APPLICATIONS ★ MICRO DESIGN (c) HOGSOFT ★

Micro Design/MicroDesignMicro Design 2/MicroDesign IIMicro Design PlusMicro Design Doc English
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INTRODUCTION

MICRODESIGN is designed to run on the AMSTRAD CPC range of microcomputers:
CPC 6128
CPC 664 with 64K RAM extension
CPC 464 with disc drive and 64K RAM extension

Program Structure

MICRODESIGN is a fast and versatile drafting package designed to produce g raphic artwork and technical drawings on a dot-matrix printer. It consists of five sections or 'pages':-
1. Layout page: for selection of paper format (A4 upright, A4 sideways, or strip format), and for manipulating blocks of drawing (copy, move, and erase).
2. Design page: for drawing operations including icons, lines and shapes, fill, text, and a zoom facility for editing at half-pixel resolution. Icons are selected from three sets of 22 user definable icons.
3. Printing page: for printing the drawing on IBM/Epsom dot-matrix printers. Options include 3 scales, light or dark shades, high-speed or accurate styles, margin setting and multiple copies.
4. Filing page: for saving and loading drawings and icons. File catalogue, rename and erase operations are provided.
5. Icon Editing page: for designing and editing icons. Three sets of user definable 'icons'are available directly from the Design page. There are two sizes of icon: 16 x 16 and 24 x 24 pixels.

The Screen

Each page of MICRODESIGN is divided into four windows on the screen, and in general each window performs a similar function on each page.
The top left window displays the drawing and all design work is done here.
The top right window displays the menu from which all operations for the current page are selected. Some operations invoke a pulldown menu from which further operations may be selected.
The bottom left window displays the icons, and occasionally messages. The icon set can be removed on the Design page to allow a larger area of drawing to be displayed.
The bottom right window displays options available on the functions keys fl to f9. These change according to the operation in progress.
In general, the default state for each page (such as when it is first displayed) will leave the cursor in the drawing area (top left window).

The Keyboard

The keyboard layout has been carefully thought out to make the package quick and easy to use. However, as with any advanced applications package, it may take a little practice to become familiar with all the available functions and the best ways to use them.
All operations can be accessed by 'key-letter' or by the 'one-hand'system to be described later.
One of the most powerful features of MICRODESIGN is the ability to 'Undo' the last operation, enabling the user to try out different shapes, patterns, files etc. in different positions, before committing them to the 'paper'.
Mouse: MICRODESIGN can be used with AMX (and compatible) mice.

GENERAL OPERATION

Switch on the CPC computer.
Insert the MICRODESIGN disc.
Type RUN"MD 'Return'
(the loading screen is displayed, then MICRODESIGN is entered at the layout
page.)

The Menu...X

The other pages are always accessed via the pull-down menu. Using the key-letter system this is 'X' then 'D' or T or 'F' or 'P' (or 'L').
Note that the Filing page is not initially a complete page, simply a change of operations available.
Now load a drawing from the disc. This is 'X' 'F' 11' 'Return' 'Return'. This will load a drawing which will be seen in the middle of the paper on the layout page.
Now go to the Design page ('X' 'D') and try out the basic key-functions as follows:

The Key-Functions

The (left)(right) (up) (down) keys control the cursor (as normal).
The Ctrl key is a speed change key for the cursor when held down. It makes the cursor jump in steps of eight pixels, which is useful to remember when measuring shapes on the screen.
The Shift key, used with the t«*keys, scrolls the paper. Ctrl may be pressed as well, for fast scrolling.
The Icon table at the bottom of the screen can be toggled on and off using Ctrl/Esc, for a larger drafting area.
Now scroll to a blank part of the paper.
The Space-bar plots points. Holding it down and moving the cursor draws lines. Note that two cursor keys can be held down at once to move diagonally.
These are the basic key functions. The other functions are covered in the appropriate sections, and a full list, for reference, is given in Appendix One.

Key-Letter Operation

Each of the operations in the right hand menu may be selected by a single key (listed next to the operation on the menu). All key-letters in a single menu are unique, hence Kopy is selected with 'K' to avoid confusion with Circle.

One-Hand Operation

The f0 key and the [.] key are called 'DO' and 'UNDO' respectively.
The f0 key is a multiple function key, and is used to advance, select, and fix...
EXAMPLE: from the Design page,
F0               ; to put the cursor in the right hand menu,
(up) (down)       to select the Icon operation by moving the
cursor box until it is over 'Icon',
F0               ; to return the cursor to the drawing area as an Icon,
(left)(right) 
(up) (down)       to position the Icon on the drawing,
F0               ; to 'fix' the Icon on the drawing and exit from Icon operation.
The [.] key can be used to undo the last 10 key-push.
EXAMPLE: if, in the last example, the icon was fixed in the wrong place, then ...
[.]             ; to unfix the Icon,
(left)(right) 
(up) (down)     to reposition the Icon,
F0               ; to refix and exit.
If, on the other hand, it is decided that an Icon is not required, then...
[.]               ; to un fix the lcon,
[.]               ; to cancel the Icon operation and exit.
It is only possible to undo operations as far back as the previous fix or last scroll.
This may seem complicated at first - with a little practice it will become obvious.
Almost all the operations in MICRODESIGN can be carried out using the**'' keys, the 10 and [•] keys, the f1 -f9 keys and the Enter key, all with the right hand. This dramatically reduces the operator eye strain and fatigue during drawing operations, as there is no need to keep looking down at the keyboard and back to the screen again.

Mouse Operation

The mouse movement and three buttons are used to emulate keystrokes from the keyboard, so it is not necessary to have a mouse to use MICRODESIGN to its full extent.
All the major functions and operations in MICRODESIGN can be accessed using the mouse.
Mouse movement ......................................................................   cursor keys (up)(down)(left)(right)
Left mouse button ......................................................................  f0 key
Middle mouse button .................................................................   Space-bar
Right mouse button....................................................................   [.] key
Hold down Right button, then press Left button .........................   Enter key
A special mouse function allows the f1 -f9 options to be selected using the mouse:
Hold down Right button, then press Middle button to put the cursor in the bottom right options window. Now...
Middle button ..................................... select option.
Left button ....................................... select option then leave options window.
Right button ...................................... leave options window.

THE DESIGN PAGE

The operations available on this page are listed on the right of the screen. The square in the bottom right of the screen represents the nine function keys f 1 -f9 which control the options for each operation. The bottom of the screen displays one of the sets of icons available. Pressing Ctrl/Esc switches the icons display on or off.
Points can be plotted with the Space-bar. The options f 1, f2, f3 select the ink type ... f1 -black, f2-white, f3-exor (black on white or white on black), and f4, f5, f6 select the point size... small, medium, large.
The operations can be selected by key-letter or by f0, (up), (down), f0.
Line. Selecting the Line operation and moving the cursor draws a line between the cursor and the original position. Control can be flipped to the other end of the line using the Space-bar. A final f0 fixes the line on the paper. The options: f1, f2,f3 select the ink type as before, and f4, f5, f6 select solid or dotted lines.
Angle is an extended version of the Line operation. As before, control of the end points of the angled line is flipped with the Space-bar. The direction of the angle can be flipped using Ctrl/Space-bar. Use f0 to fix. The options are the same as for line.
ICONS. The Enter key enables the cursor to select an icon from the icon table and the function keys to manipulate the selected icon. Keys f 1, f2, f3 select one of three icon sets, and keys f4, f5, f6 respectively rotate, mirror and turn the icon negative. Pushing the Enter key again returns the cursor to the drawing. (If the Icon table was switched off using Ctrl/Esc, it is turned on temporarily when Enter is pressed).
Icon. Selecting Icon turns the cursor into the selected icon (Enterto change icon) which may now be positioned using the (up)(down)(left)(right) keys and fixed on the paper by pushing f0.
The options keys f7, f8, f9 select opaque, transparent, or exor. This describes the mode in which the icon is placed on the paper: Opaque means that everything behind the icon will be erased; Transparent means that everything behind the icon will remain; an Exor means swop black and white inks where icon and background overlap.
The option keys f1-f4 are associated with the speciaralpha-mode for icons. This is explained at the end of this section.
Rectangle: size and position can be controlled using the cursor to move two of the corners of the rectangle. The options f 1, f2, f3 select the outline style black, white or exor (or all off for no outline).
SOLID: Rectangles and the other 'shape' operations can be 'solid'(ie filled-in). Keys f4, f5, f6 select black, white or patterned solid (or all off for just outline). The fill-pattern is a repeated icon, selected as normal in the icon table. Keys f7, f8, f9 select opaque, transparent, or exor.
When solid is selected, the outline-cursor has lines across to clarify the selection. Note that the outline option may be turned off only if the shape is solid, and that the solid option may be turned off only if the. outline is on.
Circle operates in the same way as rectangle, except that there are three control points to flip around: the middle, to position the circle, and the top or the side to change the sizeof the circle. The options are the same as for rectangle. (Circles appear not quite circular on the screen - this deliberate 'pre-squashing' is to compensate for non-square printer pixels so that circles really are circular when printing.)
   Note: Drawing 'off the screen' is not allowed; very large shapes (eg. circles) must be drawn in several stages.
Oval and Diamond operate in a similar fashion to circle.
Triangle is different in that all three corners start in the same place, and must be moved/flipped around to form the triangle.
Flood will fill a bounded area with solid black, solid white, or a repeated icon pattern. The keys f4, f5, f6 select black, white or patterned respectively.
Block: this is the initial operation for marking/bounding an area to be Erased, Moved, Kopied, or Stored. The outline of the block is included inside the area, and is positioned in the same way as a rectangle. Having defined the block, pushing f0 brings down the Block menu allowing selection of:
Erase simply erases the area bounded by the block, (cf. Cut on word processors)
Move: the cursor becomes a moveable block. Use the*** keys to position the block. f0 erases the original marked block and moves it to the new position. Keys f7, f8, f9 select opaque, transparent or exor. (cf. Cut/Paste on WPs)
Kopy is identical to Move except that the original marked block is not erased - a copy of it is pasted in the new position. (cf Cut/Paste on WPs)
Store enables an area of drawing to be stored so that it can be Glued down again as many times as required anywhere on the drawing. (cf. Paste phrase on WPs).
Glue is lor 'pasting down' a previously Stored area of drawing. Keys f7, f8, f9 select opaque, transparent or exor. Keys f4, f5, f6 allow the whole stored area to be reflected in the y-axis, reflected in the x-axis, and turned negative (white becomes black and black becomes white), respectively.
nb. Stored areas or Moved/Kopied Blocks can only be viewed in situ using Do, although operations can always be Undone, adjusted and Done again.
Write there are four sizes of text that en be typed directly from the keyboard. Tab selects the size, and Ctrl/Tab changes the direction of print (forward, down, backward, up). Del deletes the last character. Letters can be positioned to pixel accuracy using the cursor keys. f0 to fix and exit.
ZOOM allows a part of the drawing to be selected for detailed editing. Use the cursor keys to position the block over the area to be zoomed, then f0. Pixels can now be plotted with the Space-bar in the ink mode selected by f 1, f2, f3 as normal. Tab changes to half-pixel plotting for very fine editing.
Icon Alpha-Mode: The option key f4 selects the special alpha-mode for 'Font type' icon sets (see Filing Page). In this mode, typing on the alpha-numeric keyboard will select each appropriate icon (A-Z a-z 0-9.,) and at the same time fix the last icon. The alpha-mode works for all icon sets but only 'makes sense' for icons stored in the standard 'Font type' order. The option keys f1, f2, f3 select small, medium or large spacing between the letters; fine position adjustments can be made using the cursor keys as normal, (nb. Full type-setting facilities are not intended). The DEL key will remove the current icon and leave the user in control of the previous one again (but only one DEL can be performed). It is usually best to work in Transparent (f8) or Exor (f9) modes as the gaps around each letter will partially obliterate the last one if in Solid.

Futher KEY-FUNCTIONS

Esc can always be used to abort an operation. Ctrl/Copy repeats the last operation.
Ctrl/Return centres the cursor on the screen.
Shift/Return centres the screen on the paper.
Shift/Copy sets the line, rectangle, triangle and block dimensions to zero.
Ctrl/Caps Lock swops the action of the cursor speed key from slow/fast to fast/slow.

THE LAYOUT PAGE

This page is for the initial setting-up of the paper format before starting or loading drawings, and for adjusting the layout of the drawing on the paper before printing and saving.
As on the Design page, the operations available are listed on the right of the screen. The square in the bottom right of the screen represents the nine function keys f1-f9 which control the options for each operations.
The drawing is manipulated using the same Block commands as in the Design page.
New clears the 'paper' of any drawing and allows selection of A4 upright (vertical), A4 sideways (horizontal), or strip format paper. (Note: the paper proportions appear squashed horizontally; this is due to printer pixels not being square). The strip format has been included to allow a very high resolution output - printed at full scale this format covers about one quarter of an upright A4 sheet.
Block: as on the Design page, this operation consists of marking/bounding an area (outline inclusive), using thetw- keys and the space-bar to flip control points, and a second f0 to bring down the Block menu:
Erase simply erases the area bound by the block, (cf. Cut on WPs).
Move: the cursor become a moveable block. Use thet»+ keys to position the block. f0 erases the original marked block and moves it to the new position. Keys 17, f8, f9 select opaque, transparent or exor (cf. Cut/Paste on WPs)
Kopy is identical to Move except that the original marked block is not erased - a copy of it is pasted in the new position, (cf. Copy/Paste on WPs)
DESIGN allows direct access to the Design page without going via the Main Menu. It also allows selection of the part of the drawing that is to be initially displayed on the Design page. This saves scrolling to get to the required place on the drawing.
THE ICONS EDIT PAGE
As before, the operations available are listed on the right of the screen. The square in the bottom right of the screen represents the nine function keys f1-f9 which control the options for each operation. The bottom of the screen displays one of the sets of icons.
The centre of the screen displays a grid, and pixels may be plotted in the grid to form an icon which is displayed at actual size in the adjacent square.
Pixels are plotted in the normal fashion using thetW- keys and the Space-bar. The ink mode is selected by fl, f2, f3 as before.
Keep allows the new icon to be stored in one of the 22 spaces available in the icon set. On selecting Keep, the cursor is moved to the icon table and thei^ keys are used to select where the icon will be stored (on pushing f0 again). Caution: this can overwrite an existing icon. Keys fl, f2, f3 select the icon set as usual. Keeping a large icon in a small space, or a small icon in a big space is not allowed, however the Size may be changed...
Size changes the size of the grid - either 16x16 pixels, or 24 x 24 pixels. Changing the size of a large icon to a small icon will lose pixels from the edges.
Edit allows an existing icon to be copied into the grid for editing.
Clear fills the grid white.
Reposition allows the contents of the icon to be 'shuffled'about using the keys. Pixels that 'fall out' are lost. fG> to exit, or [.] to restore original icon.
The Enter key and the Ctrl key function as in the design page (Icon-table select, and Cursor speed change, respectively).
FONTS Provided with MICRODESIGN are several sets of icons laid out as complete sets of letters (A-Z a-z 0-9.,) which are for use with the Icon Alpha-mode system (see Design Page). When designing fonts, ensure that they are arranged in the same format as those provided, so that each letter-key will produce the appropriate icon.

THE FILING PAGE

The filing page has full file handling and maintenance facilities. Only the required area of drawing is saved in a compressed-data format, so loading and saving is quick and uses minimum disc space.
File names are up to eight alphanumeric characters long.
All icon files are suffixed .IC, all drawing files are suffixed .DR.
The standard 'wild-card'* may be used to represent any character or
string in a file name.
Esc may be used to abort any filing operation.
Catalog lists all files on the disc.
Delete lists all files on the disc, and then asks for the name of the file to be deleted. The full file name must be used (including the suffix)then [Return].
Rename lists all files on the disc, and then asks for the OLD name of the file to be renamed [Return], then the NEW name [Return].
Sav123 is used to save all three sets of icons currently loaded, as one file. The file name is automatically suffixed .IC. This is used, for example, for saving a user defined icon font. If the file is called BOOT. IC, and saved on the MICRODESIGN system disc, then MICRODESIGN will automatically load this file as its start-up set of icons.
SavIC saves the currently displayed icon set as one file. All the .IC files on the disc are listed and a file name is requested. The file name is automatically suffixed .IC.
LoadIC lists all the .IC files, then allows thef***- keys to select the particular icon set to load. If the. IC file contains a single set of icons, it will be loaded into the set shown in the icon table. If, however, all three icon sets were saved together using Save123, then all three sets will be loaded. This applies especially to the Fonts provided (named F-TIMES.IC, F-BRDWAY.IC etc.) which will load into all three sets for use with the Icon Alpha-mode system (see Design Page).
SavDR displays the whole drawing page and allows the block-cursor to mark/ bound the area (outline inclusive) to be saved. Press f0. All the .DR files on the disc are listed and a file name is requested. The file name is automatically suffixed .DR.
LoadDR lists all the .DR files, then allows the-M- keys to select the particular drawing to load. Press f0. The appropriate size of block is then displayed on the layout page and thei*^ keys are used to adjust the position of the drawing to be loaded. In this way many smaller drawings may be loaded onto the same 'paper' to form a larger drawing.
Note: Some .DR files may only fit onto certain paper formats (use the New operation to change format), and .DR files created under one format may print slightly squashed or elongated when loaded onto a different format - this is due to the printer pixels not being square (see Circle and Layout Page).
New as on the Layout Page, clears the drawing and allows selection of A4 vertical, A4 horizontal, or Strip paper format.

THE PRINTING PAGE

Printed output is to an IBM or Epson compatible dot-matrix printer (with quadruple density graphics).
The print options are shown at the bottom of the screen and are selected using the cursor keys only.
The Print Operation is started in the normal way (f0, I, f0 or V) after having set up all the options.
Printing can be stopped at any stage by pressing (and holding down) the Esc key.
Scale: there are three available print sizes for the A4 formats, full size (A4), half size (A6), and quarter size (A8). Strip format provides a higher resolution output, and will not print at quarter size. At full size the strip format covers about one quarter of an A4 sheet. It is possible to concatenate drawings simply by printing them one after another without a form feed in between. In this way four (or more) strip format drawings can be printed to make one full A4 sheet (or more) at high resolution.
Style: there is a trade-off between printing time and printing accuracy. Normal-style printing is fast (four lines at a time) but is less accurate than the one-pin style (one line at a time).
Shade: in dark shade the print-head has two passes at the same line (useful when the ribbon if getting thin!), and in light shade, only one pass.
Margin: used to set the position of the printing on the paper in half and quarter scale prints. (In full scale printing the whole width is used).
Copies: multiple copies can be printed. 'X' will continue printing until aborted by Esc.
Paper: printing is interrupted after each A4 sheet if Single is selected, and waits for a key press to continue.
Feed: the printer will form -feed after each copy if this option is On.

APPENDIX ONE
THE KEY FUNCTIONS
CURSOR

(up)(down)(left) (right) ........................ cursor position control
Ctrl ......................................................... cursor speed
Space-bar ......................... toggle control points (shapes and lines)
Ctrl/Caps Lock ....................................... speed control toggle
Ctrl/Return ....................................... centre cursor on screen
Shift/Copy .... zero the dimensions of line, rectangle, triangle, and block

PAPER

Shift .............................................................. scroll
Ctrl/Shift ................................................... scroll speed
Shift/Return ............................... centre the screen on the paper

ICONS

Enter ........................................... select icon/icon control:
                                                   ; f1,f2,f3-set1,set2,set3
                                   ;   ;f4, f5, f6- rotate, mirror, negative 
Ctrl/Esc ..... icon table on/off toggle (if off, table comes on temporarily
                                                   ;  when Enter is pressed)

MISC

Space-bar ....... plot point at cursor (when noother operation in progress)
Esc ....................................................... abort operation
Ctrl/Copy ........................................... repeat last operation
Tab ................................ change size of characters during Write
Ctrl/Tab ...................... change direction of characters during Write
Del ................................ delete previous key press during Write
Ctrl/ .......................... cursor to top or bottom of operations menu
[] ........................................................... undo last f0
f0 ......................................... advance/accept/select/fix/exit

OPTIONS

NORMAL                                            ;   ;POINT    LINE    ICONS        GLUE
f1   ........................................ black   black    black    gaps         ;-
f2  ........................................  white   white    white    gapm         ;-
f3  ......................................... exor    exor     exor     gapl         ;-
f4  ........................................ black   thin      solid    alpha     reflect y
f5  ........................................ white   medium   dotted     -        reflect x
f6  ...................................... patterned   thick  dotted     -        negative
U  ......................................... solid       -      -       solid      solid
f8  ..................................... transparent    -      -    transparent transparent
f9  ......................................... exor       -      -       exor        exor

MOUSE

Movement........................................cursor position control
Left button........................................as ffL..advance/accept/select/fix/exit
Middle button...................................plot point at cursor OR toggle control point
Right button .....................................as [.] undo last 10
Right then Left............................................... icon control
Right then Middle............................................ option select:
                                                            ;  Left button........select option
                                                            ;  Middle button.......select option then exit
                                                            ;  Right button .........exit

APPENDIX TWO

|CONVERT
An extended Basic command is supplied allowing any screen to be converted into a MICRODESIGN drawing file.
To install:
RUN "CONVERT"
Syntax:
|CONVERT "filename. DR"
Action:
Takes current contents of the screen and converts it into a disc. DR file which may be then be loaded into MICRODESIGN and edited or printed.
Please note: the |CONVERT command is not relocatable..

APPENDIX THREE

USEFUL HINTS
Eraser: On the Design Page, use the thickest point (f5) with white ink (f2) to erase irregular areas of the drawing.
Dotted-Lines: Other patterns of dotted-lines can be produced by Filling a black line with an appropriate pattern.
Fonts: The 'Font type' icon files provided on the MICRODESIGN disc are labelled F-********.IC . There is also a drawing file called FONTS .DR, which contains a catalogue of all these 'Font type' icon files; it is intended to be printed for easy reference.
Scaled Drawings: A drawing file is provided called 'SCALE. DR' which contains horizontal and vertical pixel scales (one unit = one pixel). Print this at the required print scale and use the output as a means of measuring dimensions in terms of pixels. This allows accurate scaled drawings to be reproduced using MICRODESIGN.
Remember that the speed key (Ctrl) causes the cursor to move in steps of eight pixels, providing an easy way to count many pixels.

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★ PUBLISHER: HOGSOFT
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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.