LETTER PERFECT IMPROVEDVersion 6 has more perfection
by GEORGE JACOBS
Atari owners will be glad to learn that
LJK, Inc. has done it again! In their Version 6 they've added new
features to an already successful word processing program and made it even
more versatile. They've also come up with an improved manual.
A newcomer to word processing can figure out how to work the program without
outside assistance. The manual requires some close study but the
benefits are worth it.
Those familiar with earlier versions of Letter Perfect will know there was very little it couldn't do in text writing with ease and accuracy. Headers (repeating page titles), automatic page numbering, change of type styles at will, various simple methods to correct mistakes and add or subtract text - all the standard features of any decent word processing - have always been available with Letter Perfect. Spell Perfect has been available since version 1 and it makes spelling mistakes a cinch to find and correct. The improvements are largely enhancements of existing features to allow faster editing and correcting.
If I had to choose the niftiest adjustment to Letter Perfect, it would be in the speedy access to the spelling checker, which is now incorporated in the master disk. As soon as text has been written, the writer can have it examined by the computer even before writing the file to disk. This saves several steps common to most spell checking procedures. When you have enough material to keep, you go directly from "editing" to "dictionary" and the words are counted in seconds. At that point, the computer begins a search in a dictionary disk and helps you make corrections where necessary.
The next important improvement is in the speed with which the cursor can move through a text. Now Letter Perfect will allow you to move a word at a time in either direction, instead of only one space at a time as before. You can jump forward by paragraphs too, and also to a marker which you can place anywhere in the text. You can have any number of markers too. You could always move one video screen page at a time, but even this action is smoother and easier on the eyes than it used to be. You can delete a word at a time in either direction, or any of a paragraph following the cursor. The deletion up to the marker feature is also a big help in editing large chunks or shortening files.
Letter Perfect menus are now faster to order from. To tell the computer to load or save, move the <pointers> or type the first letter of any choice. Not only do the <pointers> go directly to the new choice but the order is fulfilled without hitting the return key and the name of the file in editor is displayed.
Another new attraction is a command which will prevent the separation of a paragraph into portions of two pages. This is particularly attractive to those of us who want to incorporate small drawings or pictures into text. After juggling margins and line widths to design a nice spot for an insert, it's disconcerting to see it made useless by crude cropping.
Letter Perfect has made it much easier to go back and forth between single and double density. Double density will expand the storage capacity of your floppies. Using double density is like writing a long letter on a post card by condensing your penmanship. The information will still be the same and the print size will also be its usual dimensions. Single density Letter Perfect files, therefore, can be made to take up half the space by converting them to double density on another disk.
The TAB key no longer deletes text as it shoots across your screen. This is a big help in zeroing in on number tables and also cuts down on accidental word deletions. The simple search command now pauses at the expression you are looking for and allows you to correct it without having to use a search and replace command.
I've saved the clincher for last. Letter Perfect costs just under $100! Atari computers are great value for money these days and with a disk drive, interface and printer, you can set up a true word processing facility for under $1000 - compatible with Spell Perfect and Data Perfect too.
What's more, you can use just about any printer on the market. Although it formerly came with a separate "printer editor" floppy, the Letter Perfect master disk now includes built-in options for nine popular printers. If you choose a non-listed machine, the disk provides an easy system for setting up your own specifications to make your printer function properly. Letter Perfect will drive dot matrix or letter quality printers including those with proportional spacing,
When you boot up your Version 6, you can enter your specifications for the types of writing you do the most often. For example, you can program a letter writing set of commands. Set "j0" for no justification, "l2" for single line spacing (that's a small "L", not a "one"), width of page that you prefer, etc.... Then you can save this to one of the six different printer programs listed. Make another program for texts with justification, double spacing and so forth. Instead of recalculating every different job, you simply boot in the printer program of your choice and go to it.
LETTER PERFECT VERSION 6
7852 Big Bend Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63119
$99.95, 32K - disk
George Jacobs is a professional author, artist and photographer living
in Woods Hole, MA. He has owned and extensively used an Atari for