Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 112 / SEPTEMBER 1989 / PAGE 72

The Improved Word

When I purchased my Commodore 64, I didn't realize that word processing software would take over my life, just as games did. I didn't know that learning new word processing packages could pack a kick all its own.

And the kick has lasted. Like many people, I started with WordPro 3 Plus, complete with its fatal global-operations command. Then I moved on to PaperClip, then to SpeedScript, then to Fleet System, then to Paperback Writer, and on and on and on. Late in the game. I discovered Word Writer 64 from Timeworks, but, despite its strong features, it never made much of a dent in my word processing life. But now Word Writer 4 has renewed my interest in new word processors.

Word Writer 4 is a complete word processor. It doesn't create footnotes, indexes, or tables of contents, but does everything else you'd want it to do. Unlike GEOS word processors, it's not WYSIWYG; however, its text preview mode lets you see almost exactly how your document will look. It's a solid, serviceable word processing program.

Word Writer 4 contains all the standard word processing features and many extras. For instance, it lets you save a macro. (A macro is a collection of commands that you can execute by pressing one key combination.) Unfortunately, Word Writer 4 lets you create only one macro, but, if used properly, it can be extremely timesaving.

Timeworks has also added bookmarks. (A bookmark saves your place in a file so that you can return to that spot just by pressing a key.) You can only move forward, however, and I wish that you could move back to the last bookmark, too.

Word Writer 4 also offers good document conversion for geoWrite files and PaperClip II documents. Underlying, bold facing, and tabs usually survive the conversion, but more esoteric commands don't. In these cases. Word Writer 4 puts a bookmark near the unrecognized commands. Then you can find them easily and delete or change them as you wish.

The program also includes an outliner, a spelling checker (85,000 words), and a thesaurus (60,000 words). The spelling checker and thesaurus work well and are complete. The outline processor is useful as an organizer, but, like most outline processors attached to word processors, it tends to be less useful the more you use the program.

Word Writer 4's strongest improvement is its output. The package includes eight fonts, serif and sans serif, ranging in size from 9 points to 72 points. You can apply many styles to the type, including underlining, boldfacing, italics, superscripts, and subscripts. You can type and print in text mode or font mode, depending on whether you want speed or quality. The program also allows you to use GEOS fonts, but they don't print in as high quality as the Word Writer 4 fonts.

Considering Word Writer 4's quality and Timeworks' guarantee that it will buy you a different package if you find one you like better at a cheaper price, you can hardly go wrong picking up this package.

Word Writer 4 retails for $29.95. For more information, contact Timeworks at 444 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, Illinois 60015:(312) 948-9200.