Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 46 / MARCH 1984 / PAGE 124

WordPro 3 Plus/64

Larry Bihlmeyer

As word processing programs compete in the Commodore 64 market, better programs are available at lower costs. WordPro 3 Plus/64, by Professional Software Inc., is part of this trend.

WordPro, in its other versions, has long been the standard for comparison in office and small business word processing applications.

WordPro 3 Plus/64 comes on disk with a complete instruction manual of 160 pages. The manual is well organized into these categories: introduction, getting started, functions, editing text, advanced functions, file handling, disk drive commands, summaries, programmer's notes, example letter, care of diskettes, glossary, warranty and disclaimer, printer information, index and addenda.

There are far too many commands to adequately cover, so this review will only highlight some of the more interesting features.

Set-up Options

To start WordPro, you load a short boot program and then load the main word processing program. This process takes about 90 seconds. Then the screen clears and a message appears with the title "Word Processor Three Plus" and you are asked what kind of printer you have. Six printers can be selected—Spin writer, Diablo, Qume, Tec, 8027, and Other.

Next, the number of lines available for main text is shown, and you can choose up to about 329 lines. A second storage area, called "Extra Text" (it's like a buffer), can also be allocated.

Finally, the main screen appears with a status line at the top. First, you see a sequence of characters like :X:I:S:C:N. Here, X indicates the extra text mode, I insert mode, S shift lock mode, C control mode, and N numeric mode. When you select one of these modes, the corresponding indicator letter will be highlighted (background color changes) so you can tell quickly what mode you are in.

Advanced Features

Editing is done with the normal 64 cursor controls. Special functions, selected with the "control" key, then get you into more advanced features. For example, Control-D will delete words and sentences. And Control-F will search for a given string of characters. Other more unique control functions allow you to append lines from the extra text area, put a variable block on screen, duplicate a range of lines, go to numeric mode, set up tabs, transfer a range of lines, underline, access bold type or disk utilities or subscript and superscript, add and subtract columns of numbers, sound a beeper, and perform global functions.

There are 23 format commands and 47 control functions. For instance, en turns on cen-tering and pt sets the pitch.

The Extra Text area is like a buffer where you can store text, for reference or for eventual addition to the main text. You can write and store standard or "boilerplate" paragraphs to use repeatedly in letters. Extra text can be used either manually or automatically, with the variable blocks feature.

Although there are a lot of commands to learn, the instruc-tion manual includes many examples which you can copy, and in no time you'll be using the commands on your own. You can also copy the feature summary sheets and have them nearby for quick reference.

Finally, there is a section called "Programmer's Notes" which will help if you run into complications, or want to do more with the input/output features. This will be useful for readers with various types of printers.

Printer Connections

And speaking of printers, this is the only area where I find any shortcomings with WordPro 3 Plus/64. The program supports only printing to device #4 on the serial port, so if you use the RS-232 port with a printer interface, you will not be able to print using WordPro 3 Plus/64.

If you are unsure of your printer/interface requirements, you should either contact your WordPro dealer for an actual tryout on your equipment or find out what interface you need.

Overall, WordPro 3 Plus/64 is one of the most complete word processing programs on the market in its price range. It'll handle home needs and even most needs of small business.

WordPro 3 Plus/64
Professional Software Inc.
51 Fremont Street
Needham, MA 02194