ST Writer fights back
I enjoyed David Plotkin's article "Doing It Write" in the September '88 ST-Log. As a long time user and programmer of ST Writer, I need to correct one statement in the article, where it said, "...[ST Writer] lacks the ability to save files in ASCII format. (You can, however, print a document to disk, but printer controls will also be sent to the file.)"
In actuality, ST Writer can save files three ways. The first is the ST Writer SAVE format, where formatting codes are embedded in the text.
The second is a "spooler" file that prints a formatted document to disk and embeds printer control codes, so that the document can be printed to a printer using the desktop "Print" option, for example. The third produces true ASCII files with a CR/LF at the end of each formatted line—and without printer controls. This method is called "Print to disk."
A new, and perhaps final, version (3.0) of ST Writer Elite will soon be made available that includes a "Save ASCII" function from the GEM menus, which will simplify the last option so that you do not need to specify margins. This version will also include the ability to embed ASCII characters with values less than 32 ($20 hex), useful for placing printer directives at a specific point in a document; but placing these characters will not work easily when justifying text or in double columns. This is because the extra characters will still take up space in the page layout, and as printer directives, they will be stripped out of the document, thus moving the second column text leftward to fill in the gap.
—Bruce D. Noonan, M.D.
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