Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 1, NO. 6 / FEBRUARY 1983

tiny text

by Jin Carr

TINY TEXT is a small but clever cassette-based text editor written by Stan Ockers, originally in the A.C.E. Newsletter (3662 Vine Maple Dr., Eugene, OR 97405). TINY TEXT was never intended to be an allpurpose word processor, even though it does provide several of the important features found in larger programs. TINY TEXT was written to facilitate submission of "machine readable" copy to the Eugene A.C.E. Newsletter. The real advantage of this program is that it is small, inexpensive, and very easy to use.

The program that follows is a slightly-enhanced version that includes:

Support for Atari 820 printer
Separate Print and Display modes
Forms control for Print mode
Top-ofpage command for Print Mode
Save text on Cassette or Disk
Error trap control
Adapts to different RAM sizes

Cassette tapes recorded by the original TINY TEXT can still be used with this modified version. Finally, this version corrects a couple of minor formatting bugs and is about ten percent "tinier" than the original.


The [OPTION] KEY selects one of five options: LOAD, EDIT, PRINT, SAVE, and DISPLAY. The following paragraphs describe each of these options.

The LOAD option reloads text that was previously saved on cassette or disk. When LOAD is selected, you will be asked to enter the "file spec" of the text you want to load. If the text is on cassette, simply type a C. The computer will "beep" once to remind you to set up the recorder to play. Then press [RETURN] to begin loading the text. If the text is on disk, type the complete file name of the text file, for example "D1:TTHELP.TXT".

The EDIT option lets you enter text or change text previously entered. When the Edit mode is requested, a blank area (text-entry window) appears in the center of the screen. Up to three lines of text can be typed into the window. Pressing [RETURN] causes text in the window to be added to previously entered text. You can use the standard screen-editing functions to edit text in the window. All trailing blanks in the window will be deleted, so it is good to end each entry at the end of a word and start each new entry with a space.

Such functions 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.

CTRL E-End the 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 a specified number of spaces before the next line.

CTRL C-Center the next line.

CTRL P-Page. Advance the paper in the printer to the top of the next page before printing the next line.

When 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 screenediting functions can then be used to fix the text in the window. Use the joystick to scroll the desired line to the position below the text window. Pressing [SELECT] twice (without making any changes) simply causes the text line to move up into the window and then back. To DELETE a line of text, move it below the text window and press [RETURN]. Press the joystick trigger to jump to the end of the text.

The PRINT option prints the formatted text on the printer. Before printing begins you may change the default settings for line length, tab stop, etc. Use the screen-edit functions to make any desired change, then press [RETURN]. The items that may be changed are:

LINE - Line length (maximum number of characters per line).

INDENT-The number of spaces to be indented (left margin).

TAB STOP-The number of spaces for the tab stop.

PAPER SIZE-The total number of lines that can be printed on a fullycovered page. For example, 11inch forms with six lines per inch has 66 lines.

FORMS FEED-The number of blank lines printed to separate the bottom of one page from the top of the next. For example, if three blank lines are required at the top and bottom of each page, then Forms Feed is set to six.

SAVE option lets you save text on either cassette or disk. The SAVE selection will ask for the "file name" to be used. If using a cassette, simply type C. The computer will beep twice for you to set up to record. After that, press [RETURN] to begin saving text. To save text on disk, enter the complete file name to be used. For example "D:TTHELP.TXT"

The DISPLAY option displays the text on the screen. It provides the same format-change options as the print option. Display is relatively slow. The program jumps to menu immediately after the last line.


The default settings for the format control functions are defined at line 120.

If you make any changes to this program, you first make a change to line 14 which automatically expands the main data storage array T$ to use all available memory. Try changing "SIZ = FRE(0)-50" to "SIZ = FRE(0)500" When you have finished making your changes you can restore the statement to its original form.

If a system error occurs, it is trapped and printed out by the program. You are then prompted to press [RETURN] to make the program continue at the OPTION selection mode. This will generally allow you to recover from errors without loss of data.

Listing: TINYTEXT.BAS Download