Sinclair User

Powerprint II

Author: John Gilbert
Publisher: Buttercraft
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Sinclair User #51

Powerprint II

Tune up your printer and get ready to produce some professional quality screen dumps.

Powerprint II is a text print utility which not only has the capability to produce 315 different styles and sizes of type but it will print your character designs on to most types of dot-matrix printer. It can be used to create banners, letter heads and advertising displays.

A small 15-page booklet accompanies the software and includes a step-by-step guide through the process. The Powerprint II display is split in two. The bottom two lines form the command window and the character display, which commands the rest of the screen. The main display contains a variably sized and moveable window into which your text is put. If, for instance, you wanted to put a line of compressed, double-size, characters in the middle of the display you could move the window to that position and alter it so that its height was slightly higher than its width.

Powerprint II

Once you have typed your message into the computer you set its style using a palette display of upper and lower case letters which range from A to U. The text can be inverted and a shadow can be set behind the characters when they are printed.

You can display several messages on the screen by moving the window around and you can print borders around them by filling the window with text, shrinking the window and using Fill again. The width of the window depends upon how much you shrink the second window.

Screen dumping depends upon the type of printer you have. If you still own a ZX Printer or Alphacom 32 you just press H and a hard copy appears. The job gets more difficult if you own a dot-matrix printer and a Kempston E interface. In that case you must use the printer driver routine and tell it whether your interface can cope with 22 or 24 lines, whether Randomise Usr is needed to invoke a copy and whether your printer interface needs to be initialised before every dump attempt. If you answer 'Yes' to the latter two options the program will drop into Basic and you must add your printer control commands.

Powerprint II is a versatile sign designer but of limited use. It could be helpful if you have fairs to promote, a small business to run or adverts to place but without the likes of a Laser printer the final output can never be of 'professional' quality. It is useful for designing posters but so is a large sheet of paper and a box of coloured pens.

John Gilbert

Publisher: Buttercraft 14 Western Ave, Riddlesden, Keighley, Yorks. Price: £7.99 (tape), £10.99 (microdrive) Memory: 48K


John Gilbert

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