|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ SIGNWRITER|8000PLUS) ★|
Signwriter is a program which can take any string of text you like and print it out as a large banner on the PCW printer. It can print either across the page or down the page, so lengthy text can run down several pages of continuous stationery. The text can be boxed and underlined.
At nearly £50 most people who would think of buying this program will probably have a serious application, although it is still fun to play with. The company have made an effort to reach a happy balance between flexibility and being idiot proof. The result is a package that you can be using successfully quite quickly but still seems to have an almost infinite potential for adapting and creating your own characters and fonts.
The standard font that characters come out in is a crisp, bold typeface without serifs. The quality is surprisingly good, and looks nothing at all like dot matrix printout - see the sample shown. There are a variety of other fonts available, for £5 extra, some of which have actually been designed by Signwriter users. These include Rome (a Roman type font) and Hand (a romantic, flowery one).
But don't be tempted to rush at this program. Even if you get your sign set up quickly it does take a minute or two to print, while the printer does its three passes. The plus side of this is good quality print that looks almost too good to have been produced on a PCW printer.
Wight intend making improvements which they think could double the speed and the capacity of the program and they offer an updating service (around £5 for a new version) and they will provide new fonts as they are developed, for around £5 (plus the cost of a disk).
This program is aimed at the big stuff - notices, signs, anything that needs to be read from a distance. Problems can arise if you want to get the letters less than about 8 millimetres. Wight are working on a program to cater for the smaller printing which is about two or three months away.
At the other end of the scale the only limit seems to be the size of the paper. For normal purposes the program seems capable of taking many decisions for you (such as spacing etc) unless you particularly want to do your own thing. You choose the height of your letters and are then informed what length your line will be and more important whether you are going to run off the end of your paper. At this point you can underline, put a box round your sign and even mess about with the spacing between letters.
If you're setting up window displays or exhibitions. Signwriter could be just the thing for you.