IBM PC. To display data on the screen
as quickly as possible, ExpressCheck places data directly into video
RAM. Some early models of MS-DOS computers did not map video memory at
the same address as the IBM PC. On computers whose video RAM is at a
different address, nothing gets displayed; i.e. the screen stays blank.
If you specify /B on the command line, ExpressCheck uses calls to the
ROM BIOS for screen displays. This makes screen displays slower, but
assures that the data is displaying on the screen.
/F Fast start-up: This command tells ExpressCheck to skip the banner
screen during start-up.
These slash command switches must follow the drive, path and account if
they are specified. Use the forward slash character "/". Backslash
characters "\" do not work. There cannot be a space following the
slash, but there may optionally be one or more spaces preceding it.
ExpressCheck can be configured to automatically use one or more of
these command line options plus several other options by going through
the customize option from the opening screen. For more information on
customizing ExpressCheck, see the chapter titled CUSTOMIZING EXPRESS-
In this manual, and on many ExpressCheck screens, when you see a
letter, number or special key enclosed in
the key enclosed in brackets. For example,
When a letter through
(capital) or lower-case (small) letter may be entered. Sometimes at the
bottom of a screen, the first letter of a word is enclosed in brackets,
rint. This is a short-hand way of indicating that pressing
the P key selects the Print function.
The Escape Key
back out of a section of the program and return to the previous menu.
For example, if you are adding checks and the last one has been added,
Single Keystroke Input
When a prompt requires that only one key be pressed, the command is
carried out immediately without having to press
single-key commands make a short "blip" sound (unless the sound option
has been turned off).
@Page 8 of ExpressCheck User's Guide
Whenever an incorrect or inappropriate key is pressed, ExpressCheck
sounds a two tone warning and ignores the keystroke.
entering information and are ready to move on to the next step.
Input Fields Of Two Or More Characters
All questions or entries that allow more than one key to be pressed
must be followed by an
keystrokes. On any prompt or field that allows two or more characters
to be entered, the following editing keys may be used:
Erases the character under the cursor.