Author Topic: Can WS 4 print to file?  (Read 5814 times)

dbenenson

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Can WS 4 print to file?
« on: February 22, 2007, 09:06:50 PM »
Hello All.
Trying to help my dad with his WS printing woes.
Can WS 4 (DOS) print to file?  If so, can anybody give me hints how to reset WS from his default printer so that it prints to a file?
Thanks.

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Re: Can WS 4 print to file?
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2007, 10:06:58 PM »
Yes it can. You need to choose ASCII as the printer at the end of the print file steps and you'll get a file called ASCII.WS in the WordStar directory (folder).

To set this as the default you need to exit from WordStar and make a backup of the WordStar file - usually called WS.EXE.

Then, follow these steps:
  • Open a DOS shell (If you're using Windows: Start > Programs > Accesories > MS-DOS Prompt or Command Prompt)
  • Type: CD C:\WS - substitute the path to the WordStar installation
  • Type: CP WS.EXE WS-BAK.EXE
  • Type: WSCHANGE
  • Type: WS to both questions "What file do you want to install?" and "What file do you want to save any changes to?"
  • In WSCHANGE:
  • Type: B to select the Printer options
  • Type: A to go to the Printer Choices menu
  • Type: G to selct the ASCII driver to print to file
  • Type: X four times to exit the menus
  • Type: Y to save the changes and quit from WSCHANGE

You can now run WordStar again and check the printer has defaulted to ASCII output to a file.

You can make the file name something more useful if you want to use another program to open it later - Windows Notepad, for example. To do this, go back into WSCHANGE and select the menu items:

  • B Printer
  • F Printer Interface
  • A printer Port Selection (note the current settings at the top of the screen)
  • O Redirection device or file
  • If it askes if you want to change the setting, type: Y
  • Type: MYFILE.TXT
  • Type: X to exit all the menus again, and Y to save the changes

WordStar will now create a file called MYFILE.TXT - still in the WordStar directory, but one you'll be able to double-click on in Windows and have it open in notepad or whichever other program you have associated with plain text files. You can use any other name yo like as long as it fites the DOS 8 character name and 3 character file extension limits. I'd suggest MYFILE.TXT, or ASCIFILE.TXT if you want to use a text editor like Notepad to look at the file later, or MYFILE.DOC, etc., if you want to use something like Word to open it.

To go back to where you started, delete the updated WS.EXE and rename WS-BAK.EXE to WS.EXE.

Mike
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Mike_Newcomb

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Re: Can WS 4 print to file?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2007, 11:33:59 AM »
Possibly a problem with default printing to a file (if you are not already aware) is that only the characters themselves are written.
 
You lose all the control characters.

Although positioning is kept, but this can be a problem.
e.g. if no leading spaces are required - have no lh margin

Also having a default name ASCII.WS needs to be watched as one could overwite something of importance. Regards - Mike

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Re: Can WS 4 print to file?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2007, 03:17:27 AM »
Yes, your right. You only get formatted DOS text, no bold, italic, etc. So it's perhaps best for recovering the text rather than an intermediary step for printing unless you only want plain text - code listings and simple letters  may be OK this way, but anything fancier may well not be.

It is important to remember that WordStar will always write out to the same file name. So if you print a sequence of files to disk you'll only end up with the last one you printed, unless you copy or rename the file after each one has been printed and before starting to print the next!
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