|★ APPLICATIONS ★ PAO/PRESSE ★ PAGE SETTER 64 ★|
|Page Setter 64 (Amstrad Action)||Applications Pao/presse|
Desktop publishing is one of the Amstrad CPC's many serious uses, but most programs rely on the extra memory and built-in disk drive of the 6128. All this is set to change, however...
Page Setter 64 is a desk top publishing package for 64K Amstrad CPC computers... or so reads the first line of the manual. DTP on an unex-panded 464? Just how will it perform, though?
The instructions make designing pages sound simple enough, but how easy is it in reality? Well, it's a lot easier than first appearances may lead you to believe. The disk (or tape) comes with a demonstration page, plus all the separate files that are needed to compile it. There is an almost complete run-through of how and when to use each of the files in the first part of the manual to build up the demonstration page. By following these instructions and doing it yourself on the computer, you quickly get a "hands on" lesson of how to use Page Setter 64. Thus encouraged, you quickly get the urge to try and do a page of your own. The following is an example of how you might assemble a page:
After running "BOOT" you are presented with a menu of either the main program, TEDIT or GEDIT. Select the text editor. You will discover that you cannot input a file written using Protext or any other source. This is quite an oversight, as it means you cannot spell check any text before using it. The text editor included is a bit basic, just the delete and clear keys having any effect. Text is written without any word wrapping or justification, as this is taken care of later. A choice of fonts is offered, or you may design one of your own. The completed result is then saved to disk as a .DAT file.
The graphics editor comes complete with several graphic files already on it, or you can load in extra files from other sources, as long as they have a >BIN extension. Once loaded you can edit and alter them to suit, and then resave to disk for later insertion.
Last but not least is the main program. This is the area that performs all the work. It also reserves chunk of memory as a "ramdisc". The first thing you have to do is to reload from disk all the saved text, graphics and font files that you have prepared. These are then saved into the spare RAM. Once done, select FLOW GRAPHICS and a large black area appears on the left hand side of the screen. This represents the whole page and is divided up into a grid, measuring 80 across and 50 down. By inserting the co-ordinates you wish to use, a box is drawn and the selected graphic is then "sent" into that box. Once the graphics have been placed around the screen, the same operation is repeated for the text, by flowing it around the graphics and also into columns or whatever.
The result is pleasing, and the print quality from a 9-pin Citizen 120D in draft mode was outstanding. It did take thirteen minutes to print out, but does not use the whole A4 page.
For ten quid, Page Setter 64 represents outstanding value.
Bob Adams, AA #67