Dec 102017
A set of writing tools for a writer.
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A set of writing tools for a writer.
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The Author's Utilities v1.0


Jack A. Orman

Copyright 1987

Introduction: The Author's Utilities is an integration of several
useful routines into one common format. This saves the
user much time and effort in processing text. The basic
algorithms of some of my stand-alone programs have been
incorporated and in some cases modified, and several
new routines have been written.

Features: Accessible from a common menu are:
Altpage v4.0 - Split files in order to print them
using both sides of the paper.
PrintIt v4.0 - Text printing formatter. Set margins
and allows headers and page numbers.
StripHi v2.0 - Strip hi-bits set by WordStar or
similar word processors.
NotePad v1.0 - Keep notes while using these
ListIt v1.0 - View text files up to 5 pages of 56
lines in length.
TypeIt v1.0 - Typewriter emulator that will also
save text to disk.
DIR - View a disk directory.


Using the Utilities:

When the program is started, it will open to a main menu. There will
be a movable bar that highlights the selections. The arrow keys move
the bar up or down to highlight the other choices. The F9 key will
call up the NotePad from anywhere in the Utilities and the F10 is used
to exit. When the program you want is highlighted, hit the ENTER key
to select and begin operation.

Altpage v4.0
Altpage works by creating two new files on your disk. One file whose
default name is ODD.TXT will contain all of the text lines that should
be printed on the odd numbered pages and then you turn the paper over
in your printer and print the EVEN.TXT file resulting in a book style
printout. This saves greatly in paper costs! The routine originated
from my stand-alone program of the same name and has been slightly en-
hanced in its operation. In this section as in the others, the follow-
ing keys are used:
F1 - Call up a Help screen.
F9 - Call up the NotePad.
F10 - Exit.
The highlighted box will move up and down the Altpage menu and a
choice is made by hitting ENTER when the selection you want is
highlighted. The choices available are:

Write Destination - This choice is for the drive that you want the two
file to be created on. Drive names A through P are accepted and it is
not necessary to hit enter after selecting the drive.

Text Lines/Page - This is the number of text lines that you want
each of the pages to contain when the file is printed out. An 8.5x11
sheet has 66 lines available when printed at 6 lines per inch (normal)
and 88 lines per page when printed at 8 lines per inch. However, you
want to leave some top and bottom margin space so Altpage defaults to
a value of 56 which leaves 10 lines for top and bottom margins.

File to Read - This is the name of the ascii text file that you want
to split into even and odd pages. It can include a drive and pathname
if required. For example: C:\TEXT\Author.doc
Altpage does not alter the original text file in any way.

Odd Page Name - This choice and the next one are used to change the
default name of the files that contain the split text lines. The
default of this file is ODD.TXT. Altpage will overwrite old files of
the same name so it is necessary to change the defaults if you are
splitting more than one text file in a session.

Even Page Name - Changes name of file to hold even page text.
Defaults to EVEN.TXT.

Once the settings are correct, hitting the F2 key will cause Altpage
to begin operation. When the odd/even page files have been created use
PrintIt to format the actual printout.

PrintIt v4.0
The routine is a text printout formatter that is set so that if the
default settings of Altpage are used, it will print the split files in
the correct fashion. However, any ascii text file can be printed using
PrintIt and the default settings may be changed to fit your
requirements. Example: I often use PrintIt to do hard-copy of programs
that I'm working on and to save paper, I set the lines per page to 88,
configure my printer to 8 lines per inch and print out 80 text lines
on each page.

Lines per Page - This is the total number of lines per page that are
available. Most printers default to 6 lines per inch so on a standard
11 inch long sheet there are 66 lines available. If you command the
printer to print 8 lines per inch, there are 88 lines available.

Text Lines/Page - This is the actual number of printed text lines that
you want on each page. Obviously it MUST be less that the Lines per
Page setting above. When this value is entered, it is subtracted from
the total lines per page and the difference is split between the top
and bottom margins.

Top Margin - Since the default setting has left 10 lines for margins,
PrintIt divides the available lines and gives 5 to the top margin and
5 to the bottom. This value can be easily changed from this menu
selection; however, text lines/page + top margin + bottom margin MUST
equal the total lines per page.

Bottom Margin - Provides the same options as the Top Margin

Left Margin - This value is used to indent every text line by a
fixed number of spaces. I often set it to 15 when using elite type in
order to provide a left edge margin so I can punch holes in the paper
and put the sheets in a binder. Practicality is the only limit to this

Header - This is a line of text that will be printed at the top of
every page of text. It is limited to 80 characters. Hitting ENTER
without putting any text in will skip this option in printing.

Number Pages - This allows you to have a page number inserted at the
bottom of every page. It is printed on the next to last line

Page Increment - This is the value that the page numbers will be
incremented by on each printed page. Normally it is 1 but if you chose
to number the pages and are using the ODD/EVEN files created by
Altpage, you will need to print odd numbers on one side of the paper
and the even on the other. Therefore, an increment of 2 is needed.

Hitting the F2 key will open a new window and prompt you for the name
of the file to print. Make sure that you have the printer head set at
the very top of the page before you enter the filename since PrintIt
starts operation as soon as it can open the file to read.

StripHi v2.0
This program will strip unprintable characters from a text file and
leave only pure ascii. WordStar, XyWrite and others set the high order
bits for special purposes and the resulting text is not printable ex-
cept from within the word processor. StripHi is used to reset the high
bits to 0 which results in normal text. Also, I cannot stand text that
has been preformatted for me by the author so this file removes
formfeeds. That saves a lot of paper.

Write Destination - StripHi creates a file called [email protected]@@ that will
contain the converted text. The original file is not altered in any
way. This option is where you select which drive you want the
processed file to be written on.

File to Read - Enter, through this selection, the name of the text
file to read and process. Drive and path names are acceptable.

Hitting the F2 key will begin the operation.

NotePad v1.0

This option, which is called up via the F9 key, opens a window that is
an area where notes, numbers, names or other data can be stored and
recalled when needed. The F10 key will exit back to the application
that NotePad was called from. You have to keep an eye on the pad win-
dow, since although the text will wrap-around, it does not divide at
the space between words. If you don't mind (like me) just keep typing
and the pad will accept the text without a CR.

ListIt v1.0

ListIt is used to view a text file. The file cannot be modified by
this option and you are limited to 280 lines of text. This is 5 pages
of 56 lines each. This option isn't meant to take the place of a
full-fledged documentation lister but is used for a quick peek at a
file. The F2 key opens a window that will prompt you for the name of
the file to read. Drive and path names are optional. If the text is
longer than 280 lines, there's no problem since ListIt ends the read
at 280 and closes the file. The arrow keys, PgUp, PgDn, Home and End
are used to move through the text.

TypeIt v1.0
What started out as a simple typewriter emulator got out of control
and tried to become a word processor. But, it isn't a word processor
and is only meant to be used to be used to type letters or other short
documents. It can make up to 280 lines of text and uses the same
buffer as ListIt.

F1 - Call up the Help screen.
F2 - Read a text file from disk. Drive and path names are optional.
Only the first 280 lines of a file are read.
F3 - Write the current text in the buffer to a disk file. Any valid
drive and path name is acceptable.
F4 - Type. This is how you enter text. You will be asked if you want
to add the text to the current file. Answering NO will clear the
text buffer and start a fresh file. A YES answer will append the
text that you type to the end of the file that is currently in
memory. If you have 280 lines in the buffer, you cannot append
to the file. Entering a period as the first character of a line
will get you out of the type mode. Backspace and delete work
normally in this mode but don't try to move around with the
arrow keys.
F5 - This key puts you in the edit mode. You can only perform two
operations which are: Delete a line and insert a line. To delete
a line of text, position the highlighted bar over the line that
you want to erase and hit Alt-D. The line is removed and the
rest of the text moves up. When a line is deleted you drop out
of edit mode. This prevents accidentally wiping out a lot of
text. To insert a line, position the bar over the line after the
position where you want the new line to go. Hit enter and a
blank line will be created and you can type in the new text on
it immediately. If the buffer already has 280 lines in it when
you insert, the last line will be forced out and lost. Inserting
does not drop out of the edit mode automatically, the F10 key is
hit to get out of insert edit.
F6 - This key displays the first 24 lines of the buffer. If you've
read a file with ListIt and then moved to TypeIt, the file will
become visible by hitting this key. If you've added to the end
of a file, this key will take you back to the top.
F9 - Call up NotePad.
F10 - Exit to main menu.

The arrow keys, PgUp and PgDn are used to move through the text.

This option is used to get a quick look at disk directories. It
only lists filenames without dates or sizes. Hitting ENTER at the
prompt will read the current directory. To read some other drive,
enter the drive letter followed by a colon (B: for example) and for a
drive letter with a pathname you must use a filename or wildcards. For
example: B:\BASIC\*.BAS or C:\TEXT\*.*
If the drive or path is invalid, the current directory will be

This program took hundreds on hours to plan and program, and revisions
are in the works even as I write this documentation. One option that
will be added to the main menu is a printer setup utility for Epsons
and compatibles. Also, I may replace the TypeIt program lines with the
full-screen editor algorithm that I developed and used in the DOCMAKER
program. If that comes about, ListIt will then keep its lines in
heapspace somewhere and become a full-blown documentation lister.
StripHi will be converted to use the original machine language code
from the program and consequently run many times faster. And
how about a 'TAB' crusher that converts tabs to spaces or vice-versa?

This program is for private, non-commercial use only. If you use the
program and would like to see it developed further, send a
contribution of $15 to:
Jack Orman E-mail address:
Armada Sound Lab GENIE - J.Orman
Box 858 Delphi - JAO
Southaven, MS 38671

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