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Wordworth 7 was released in 1998 and offered Commodore Amiga users an alternative to Microsoft Word. Wordworth uses the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) principle, so the screen is a more or less exact copy of what your printout will be. The program offers a lot of ways to change the appearance of the text. There are the obvious ones such as indentation, justification, super- and subscript, bold, italics and underlined, but also color, spacing, small caps, width and font (type face). All major types of fonts are supported: Compugraphic, PostScript and Truetype outline fonts as well as Amiga bitmap fonts. Most aspects of the user interface are configureable. “Out of the box” Wordworth starts with rulers at the top and to the left, a toolbar to the left and another row of icons for various text formatting options at the top of the window. On the bottom there is a status line and a scrollbar, and on the right just a scrollbar. Style sheets and drawing tools can be displayed in their own window. Fortunately, everything except for the scrollbars can be turned off.  Wordworth 6 comes with very style sheets, when you’re making a large document, such as a report, it’s important that everything is formatted in a consistent way: the headings, chapters and so on all alike. With style sheets you can define characteristics for different kinds of text, headings, notes and everything else. Then all you have to do is tell the program what style a certain portion of text is and it will be formatted the appropriate way. But that’s not where it ends: if you for instance change the font for a certain style, everything that’s in that style will be changed.

Of course Wordworth can read a number of text formats: Rich Text Format, Wordperfect and Word for DOS (not for Windows!), Works for Windows, Windows Write, Final Copy II and Final Writer, ASCII, older Wordworth formats. And don’t worry, it will read your 15 year old Wordstar documents as well. Saving is limited to Wordworth, Wordworth 3, Rich Text Format, Wordperfect 5.1 and ASCII. Don’t expect too much formatting to survive the different file formats. It’s also possible to read TurboCalc spreadsheets as tables. As expected from a state of the art wordprocessor, images can be added to the text. A wide range of graphics formats are supported, such as IFF, GIF, BMP, PCX, TIFF, IMG (bitmap), CGM and GEM (vector) and encapsulated PostScript (EPS). IFF 24 bit color pictures are converted to 256 colors. I don’t know about other true color formats. Surprisingly, it’s possible to print EPS pictures to non-PostScript printers. They look just as good too, only the dithering is slightly different. Pictures can be made watermarks, so you can type text over them. The text will appear “on top” of the image that way. It’s also possible to add a variety of other objects to the text: lines, boxes, circles, polygons and freely drawn lines. To Wordworth those, as well as pictures, text effects, textboxes and tables, are all “objects” so they get treated more or less the same. The text-effects are objects that contain a few words of text that is transformed in some way: turned into a circle or spiral, changing the color and so on.

All types of fonts and graphics can be printed on any graphical printer for which a Workbench driver exists. Alternatively, you may use the printer’s internal fonts. It’s not possible to mix printer fonts with other types. The reason for this limitation is that Wordworth is unable to change from textmode to graphical mode in the middle of a page. That’s also why it’s not possible to print images when using printer fonts. Wordworth will also print directly to PostScript printers, but only using PostScript fonts. Be sure to install every printer you intend to use using the Wordworth installation procedure, otherwise screen representations of the printer fonts aren’t available. On HP Laserjet (or compatible) printers the Compugraphic fonts can be downloaded for speedier printing of pages that contain only plain text. Wordworth supports color printing, but due to lack of an appropriate printer I was unable to test this. Color images and text are dithered to different shades of grey when grey scale printing is selected. Nearly every function that has a menu item can also be used in ARexx scripts. There are also “wizards” that perform functions such as giving tips, creating memos, faxes, invoices and play hangman. Wizards are actually just ARexx scripts, and ARexx macros are in the Tools menu and wizards are in the Help menu. Wordworth 7 can never be compared with a modern word processor, but still offers enough for getting you started on any Commodore Amiga with an 030 cpu and 4Mb of ram.

More news: Generation Amiga magazine