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Article #67 (74 is last):
From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.8bit.reviews
Subject: The Digital Editor / DTP / public domain
Reply-To: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Posted-By: xx004 (aa700 - Michael Current)
Date: Tue Oct  6 15:04:32 1992


The Digital Editor (PD100)
--------------------------

Reviewed by: Dean Garraghty.


The Digital Editor (PD100 in my catalogue) is a very simple desktop publishing
(DTP) package. It is written in Turbo-Basic so is for XL/XE only in 64K. A
copy of Turbo is on the disk and boots automatically.

During boot-up you a presented with two opening pages. One details who it is 
by. It doesn't mention you have to press any key to continue loading, but if 
you don't it will sit there all day! The second screen is a nice graphics 
screen (probably created using the package itself) with some nice music. START 
is pressed to get to the main disk menu.

The package is split into a series of separate programs: Graphics, 
Photo-Convertor, Editor, 62er-convertor, and Hardcopy 1029.

Graphics
--------

This program is a simple mode 8 graphics creator using a joystick. Press the 
START key and a menu pops up. This has: Freehand, Lines, Circles, Oval, Fill, 
Points, Script, Load/Save picture, Mirror, Char set, Directory, Back to Menu.

It works in much the same way as any other drawing program.

Photo-Convertor
---------------

In this package a "photo" is a small picture which can be merged into your 
text (or you text merged around your photo). To create a "photo" file, you use 
this program. It has options to convert a picture to photo, photo to picture, 
and page to picture.

The most important is the first of these options. This allows you to load in a 
picture file created with the Graphics program (or from any other program 
which outputs mode 8 pictures in the same way), and select an area of the 
picture to convert into a photo file. This is done by using a joystick. You 
simply mark the 4 corners of the area to "cut out" and it's done! The photo 
file can then be used in the Editor program.

Editor
------

This is the most important program. This is where you create your pages. A 
page can have both text and graphics (photo files). The text can be 40 cols. 
normal height, 80 cols. normal, 40 cols. double height, and 80 cols. double.

Pressing SELECT and any key brings up a menu. This has options to: Load page, 
Save page, Take photo, Directory, Load char set, Return, Main menu, Erase page.

These are all simple to use. When we Take a photo, we can position it at the 
correct position on the page using a joystick. It's wise to load in your photo 
first then type the text around it, because the photo positioning is a bit hit 
and miss. You can only type in text here. You can't load text files in. You 
can have as many photos on a page as will fit. Also, all control graphics 
symbols are available. A few have been re-defined as maths symbols.

You are supposed to be allowed to load in new fonts, but I can't seem to be 
able to get this to work. However, the default font is quite acceptable.

Don't forget that you are designing a page in landscape (i.e. length ways), 
and it will print out like this too.

The Editor has NO error trapping. If you type something wrong, or make some 
other mistake it just stops and you get a Basic-generated error message.

62er-Convertor
--------------

Some page files may be a strange sector length. If this is so, they won't load 
into utilities expecting 62 sector format files. This utility will convert 
your page into a 62 sector file.

Hardcopy 1029
-------------

This is a printer dump for the 1029 printer. For US readers, this printer was 
only sold in the UK and Europe. It's a tacky looking thing which produces 
awful output using a non-standard pin arrangement.

However, don't dispair! On side 2 of the disk you get two Epson printer dump 
programs which will dump pages (in 62 sector format) created using the Editor. 
You can also print it on any utility you have which loads mode 8 62 sector 
files. I use SEEPIC (PD41 in my catalogue) to print the pages to my XMM801 and 
the output looks very good.

Other things on the disk
------------------------

As well as the programs mentioned, you also get a very brief docs file, lots 
of fonts, and lots of photo files. This is a German program, so the docs have 
been written (in English) by somebody else and are very brief. Be prepared to 
spend some time experimenting.

Conclusions and Uses
--------------------

The Digital Editor is a VERY simple package. But, it does its job as well as 
can be expected.

I have used this package for professional purposes on a number of occasions. I 
used it to create the covers for the Digi-Studio manuals. Also, I used it to 
create some slides for an overhead projector for a seminar I gave at 
university on sound sampling. I had a graph along with text around it on one 
slide, and a bulleted list of key points on another. I also used it to create 
10 slides for a group presentation to industry which I was involved in.

To create the slides, I first designed them using the Editor. I converted them 
to 62 sector format using the 62er-convertor, then printed them to A4 using 
SEEPIC. They were then photocopied onto a special paper, and finally printed 
onto film slides.

I recommend The Digital Editor to anybody who wants an inexspensive way to 
create quite nice looking pages with both text and graphics.
-- 
 Michael Current, Cleveland Free-Net 8-bit Atari SIGOp   -->>  go atari  <<--
   The Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG is the Central Atari Information Network
      Internet: currentm@carleton.edu / UUCP: ...!umn-cs!ccnfld!currentm
     BITNET: currentm%carleton.edu@{interbit} / Cleveland Free-Net: aa700





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