Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 86 / JULY 1987 / PAGE 93


Graphics Conversion Utility For The Print ShopTM

Lee Swoboda

Now you can convert graphics from the popular Print Shop program for use in Apple hi-res mode, and vice versa. This utility performs both conversions.

One of the more popular Apple II programs in recent years is The Print Shop, which has sparked users' clubs of its own, workalike programs, and thousands of graphics pictures that can be included in Print Shop banners and cards. Unfortunately, Print Shop images aren't directly compatible with Apple II high-resolution graphics. You can't use them in hi-res screens, and vice versa. "Print Shop Converter" solves that problem, allowing you to convert easily between Print Shop pictures and Apple hi-res mode.

Starting Out

This program is in two parts. The main program, written in BASIC, loads the second portion, a machine language file, from disk when it runs. Note that you must enter both programs using DOS 3.3. This is a limitation imposed by The Print Shop itself, which saves files only in DOS 3.3 format:

Type in and save Programs 1 and 2. If your computer is one that can't display lowercase graphics, you will have to type Program 1 entirely in uppercase.

Program 2 is machine language, so it must be entered with the Apple version of the "MLX" machine language entry program printed elsewhere in this issue. When you run MLX, you'll be asked for a starting address and an ending address for the data you'll be entering. Here are the values you need to enter for Program 2:


Note that you must save Program 2 with the filename CV. This is necessary because Program 1 attempts to load Program 2 from disk with that name. Make sure that both programs are saved on the same disk.


When you run the Converter, it begins by loading the machine language portion (Program 2) from disk. After a brief delay, it displays a menu screen offering several choices. If you need instructions about using the program, select the option labeled Instructions. The computer prints out several screens of instructions, pausing at the end of each screen until you press a key.

Before converting a picture, you should understand the different format choices. In hi-res mode, you can load and save pictures in normal hi-res format or in a special compressed form which makes a picture file smaller than usual. Print Shop mode allows you to load and save graphics in Print Shop format.

You must begin by indicating which conversion you wish to make. The program asks you two questions, once with the prompt CONVERT FROM? and again with the prompt CONVERT TO?. The choices are the same both times. If you are using hi-res graphics, don't worry about whether the picture is compressed; the program will detect compression and respond accordingly.

After asking what conversion you want to make, Converter asks you the name of the file you wish to convert. Enter the name of the source file which you want to convert to a different format. If you can't remember the filename, press RETURN without typing anything; the program prints a disk catalog and repeats the prompt.

At this point, the program loads the designated file, then does one of the following, depending on which conversion format you have chosen:

1. If you want to convert from Print Shop to hi-res format, Converter asks you what to name the new file. Type the name and press RETURN. Converter then asks if you want to save it as a full-size (8192-byte) hi-res picture or if you want to compress it. If you select a full-size picture, Converter saves hi-res page 1 intact so you can use it with other programs or graphics editors. If you elect to compress the picture, Converter scans hi-res page 1 and squeezes the file to about half or two-thirds of its normal size. Compression saves disk space, allowing you to store more pictures on a disk. (Note that you will need this program to restore a compressed file to normal hi-res format.)

2. If you are converting from hi-res format to Print Shop format, the program first loads the picture, then draws an 88 × 52 window in the middle of the screen. This area will hold the Print Shop picture. You can move the window around using the arrow keys. (Apple II + owners can use CTRL-J and CTRL-K to move up and down, respectively.) At first, the window moves nine dots each time you press a cursor key. This allows you to move in coarse increments. The number keys at the top of the keyboard change the increment to the corresponding number of dots. If the graphics you want to save are on the lower part of the screen (hidden behind the four text lines), use the F key to turn the full screen on and off as needed. When you have finished positioning the window, press RETURN to save the graphics contained in the window.

3. After you finish a conversion, or if you press the ESC key during a conversion, Converter returns you to the main menu. From there, you can quit the program by pressing 0.

How It Works

The Print Shop graphics format differs from normal hi-res format in three respects. First, the graphics occupy only 572 bytes (88 × 52 dots) instead of the 8192 bytes taken up by a hi-res page. Second, the dots are arranged sequentially (with the second row following the first) rather than in the reverse order of Apple hi-res. Third, Print Shop uses all eight bits in a byte rather than seven bits per byte as with hi-res.

One final caution: The graphics sold by Brøderbund and other commercial software vendors are protected under United States and international copyright laws. Merely converting graphics from one format to another does not destroy its copyright protection, so you should respect the copyright of the converted graphics just as you would the original.

Program 1: Print Shop Converter

For instructions on entering this program, please refer to "COMPUTE’s Guide to Typing In Programs" elsewhere in this issue.