APPLICATIONSCREATION GRAPHIQUE ★ CHARACTER FONT DESIGNER ★

CHARACTER FONT DESIGNER|Amstrad Action)CHARACTER FONT DESIGNER|ASM)
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Having released printer buffer upgrade for the DMP2000/3000. Goldmark have now come up with a program that, amongst other things.lets you use all that extra memory - a Character Font Designer

A what? CFD is a program that will let you change the design ol a printed character so that, tor example, you could print letters in diilerent alphabets like Cyrillic or Greek Needless to scry, your printer must be Epson compatible and should posess as much memory as possible to remember all those extra characters

You can also change your Amstrad s own characters to whatever you want, and then use this new typestylc bom your own programs and even some wordprocessors Finally, you can change the Amstrad key layout to a diilerent configuration - some countries use an AZERTY keyboard instead of QWERTY (Look at the top left ol your Arnold keyboard)

With this program, setting up such changes is easier lor the uninitiated than delving into the murky depths of the manual In lad. all these operations can be done from Basic - but this program simplifies the operation.

Font command menu

The package is supplied on tape or disk in a medium sized box with a small manual II you have a disk drive, buy the disk version - the tape version apparently doesn't like being backed up. One obvious omission is any ready prepared fonts 1cm the printer it would have been nice to have some examples at fust what this program is capable ol

To use the program is a straightforward task. You're presented with two diilerent sized grids (one lor the printer, one lor the screen), a menu, a message area and a tryout area where your designs can be printed, so you can see them as they will actually appear. You can either use a (oystick or the keyboard to control the program. The menu consists ol the following.

  • Edit will pick up a character from the computer and display its on/oli pattern on the Amstrad (8 dots by 8 dots) grid. The printer grid (11 dots by 9 dots) cannot be read in this way - because printers rarely talk to computers
  • Clear will put either or both grids to oil. whereas Set can switch all the dots on Inverse will give a negative ol the grid - black becomes white and vice versa
  • Move is a very useful command lor fine tuning your design. Il you think a lull stop is being printed too high, or a capital is too low. this command can shift the whole pattern in any direction. Of course anything at the edges will be lost, so make sure you move it in the right direction
  • Mirror and Rotate need little explanation They simply translate the character in the stated way either reflecting through 180 degrees in the X or Y axis, or turning the pattern 90 degrees in a clockwise ox anticlockwise direction
  • Into lets you look at what you have already done, to save you missing a character or duplicating one Manual is a similar command that puts such information to the printer, making a permanent record
  • Retain and Release are at the heart of the program - they let you choose what keys and character patterns you want reserved and those you want to reject The program recognises the Shift keys, so really the keyboard oan be setup as virtually any alphabet You can edit any character from 0 to 255. but the manual wisely suggests you let alone 0-31 unless you know what you are doing - these are control characters
  • Save lets you save a set ol such patterns to tape or disk, and Load lets you examine, edit and add to them

Installing and printing

To use such a finished set ol patterns, a separate program called Install must be run This sets up all the diilerent characters and keys (make sure your printer is switched on), and then gives back control to you Now. I did say that any characters produced by this would work with some woidprocessors - the exceptions are. in general, any that require CPM. such as Wordstar

CFD can be made to work even better The Amstrad CPC has a minor problem known as a 7 bit printer port. This moans that you can only print characters 0 through 127 You can buy something called an 8 bit printer port which lets you print characters 0 through 255. 11 you have one. this program will also let you design characters with an extra row of dots in This sounds trivial but it s a nice touch, and your letters will look just that little bit better than belore.

Motorway pileup

Now to the other side oi the coin The manual for this is neat and petite, but has been laid out with the thoughiulness of a motorway pile up. Example • the first thing you need to do is to load the program The loading instructions are stuck right in the middle of the booklet

The saeen presentation is very good However, if you try to leave the menu area, you are treated to an electronic dirge WHY? Turn the sound down before it drives you round the bend.

CFD is written in Basic, and so the responses of the program are not lightning quick, but they're perfectly adequate

In conclusion, the manuals offputting style is largely compensated for by the programs openness CFD may well be the answer to your prayers if you are prepared to spend time (and quite possibly money) on incorporating it into your present system. To the right person, it would be a useful tool

AA

★ PUBLISHER: GOLDMARK SYSTEMS
★ YEAR: 1987
★ CONFIG: 64K (all CPCs) + AMSDOS
★ LANGUAGE:
★ LICENCE: COMMERCIALE
★ AUTHOR(S): ???
★ PRICE: £7.99 (tape), £11.99 (disk)

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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.