|★ APPLICATIONS ★ CREATION GRAPHIQUE ★ LETTERHEAD DESIGNER ★|
|Letterhead Designer||Applications Creation Graphique|
IF you would like your letters to look nicer, but can't afford headed stationery. Letter Head Designer is what you need. It is an icon-driven mini screen editor which allows you to arrange text in different sizes and styles, embellish it with lines and boxes, and print it out on your dot matrix printer. The paper can then be reused for printing correspondence.
Movement in Letter Head Designer is accomplished with the arrow keys or joystick, and selections are made with Copy or the fire button. For simplicity I'll refer to keyboard operation.
To select a function, move the icon cursor over the one you want, and that function will remain in operation until you select another. Going from top left to bottom right, the icons (shown in Figure I) are:
Move cursor allows you to move the cursor to a specified set of coordinates. When prompted, type in X and Y value's in the form 200,300 and the cursor will be sent to this position. The values must be in the editing area or they will be ignored.
Draw enables you to move the cursor around with the arrow keys. If you press the spacebar at the same time, a trail of ink 1 is left, while Delete draws in ink 0. You can also plot individual points with this function. Copy returns you to the panel.
Rubber erases a rectangular area. It works by letting you first move the cursor to one corner of the block -fixed with Copy - after which the outline of a box may be dragged around. When it surrounds the area to be wiped, press Copy again.
Draw Line does just that. Move to where you want the line to start and press Copy. You can then drag a line from this point wherever you wish. Press Copy to fix the position.
Draw Box works in the same way as Rubber except that when you fix the box, either an outline or a solid rectangle will appear, depending on the setting of the Solid icon.
Text allows characters in the current font to be placed with pixel accuracy. First you are prompted to enter the text in the bottom-right window. You can have up to 255 characters, but only 80 will fit in the window. Press Return/Enter, and a box will appear on screen. Drag it to where you want the text, and press Copy to write it.
Camera does an area copy. It works in a similar way to Draw Box, but when you press Copy to fix the size it remembers the position. You can then move the box around, and pressing Copy again will duplicate at the new position the area covered by the box when you fixed its size.
Note that if the second position overlaps the first, the area may corrupt itself, depending on the direction of the move. However, this can be used to good effect. As this function can take some time, a beep will sound when it is complete.
Save Design asks for a filename, and the screen will be saved to tape/disc. Conversely, Load Design reloads saved screens.
Print Design will send the letter head to the printer. Escape is temporarily disabled, as the function calls a machine code screen dump.
Select Font offers five choices: Normal, bold, italic, faint, and double height. Pressing Copy while over this icon causes them to be displayed in turn.
Write Mode can be used to reverse colours. When the word OVER is displayed, text, lines and boxes will be drawn as expected. Pressing Copy on this icon causes the word XOR to appear. Now lines, boxes and text will be drawn in the opposite colour to the background.
An instance where this would be useful is if you have a design but would like the colours reversed. Select XOR mode, move to the top left of the letter head, and draw a solid box over it - see below for solid boxes. All background colours will now be foreground, and vice versa.
Speed Control effects two cursor speeds. The icon shows you which is active and allows you to toggle between the two. Four arrows indicate top speed.
Open/Solid denotes filled or empty boxes. When you draw a box the result is normally an outline. However, pressing Copy on this icon changes it to show a solid box.
Not every conceivable function has been included in this program, as I wanted to keep it to a reasonable size, but as it stands you can get pretty reasonable results.
A final note for owners of older Epson nearly-compatible printers such as the early Mannesman Tallys and Shinwas: To configure the screen dump you should add this extra line to the program:
55 POKE &81A9,asc("K") :POKE &81AA,&40:POKE &81AB,&81