Tiny Text

Stan Ockers and Jim Carr


Issue 2

Feb/Mar 83

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Fancy using your 400 or 800 as a mini word-processor? Even if you don't have a printer- TINY-TEXT will allow you to do just that. It is a very clever cassette (or disk) based text editor which will allow you to compose letters or articles and send the cassette through the post to be read or printed straight out by the receiver. It was developed by Stan Ockers for the Eugene ACE Newsletter to enable readers to send in 'ready' copy and I hope readers will start using it to send in articles to PAGE 6 as well as writing to each other.


The OPTION key is used to select one of five options: LOAD, EDIT, PRINT, SAVE and DISPLAY. The following paragraphs describe the use of each of these functions.


The LOAD option is used to re-load text which has been saved on cassette or disk. When the LOAD option is selected you will be asked to give a file name of the text you wish to load. If the text is on cassette simply type C (no quotation marks). The computer will 'beep' once in the normal way to remind you to set up the recorder. Then press RETURN and the text will load. If you are using disk, type the complete file name of the text file. For example D:TEXT1.TXT.


The EDIT option lets you enter text or make changes to text already entered. ENTERING TEXT: When the Edit mode is requested, a blank area (text window) appears in the centre of the screen. Up to three lines of text can be typed in this window. Pressing RETURN causes the text in the window to be added to the text already entered. You can use all the standard screen editing functions to edit any text in this window. NOTE however that all trailing blanks in the window will be deleted so each line should be ended with a complete word and a blank used to start the next line.

Functions such as tabbing and indentation are controlled by special formatting symbols. These symbols always cause the current line to be ended before the requested formatting function is executed. The following formatting symbols may be used: 

CTRL-E End current line and start a new line with no indentation. 

CTRL-I Indent the next line. 

CTRL-S Space before starting the next line.

CTRL-T Tab over a set number of spaces before starting the next line. 

CTRL-C Centre the next line. 

CTRL-P Advance the printer forms to the top of the next page before printing the next line.

EDITING TEXT: When you are in the Edit mode, pressing the SELECT key will cause the line of text below the window to be moved up into the window. The normal screen editing functions can then be used to change the text in the window. Use the joystick to scroll the desired line to the position below the text window and from side to side if needed. Pressing SELECT twice without making any changes, simply moves the text line into the window and back again. To delete a line of text move it to below the text window and press RETURN. Pressing the joystick trigger will cause you to jump to the end of the present text.


This option prints the formatted text on your printer. Before the printing begins you have a chance to alter the default setting for line length, tab stop etc. Use the screen edit functions to make the desired changes, then press RETURN. The items which may be changed are:

LINE - Line length (max. characters per line) 

INDENT - The no. of spaces to be indented (left margin)

TAB STOP - The number of spaces for the tab

PAPER SIZE - The total number of lines which can be printed on a fully covered page.

FORM FEED - The no. of lines to skip to separate the bottom of one page from the top of the next. For example, if you require 3 blank lines top and bottom, then set forms feed to 6.


This option lets you save your text on either cassette or disk. When the Save option is chosen you will be asked to enter a file name. If you are using cassette simply type C and then set up the recorder when you hear two 'beeps'. Press RETURN. If you are using disk enter a complete legal filename.


This option displays text in formatted form on the screen. It uses the same format change function as the Print option excepting Paper Size and Forms Feed.

Get used to the above control functions and you will have a very easy to use and versatile text editor. if you wish to make any changes to the program you should first change line 14 which automatically expands the main data storage array T$ to the memory size of your computer. Try changing "SIZ=FRE(O)-50" to "SIZ=FRE(O)-500". When you have finished making any changes restore line 14 to its original form.

Any system errors are trapped and printed out by the program. You are then prompted to press RETURN. If you make any mistakes such as selecting LOAD or SAVE when you did not want to, enter an illegal file name and you can easily recover by pressing return.

There you have It! A brilliant little program that I have been using to get all the copy ready for this magazine. If you can make any improvements let me know and I will let ACE know. Above all start using this to write a few magazine articles - even with 16K and no printer, you now have the opportunity to widely expand the use of your Atari.

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