There seems to be a current abundance of utility packages aimed at the printer user. No bad thing either: the printer seems to be the first and most popular addition to anyone's computer. Seven Stars, with Qualitas (see issue 21) to its credit, has introduced a product that will enable a number of popular word-processors to give proportionally-spaced justified text.
Protext, Tasword and many other word-processors make a line of text finish flush against the right margin - that's what "justifying" means - by inserting extra character spaces between words. The trouble is that some spaces on the line will be twice as big as others.
Taspro intercepts data for the printer and inserts equal spaces between all words on the line. "Microspacing" is an often-flung phrase for this padding-out technique. Redefined characters (for instance those formed by printing one characters on top of another) and embedded printer control codes - which select italics or bold print, for example - are all correctly justified by Taspro. Micro-spaced text results in a much neater and more readable document - altogether more professional-looking.
Taspro can be configured to work with virtually any printer. It is ready to run with dot-matrix printers (such as the Amstrad DMP 2000 and Mannesmann MT80) and daisywheel printers (for example, the Quen-Data DWP1120 or Brother HR-15). If your printer does not accept Epson codes, there's still hope: contact Seven Stars, who should be able to help you set up Taspro to suit your system. There are two exceptions to this rule: dot-matrix printers that can't produce bit-image graphics and text on the same line or daisywheel printers that can't have their spacing pitch altered in increments of Duo inch.
Using an RSX command supplied by Taspro, |COLS, you can set the number of columns. By setting the printing width to greater than the total column width you can switch Taspro off. This is handy as Taspro increases printing time through extra movement of the print head. If you are using NLQ (near-letter quality) print, use Taspro only on the final version of the document. It saves print-head and ribbon wear.
Overall it's a well-presented package with a simple customization program that lets you make the most of your word-processor and printer. Taspro is just the thing for producing professional-looking documents at a small price.