Dec 132017
Ric Meyer's powerful Video display editor. Version 1.73.
File VDE173.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Word Processors
Ric Meyer’s powerful Video display editor. Version 1.73.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
CTRLCAPS.COM 688 574 deflated
EXAMPLES.VDF 189 129 deflated
ORDER.FRM 2467 1048 deflated
VDE.DOC 78639 27455 deflated
VDE.EXE 73978 45193 deflated
VDE.REF 62598 22097 deflated
VDE173.UPD 13651 5700 deflated
VINST.COM 17332 10953 deflated
VINST.REF 41880 15214 deflated
VMACRO.REF 33342 11767 deflated
WP.VDF 327 222 deflated
WS4.VDF 375 244 deflated

Download File VDE173.ZIP Here

Contents of the VDE.DOC file

Instructions for the VDE Editor:
version 1.73 (17 Aug 1994)

(c)1987-94, E. Meyer

================================ CONTENTS ==================================

1. INTRODUCTION: Brief description; Copyright and Licensing.

A. Installation, Menus and Commands, Help.
B. Starting and ending an editing session.
C. Typing and correcting.
D. Moving the cursor.
E. The screen and windows.
F. Text formatting.
G. Searching and replacing.
H. Block operations.
I. Getting a printout.
J. Editing additional files.
K. What is a Macro?

3. SYNTAX. How to invoke VDE from the DOS command line.

4. COMMAND SUMMARY: MenuBar choices; command keys.

5. GENERAL INFORMATION, alphabetically by topic:
Accessory programs, Compatibility with word processors, Control
key, Directories, Error messages, File modes, Memory, Multitasking
environments, Prompts.

(For a comprehensive COMMAND REFERENCE, see the file VDE.REF)

(For detailed explanation of MACROS, see the file VMACRO.REF)

(For use of the VINST installation utility, see the file VINST.REF)

============================= 1. INTRODUCTION ==============================

VDE is a small, fast text editor for IBM PC (near-)compatibles offering:

* easy menu-driven operation or WordStar-compatible command keys
* multiple files, windows, cut and paste
* block copy, move, delete, read, write, and zoom
* find and replace (forward, backward, ignore case, all files, etc)
* protected mode and multi-level undo to avoid unintended changes
* keystroke macros with full programming ability
* commands to browse disk directories, split files, compare files,
count words, number lists automatically
* full DOS access: directories, DOS commands, shell
* variable number of text lines and columns displayable
* automatic save to disk at intervals
* programmable function keys and many other user configurable options
* ability to run well on limited computers such as laptops and palmtops

But VDE is also a powerful word processor, with:

* left and right margins, wordwrap, automatic or manual reformat
* variable tabs, auto indent, center/flush right, justification
* print preview to check format and pagebreaks before printing
* customizable printer drivers for special effects (bold, underline,
italic, super/subscript, overstrike, proportional fonts, etc)
* printing options: headers, pagination, selective print, print to file,
single sheet feed, address envelopes
* multiple file formats for text exchange (including ASCII, WordStar,
WordPerfect, XyWrite, NotaBene, Microsoft Word)
* integrated spelling checker (registered users only)

VDE's versatility is due to its integration of the most important word
processing features with the simplicity of a small text editor, making it an
efficient tool for many different tasks. VDE is an ideal choice for a DOS
file editor, and a practical editor to run from a shell within telecom,
database, file maintenance, programming, and other application software. Yet
its full formatting and printing features also make VDE a powerful word
processor. Many longtime users of leading retail software find themselves
doing more and more of their work in VDE instead.

"The recurrent theme in this business is smaller, faster,
cheaper. Except for software, which gets bigger, slower,
and costs the same." -- Bill Machrone
PC Magazine, May 1993

For some years now, VDE has offered an alternative to the growing trend
among retail word processors to emulate desktop publishing software by making
elaborate provisions for font variations and page layout, and trying to
present a graphic representation of the printed result on screen. These
hybrid programs consume lots of disk space and memory, and have sluggish
response times even on the fastest computers. Their design ignores the
fundamental fact that typesetting is a process quite unrelated to writing, and
there is no particularly good reason for a writer to be distracted by it. Of
course computers can make either task easier, but apparently not with the same

Because the fundamental advance of a word processor over a typewriter or
a pen is in speed and ease of writing and revision, VDE allows you to
concentrate on your writing; it is small enough to work well on even the most
limited of portable computers, and it is remarkably fast. You can find a
phrase, or make a global change, instantly; work gets done sooner, and more of
it can be done at the keyboard, eliminating unnecessary printouts. Of course,
when you need to print, VDE can still take advantage of a variety of your
printer's fonts. (And if you truly need more sophisticated page design, you
can easily import what you've written into a real desktop publishing program.)


VDE circulates widely as "shareware", giving you the opportunity to try
the program at no cost, and to share it with others -- hence the name. If it
doesn't meet your needs, you don't have to pay for it. If you find the
program valuable and continue to use it, you can "register" your copy for a
modest fee. In return, you get an update disk (often including extra features
like VDE's integrated spelling checker) and support from the author.

Shareware offers some unique advantages over retail software, because
users interact directly with the author. Obviously, costs are kept down
because glossy packaging, advertising, and retail markups are eliminated. But
shareware can also resist market trends and continue to provide useful kinds
of products that the big corporations have abandoned. And shareware authors
can respond more directly to user requests and concerns than software
publishers who release an update only when it seems profitable.

Shareware works when users give program authors useful feedback, and most
of all, when users support authors by registering their programs. This makes
it possible for quality shareware to continue to develop and improve. VDE
would not have become what it is now without this kind of support. Please
support shareware by registering any programs that you use.

The use and distribution of VDE are governed by the "COPYRIGHT AND
LICENSE" information below. Please read this carefully!


Be sure you have all the files which should be included in this package:

VDE.EXE - The VDE editor itself.
VINST.COM - The installation and customizing utility.

VDE.DOC - This basic documentation for VDE.
VDE.REF - The detailed Reference Guide for VDE commands.
VMACRO.REF - The Reference Guide for use of macros.
VINST.REF - The Reference Guide for the VINST installation utility.
VDExxx.UPD - Latest news and update information for this version of VDE.
ORDER.FRM - Registration/site license order form.

WS4.VDF - Function key definitions for compatibility with WordStar.
WP.VDF - Function key definitions for compatibility with WordPerfect.
EXAMPLES.VDF - Several function key definitions from the examples in VDE.REF.
CTRLCAPS.COM - Utility to let [CapsLock] key act as [Ctrl] (see CONTROL KEY).

The optional spelling checker is not distributed as shareware; it can
only be obtained directly from the author by registered users of VDE. Run the
INSTALL program on your VDE disk to access the speller files and instructions.


The VDE editor and documentation are copyright (c)1987-94
Eric Meyer, all rights reserved worldwide. They may not be
circulated in any incomplete or modified form, nor sold for
profit, without written permission of the author. The use
or sale of VDE is subject to the following terms:

PERSONAL USE. If you find VDE valuable and continue to use it, you are
encouraged (but not required) to register, and help support the
development of high-quality, affordable software:
Registered users receive several benefits:
* The latest version of VDE (and other useful programs)
on disk direct from the author.
* Convenient integrated spelling checker with
customizable user dictionary.
* Support. You can get help with any questions or
problems you encounter in using VDE. Future upgrades can
be ordered on disk when desired.
* Your registration verifies the legality of your
personal use of VDE at your workplace as well.

SITE LICENSES. Any company or institution wishing to use VDE in the course of
its business MUST purchase a SITE LICENSE. The cost of the license is
modest, and varies according to the number of computers on which VDE may
be in use in the workplace:
Up to 5 copies................. $50 (US)
Up to 10 copies............... $100
Additional copies over 10....... $5 each
The purchaser of a site license receives several benefits:
* The latest version of VDE (and other useful programs)
on disk direct from the author.
* Convenient integrated spelling checker with
customizable user dictionary.
* Support. You can get help with any questions or
problems you encounter in using VDE. Future upgrades can

be ordered on disk when desired.
* A license documents the legality of your company's
use of VDE.
* Your employees can use VDE at home and share it with
friends without raising issues of software piracy.

COMMERCIAL SALE. Any software dealer or library may offer VDE for sale, as
long as the price charged for the disk containing VDE does not exceed US
$6. With this single exception, the sale of VDE, either alone or together
with other software or hardware, requires a licensing agreement. Please
write for terms.

ORDERING AND SOURCES. Site licenses and individual registrations may be
ordered directly from the author (see address below), by check or money
order in US currency; purchase orders are also accepted.
CREDIT CARD ORDERS (VISA,MC,AmEx,Discover), including international,
for licenses and registrations may be made through the Public Software
Library, P.O. Box 35705, Houston TX 77235. For ORDERS ONLY, phone toll-
free (800)242-4775. For any other inquiries, phone (713)524-6394, fax
(713)524-6398, or email CompuServe [71355,470]. Mention item #10303.
(There is a $5 surcharge for credit card orders.)
VDE is distributed widely through "shareware" channels. Users with a
modem can download the latest version as the archive file VDExxx.ZIP,
available from either of the two primary distribution points:
(1) Glendale Litera BBS - Glendale, CA (818)956-6164.
(2) On CompuServe, in download library 1 (DL1) of the IBMAPP forum.
In addition, VDE is available on a variety of other remote systems,
and by mail from many good software libraries, including the Public
Software Library (order disk #1933).

FOREIGN USERS. VDE has a growing number of users elsewhere in the Americas,
Europe, and the Far East. In many countries, retail software is scarce or
expensive, and shareware is an even more attractive alternative.
Registrations from overseas are warmly encouraged, and users receive full
support, including disks by airmail, at no extra charge. Payment can be
made by international credit card through Public Software Library; or you
can send money orders in US currency, drawn on a US affiliate bank,
directly to the author. Modest amounts of US cash ($50 or less) can also
be sent safely by registered mail.
The author would also like to hear from anyone interested in
collaborating to produce a foreign language version of VDE.

Please write for further information about VDE. Address correspondence to:

Eric Meyer
3541 Smuggler Way CompuServe: [74415,1305]
Boulder, Colorado 80303 USA Internet: [email protected]

THE CUSTOMARY DISCLAIMER: You undertake to use VDE at
your own risk. The author does not warrant the suitability
of VDE for any particular purpose, and assumes no liability
for damages of any kind resulting from its use.

======================= 2. QUICK START INSTRUCTIONS ========================

These instructions for VDE assume basic familiarity with an IBM PC-
compatible computer running MSDOS. You need to know, for example, what terms
like "directory, root, filename, extension" mean, and how to use basic DOS
commands like DIR, COPY, and CHDIR. If you don't, your local bookstore has a
shelf full of books with titles like "Using DOS", and you should read one of
them before continuing.

This introduction is intended to give beginning users a quick start on
editing with VDE, including the most basic and common commands. Throughout,
you will find references like "(See SYNTAX)" which lead you to a more complete
explanation in the VDE.REF or VINST.REF reference file.

---------------- A. INSTALLATION, MENUS AND COMMANDS, HELP -----------------


"Installation", or customization, of VDE is performed by the VINST
utility. After you have played around a bit with VDE, look in the VINST.REF
file for a description of all the options (display colors, action of certain
keys, editing settings, printer drivers, etc) that can be changed to suit your
tastes. For example, if you have a favorite set of margins, you can VINST to
specify these as defaults, rather than having to change the margins each time
you begin an editing session. You will eventually discover the settings you
prefer for the many other options and defaults, as you become more familiar
with VDE. [Various comments below in brackets "[]" point out some uses of
VINST.] And once you have modified your original copy of VDE.EXE, its initial
welcome/copyright screen will no longer appear.

VDE will work well on any computer with an IBM-compatible BIOS and video
adapter, but it also has special provisions for certain "near-compatible"
MSDOS computers that it supports:
Hewlett-Packard 95LX, 100LX palmtops
Hewlett-Packard Portable Plus
Otrona 8:16 with IBM emulation
Users of these computers should run VINST to select a special installation for
them before trying to run VDE; see further notes about this in VINST.REF.


Editing functions in VDE can be performed in two different ways:
(1) by MenuBar selections.
(2) by Ctrl or Alt-key commands.
VDE's commands ultimately offer the greatest power, flexibility, and speed,
but they can take some time to learn. MenuBars allow a user not familiar with
these commands to get started using VDE immediately, and will appeal to those
who are new to computers or word processing, who will use VDE only occas-
ionally, or who simply prefer not to memorize commands. Either approach is
available at any time.

(1) MenuBars guide you straightforwardly to the functions you need.
Suppose you want to underline a string of text in your file. Just press
^[Esc] (Ctrl-Esc), and the main "menu bar" will appear:
File Block Delete sEarch formaT stYle Set View Print Misc User
Underlining is a matter of type "stYle", so type "Y" (the highlighted letter)
to bring up the style menu bar, which gives choices "Underline", "Bold", etc.
Finally, select "U" for underline; the code will be inserted in the text.
In the text below, MenuBar commands will be referred to in the following
manner: {stYle:Underline}
This designates selecting st"Y"le, then "U"nderline from the menu bar sequence
(you actually type ^[Esc],Y,U). Most, though not all, of VDE's functions are
available from the menu bars. [Others can be added to your User menu bar.]

(2) Commands, although they do need to be memorized, are more concise,
and give access to the full range of VDE features, including powerful macros.
If you're familiar with the popular WordStar command set already, you can
probably start right off editing files with VDE. It uses simple one- or two-
key combinations, for example:
which means "Hold down [Ctrl] while pressing Q, then press C", or
which means "Hold down [Alt] while pressing D". Many of these are mnemonic
(^Q for Quick movements, etc), though some are not. Their advantage is that
all are easily found by the touch typist without distraction -- no groping for
function keys or mice interrupts the writing process. This largely accounts
for the continuing popularity of the WordStar word processor (now over a
decade old), and its emulation by countless other programs.
In addition to many WordStar-standard commands, VDE has a number of Alt-
key and Esc-key commands to invoke its additional features, such as multi-file
editing. (See COMMAND SUMMARY.)


ON-LINE HELP: You can get a brief reminder of the command set anytime you
like by pressing ^J or [F1] for help. A summary of the simple control-key
commands will appear; press [PgUp/Dn] or [^/v] to page through other commands,
or press A, E, K, O, P, or Q to display the Alt-key, Esc-key, ^K, ^O, ^P, or
^Q-commands instead (or F for a list of file modes, or J to return to the
original screen). Once you have found the information you needed, press [Esc]
or [Space] to exit from the help menu.

THE MANUAL: if you need more extensive help while learning to use VDE,
turn to the manual (the three .DOC and .REF files). It is distributed on
disk, rather than in printed and bound form, for two reasons:
(1) It's easier to search for help electronically than to flip through a
printed index (especially when what you want may not be in it). Simply edit
the file with VDE and use the find command (^QF or {sEarch:Find}) to locate
the information you need instantly. You can even load VDE.REF as an
additional file along with your own writing work. Then, if you can't recall,
say, how to get a word count, one keystroke can take you to the manual to
search for the phrase "word count".
(2) It saves trees, the pollution of paper production, and the choking of
landfills with waste paper. Not everyone will need or want a printed copy of
the manual. Of course, if you do, you can use VDE to print out any portion of
it that you desire, to have for reference at your desk. (You will need to use
an "elite" (12 cpi) or smaller font that can print 80 columns of text.)

---------------- B. STARTING AND ENDING AN EDITING SESSION -----------------

Let's suppose that you have VDE.EXE in a directory called C:\EDIT. The
simplest way to run VDE is to type its name at the DOS prompt:


When you do this, you will be presented with an empty work area, called
"untitled", to write in [or, if so installed, VDE may ask for a filename
first]. Feel free to type in some text, use the arrow keys to move around, or
experiment with any of the commands described below.
If you already have a disk file that you would like to review or modify,
you simply need to provide its name, for example:

C:\EDIT>vde my.doc or C:\EDIT>vde \autoexec.bat /n

In the first example, the file MY.DOC is found in the current directory
(C:\EDIT), and is loaded in the default file mode, which is "/D", or document.
In the second example, the file AUTOEXEC.BAT is found in the root directory of
drive C: (note the "\"), and the following option "/N" loads it as a NON-
document (a file consisting of fixed lines, rather than paragraphs of text).
You can also specify other files to edit concurrently, and data files (key
definition, printer driver, etc) to load. (See SYNTAX.)
VDE can edit many different types of files: nondocuments, such as batch
files or program source code; or documents with formatted text, in either
simple ASCII or formats compatible with WordStar, WordPerfect, XyWrite,
NotaBene, Microsoft Word, and other word processors. (See FILE MODES,
COMPATIBILITY.) The maximum individual file size is roughly 80k (or 82,000
characters). If an existing file is too large to edit with VDE, it can be
divided up (see SPLITTING FILES).

VDE gives you an informative "header line" at the top of the screen,
including the file name, the current position (by Page, Line, and Column), and
cryptic little "flags" showing the status of various editing options. (For
details see HEADER.) At times, further information may be provided below this
by various menus or error messages. If any commands require user input, a
"prompt" line (like "New value:") will appear below the header. Press [Esc]
to remove any menu or prompt; errors will clear by themselves.
You can change the name and/or file mode associated with your current
work (which are visible in the header) at any time with the command:

^KE or {File:Rename}

(If you issue a command to save "untitled" work to disk, VDE will automati-
cally prompt you to rename it first.)

It is important to understand that VDE works entirely IN MEMORY: nothing
happens on disk until you issue a command to save your work. There are
several different commands to exit from VDE or select a new file to work on,
but the two most basic ones are:

^KX or {File:Exit}
and ^KQ or {File:Quit}

The first saves your work, and is the normal way to end your editing session;
the second does not save, in case you've made mistakes and don't wish them
saved as modifications to the file you were working on. Both commands will
return you to the DOS prompt. (Others allow you to remain in VDE to edit
another file; see SAVE/EXIT.)

"Backup files" are a good way to guard against losing earlier work. When
you save changes to MY.DOC, the original version of the file is not lost: it
is renamed MY.BAK. Thus, if you decide that the recent changes were a
mistake, you can recover the previous text from the BAK file. [If you prefer
to save disk space, you can choose not to preserve BAK files.]

------------------------- C. TYPING AND CORRECTING -------------------------

What happens when you type a character? Obviously, the character will
appear in your file, and the cursor will advance; but what about any charac-
ters that were already there? Check the header to see whether the "Ins" flag
is visible. If so, you are in "insert mode"; any text to the right will be
carried along unharmed ahead of the cursor. If not, you are in "overstrike
mode", and any characters typed will REPLACE existing ones. (There is yet a
third "word insert" mode; see INSERTING.) You can toggle from insert to
overstrike mode with the simple command:

^V or [Ins]

Some people like to use overstrike mode (which is most like a typewriter)
when writing a first draft, and insert mode when revising; others prefer to
remain in insert mode all the time. You will discover which approach suits
your own working habits.

You will often need to correct mistakes, and the computer makes this very
easy. Besides simply overtyping, there are many commands to remove unwanted
text from the file (see DELETING). The most commonly used are:

^G, ^T, [Del], ^[BkSp], and [BkSp]

^G deletes the character at the cursor; ^T deletes all characters up to the
end of the current word; and ^[BkSp] deletes back to the beginning of the
previous word. By default, [Del] also deletes the cursor character, and
[BkSp] deletes the one before it. [This can be changed: you can have [Del]
delete the previous character, or [BkSp] move nondestructively, if you like.]
VDE treats a "carriage-return/linefeed" or "end of line" as a single
character, so these deletion commands can also be used to join lines.

Another command, useful for deleting larger amounts of text, removes the
entire line that the cursor is on:

^Y or {Delete:Line}

Of course, there is a danger of accidentally deleting text that you
wanted to keep, but don't worry. This is where the ability to "undelete", or
recover deleted text, comes in, with the command:

^U or {Delete:Undelete}

Use this command immediately after the deletion accident. If you deleted a
block, it will be replaced. If you were deleting lines, words, or characters,
or overtyping characters, you can press ^U repeatedly to recover each previous
deletion in order.

--------------------------- D. MOVING THE CURSOR ---------------------------

Obviously, you need to be able to move the cursor around, in order to add
or delete text at different places in the file. The simplest way is with the
"arrow keys" on the PC keyboard (or the WordStar "cursor diamond"),

[^] ^E
[<] [>] or ^S ^D
[v] ^X

which will move the cursor (as you might expect) up, down, left, or right.

Notice that the cursor moves within the TEXT, not simply at will on the
SCREEN: if you move to the right past the end of a line, you will find
yourself at the start of the next. If you move up or down to a shorter line,
the cursor will wind up at the end of the line, not beyond it. To advance
beyond the current end of a line, you must add text (for example, spaces).
After moving across such a shorter line, the PC up/down arrows and the
WordStar ^E/^X commands behave a bit differently: the PC arrows will attempt
to restore the original cursor column, where the WordStar keys will not.

Remember that the screen is a window into the text, and that window
shifts when necessary. If you move the cursor beyond the edge of the display,
it will "scroll" (horizontally or vertically) to show the text you moved to.

Once you have a sizable amount of text, there are many further commands
to allow you to move around more rapidly (see CURSOR POSITION). The most
common are:
^A and ^F or ^[<] and ^[>]

to move the cursor back and forth an entire word at a time; and

^R and ^C or [PgUp] and [PgDn]

These commands move the cursor up and down through the text by about one
screenful, causing the display to scroll. In addition,

^QR and ^QC or ^[Home] and ^[End]

may be used to move instantly to the top or the end of the file, respectively.

------------------------ E. THE SCREEN AND WINDOWS -------------------------

VDE normally presents you with a header line and a screen full of text,
24 lines of 80 columns. There are many things you can do to change the size
(on EGA/VGA systems) or appearance of this display, or to cause it to
"scroll", showing a different portion of the text (see SCREEN CONTROLS).

One command that can be helpful for aligning text is:

^OT or {Set:rUler}

This adds a "ruler line" below the header, indicating margins, tab stops, and
the current cursor column. (See RULER.)

If you think of the screen as a "window" into your text, you can imagine
splitting it in half and having windows into two different portions of text at
once. This is a very powerful tool for comparison, revision, and other
purposes (see WINDOWS). There are two commands to produce such a split
^OW or {View:Split}
and AltW or {View:Dual}

The first allows you to examine two areas of the SAME file at once; the second
shows you two DIFFERENT files. In either case, once you have two windows on
screen, the command:

AltF or {View:other Window}

is used to move the cursor back and forth from one window to the other. (An
imitation "cursor" remains in the inactive window to mark your place.) Like
many other VDE commands, the window commands are "toggles": if you want to get
rid of the split window, use the same command a second time to remove it.

--------------------------- F. TEXT FORMATTING -----------------------------

VDE can format text in a document, partially or entirely automatically,
while you write. In addition, existing text can be instantly reformatted in a
variety of ways. (For full details see MARGINS, SPACING, JUSTIFICATION,

The fundamental thing, of course, is to keep the text within the desired
margins. The left and right margin columns can be set with the commands:

^OL, ^OR or {Set:L,R margin}

Typical margins are 1, 66 for pica type, or 1, 78 for elite; you can vary them
as desired, however, and mix different formats in a single file.
This left margin command is ordinarily used only for indenting portions
of a text. To specify the physical margin that should always be left at the
edge of the paper when printing, see the left margin setting in PRINTER

Once margins are set, WORDWRAP occurs automatically. If you type past
the right margin, the word will be moved to the next line; if you type outside
the left margin, the cursor will advance to it. If you need to type outside
the current margins, change them or RELEASE them with the command:

^OX or {Set:Marg rel}

Wordwrap will format your text properly as you type; but notice that if
you go back to make additions or deletions afterward, these will often leave
short or overlong lines, disrupting the flow of the paragraph. There is a
simple command to fix this:

^B or {formaT:Reform}

This will cause the entire paragraph to be reformatted. Note that you can
also use this command after changing margins or spacing, to reshape the text
to the new format. The first line of a paragraph may be indented in any way
desired, and reformatting will preserve this.

If you prefer, however, VDE can make the reformatting process completely
automatic, with the command:

^OM or {formaT:Auto fmt}

When this is on, the "AF" flag appears in the header, and manual reformatting
is no longer necessary: VDE will continually reformat while you work; if you
change the margins or edit text, you will instantly see the result.
With auto format, you need to be a bit careful about mixing different
formats, since there will be a tendency for edited text to get reformatted to
the CURRENTLY set margins and spacing, which may differ from those in effect
when it was written. (If you goof and allow this to happen, just reset to the
original settings to restore the format before continuing.)

A different feature makes it easy to write neatly formatted lists or
outlines with VDE, without constantly having to change the left margin. Auto
Indent mode is entered with the command:

^OA or {formaT:autoIndent}

You will see the "AI" flag in the header, and the behavior of wordwrap (and
the [Enter] key) will be changed in order to preserve the indentation and
structure of existing text. Each time the cursor wraps over to the next line,
it will indent automatically to match the previous line of text.
(Auto indent does work in nondocuments as well; see AUTO INDENT.)

You may find it useful to know a little about how VDE handles text. Many
word processors store special hidden codes in a file to indicate paragraph
boundaries or changes of format, and calculate the result each time the text
is to be displayed or printed. VDE, however, uses no such codes; it just
formats the text according to your request, and stores it that way as a simple
text file.
Therefore, VDE's ability to reformat text in a document depends upon a
subtle distinction: when wordwrap occurs, a space is left at the end of the
line, which indicates that the CR (Carriage Return) is "SOFT", introduced (and
later removable) for formatting purposes. On the other hand, when you
actually hit [Enter] to end a paragraph, you get a CR with no preceding space,
which means it is "HARD", a permanent boundary for formatting the paragraph.
(A little arrow appears on screen to indicate this.) Exercise care when
typing at the end of a line: you can change a hard CR into a soft one, or vice
versa, by deleting or adding a space at the end of the line.
(Note: this means that [Enter] is NOT a key to use simply to move
downward through the file. It will do that, but will harden all the CRs as
well, obstructing future reformatting.)

---------------------- G. SEARCHING AND REPLACING --------------------------

One of the simplest, but most powerful, features of an editor is the
ability to find a given string of text in the file, and perhaps to replace it
with another. To find the next occurrence of a particular character or
phrase, type:
^QF or {sEarch:Find}

You will be asked for the string to find (and then, any options desired); the
cursor will move to that location in the file. (You may instead see an error
message if the string cannot be found.) You will find yourself using this
command constantly, for example to look up information, or to move to a
desired location in the file.

Automatic replacement is also very convenient. Suppose you have written
an article on use of computers by the "handicapped", only to discover that the
magazine prefers a different term; or you find that a lengthy memo you wrote
to "John" needs to go to "Ann" instead. One simple command can make such
^QA or {sEarch:Replace}

You will be asked for the string to find, and then the string to replace it
with. The cursor will be placed in succession on each occurrence of the
string, starting at the cursor location. (You will see the prompt "Chg?" in
the header.) To change this instance, press "Y"; pressing "N" skips to the
next with no change. To change all further instances without being asked
individually, press "*" instead. [Esc] cancels at any time.

There are several options for find and replace; after you enter the text
string(s), you will be prompted to select them. Just press [Enter] again to
skip the options for now -- or, if you want to experiment, try one of these:
"B" = search Backward through the file, instead of forward.
"I" = Ignores upper/lower case distinctions.
For further details, see FIND/REPLACE.

If you want to continue the last find or replace operation without typing
the strings in all over again, you can use the simpler command:

^L or {sEarch:rePeat}

This can be used, for example, repeatedly to find the particular occurrence of
a string that you want.

--------------------------- H. BLOCK OPERATIONS ----------------------------

Editing often requires you to move or eliminate an entire "block" of
text, and VDE has a set of commands to allow you to do this easily. First, of
course, you have to "mark" the block, by defining its beginning and end. This
is done (in either order) with a pair of commands:

^KB, ^KK or {Block:Begin, End}

When the first marker is placed, you will see it as a bracket "{}" in the
text. When both are in place, the block is properly "marked", and its text
will be shown in a contrasting color (on PC compatibles). You are now ready
to operate on the block with a wide variety of commands (see BLOCK COMMANDS,
AUTO NUMBER, PRINTING, UPPER/LOWERCASE). Actually, most of these will work
even if you've only marked one end of the block, by assuming the current
cursor position as the other end -- so you don't have to type the other block
mark command first.

The most common commands are to copy, move, or delete the block. Copying
or moving a block can be initiated with:

AltC or {Block:Cut}

A copy of the text within the block is now in an internal buffer. You can now
place this text anywhere else you like, by moving the cursor there and using:

AltP or {Block:Paste}

If you want to delete a marked block, you can use the command:

^KY or {Delete:Block} or {Block:Delete}

You can move a block by cutting it, deleting it [if Cut is not configured
to do so itself], and pasting it somewhere else. Alternatively, you can copy
and move blocks within a single file a little more efficiently using the block
copy/move commands, ^KC and ^KV (which are not on the Block MenuBar).

-------------------------- I. GETTING A PRINTOUT ---------------------------

The first thing to know about printouts is how to avoid unnecessary ones.
Computers were supposed to reduce the use of paper in offices, by storing
information electronically; instead they have enormously increased paper
consumption. VDE is designed to minimize the need for printing drafts of your
work; you can move around the file and make corrections so quickly that it is
easier to edit at the keyboard in the first place than to mark up printed copy
by hand, then type in the corrections. It also offers a simple command to
check the alignment and pagination of text on screen before printing, to avoid
^OD or {Print:preView}

In preview mode, you can scroll through the file, examining it as it will
print: printer codes are hidden to show the actual alignment of text columns,
and pagebreaks are shown as dotted lines. (See PRINT PREVIEW.)

Printing is potentially a very complex matter: different printers work in
different ways; page layout has to be chosen; various effects can be used to
emphasize portions of the text; and so on. But for your first attempt, after
turning your printer on, simply use the print command:

^KP or {Print:File}

There are many options available to select header text, number location,
the portion of the file to print, and so on (see PRINTING). You can print on
any size paper or label, or address an envelope (see ENVELOPES). But for now,
just ignore all this -- turn your printer on, press [Enter] at the prompt, and
see what happens! (If you don't like the results, or if it's a long file and
will take forever, simply press [Esc] to interrupt and cancel.)

The default "printer driver" is called SIMPLE; it should work on
virtually any printer, but is not capable of many special effects. [VINST can
be used to change to a driver which will support the full capabilities of your
particular printer, or to customize any driver for your preferred page layout;

There are various "printer codes" that you can place in your file to
produce different effects. One that's particularly useful is:

^PL or {Print:pg Break} - causes a pagebreak at that location.

(Watch the page/line counts in the header as you do this; you will see that a
new page now begins there.)
In addition, two of the printer "toggles" will work with any printer
driver, including SIMPLE:

^PS or {stYle:Underline} - underline.
^PX - strikeout.

These toggles must be inserted pairwise, to mark the beginning and end of the
affected text; for example,

you type: This is how you get ^PSunderlined^PS text.
and you see: This is how you get SunderlinedS text.

The toggle displays onscreen as a highlighted letter "S"; in the printout, the
word will actually be underlined. Similarly, further effects such as
boldface, italic, and super/subscripts, are possible with more specialized
printer drivers. (See PRINTER CODES.)

----------------------- J. EDITING ADDITIONAL FILES ------------------------

Another extremely powerful feature of VDE is its ability to edit several
files at once. This makes it easy to compare files, make consistent changes,
move text from one to another, and so on. (See MULTIPLE FILES and WINDOWS.)
Once you are editing with VDE, an additional file can be loaded (up to a
total of 8) with the command:

AltL or {File:Open}

After doing this you will see the flag "+" in the header, to remind you that
more than one file is being edited. Think of these files as waiting in line
for your attention; to bring a different file onto the screen (or current
window), use:
AltN, AltB or {File:Next, Prev}

to move back and forth through the sequence.

VDE has a variety of commands that take advantage of the ability to edit
more than one file at once. For example, you can divide the screen into two
windows to show two different files (see WINDOWS), compare the text in the two
files (see MATCHING FILES), or conduct find and replace operations across all
files (see FIND/REPLACE). There is also a convenient "file browser" that
allows you to view and select files from a directory listing (see FILES).

--------------------------- K. WHAT IS A MACRO? ----------------------------

"Macros" are a sophisticated and powerful tool for automating repetitive
tasks -- but forget that for now, if it would tempt you to think of them as a
toy for computer-programmer types only. Any VDE user can find something
practical to do with them. Suppose you're writing a document that will have
different sets of margins in it -- say, 1 to 66 for ordinary text, and 10 to
58 for indented quotations. You're going to wind up using the left and right
margin set commands every time the margins have to change (and trying to
remember each time whether it was 58 and 66, or 56 and 68). Sounds pretty
tedious... which is a hint that there's a better way to do it, with a macro.
Each margin change would require you to type something like:

(using commands) ^O L 1 0 [Enter] ^O R 5 8 [Enter]
(using MenuBars) ^[Esc] S L 1 0 [Enter] ^[Esc] S R 5 8 [Enter]

But you can define a macro that does exactly that, and then store it to a key
for use whenever you need it! So try out the Macro Record command:

Esc " or {Misc:Record}

You will see a quote-mark flag (") appear in the header. Now type exactly the
sequence of margin commands above, using either control-key commands or
MenuBars, while VDE is recording. (Be careful not to make any typos; if you
do, quit and start over.) When finished, issue the Macro Record command a
second time to end recording.
VDE asks "Use now or Store to key?" and you reply:
"S" (since you want to "Store" this macro for later use)
VDE asks "Make Quiet, No-repeat, Both?" and you reply:
"B" ("Both" sounds nice, doesn't it? See MACROS to learn why)
VDE asks "Store to key:" and you press:
[F2] (for example)
VDE asks "Esc key:" and you press:
[Enter] (we don't need this feature here)
VDE asks "Label:" and you reply:
"10-58" (optional; identifies the purpose of the macro)

You just defined a macro and stored it to a function key! Now every time
you press [F2] the margins will be instantly reset to 10, 58. Obviously you
could do the same thing for margins 1, 66, and store that on another key; and
you'd be all set to change from one set to the other with a single keystroke.
If you were going to be writing this sort of document all the time, you would
eventually want to use VINST to define those keys permanently in your copy of

VDE macros can get a lot more complicated than this, but those most often
used are of exactly this simple sort. Now that the concept has been
demystified, here is some further explanation:
A "macro" is a string of VDE commands and/or text that you can type in
once and then have repeated automatically. The "macro definition" command
Esc[ lets you type in such a string quickly and directly; the "macro record"
command Esc" memorizes the string while you use it as you normally would in
editing. A "function key" is a macro stored to one of the [F1]...[F12]
function keys; these can be defined temporarily while editing, or permanently
with VINST. "Macro programming" involves the use of special commands which
perform more complex operations including loops, tests, and jumps, much like a
programming language. (See MACRO PROGRAMMING)
You can use virtually any commands in macros, though for a start you
could experiment with text phrases and simple formatting changes (try creating
a personalized letterhead on a function key).
VDE's 48 user-definable keys allow you to customize it for any task, such
as the formatting requirements of specialized professional writing, or many
programming languages. (See FUNCTION KEYS)

================================ 3. SYNTAX ================================

Now it is time for the complete details of using VDE, starting with
command line syntax:

vde {filename{[_]}{/m}} {{,}filename2{[_]}{/m}...} {;name.VD_{;...}}

To run VDE, you can just type "VDE", with no arguments; or, you may
specify a list of up to 8 filenames. Any filename may include wildcards, a
DOS directory, line number, and/or mode option. Spaces or a comma may be used
to separate filenames. Optional data file(s) may also be specified at the end
of the command line, following a semicolon ";".

EXAMPLES: vde vde article.doc[12]/w ;ws4.vdf
vde sample.fil vde b:myfile[keyword],index
vde *.txt vde prog.doc/a prog.asm/n errors

"filename" - file to edit. If no filename is given, you begin a new
(untitled) work area [or you may be prompted for a filename]. With
multiple names, the previous item's directory carries over to the next
item, unless this begins with a new drive or root "\". (In the example
above, INDEX is also on drive B.) If a name contains wildcards, the File
Browser is invoked to select the files you want to edit from that group.

"[_]" - optional number or string, in square brackets, to position
the cursor once the file is loaded. Must not be separated from filename.
If a number, the cursor goes to that line (for nondocuments) or page
(for documents), as if the ^QI command had been invoked; the maximum
value, 65535, generally works to position to the end of the file.
If a text string, the cursor goes to the first instance of that
string, as if the ^QF command had been used; ^L will find further
instances. (If the desired string contains control codes or spaces, you
must substitute the VDE wildcard ^_ instead. If the string consists of
digits, like "123", you must add a wildcard, or it will appear to be a
line/page number instead. Upper/lowercase is always ignored.)

"/m" - optional choice of file modes: "m" can be any one of:
N = Nondocument D = Document P,F = wordPerFect v.4,5
C = C lang. source U = Unformatted document M = Microsoft word
A = ASCII document W,S = WordStar v.3-4,5-7 X = Xywrite/nota bene
Normally defaults to "/D". Must be separated from filename by slash
and/or space.

";name.VD_" - optional VDE data file(s) to load; must have file type
.VDF, .VDP, .VDC, .VDG, or .VDI. Files must reside in the specified,
current, or VDE directory. See DATA FILES.

=========================== 4. COMMAND SUMMARY =============================

Explanation of Keys: special PC keys are indicated in [brackets],
including arrows [^,v,<,>] for the cursor keys. [+] and [-] refer to the
keypad (grey) "+,-" keys only. "Esc" indicates pressing the [Esc] key; "Esc1"
means [Esc], then [1]. "Alt" indicates holding down the [Alt] key: "AltD"
means [Alt]+[D]. "^" indicates holding down the [Ctrl] key: "^K" means
Many commands use two-key sequences, like ^QR = [Ctrl]+Q,R. The prefix
(^Q) displays in the header, and can be canceled by pressing [Esc] or [Space].
If you have an "enhanced" or nonstandard keyboard, you may want to remap
the functions of the [Ctrl] and [CapsLock] keys; see CONTROL KEY (CTRLCAPS).


[Enter] = Carriage Return (also CR, or ^M).
New line. In documents, marks a paragraph end.
[Tab] = Hard Tab mode: enter Tab. Variable Tab mode: move to next stop.
Shft[Tab] = backward variable Tab: move to previous stop.

[BkSp] = BackSpace, moves left [and may delete character].
[Del] = Delete character at [or before] cursor.
^[BkSp] = delete word to left. ^[Del] = delete entire current word.
[Ins] = toggle Insert/overstrike. ^[Ins] = toggle Word Insert.

[^], [v], [>], [<] (arrow keys) = move cursor.
^[<],^[>] = move to start of previous (left), next (right) word.
^[^],^[v] = go to top, bottom of screen. (AT keyboard only)

[5] = make current line center of screen. (Keypad keys,
[-],[+] = scroll back, forward one line. NumLock off)

[Home],[End] = go to beginning, end of line. Repeat: prev/next line.
[May instead go to top/bottom of screen.]
^[Home],^[End] = move to top, end of file.

[PgUp],[PgDn] = page back, forward one screen.
^[PgUp],^[PgDn] = page both windows of split screen back, forward.

Shft[^],[v],[>],[<] \ (shifted arrow/keypad keys)
Shft[Home,End,PgUp,PgDn] / mark block


Press ^[Esc] or [F10] to call up the main menu bar; select a sub-menu by
typing the capitalized, highlighted letter, then select a command from it.
The [Esc] key can be used to return to the main menu, or from there, to return
to editing. For explanation of any selection, look up its command equivalent.
(Note: users who find that VDE conflicts with Windows' use of the ^[Esc]
key may use LeftShift-Esc instead for the menu bar.)

{File: neW} ^KD {Block: Begin} ^KB
Open} AltL End} ^KK
Import} ^KR Cut} AltC
Dir} ^KF Paste} AltP
Next file} AltN Zoom} ^KZ
Prev file} AltB Write} ^KW
Rename} ^KE Unmark} ^KH
Save} ^KS Delete} ^KY
Quit} ^KQ
Exit} ^KX

{Delete: Line} ^Y {sEarch: Find} ^QF
to ln Start} ^Q[Del] Replace} ^QA
to ln End} ^QY rePeat} ^L
to Char} ^QT place Set} ^KM
Block} ^KY place Go} ^QM
Undelete} ^U Overview} AltO
Match} AltM
spellCheck} AltJ

{formaT: Center} ^OC {stYle: Underline} ^PS
Flush} ^OF Bold} ^PB
Double spc} ^OS Doublestrike} ^PD
Prop spc} ^OK Italic} ^PY
Justify} ^OJ Subscript} ^PV
Reform} ^B suPerscript} ^PT
Auto fmt} ^OM
autoIndent} ^OA

{Set: L margin} ^OL {View: Dual window} AltW
R margin} ^OR Split window} ^OW
Marg rel} ^OX other Window} AltF
rUler} ^OT Header} ^OQ
tab Set} ^OI F-labels} ^OU
tab Clr} ^ON Lines} AltE
Varitab} ^OV Cols} AltA
Hyphens} ^OH Blank} ^OZ
Pg length} ^OP

{Print: overstrike Char} ^PH {Misc: Time} AltT
overstrike Line} ^PM Date} AltD
pg Break} ^PL Record} Esc"
Graphic} AltG Shell} AltR
Driver} AltV spLit} AltS
preView} ^OD Use datafile} AltU
print File} ^KP file Info} ^KI
about VDE} AltI


A concise HELP MENU is available in Command mode by pressing ^J or [F1].
Page through it with the [PgUp/Dn] or [^/v] keys, or press A,E,K,O,P,Q for
Alt, Esc, ^K, ^O, ^P, and ^Q commands (or F for a listing of File modes).

I. CONTROL KEYS: single keystroke commands.

WordStar arrow-key diamond:
^E = up. ^D = right. ^F,^A = move to word right, left.
^X = down. ^S = left.

^W,^Z = scroll back, forward one line.
^R,^C = page back, forward one screen.

^G = delete character at cursor. ^Y = delete current line.
^T = delete word to right.
^U = undo last deletion (character, word, line, or block).

^V = toggle Insert mode on/off. ^N = insert CR (break line).
^] = toggle Word Insert on/off. ^_ = insert a space.

^P = insert special code: ^PG = print pause
^P- = soft hyphen ^PI,H,M,L = tab,backspace,return,formfeed
^PB,D,S,Y,T,V,A,N,Q,W,E,R = print toggles and switches.

^^ = toggle upper/lowercase character. ^L = repeat last find/replace.
^B = reformat paragraph. ^\ = repeat in other direction.

II. FILE AND BLOCK COMMANDS: first press ^K, then the key shown.

^KI = file/memory Information. ^KP = Print the text.

^KF = disk File browser. ^KR = Read a file into text.
^KL = Load replacement file(s). ^KJ = delete a disk file.

^KE = rEname current work. ^KS = Save to disk, and continue.
^KD = Done: save & load new file. ^KX = eXit: save & quit to DOS.
^KA = set Autosave interval. ^KQ = Quit to DOS, abandoning file.
^KO = prOtected mode (Read/Only).

^KB = mark start of a Block. ^KK = mark end of a block.
^KH = unmark the block. ^KY = Delete the marked block.
^KC = Copy block at cursor location. ^KV = moVe block to cursor location.
^KZ = Zoom into the marked block. ^KW = Write block to a disk file.
^K# = automatically number items in the block.
^K",',^ = uppercase ("), lowercase ('), or switch case (^) of block text.

III. QUICK COMMANDS: first press ^Q, then the key shown.

^QS,^QD = go to beginning, end of line.
^QE,^QX = go to top, bottom of screen.
^QR,^QC = go to top, end of file.
^QB,^QK = go to beginning, end of block.

^QL,^QN = go to last, next page. ^QI = go to specified page or line.

^QM = go to next place Marker.
^QP = go to Previous position in file (before last sizable move).

^QF = find a string. ^QA = find and replace a string.

^QY = delete from cursor to end of current line.
^Q[Del] = delete from cursor to beginning of current line.
^QT = delete up to specified character.

IV. ONSCREEN COMMANDS: first press ^O, then the key shown.

^OR,^OL = set Right, Left margin. ^OX = toggle Margin Release on/off.
^OC = Center text on line. ^OF = make line Flush right.

^OA = Auto indent on/off. ^OM = auto forMat on/off.
^OG = paraGraph indent.

^OK = proportional spacing on/off. ^OS = double Spacing on/off.
^OV = tab mode Variable/hard. ^OH = Hyphenation on/off.
^OI,^ON = set, clear tab stop(s).
^OP = set Page length (0 turns off pagination).

^OQ = header display on/off. ^OU = function key labels on/off.
^OT = ruler line display on/off. ^OB = hard CR/TAB display on/off.
^OD = print preview (control codes hidden, pagebreaks displayed)
^OE = make current line top of screen.
^OW = split Window to show two different portions of the file.
^OZ = temporarily blank the entire screen.

V. ALT-KEY COMMANDS: hold [Alt] and press the key shown.

Alt[<],[>] = scroll screen horizontally 32 columns.
Alt[^],[v] = scroll screen vertically 1/3 screen.
Alt[Tab] = variable tab forward (in hard tab mode).

AltI = show VDE version Information.

AltL = Load an additional file. AltB = move Back to previous file.
AltW = split Window with 2 files. AltN = move forward to Next file.
AltF = move to other File in window.

AltC,P = Cut and Paste a block from one place or file to another.
AltM = Match up the two files on screen, showing differences.
AltX = eXit (^KX) from all files. AltQ = Quit (^KQ) from all files.

AltR = Run DOS command (or shell). AltS = Split up a large file.

AltT,D = enter the current system Time or Date in the file.
AltG = enter a PC Graphics character into text.
AltE,A = EGA/VGA screen (43/50 lines), wide screen (132 columns).

AltO = move with Overview bar. AltV = change printer driVers.
AltU = Use (Load or Save) data file (key definitions, etc).

VI. ESC-KEY COMMANDS: first press [Esc], then the key shown.

Esc[ = define a macro by entering a key sequence at the prompt.
Esc" = record a macro from keys pressed as you work.
Esc0...Z = labels, used in macro programming.
Esc!,$ = jumps, used in macro programming.
Esc=,~,<,> = character tests, used in macro programming.
Esc* = universal toggle set.
Esc(),+,- = counter, used in macro programming.
Esc; = brief pause, during macro execution only.
Esc:,? = accept user input at prompt, or while editing
Esc&,&& = chain to, or call another macro.

^[Esc] = call up MenuBar. (LeftShift-Esc may also be used)

========================== 5. GENERAL INFORMATION ==========================

ACCESSORY PROGRAMS - If you have spelling checker/thesaurus software that you
prefer to VDE's integrated speller, programs that will work with VDE
include such retail products as Webster's Professional, American Heritage
Dictionary, Turbo Lightning (Borland), MicroSpell (Trigram), and
Wordfinder (Microlytics), as well as shareware programs such as ShareSpell
(Acropolis). Those that operate as TSRs will probably require some
configuration for VDE's keyboard or screen parameters, and some (like
Turbo Lightning) will not work with VDE unless you use VINST to install
VDE for "XT" keyboard type; if they have a "check screen" function, you
may want to use ^OD and/or ^OQ first so that VDE's header, codes, or
markers aren't flagged as spelling errors. Those that run as standalone
programs will require you to save your file (in the format expected by
your program) and then use AltR to run the program; it is easy to automate
this process with a function key definition containing ^F for the current
filename (see PROMPTS).

A variety of other programs can be used together with VDE to enhance
its usefulness for particular applications. If any of these were not
included on your registered VDE disk, they can be downloaded from the
Glendale Litera BBS, or you can order them on an update disk.
For academic and technical writing, the author has a shareware
footnote-endnote formatting utility (called "wsNOTE") for WordStar files
can also be used with VDE in /W mode.
If VDE's shift-arrow-key blocking turns on when you don't want it,
you probably have an old AT BIOS with a problem that can be fixed by a
little freeware program called KBDFIX.
Several free accessory programs have been developed for VDE by other
authors. Perhaps the most useful is the "macro compiler" VDE-MC (by Evan
Slawson), a utility for function key definition files that translates them
from the unreadable .VDF format used by VDE and VINST, to an easily read
and edited text file (and back again).
If you need sorting functions, from alphabetizing lists to
maintaining simple flatfile databases, various programs can be used,
including Michael Mefford's excellent free PCSORT utility (described in
the 27 Nov 1990 issue of PC Magazine, and available on PCMagNet).
If you need lengthy printouts (like VDE.REF), a utility that can
print four or six pages in reduced size on one side of a sheet can save
lots of paper. P4UP is shareware for LaserJet printers, from Hexagon

COMPATIBILITY - VDE is "compatible", to various degrees, with many other word
processors, including WordStar, WordPerfect, XyWrite, NotaBene, and
Microsoft Word, and can be a handy accessory for users of these programs.
VDE also produces standard ASCII text files, which can be read by
virtually all software. (See FILE MODES.)

"ASCII" - denotes the numeric code system used by MSDOS to represent
text; "an ASCII file" means a file containing only a sequence of ordinary
characters, as opposed to the proprietary binary codes of many word
processors. ASCII text files produced by many programs can be edited by
VDE in /A, /U, or /N file mode. However, these files usually do not
follow VDE's text formatting conventions, so although they may actually be
documents, they will probably appear to be full of hard CRs, and therefore
impossible to reformat. There are two easy ways to solve this problem:
first, you can use ^QA to find "^M"s and selectively replace them with
"_^M". But the best method is to use a macro program.
Note that a VDE "ASCII" file may still contain individual control
codes or graphics (00-1F or 80-FF) unacceptable to some applications that
require "pure ASCII" text. These are also most easily filtered out with a
macro program. (These are two of the macro definitions in EXAMPLES.VDF,
and are described under MACRO PROGRAMMING.)

WORDSTAR - Highly compatible. /W mode supports WS version 3 and 4
file format; these files can be exchanged freely between VDE and WS. /S
mode supports WS versions 5,6,7; it removes additional embedded codes
(printer ID, fonts, notes, etc) not supported in VDE, including some
formatting data in WS6 and 7 files, but is otherwise compatible.
VDE's operation will seem very familiar to a WordStar user. There is
no "No-File" menu; some WS commands are lacking; and VDE has new ones of
its own. VDE's macro commands are completely different (they were
developed before WS had macros!). Aside from that, there are small
differences in other commands, including indenting and place marks.
Note that VDE does not obey WS "dot commands" in text, though in /W
or /S mode it will avoid printing them.

WORDPERFECT - Limited compatibility. /P mode reads files created by
WP version 4, and writes files that can be read by it as native text; /F
mode, similarly, reads WP5 or 6 files, and writes WP5 files (which can
also be read by WP6). Both modes recognize some formatting and print
codes for bold, underline, and super/subscript; /F also supports italics
and strikeout. When reading a file, features not supported by VDE will be
You can also edit in VDE using a command set much like WordPerfect's,
by using the WP.VDF key definition file. It causes the [F]-keys to call
up the MenuBar in a manner similar to WP's command structure.

XYWRITE/NOTABENE - Limited compatibility. /X mode reads files
created by XW/NB; it recognizes margin changes, and print codes for bold,
underline, and italics. Features not supported by VDE will be removed.
/X mode writes files that can be read by XW as native text. (Note: /U
mode can also be used to read XW/NB files without processing or filtering
out formatting codes.)

MICROSOFT WORD - Limited compatibility. /M mode reads files created
by MSW version 5; it does not support any print effects or formatting
features. /M mode writes text that can be read by MSW5 as native text.

NOTE: VDE's word processor compatibility filemodes
merely provide a method for simple, convenient exchange of
text with a limited set of print effects; they do not make
VDE fully interchangeable with these programs! Users with
more demanding requirements for file compatibility and
translation should investigate specialized programs for
this purpose.

CONTROL KEY (CTRLCAPS) - As with other programs that make extensive use of
the [Ctrl] key, VDE's commands may be awkward for users with "enhanced" or
nonstandard keyboards which put it in a less accessible location, and
[CapsLock] in the home row instead. Some keyboards can be physically
reconfigured; if yours cannot, the included CTRLCAPS utility can be used

to swap the functions of these two keys.
With CTRLCAPS active, the key labeled [CapsLock] is used to form
Ctrl-combinations, making VDE's WordStar-style commands easy to type once
again; if you need to toggle CapsLock, press the key labeled [Ctrl]. When
CTRLCAPS is inactive, the keys revert to their labeled functions.
To use CTRLCAPS (version 1.2), you can type:
CTRLCAPS for status report (and help if not installed)
CTRLCAPS ON to install (or reenable) Ctrl/Caps swapping
CTRLCAPS OFF to temporarily disable it
CTRLCAPS is a tiny memory-resident utility (TSR), and remains
installed until you reboot; do not load it from within another program or
shell. Once installed, you may change its status at any time.

DIRECTORIES - At any VDE filename prompt, you can always specify a directory
as well. Otherwise, the default directory assumed by the file commands
(^KL,^KR,^KE,^KF,^KJ; AltL) is that of the current file; when editing
multiple files, this can differ from one to the next. The directory does
not display in the header, but is shown by the ^KI and ^KF commands.
The current DOS directory remains unchanged, and is shown by the AltR
command, for which it is the default directory. (It can be changed at the
AltR prompt.) You will return to this directory upon exiting VDE.

THE "VDE DIRECTORY": Sometimes other files associated with VDE need
to be located in order to perform certain functions:
.VDx files (see DATA FILES) must be found to be
accessed via AltU (or ";" on the command line);
the speller overlay and dictionary must be found in
order to use the speller commands AltH, AltJ.
Briefly, all you normally need to do to enable VDE to find these files is
to keep them in the "VDE directory", the same one from which VDE.EXE
itself will be run. But here are the additional details:
1. If you do specify a directory along with the .VDx filename, the
file will be sought or put there (only).
2. Under DOS 2, VDE can't tell where it was run from; the "VDE
directory" defaults instead to the root directory of the current drive.
3. Under any DOS version, you can use the "SET" command to define an
environment variable "VDE" designating a different VDE directory instead.
For example: C:\>SET VDE=C:\UTIL
(This command can be put in your AUTOEXEC.BAT.)
4. If the file is not found in the VDE directory, it will finally be
sought in the current DOS directory.
5. If you use AltU to SAVE a file without specifying a directory, the
first file by that name found in the above search will be overwritten; if
no such file is found, a new file will be written to the VDE directory.

ERROR MESSAGES - These display briefly below the header:
"Error" - invalid data entered, or inappropriate command.
"Invalid Key" - an illegal command key sequence was pressed.
"Not Available" - the required hardware or software is not present.
"Invalid Filespec" - bad directory, duplicate filename, or excluded type.
"No File" - requested file does not exist.
"I/O Error" - read or write error, disk full, invalid drive, etc.
"Format Error" - word too long, or margins invalid.
"Not Found" - the object of a search was not found.
"Block Error" - there is no marked block (or the cursor is in it).
"Macro Error" - programming command misused, or recording overflow.
"Graphics Overflow" - can't enter more graphics codes in file, table full.
"File Near Full" - this file has less than 1K memory free for editing.
"Out of Memory" - file, block, or string won't fit in available memory.

IMPORTANT NOTE: On DOS 2.x systems, an attempt to access an empty
disk drive or to print when the printer is not online can produce a
critical error message directly from DOS, something like:
"Device not ready; Ignore, Retry, or Abort?"
If this happens, correct the situation and press "R" for Retry. DO NOT
PRESS "A"; this will exit from VDE back to DOS, losing all text in memory!
If, after recovering from such an error, the message is still on
screen, you can press ^OZ,Esc to correct the display.

FILE MODES - VDE has many "file modes", each designated by a different letter
code, for editing documents in simple ASCII text, documents in various
word-processor formats, and nondocuments (BAT or SYS files, program source
code, etc). For a list, press ^JF.
The file mode option can be specified along with the filename at any
VDE file function prompt (such as "Read in file:"), allowing you to read
or write text in whatever format needed. [The default mode is /D, but
this can be changed, and exceptions declared, with VINST.] In general,
the document modes support word-processing features like wordwrap,
pagination, variable tabs, and print styles; nondocument modes do not.
Many VDE users will need only the /D mode for documents, and /N mode
for Nondocuments. But there are other variants for special needs:
/A mode is for ASCII documents, differing from /D in
that control codes in the text are not interpreted as
printer commands, so it can be used to view and print files
that use codes 00-1F as PC graphics.
/U mode is an Unformatted ASCII document, with
carriage returns only at the ends of paragraphs, a format
used by many different kinds of software, including dBASE;
/U mode can also be useful for editing on 40 column
screens, since such a file will reformat to different
margin settings when loaded for editing.
/C mode is a nondocument, but differs from /N by
providing variable tabs and auto-indentation suitable for
structured programming languages like C or Pascal. All
these modes use a simple file format which is compatible
with virtually all software (DOS, compilers, database,
telecom, etc).
The remaining document file modes /W,/S,/P,/F,/X,/M
allow VDE to read and write WordStar (version 3-4 or 5-7),
WordPerfect (4 or 5-6), XyWrite/NotaBene, and Microsoft
Word files (see COMPATIBILITY).

CONVERSION: You can easily use VDE to mix text from several
different formats, or to convert a file from one format into another.
Just specify the appropriate mode with each file loaded or read in, or
change to the appropriate mode (with ^KE) before saving. (Note limits on
supported features in each format.)

MEMORY - VDE allocates memory for each file according to need, up to a
maximum of 64k. (1k = 1024 bytes.) Due to the use of a compression
technique, the largest file that can be edited with VDE is roughly 80k.
VDE requires a minimum of about 128k free RAM; the number and size of
files you can edit depends on the amount of additional memory you have
free. (VDE does not use extended memory.) Running a DOS command (AltR)
requires enough memory to load COMMAND.COM and any program you intend to
run under it. If you are running short of memory while editing, try
exiting files you no longer need, or cutting (AltC) an empty block to
empty the cut buffer. Your available memory may be limited if you are
already running VDE in a shell from another program, or are editing many
files with VDE, or have lots of memory-resident software (TSRs).

MULTITASKING ENVIRONMENTS - VDE should be compatible with multitasking
operating systems, although you may need to identify it as a "program that
writes directly to the screen". No such precautions are needed to run VDE
under DESQview, however, because VDE is "DESQview-aware". Its window can
be resized, and it will run in the background. To get the best perform-
ance from VDE under DESQview, set both "Writes directly to screen" and
"Virtualize text/graphics" to NO.

PROMPTS - First, VDE has several simple prompts requiring you to confirm an
action by typing "Y" or "N". These warning messages appear on line 1
(though they are NOT given when a macro is running):
"Abandon changes?" - a file you want to quit has been changed.
"Unchanged; save?" - a file you want saved hasn't been changed.
"File exists; overwrite?" - such a file already exists and will be lost.

These confirmation prompts appear at the right edge of the header:
"Chg?(Y/N/*)" - change this instance of a string? (yes/no/global)
"Print Pause" - ready, press a key to continue printing (Esc quits).

There are a number of standard prompts for either numeric or string input,
like "Column:" or "Find string:". The following control keys operate:
Correct error: [BkSp] (^H)
Finish entry: [Enter] (^M) or ^[Enter] (^J)
Replay last entry: ^R (at beginning of input line)
Enter current filename: ^F \
Erase entire entry: ^Y > (except at "Macro:" prompt)
Escape from prompt: [Esc] /
Abort operation: ^[Break]
Note that to get any of these codes into the string itself, you must
precede it with ^P (this includes ^P itself).
EXAMPLE: to find a line beginning with a "*" (find "^M,*") type
^QF ^P[Enter] * [Enter].
Graphics can also be entered into strings using Alt-G.

================================[end VDE.DOC]=================================

 December 13, 2017  Add comments

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