EasiWriter versus TechWriter






Writing Scripts

Tabs in Tables

EasiWriter versus TechWriter

Q. What is the difference between TechWriter and EasiWriter.

A. Many people think that TechWriter is EasiWriter with an equation editor added. T'aint so. EasiWriter is TechWriter with the equation editor, and ability to save TeX (in the pro version), removed!


Q. All was displayed well. But when printing, the text of the drawfile wasn't there anymore.

A. What TechWriter/EasiWriter does when printing, or drawing draw files on the screen is to use the Drawfile module (I think this was put in the ROM in about RISC OS 3.60). This is supposed to handle all drawing/printing of Drawfiles. However, in case TechWriter is running on an old version of RISC_OS, it first tests to see if the Drawfile module is present, and if not, it uses its own code to handle the draw file. We would have used our code all the time, but Acorn's idea for introducing the Drawfile module was that it would handle all future extensions to draw files (such as JPEGs, for example).

So what I did was "RMKill Drawfile", to inactivate the ROM module, and when I then printed your file, the System font text in the draw file was printed correctly using TechWriter's fallback code.

Q This may sound like an odd question, but is there anyway to do a flip horizontal when printing?. I need to do this to produce overhead projector slides (the ones for Inkjet's have a smooth side and rough side - you print on the rough side) and find it a pain having to save pages as a draw area and flip that way.

A Use Reflect print p 123 EasiWriter manual.

Q. Today I have been printing out a leaflet with several normally troublesome fonts. When I turned off "halftone text", EasiWriter refused to print with "Unable to complete your request because: Reserved fields must be zero". It printed OK with the option switched on and the fonts were rendered fine with no problems.

A. The part of the message after "Unable ... because:" is what has been returned to EasiWriter on a call to one of the RISC_OS SWIs. What happens during printing is that the print driver (i.e. the TurboDriver) intercepts these calls to RISC_OS and deals with them itself - and in this case has rejected one of the parameters EasiWriter has sent.

The most likely cause is that between RISC_OS 2 and RISC_OS 3.1 the Font Manager was enhanced to provide things like automatic font kerning, right to left text handling, etc. which required using the system SWI Font_Paint in a slightly different way. The bug is almost certainly that the TurboDriver is rejecting these extended RISC_OS 3.1 Font_Paint calls.

Because we have have similar problems in the past, we have included an 'option' which can be set in EasiWriter, to use the old RISC_OS 2 compatible calls to the Font Manager for use with print drivers which do not support the 3.1 interface. The disadvantage is that it is then not possible to use the new features such as auto-kerning, and full justification is not quite as accurate.

To set the option, do a "Save choices" from EasiWriter's icon bar menu. This creates a text file called "Choices" in the !EasiWrite directory (opened by SHIFT-double click). Open this file with a text editor and add a space at the end if there are any other options present, then a "z" (without the quotation marks). Note that on a RISC PC, or if you use Acorn's "new Boot structure", the Choices file is saved in !Boot.Choices.EasiWriter.


Q. It would be nice to have an option to load an HTML file as if it were a text file and save it as if it were a text file, but giving it an HTML filetype. This would be a nice way of editing the HTML commands.

A. It can done, by temporarily changing the filetype from HTML to Text. This suppresses TW's 'automatic' detection of HTML files and opens the file as text.

Q. How do I scale JPEG's in HTML.

A. Use !ChangeFSI to scale them before saving as HTML.

Q The numbering of equations are the wrong way round in the HTML (they should read equation....number, not number....equation).

A It is true that in HTML we always put the equation number on the right. You do not say which browser you were using - but if you are not getting this, I suspect it is the browser which is wrong. To get the centred equation with a number at the extreme right, we mark the number with an <IMG ALIGN=RIGHT> tag. This certainly works for most browsers which conform to HTML 3.2 (Internet Explorer & Netscape Explorer, for example), although the version of !Browse I have (2.01) _does_ ignore this alignment for some reason.

Q There is no simple way of defining the document title. It just takes the filename as the title.

A The title is taken from the text of the document header (or the right hand header if both left and right have been specified). TWP only uses the filename when no header has been specified.


Q. I can't get auto numbering to work.

A. If, for example, you put %[2]%1 then save the section style each section starts with 2. The answer is to just put %1 before saving the style - the first (unsaved) style controls the starting number an would have (typically) %[1]%1. Note as from 4.08 numbers can start at 0.

As an alternative try using curly brackets. %{1}%i would give Roman numbers starting from 'i''. This (undocumented) method has the advantage that you can save the section style change and if you move the sections about the numbers will change.


Q. I can't read Word 6 documents.

A. Often this is because they were saved using Office '97. Of two recent files we tested that were saved this way and given the filetype Word, one could not be opened by Word 6 itself the other was not a Word document but RTF. It is a known 'feature' that early versions of Office save RTF when purporting to save as Word 6. If you suspect this is the case change the filetype to DOS and drag the file on to the EW/TW pro icon.


Q. Is it possible to have (say) the first page of a document to have no footer, and the rest of the document to have one?

A. Not 'No footer' but you can hide them on selected pages p. 127 EW manual

Q. Why can't you save an updated 'paragraph style' for a document?

A. You can. Select Document body (all paragraphs in the document) make the change and then save Document style.

Writing Scripts

Q. I want to write two columns of text where the paragraphs stay 'synchronised'.

A. One way of doing this is to use a section with a hanging heading. Adjust the inner margins and change the heading style to the same as the body text. You need to use Shift return in the headings to start new lines.

Tabs in Tables

Q. I have a table in my Techwriter document. It has a column with figures (two decimals). Is it possible to align them with a decimal tab? The Tab key just skips to the next column.

A. It is possible to use decimal alignment in TW tables. It is not possible to enter the tab character you need inside of the table. You can proceed as follows:

(Note from Version 5.05 you can use Shift -Tab to insert a Tab in a table)

Set up your table layout. Select the table structure itself and click 'full alignment'. Otherwise you won't be able to understand how rulers are mapped into columns. Select the column where you want to use

decimal alignment. Make sure to have the ruler displayed and drag the decimal tabulator from the tabs panel into the ruler.

Now you can start filling that column with data. There are some ways to do this:

1) Generate an empty line above or below the table, and there type [Tab]your.number Select that line and drag it into the table. You'll notice that the decimal point jumps to the tabulator (hey ho!). Type the next number into your input line.

2) Obviously, you can enter the TAB<number> entries anywhere, e.g. in a different empty TechWriter window, or in StrongED as long as it's in True Tab mode.

3) You can import your table data as CSV and make sure all the numbers that should be aligned are preceeded by the expansion sequence \t.

4) You can type in all your data, import a single tab character in one of the ways described above, select that tab character and shift-drag itto all the following rows.

Unfortunately, it's by no means elegant, but it's possible ;-) For larger amounts of data, only method 3) is really viable. (Andreas Feldner)

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