by David M. Seberg
The Why's and Wherefore's
Ascii-View was developed to replace the [Show]-[Print]-[Cancel] feature of
the ST's Desktop. It does so by allowing the user to easily view an Ascii text
file with many features not available from the ST's Desktop. Since most
people, while at the ST's Desktop use their mouse to select their needs, Ascii-
View was designed to be totally and efficiently mouse driven with only two
exceptions which will be covered later in this document. Ascii-View runs in
both medium and high resolution.
Ascii-View will load and display on a 80 column by 23 line screen, an
Ascii text file up to 250 pages in length. 250 pages represents VERY large
text file. As an easily recognizable example of how large a document Ascii-
View can hold, the manual for ST Writer Elite, which is over 119,000 bytes
long, when loaded into Ascii-View takes up only 100 of the 250 pages available
for your use. Even with a text file that would use up the entire 250 page
limit you should still have enough memory to have a few of your favorite ACC's
installed on a 520ST. If you do find a text file larger than the 250 page
limit, Ascii-View will simply cut off what it can't hold and will then allow
you to view what has already been loaded.
Let's Run It
Ascii-View needs no support files. What does this mean ?. I'm so glad
you asked, it means that you can place Ascii-View anywhere your heart desires.
You can put it on Drive A,B,C...P and it can be nested in layers of folders.
When you double click on the ASCIIVEW.PRG a standard fileselector box will
will be displayed showing the files for the root directory from which Ascii-
View was loaded. Now locate the file that you wish to display and select it
by either double clicking on it, or single clicking on that file and then
clicking again on the OK box. At this point Ascii-View will check to see if
the selected file is indeed an Ascii file, and if it is, will proceed with the
loading process. If however, it is not an Ascii file, an Alert box will be
displayed stating that you tried to load a Non Ascii file and will then return
you to the main Ascii-View screen. After a successful load your file will be
displayed on the screen ready to be viewed.
One of Ascii-View's most convenient features is that it allows you to view
as many documents as you wish without having to return to the ST's Desktop.
Throughout this program you should use the left mouse button unless otherwise
directed by the program. All of the commands used by Ascii-View are accessed
by clicking on one of the commands located on the top two lines of the screen.
Below is a listing of the features that Ascii-View has to offer:
Line Up Clicking on Line Up will display the next line towards the top
of the file.
Line Down Clicking on Line Down will display the next line towards the
bottom of the file.
Page Up Clicking on Page Up will display the next 80 column by 23 line
page towards the top of the file.
Page Down Clicking on Page Down will display the next 80 column by 23 line
page towards the bottom of the file.
*****Note: In conjunction with the four commands listed above, you can, by
holding down the left mouse button, repeat these commands thus
enabling you to rapidly scroll through the document.
Top Clicking on Top will display the first page of the file.
Bottom Clicking on Bottom will display the last page of the file.
Search Clicking on Search will bring up a screen (still located on the
top two lines of the screen) that will ask you to enter a string
(a word or character) to be searched for. Enter via the
keyboard (one of the two times that you will have to use the
keyboard) the string that you wish to locate. Ascii-View is not
case sensitive which means that it doesn't matter if you enter
your search string in Upper Case, Lower Case or a combination of
the two. Ascii-View will simply locate the word with the same
spelling as the search string that you entered. Press Return
when you have completed entering you search string. Ascii-View
will then detect all the occurrences where it located the search
string and then briefly display how many times it found the
search string and then proceed to display where it found the
first occurrence. Ascii-View will always display on the first
line of the screen, in inverse, the search string. Using the
mouse to select the forward and reverse commands at the top of
the screen you will be able to scroll through each of the
locations of where the search string was found. Press the Right
Mouse Button to return to the main program.
Print Clicking on Print will bring up a screen that will ask you if
you wish to print the entire document. If you do, click on
'YES', if not click on 'NO'. Unlike the ST's Desktop Ascii-
View checks to see if your printer is on line, if it is Ascii-
View will proceed to print the file. If however, it is not on
line, it will display an alert box that will give you the
opportunity to either cancel your print or allow you to place
your printer on line thus avoiding the 30 second delay that you
would have experienced at the ST's Desktop. If you clicked on
'NO' a new prompt will now ask you if you wish to Print a block
of this file. Clicking on 'NO' will return you to the main
screen. Clicking on 'YES' will bring up another screen that
will ask you to enter the beginning and ending line numbers.
Refer to the Page _ of _ command on how to procure the proper
line numbers. Ascii-View will only accept valid line numbers.
Letters, or numbers larger than the amount of lines in the
program will not be accepted. Enter via the keyboard (the
second of two times you have to use the keyboard) the beginning
line number, press Return and then enter the ending line number
and again press the Return key. Ascii-View will again check to
see if the printer is on line and if it is, will proceed to
print the block of text that you have defined. During the
printing process the program will return to the main screen.
Help Clicking on Help will bring up a screen which contains a very
brief description of each of the commands that are available to
Quit/Load Clicking on Quit/Load will bring up an alert box that will give
you three choices. The first choice is to quit. If you click
on the quit box or press Return you will exit Ascii-View and be
returned to the ST's Desktop. The second choice is to load
another file. If you choose Load, the fileselector box will
come up. Simply locate and load the file of your choice just
as you did when you started using Ascii-View. The third choice
is to stay. If you you choose stay, you will be returned to
the file that you are currently viewing.
About Clicking on About the Program will, yeah you guessed it, bring
up a screen with the usual Shareware Plea for support. Boy,
am I HUNGRY.
Page _ of _, Clicking on Page _ of _ will alternate displays between Page
Top Line _ of _ and Top Line Number = ____. When Page _ of _ is being
Number = displayed, this tells you which page that you are currently
viewing out of how many pages that there are in the file that
you are viewing. When Top Line Number is being displayed, this
tells you the line number of the first line of text being
displayed at the top of the screen. To use Top Line Number in
conjunction with printing a block of text, find the first line
of text that you wish to print and place it as the first line
of text on the screen. Now take note of the number listed in
the Top Line Number box. This number will be the beginning
line number. Then scroll through the file until you find the
last line of text that you want to display and place it on the
first line of the screen. Again take note of the number listed
in the Top Line Number box. This number is the ending line
number of the block of text that you wish to print. To print
the block of text, select Print from the command line click on
'NO' to the Print Entire File prompt. Then click on 'YES' to
the Print a Block of the File. Now enter the beginning line
number, press return, enter the ending line number, again press
return. If your printer is online your block of text will be
This program should prove useful to those of us who spend a lot of time
downloading millions of files, all of which seem to have an accompanying text
file. After de-arcing these files it would be simple enough to load Ascii-
View and peruse these files. Ascii-View should come in handy for anyone,
anytime, who wishes to just read and or print a document without having to load
a Word-Processor or Text Editor.
This program was originally written in GFA Basic 3.02. However since
there STILL isn't a 3.0 Compiler available I had to port the program DOWN-TO
GFA-Basic 2.02. In the process I was able to maintain all the speed of the
3.02 version with the exception of the actual loading of the file. The Loading
speed, I think you will find is still very quick and will fall well within your
patience zone, especially when loading from a Hard Disk drive. Rest assured
that when/if the 3.0 Compiler becomes available I will promptly upload the
newer 3.02 version.
I have tried as much as possible to rid the program of these nasty
creatures, however when you are Joe programmer AND Joe Beta-Tester sometimes
the little nasties can sneak through to the final product. So if you would,
please report any bug(s) that you may encounter so that I may improve the
product. I can be reached at the Address listed at the end of this file or
Ascii-View is a Shareware program. If you have found this program to be
of some use and plan to use it in the future then pay for it just as you would
for a 'STORE BOUGHT' program. $5.00 to $10.00 is the asking price, but Hey! if
you'd like to surprise me (pleasantly) I certainly have no objections. So the
moral of the story is if you plan to use this program please send a check to
the address listed below. Ascii-View and this documentation file are Copyright
1989 by David M. Seberg. All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to
redistribute Ascii-View to any other BBS, just be certain to include both the
program file and this documentation file. Enjoy!
David M. Seberg
3829 Colina Dorada Drive #D-203
San Diego, CA 92124