It's a bird, it's a plane. (word processing aid) (evaluation) by Dan Robinson.
It's Scripsit in a blue cape. It can't leap tall buildings in a single bound, and it's still slower than a speeding bullet, but SuperScripsit is well named, for it is truly a super program.
Radio Shack's new work processor teams the TRS-80 with the Daisy Wheel II printer to produce proportional, justified printing that approaches book quality. Priced at $199, the program is much easier to use than its earlier Clark Kent version and contains most of the state-of-the-art features found in modern word processing programs.
The SuperScripsit package includes a pair of disks for the Model I and a pair for the Model III, eight half-hour lessons on audio cassettes, a 109-page training manual, a quick reference card, and a 144-page reference manual.
SuperScripsit may be called from TRSDOS together with the name of the text file to be processed, and fires up with the first of many menus which make the program user-friendly. When entering text or editing, 14 text lines at a time are displayed above a format line. This line depicts margins and tab settings in inches and contains a ghost cursor that keeps pace with the text cursor. Below is the status line which contains the document name, the printed page and line numbers, and the position of the cursor in inches. The print pitch and line spacing for the current paragraph are shown together with indicators when certain modes are active.
Note the distinctions: although the screen may give equal space to every character, format, and print symbol, the status line is smart enough to consider only the space the characters will require in print, even given the variable width of proportional-font characters. Second, note that each paragraph may have its own margins, tabs and line spacing.
The status line is further used as a mini-menu in answer to certain instructions and if an improper command is given, the status line is replaced by a flashing error message. SuperScripsit uses the familiar key for control in conjunction with letter and symbol keys. Unlike the original Scripsit, all of the combinations are logical: Control-D is used for delete, Control-I for insert and so on.
SuperScripsit offers a large number of cursor movements with the arrow keys. By themselves, the arrow keys move left and right a character at a time and wrap around to the next line when they reach the end of the current one. The up and down arrows move one screen line at a time and when shifted move to the beginning or to the end of the text file. A shifted left arrow moves to the left margin while a shifted right arrow moves to the next tab stop.
An arrow pressed in conjunction with H or F moves to the header or footer page, while an arrow pressed with W, g, P or V moves to the next/previous word, paragraph, printed page, or video page. An arrow with N permits an input to move to a specified printed page, and with an L to a desired line number on the current printed page. Finally, an arrow with S will move the cursor to a specified search string.
Insertions are a little simpler. A control-I opens the text for unlimited insertion. When the insertion is completed, a delete command closes the text. A unique feature of SuperScripsit is the align tab. When this function is called, the text moves to the left of the cursor as it is entered until the decimal point is keyed, and then the remaining input flows normally to the right. The result is an easy-to-use way to ensure that lists of figures will remain neatly in column even if the format of the paragraph is later altered. The align tab symbol may be changed from the default decimal point to any character, if needed to maintain a columnar presentation with product or part numbers and the like.
Antoher unusual feature offered by SuperScripsit is the tab line. Each paragraph contains it own tab and margin settings and tab and margin settings can be changed up to 50 times in a document. The tab line contains the left and right margins, tab settings, and an Indent tab to position the beginning of each new paragraph. The Indent tab may be set beyond the margin to provide reverse or hanging indentations for outlines.