Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 95 / APRIL 1988 / PAGE 64

Screen Print For Atari

Richard Tietjens

Transfer your favorite computer artwork and illustrations from screen to paper with this excellent screen-dump program—the best we've ever published for Atari computers. For the Atari 400, 800, XL, and XE with disk drive and printer (Epson or Epson-compatible, Okimate 10, Big Blue Printer, or Star NP-10).

When I first bought my Okimate 10 color printer, I tried several screen-dump programs to print pictures. Unfortunately, I wasn't happy with any of them—they were all too slow, and they didn't support enough picture formats. To solve the problem, I wrote Screen Print, a powerful and fast screen dump that supports a variety of file formats and several printers.

Screen Print prints any picture file created with Micro Painter, Micro Illustrator, and Fun with Art. It can also print the GRAPHICS 8 and GRAPHICS 9 files that many BASIC programs create. Depending on what printer you use, you can print in color or black-and-white. Screen Print produces a full-width printout that's better than the dumps produced by most commercial programs.

Typing It In

The program is written mostly in BASIC, but machine language routines are used for the time-critical sections. Type in Program 1 and save it to disk with the command LIST"D:MAIN.LST". Do not attempt to run the program yet.

Program 2 is designed to create the machine language strings used in the program. Type in Program 2. If you plan to use this program with the Star NP-10 printer, make the indicated change in line 3210. Save the program to disk, and then type RUN. It should create the file DATALINE.LST on disk.

Programs 3–6 contain program lines that enable Screen Print to work with your printer. Type in the appropriate program and save it to disk with the command LIST "D:MYPRINT.LST".

To make a working version of Screen Print for your printer, type the following commands:


If you're using the Big Blue Printer version of the program, delete line 400 and lines 4100–4170 from the program.

Be sure to save the program to disk.

Printing Pictures

When you're ready to try Screen Print, load and run the program. If you're using a 130XE with DOS 2.5, you may first want to use the DOS copy command to move your picture file to the ramdisk. This will make printing significantly faster.

When the title screen appears, you can view the directory of any disk by pressing the number of the drive. Press 8 for a directory of the ramdisk. From the directory listing, you may use the cursor keys and the SELECT key to select a picture to print. To return to the title screen, press RETURN.

After you select a picture, it is loaded and displayed on the screen. Depending on your printer, up to four keys are now active. Press 8 to print a GRAPHICS 8 screen, 9 to print a GRAPHICS 9 screen, M to print in monochrome, or C to print in color.

If you chose to print a GRAPHICS 8 or 9 screen, you may now press OPTION to reverse all screen colors. This feature lets you print "negative" images.

If you chose monochrome mode, all colors change to a shade of gray. You can change the brightness and contrast by pressing a number in the range 1–4. Use whichever combination is most pleasing.

Finally, if you chose a color printout, a color menu appears. Make sure that you have a color ribbon installed in your printer. You can now use the cursor keys and the numbers 0–7 to change the screen colors for the best printout.

When you're ready to print your screen, press START. A tone sounds. Make sure that your printer is online. If you have an Epson printer and are printing in color, use a pencil to make index marks on the paper at the tear-off bar. Press START again to begin printing or SELECT to return to the title screen.

If you are using an Epson or compatible printer, you will be prompted to reinsert and realign the paper for each pass. For the best picture quality, be as accurate as possible.

For instructions on entering these programs, please refer to "COMPUTE!'s Guide to Typing In Programs" elsewhere in this issue.