Contents of the README.DOC file
AutoMessage 32-Column 3.0! Graphical message
system for VGA. Adds wipes, fades, even more
effects, multiple fonts in messages, and the
option to show effects in messages. Has four
fonts, eight effects, blinking, underline, &
double text, top and bottom titles, onscreen
instructions, international characters, plus
a QuickShow feature. Very easy to learn/use.
AutoMessage 3 32-Column
Copyright 1994 Russell Holloway
March 1, 1994
What Is AutoMessage 3 And How Can It Help Me?
AutoMessage 3 is a graphical message presentation system with graphics
comparable to those used by local cable television systems. The program allows
users to quickly enter messages of up to 999 lines which it then displays with
professional results. Because the program is graphical, display characters are
large, smooth, and legible from a distance (the display dimensions are 10 rows
of text with 32 characters per row).
Each line of the message is controlled independently and can be underlined,
doubled in size, left, center, or right justified, shown at one of four speeds,
and even be made to blink. In addition, each line can have one of sixteen
colors for both the text and the background.
Other display features include a choice of four fonts, title functions (where a
top and/or bottom line can be left on the screen while the rest of the message
scrolls), a pause message function (for pauses of up to 999 seconds), and a
clear screen function.
New to this version is the addition of 8 wipes and fades, the ability to show
intermission effects at any point within a message, one new intermission effect
(Twister), the ability to show more than one font per message, and various
Once a message is created, AutoMessage 3 has a myriad of display options. The
program can show from 1 to 300 different messages per session. These messages
can be displayed either randomly or alphabetically. You can show the messages
continuously, for a specified number of times, or for a specified time limit.
You can also specify a delay between messages. If you choose to have a delay
between messages, the delay can be filled with one of seven possible
intermission effects. These effects can be chosen so that the same effect
appears each time, or so that a variety of effects appear in a random order.
Since each effect is shown in its own box on the screen during the selection
process, the user does not have to remember how each effect appears.
AutoMessage 3 really shines when it comes to ease-of-use. All valid key choices
remain on the screen at all times, messages can be previewed at any time during
editing, and each line of text appears on the edit screen the way it will be
when it is displayed in the message. In addition, the first few lines of each
message are displayed when searching for a message filename, and the Escape key
can be used to exit any situation.
AutoMessage comes in two different "flavors." A 32-Column version (the version
this documentation applies to,) and a 20-Column version. The 20-column version
of the program is very similar to the 32-column version of AutoMessage. The
only differences are that it permits 20 characters per row of text, and has
five of its own special fonts. Both programs work in exactly the same way, so
you don't have to learn how to use an entirely new program. Once you know one
program, you know the other! The cost of this program is only $59.95, and you
will get a coupon to purchase the other version for just $15.
Just about anyone can find a use for AutoMessage 3. It is a powerful, flexible,
easy-to-use tool. (On top of that, it's fun too!).
Potential users include business that would like a message/advertising system
for employees/customers/clients/patients/etc., educators who can use the
program as an advanced flash-card system, office workers who can use the
program as an informative screen-saver, and even home users who can use the
program as an attention-getting notepad.
AutoMessage is only limited by your imagination. It takes very little work to
produce attractive, attention-getting messages. Once you begin using
AutoMessage, you will find more and more ways to take advantage of its
To run this program, you must have 420 Kilobytes of free memory, and a VGA
monitor and VGA video card. The program will run from a high-density floppy
drive and will work with any MS-DOS compatible computer.
The program has a limit of 300 messages. Each message can have up to 999
lines, and each line can have up to 32 characters (each line can have 20
characters in the 20-column version). The registered versions of the program
do not have any restrictions, but this shareware version does not support the
display of pictures between messages, ASCII text-to-message conversion, DOS
DOS command-line playback of messages, or all 10 fonts.
What's New In Version 3?
New to this shareware version is the addition of 8 wipes and fades, the ability
to show intermission effects at any point within a message, one new
intermission effect (Twister), the ability to show more than one font per
message, and various speed enhancements.
The registered version shares the updates to the shareware version, and also
supports a new high-speed GIF and PCX viewer. In addition, the registered
version will let you show GIF, PCX, and FLI files at any point in a message.
How Do I Register AutoMessage 3?
If you find AutoMessage useful and continue to use it, you need to register it.
The registration fee is only $59.95, and with registration you get a typeset
manual, the latest unrestricted version of the program, free updates for a
year, 5 more fonts (for a total of 10), the command-line Player program, the
ASCII text-to-message Converter program, the ability to show GIF and PCX
pictures as well as FLI animations as effects, and a coupon to purchase the
20-column version of the program for only $15.
If you choose to purchase the 20-column version of the program, it costs just
$59.95, and you get a coupon to purchase the standard 32-column program for only
I guarantee that if you purchase the software and you find a bug, the bug will
be fixed immediately at no charge to you. If I am not able to repair the bug
that you find, your money will be refunded, and you can keep the materials you
received with registration.
The fastest and most convenient way to register AutoMessage is to call our
toll-free order line and use your credit card. Our credit card orders are
processed through Public (software) Library. You may pay using your Master
Card, Visa, American Express, or Discover Card. The toll-free number is
800-242-4775. If you are an overseas caller, the phone number is 713-524-6394.
For the 32-column version, tell the operator you are purchasing product #10914.
For the 20-column version, tell the operator you are purchasing product #10827.
There is a $10 shipping charge if you are ordering from outside the US and
Canada. If you would like to FAX you order, the number is 713-524-6398.
Public (software) Library will also accept credit card orders through
Compuserve Information Systems. Their CIS number is 71355,470.
If you would prefer to mail your order, I have provided a couple of different
ways to do so.
If you don't have a printer or don't want to worry with one, you have the
option of just writing out the information and mailing it in.
If you choose to write out the information, here is all that I need:
Your Mailing Address:
Floppy Disk Size: (5.25" high density, 5.25" low density, 3.5" high
density, or 3.5" low density)
Number of Copies:
Total Amount Enclosed:
Which AutoMessage you want: 32-Column or 20-Column.
The price for either version of AutoMessage is $59.95.
(Shipping for orders outside the US & Canada is $10)
Make your check or money order payable to: Russell Holloway
The mailing address is: Russell Holloway
P.O. Box 54225
Lexington, KY 40555-4225
The form can also be printed out at this point using Print Screen. Make sure
that the form is aligned on the screen between the dashed line following these
instructions and the dashed line following the form. Then, just press Shift
and Print Screen at the same time and the form should be printed.
Dial 800-242-4775 for credit card ORDERS ONLY! Or print and mail in this form.
For the 32-column version, tell the operator you are purchasing product #10914.
For the 20-column version, tell the operator you are purchasing product #10827.
Other ORDER ONLY #s: Overseas 713-524-6394 : FAX 713-524-6398 : CIS 71355,470.
DO NOT dial the above numbers for information! For INFO dial 606-263-2687.
Your Name: ______________________________________________
Your Mailing Address: ______________________________________________
Floppy Disk Size: ( )3.5" High Density ( )3.5" Low Density
( )5.25" High Density ( )5.25" Low Density
Number of Copies: _______ AutoMessage 32-column version $59.95
AutoMessage 20-column version $59.95
(Shipping outside the US & Canada is $10)
Total Amount Enclosed: $______
Which Version of AutoMessage? 32-Column 20-Column (Circle The One You Want.)
Make your check or money order payable to: Russell Holloway.
The mailing address is: Russell Holloway
P.O. Box 54225
Lexington, KY 40555-4225
How To Run AutoMessage
Setting Up AutoMessage
SETUP32 is run automatically the first time AutoMessage is started, or whenever
the configuration file CONFIG32.DAT is missing. SETUP32 can also be run from
the DOS prompt by typing SETUP32 and pressing Enter. You must be in the
directory where the AutoMessage 32 files reside before you attempt to run
When SETUP32 is run, it presents you with a screen that asks for your
preferences on Justification, Screen Color, Text Color, Display Speed, and
Display Font. Remember, you are not locked into these choices when you run
AutoMessage; you can change them as you are writing or editing a message.
The SETUP32 program shows exactly how your choices will look as you select them.
This is the same way the lines will look when AutoMessage shows messages.
However, when AutoMessage shows real messages, you have 10 lines of display
with up to 32 characters on each line.
Don't worry if you're not exactly sure how you want things to look the first
time SETUP32 is run. If things aren't the way you want, simply exit AutoMessage
and run the SETUP32 program again.
The SETUP32 program will give you an initial indication of how AutoMessage
works. You are given all possible choices on the screen at the same time, and
you can immediately see the results of any changes that you make. Written
instructions are really not necessary in most cases, and options do pretty much
what you expect them to do.
Next, we will assume that you have run the SETUP32 program and are now ready to
begin using AutoMessage.
To start AutoMessage, first change to the disk drive and directory where the
AutoMessage files reside. We will assume a directory called AUTOMESS on drive
C:. If you used a different drive or directory when you installed the program,
just substitute that drive and directory for C:\AUTOMESS.
Now, to start running AutoMessage, just type AUTO32 and press Enter. If you
get an error like BAD COMMAND OR FILE NAME, make sure that you are trying to
run the program from the right disk drive and directory.
If this is the first time that you have run AutoMessage, the program will
automatically run the SETUP32 program. The SETUP32 program sets the defaults
that AutoMessage uses during message creation. If you see the SETUP32 program
screen, go back to the section titled The SETUP32 Program.
If you have already run SETUP32, you should see a menu with four choices:
1) Show Messages, 2) Change Messages, 3) Create Messages, and 4) Exit Program.
If you do not see this menu or the SETUP32 menu, read through the instructions
under Starting AutoMessage again. If you do see this menu, go now to the
following section titled Things To Remember.
Things To Remember
I: The first thing to remember is that just about any key that you are
allowed to press is marked on the screen. If the screen indicates that
you are allowed to press function keys F1 through F4, then there will be no
action when you press F5.
The program is written this way because I know it will not be the only program
that you run on your computer. There is no reason to have to remember the keys
when the program is capable of displaying them on the screen for you. Leaving
instructions off the screen does make for a prettier display, but after two or
three uses, you really start wishing they were there.
The only exceptions to the above rule are that you can press the Escape key to
exit from the (Y)es, (N)o, or (C)ancel instructions, and in the Message Create
section, you can press the Enter key instead of Escape to get out of the
Message Format section.
(It is also important to remember that when these instructions state that you
should press Shift and a function key, e.g. Shift F6, make sure that you press
and hold the Shift key while pressing the function key at the same time.)
II: The second thing to remember is that the Escape key can be used whenever
you run into a problem. For instance, if you accidentally ask the
program to save a message and you don't want to save, just press Escape to
cancel. Repeatedly pressing Escape will eventually take you out to the opening
menu from any screen you happen to be using.
III: The third thing to remember is that this is a graphical program. While
this won't make much difference on computers from 20-megahertz 80386's
and up, the program will run a little sluggishly on slower computers. If you
are using an older computer, don't be surprised if the program seems to have
stopped momentarily. It just takes longer to process graphical information
than textual information. The program was written this way both to improve its
general appearance, and to allow you to see exactly what you are doing as you
are doing it.
IV: The fourth thing to remember is that extended character codes are
accessed differently depending on what language version of DOS you are
using. The program was written using the English version of DOS, so all the
extended ASCII codes are accessed by holding down the Alt key and typing in
the three letter extended ASCII code. For instance, to access the (yen)
character, you would hold down the Alt key and enter 157 on the numeric
keypad. Remember, you have to continue holding Alt while typing these numbers.
Do not release the Alt key until you have typed all three numbers, or the
results will be unpredictable. The codes associated with these keys differ
depending on the language version of DOS, so you'll have to experiment to find
the correct codes for your system. The program accepts codes from ASCII 128 to
AutoMessage Main Menu.
After SETUP32 has been run and a configuration has been saved, AutoMessage will
start by showing you the Main Menu.
The Main Menu presents you with four choices: Show Messages, Change Messages,
Create Messages, and Exit Program.
STEP 1: The only way to show messages you have already created in this
shareware version is to use SHOW MESSAGES. When you select this
option, the program checks the current directory for stored messages. If it
does not find any, it informs you that you must first create a message and then
takes you back out to the Main Menu.
If the program finds one or more messages, it presents you with a list of these
messages in a window at the right center of the screen. This menu will list
the names of up to 50 messages at the same time. If more than 50 messages are
found, you can list the names by using the cursor keys displayed on the screen.
To aid in the selection of the proper messages for display, the first 22 lines
of each message are shown in a window at the left side of the screen as you
To select a message for display, highlight it using the keys shown on the
screen and then press the space bar. The box to the left of the message will
then be highlighted in red. If you change your mind, just highlight the
message again and press the Space Bar. The box will then turn to black and the
message will no longer be selected. You can highlight as many of the messages
as you want. You may also select or deselect all of the stored messages by
pressing the F1 key.
An added option as of version 2 is the QuickShow feature. This is a powerful
addition that greatly simplifies the playback of messages from within the
program. When you run the program for the first time, QuickShow will show the
DEMO32 message continuously and use the RANDOM effect for intermissions.
However, you can set up QuickShow virtually any way you want. To set up
QuickShow, just go through Display Steps 1-5 like you usually do. When you get
to Step 6, press F10 and everything you selected in Steps 1-5 will be stored.
From this time on, whenever you press F10 in Display Step 1, these selections
will be loaded and used for message playback. It is important to remember that
if you delete a message that is being used by QuickShow, QuickShow will not
work properly. If it so happens that you do delete a Message that QuickShow is
set to display, you will have to set up QuickShow again.
After you have selected the messages you want to display, press the Enter key
to advance to STEP 2. If you press Enter and you haven't selected any
messages, the program will take you back to STEP 1 where you can either select
a message or return to the main menu.
STEP 2: At this stage you are asked about the order in which you would like
to display your messages. There are only two choices, but their
differences are important.
F1-RANDOM will randomly display all of the messages you have selected,
playing them without repeating whenever possible.
F2-ALPHABETICAL will alphabetically display all of the messages you have
selected. Unless you have selected only 1 message, there is
no possibility that a message will be displayed twice in a row. The
alphabetical order is determined from the name of the message itself.
STEP 3: At this stage you select the number of times that you want to display
the selected messages.
F1-CONTINUOUS will continuously display your messages until you press a key.
F2-TIMED will display messages in random or alphabetical order until the
amount of time you have entered has elapsed, or until you press a
key. You can enter a time of up to 999 Hours, 59 Minutes.
F3-COUNTED will either display messages in random or alphabetical order the
number of times you have selected or until you press a key. Each
message counts once, so if a message is displayed randomly twice, that counts
as two messages.
STEP 4: At this stage, you select the amount of time you want to wait between
messages. If you want messages to show with no break between them,
just select a time delay of 0 Minutes, 0 Seconds. There will be some extra
delay between messages depending on the size of the next message, and the speed
of your computer.
STEP 5: In this step, you select the intermission effect that will be shown
between messages. If you selected a time delay of 0 in the last
step, this step will be skipped. If you want the screen to stay black between
messages, select F1. If you want the program to randomly pick between the
intermission effects, select F2. Otherwise, the program will show only the
effect that you choose. For instance, if you select F3 Lines, the program will
only show the Lines Intermission between messages. If you pick F2 (Random),
each display will appear about 1 out of every 5 messages.
STEP 6: In this step you review the choices that you have made. If all looks
correct, just press Enter and the show will begin. If something is
not right, press the Backspace key until you get to the step that will correct
it. Pressing Escape at any time will take you back to the Main Menu.
During display, you can press any key to stop. You will then be returned to
Step 6. From here, you can exit to the Main Menu, restart the display, or
change the display settings.
As described in STEP 1:, QuickShow can be used here to store the selections
that you have made in STEPS 1-5. Then, message display can start directly from
STEP 1 just by pressing the F10 key. To use this feature, just make the
selections that you want in STEPS 1-5. When everything is set the way you
want, press the F10 key and the selections will be stored. The program will
then give you a short sequence of tones and a message telling you that the
QuickShow information has been successfully saved.
To make a new message, first select Create Messages. When this option is
selected, AutoMessage will first present you with a Master Format window. This
window will give you a preview of the overall format of the message. You can
change each line as you enter the message, but each line will default to this
Master Format. You can go back and change the Master Format any time you want
while you are entering the message. However, you should remember that any
changes you make will effect the entire message. If you change the colors in
the Master Format, each line in the message will then take on these new colors.
The same holds true for any changes you make in display speed and
justification. If, for example, you have a message with ten lines already
entered and you make a Master Format change, each of these ten lines will take
on this new format. This happens regardless of any changes you have already
made to these lines.
Since the Master Format initially takes on the values you saved using the SETUP
program, you will not usually need to make any changes to this format. So,
when you enter the Create Messages menu option, you will usually just need to
press Enter or Escape immediately to start entering the message. However, this
option will always be available if you want to make any changes.
It is important to remember that each message is totally independent of any
other messages. Any changes you make using the Master Format or the SETUP
program will have no effect on messages you have already saved.
There are different ways to access extended characters based on your language
version of DOS. For English versions of DOS, the only way to access extended
characters is through the numeric keypad. To access the (yen) character,
you must hold down the Alt key while typing 157 on the numeric keypad. 157 is
the ASCII code of . This will only work if you hold down the Alt key while
typing all three letters. If you release the Alt key before finishing, the
results will be unpredictable. If you are using a foreign language version of
DOS, some of the extended keys will appear on your keyboard. Most languages
are directly compatible with ASCII. However, you may have to experiment to
find the right combination to get the characters you want. Refer to your DOS
manual for more information about extended characters. AutoMessage supports
extended ASCII codes 128 to 175.
We're now ready to start entering a message. Try entering a few characters and
see how they look. For the purpose of speed, the program will let you keep
typing as it draws characters at the bottom, so if it appears that the
characters are disappearing, stop typing and they will quickly catch up.
After you have typed a few characters, you can then see how some of the
commands work (note that all possible commands are listed on the screen).
Cursor Up: This key moves up the display by one line. When you reach the
first line, this key no longer has any effect.
Cursor Down: This key moves the display down by one line. When you reach line
999, this key no longer has any effect.
Page Up: This key moves the display up by 15 lines. When you reach the first
line, this key no longer has any effect.
Page Down: This key moves the display down by 15 lines. When you reach line
999, this key no longer has any effect.
Delete: This key deletes the current line. Be careful - it doesn't ask
whether or not you are sure you want to delete; it just does it.
Insert: This key inserts a new line. It pushes any text below it down by one
line and adds a new line that conforms to the settings made in the
Master Format window.
Home: This key takes you to line 1 of the message.
End: This key takes you to the last line you have edited.
Esc: This key gets you out of Create Messages and takes you back to the Main
Menu. If the current message contains any text, you will be asked if you
want to save the current message. If you do, press Y and follow the
instructions. If you do not want to save, press N. Otherwise, press C or
Escape again and you will return to the message without saving or exiting.
F1: Justification This choice changes the justification of the text on the
screen. Try using this option a few times to see what
occurs. Make sure that you refer to what happens in the preview window because
this is exactly the way that the text will appear when the message is
displayed. Remember, any changes you make with this option will effect only
the line that you are currently editing. Any lines that have not yet been
edited will default to the settings made in the Master Format window.
Note that as you make changes with F1, the window just to the right of the
Entry Window will indicate these changes. This window is also important for
other functions because it reflects changes in Underline, Text Type, Font, and
F2: Text Color This choice is fairly obvious. When you press F2, the text
color on the current line changes. There are 16 possible text
colors, but the program will not allow you to set a text color equal to the
screen color (if you want the text color to equal the screen color you really
want a blank line). The text color will cycle through all of its colors as
long as you press F2. Any changes you make with this option will affect only
the line that you are currently editing.
F3: Screen Color This choice works in exactly the same way as the text color
except that it changes the color of the text background. As
with the text color, you cannot set the screen color to equal the text color.
Again, any changes you make with this option will only affect the line that you
are currently editing.
F4: Display Speed This choice changes the display speed of the line you are
currently editing. Changes to this setting do not appear in
the preview window. The speed varies from 100% to 25%. At 100%, the message
will display as fast as the hardware in your computer and display card will
allow. However, at 75% and below, the message text will display with a delay
between each character. This decreased speed should be about the same
regardless of the hardware used to display it.
Try using this option a few times and then preview the results. You can then
better judge what speed settings do what on your equipment. As usual, any
changes you make with this option will only effect the line that you are
F5: Text Size This choice allows you to select Normal or Double sized text.
This is a good effect for calling attention to a particular
line. One thing to remember about this choice is that it cuts down on the
number of lines that can be displayed on the screen at the same time. Normally,
you can have 10 lines of text from top to bottom. However, since Double text
is twice as high as Normal, it takes up twice as much screen space. Therefore,
if every line is Double size, you can only have 5 lines of text on each screen.
The width of the display is not affected, you will still have 32 characters per
line. And again, any changes you make with this option will only effect the
line that you are currently editing.
F6: Underline Text This choice allows you to turn underline on and off. Both
Normal and Double sized text is underlined. The only thing
to remember about this option is that if you select Blinking Text (F9), the
underline does not blink, only the text it underlines. Once again, any changes
you make with this option will only affect the line that you are currently
F7: Pause Display This option will stop the display for as many seconds as you
tell it to. When you press F7, it will examine the line on
which you are currently working. If this line contains information, Pause
Display will insert a line so that this information is not lost. If the line
is blank, then Pause Display will simply replace it. If you fail to enter a
number when Pause Display asks you for a delay time, it will default to 0
seconds and have no effect on the message display. Pause Display is also used
in conjunction with F9 (Blinking Text). To get text to blink, you must first
select it with F9. This alone will not cause the text to blink. You must then
issue a Pause Display. The text will not blink until the message reaches this
pause. You can put the pause display on the line below the blinking text, or
you can put it several lines below, just so long as the text that is to blink
stays on the screen.
F8: Clear Screen This option does just what it says. It clears off the screen
and starts the display from the top. There are a couple of
things to remember about this option though. If you have selected a Top Title
(Shift F6), a Bottom Title (Shift F7), or both, Clear Screen will not affect
them. Only text that is between the Top and/or Bottom Title will be cleared
away. However, if you issue two Clear Screen commands in a row, the Top and/or
Bottom Title will be cleared away. Also, Clear Screen clears the screen in the
color of the default background color. If you want to clear the screen to a
certain color, use the Shift-F3 function to select a wipe. Wipes perform the
same function as two clear screen commands in a row, and will leave the color
that was wiped with on the screen.
F9: Blinking Text This option provides a way to make text on the screen blink
to attract special attention. Any text other than the Top
and Bottom Titles can be made to blink; however, only one line on each screen
can be made to blink at a time. Also, to get text to blink you must issue a
Pause command (see F7 Pause Display for details) at least 1 line after the
F10: Next Font In this version of the program, 5 fonts are provided: Courier,
Roman, Helv, Deco, and Vogue. The registered version adds
another 5 fonts. You can see how each of the fonts will look by repeatedly
(When the following sections refer to pressing Shift and a function key, i.e.
Shift F3, remember to press and hold the Shift key while pressing the function
key at the same time.)
Shift F3: Special Effects This is a new option for version 3. This option
allows you to select various wipes and fades, as
well as effects for display during message playback. In the registered
version, you may also select a .GIF, .PCX, or .FLI file for display. This
feature permits you to select either the number of seconds to display an
effect, or the color you want to use for a wipe. You may also select a fade
to black or a fade in from black. Remember, if you want to fade from black,
you must first fade to black. For instance, to fade the opening screen of
your message in, first fade the display to black, then display the opening
text, then fade the display from black.
It is important to remember that wipes and effects perform the same function
as two Clear Screen commands in a row. In other words, if you have a Top
and/or Bottom title, using wipes or effects will clear away these titles and
give you the full screen to work with. Also, wipes will leave the wipe color
on the screen. The Clear Screen command will only clear with the default
background color. Therefore, if you want to clear the screen to a certain
color, you need to use a wipe. Effects will clear the screen to the default
color just like Clear Screen.
The only special effects that do not change what is on the screen are the
Fade In and Fade Out commands. These simply function to change the screen
palette and do not modify screen contents.
Shift F6: Make Top Title This option allows you to make a title that will stay
at the top of the screen regardless of what happens
with the rest of the message. Text is scrolled beneath the top title, and if a
Clear Screen command is issued, only the text below this title is cleared away.
To get rid of this top title, you must issue two Clear Screen commands in a
row. This function works along with the Make Bottom Title (Shift F7). One
thing to remember about this function is that whenever it is used in the
message it will clear away the rest of the screen. The only exception is if
you have a Bottom Title. Selecting a new Top Title will not clear away the
current Bottom Title. Also, the Top (as well as the Bottom) Title is not
affected by the Blinking Text command. All other commands work normally. You
can issue the Make Top Title command whenever you want in a particular message.
Just remember that it clears away all but the bottom title (if there is one)
when it is issued.
Shift F7: Make Bottom Title This option allows you to make a title that will
stay at the bottom of the screen regardless of
what happens with the rest of the message. Text is scrolled above the Bottom
Title, and if a Clear Screen command is issued, only the text above this title
is cleared away. To get rid of this Bottom Title, you must issue two Clear
Screen commands in a row. This function works along with the Make Top Title
(Shift F6). One thing to remember about this function is that whenever it is
used in the message it will clear away the rest of the screen. The only
exception is if you have a Top Title.
Selecting a new Bottom Title will not clear away the current Top Title. Also,
the Bottom (as well as the Top) Title is not affected by the Blinking Text
command. All other commands work normally. You can issue the Make Bottom
Title command whenever you want in a particular message. Just remember that it
clears away all but the Top Title (if there is one) when it is issued.
Shift F8: Master Format This option allows you to change the current Master
Format. It calls up the same screen that is presented
when you first select Create Messages. This function works the same way when
it is called from the message as it does when Create Messages is first
selected. It is important to remember that any changes you make here effect
the entire message. If you change the colors, all lines in the message are
changed, including any lines you have already edited. The same goes for changes
made in Justification and Display Speed.
Shift F9: Save Message This option allows you to save the message you are
currently editing. This option also comes up
automatically when you press Escape to exit the message and the message
contains information. The screen should then present you with any necessary
instructions. It is a good idea to use a name that is indicative of the
contents of the message so that you can find it more quickly. However, this is
not absolutely necessary since all messages are automatically previewed before
you load them back in.
Shift F10: Preview Message This option allows you to preview the message you
are currently editing. This is the way the message
will appear when displayed using the Show Messages selection from the Main
Menu (except no intermission effects will be shown). The message will repeat
until you stop it by pressing any key.
This selection works essentially the same way as Create Messages. The only two
exceptions are: A Load Message menu initially appears in place of the Master
Format menu; and a Shift F5: Load Message choice appears on the screen.
Since Change Messages differs so little from Create Messages, I will only
document the two exceptions listed above. Just refer to the Create Messages
section for information on all the other functions.
When you first select Change Messages, you will be presented with a menu asking
you what message you want to load. The directory is searched for all messages
that have been saved, and then they are presented on a selection list. You can
move up and down through this list like you move up and down through a message.
All of the applicable keys are displayed on the screen, and no other keys have
You can get an idea of the contents of each message as you highlight it in the
Load Menu. At the left of the screen in the Entry Window, a preview of the
first fourteen lines of each message will appear. When you have highlighted
the message you would like to edit, press Enter and the message will load.
Shift F5: Pressing Shift and F5 brings up the Load Messages menu. This can be
done at any time during editing. This menu is the same as the one
that first appears when you select Change Messages from the Main Menu. You
should remember that if you load a new message with this function, it will
first erase the message on which you are currently working. When you first
press this button it will ask if you want to save your current message. If you
select (N)o, the program will then erase the message you are currently editing.
It will not erase it from the disk, but it will erase any changes you have