Reviewed by Alan Goldsbro


Issue 28

Jul/Aug 87

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The presentation of documents, whether a short letter or a full length dissertation is vastly improved by good layout. If there are times when your word processor cannot produce the style you desire maybe Mi-Print could assist you. Mi-Print is a program which prints any text file the way you want it, giving you control over paper size, all four margins, headers, page numbers, pitch and line spacing. Style preferences and printer definitions can be saved once set up. The program is quite small but it has a wide range of attributes and, coupled with logical design, will make your printer sing with every line it prints!

The first good point is that Mi-Print is not just for Epson and compatibles but can be defined for a huge range of printers. The default setting is for a Panasonic 1092 but my Epson LX80 had no bother in printing using the default set up. If you need to define your own printer driver, however, control codes can be entered into a dialog box in either ASCII, Decimal, Hex or control character format.

To ensure maximum visual impact, the layout style of any document is important and Mi-Print will allow you to format your documents by making best use of margins, headers, line spacing and pitch. Even all those 'Read Me' files can be formatted to your own individual style and printed out either page by page or alternately on continuous stationery.

If you are printing from a disk file, headers can be full path and filename, and the current system date and time can be printed alongside together with the page number. Margins, left, right, top and bottom are easily adjustable and there are four pre-set line spacings of 1, 1.5, 2 and 3 lines between each pass of the print head. Pitch is in three pre-set styles, pica, elite, and compressed, with a user defined optional format. Finally within the style menu there are commands for print range (from 1 to 9999 pages), page widths and heights. Printer and style menus can be saved to disk and both reside inside the PRINT.HLP file which is loaded automatically every time the program is loaded.

Mi-Print doesn't just dump to a printer, it can also send the information to screen for pre-viewing or reading or to disk for printing out later or to include in a separate document. A 'directory' menu is included and this can display any drive showing pathname, folders, and full directory listing. Just as with printing a document, the full pathname, page number, date and time are listed. Mi-Print will also simulate a typewriter. You can type continuously and press return at the end of the text to send the information to the printer or alternately send the text line by line. This is the only mode in which you cannot send text to the screen. Text can be sent to the printer unformatted for use as address labels and the like.

Six on-line help files are contained in the file PRINT.HLP. These files are sixteen lines deep each and contain basic information about each of the six menus. All of these files can be edited, saved and re-loaded at boot up.

Mi-Print is one of those nice little utilities that the majority of printer owners will find useful. The package has a 12 page manual and comes in Microdeal's usual sturdy ring binder. Whilst well written and effective in it's performance, the price of 19.95 may seem high for some owners. I liked it, however, and what's more I'll use it!