Speedscript 3.0

Reviewed by Eddie Cross


Issue 26

Mar/Apr 87

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Compute! Books

If you want an easy to use Word Processor without the complications of reading through large instructional manuals, but still expect the flexibility given by true commercial packages then Speedscript could be just what you are looking for.

The unusual aspect of Speedscript is that it comes in the form of a book with the actual program having to be typed in. At first sight this may well seem a daunting task as you discover that over half of the publication is dedicated to the machine code listing, but on the plus side there are two proofreader programs that ensure you type everything in correctly. I am definitely not the worlds fastest typist but it only took two evenings to get the program up and running and my decision on seeing the final result was that it was well worth the trouble.

The first thing that you notice is the clarity of text. Speedscript incorporates a little used Atari mode that allows more definable and readable characters, which certainly helps on the eyes after a long spell at the keyboard. All the usual features that you would expect from a Word Processor are incorporated, including Screen Editing, Erasing, Wastebucket, Search and Replace, Saving, Loading, Disk Menu, Usable Memory, Screen Colour, Screen Overscanning, Word Wrapping, Merge, Disk Commands, Printer, Screen Display, Print Formatting etc. There are even four predefined printkeys including CHR$(27) to make usage of the program more self-contained. In fact you can predefine any key you want for your own personalised printer codes. Most of the features are accessed with use of CTRL/SHIFT/OPTION/SELECT keys and are all well documented in the book.

The program includes a mini-dos which allows you to inspect what files you have stored without leaving the main program. This facility allows you to load, save, rename, lock, unlock, delete, update directory and format disk and then by pressing RETURN you are back to where you left off.

Amongst the other features that I liked was the fact that when you erased a passage of text it was not lost automatically but stored in the 'TEXT BUFFER' which could be restored at a later date if you found out that you had erased by error. Therefore it was very easy to swap parts of the text around without losing any of it when tidying up your letter or document in this mode.

All normal formatting commands are adhered to like changing margins, page lengths, margin release, centering, indentation etc. including also an INFORMATION command, that works like REM in BASIC. Although written in your text it does not print out, and is very handy when you want to make some note about the file.

The program is so devised that you can enter your own printer codes and save them, so that you don't have to enter them every time you go to use Speedscript. This makes the program compatible with almost every printer.

If you are a cassette based user and are a little bit fed up with all the 'disk only' Word Processing software then have no fear as Speedscript works equally as well in this media, allowing you to save all your files to tape.

All in all Speedscript is a brilliant Word Processing package and is a joy to use. So if you can't afford the more expensive software on the market, then you will not go far wrong by purchasing SPEED SCRIPT 3.0!!.