Using View With Tape 01

By Thomas Boustead

Originally published in EUG #02

Introduction by Will Watts

Being fairly new to the View word processor, I recently found myself in the embarrassing situation of being unable to answer an enquiry from a rather desperate user with a very important report to complete. When in doubt, consult an expert, that's what I always say, although Mr Thomas Boustead (being a modest person) will probably disapprove of being so called!! The advice I received came in the form of a letter which was so well written that I think it deserves to be printed here. So for all those new to View or those too busy (or in my case 'bone idle') to read the User Manual, here is a short tutorial to get you started...

Getting Started

Before switching on the Electron, insert the View ROM. You should then see the View command mode screen immediately when you do:-

Bytes Free 20734
Editing No File
Screen Mode 6

Mode Change

If this does not appear then type *WORD (RETURN). Mode 6 will only give you 34 characters per line which is not really suitable for most work. So type MODE 3, which will change the command screen to 12542 bytes and show Mode 3.


Press ESCAPE. This will clear the screen and then present the Mode 6 default ruler. We want the Mode 3 default ruler, so hold down the FUNC key and type "," (comma). You should now have the Mode 3 default ruler and below it the line of asterisks that show the width of your text on the screen. This line of asterisks moves down the screen as you complete each line of text or whenever you press RETURN.

Choosing Paper And Form Feed

Press RETURN now and see the line move down. Before we start typing our text, we should decide on the layout we require. Firstly, what paper are we using? Let's use A4. Each sheet is twelve inches. We need to tell the computer so that the printer's "form feed" will operate correctly.

We tell the computer that the "form feed" should be after 72 lines. i.e. 72 sixths of an inch which equals twelve inches. To tell the computer, we hold down FUNC and press O. This will cause the cursor to move into the left margin. Now type PL and RETURN. PL should appear in the left margin as your first stored command. Now type 72 and RETURN .

Left Margin

Next we need to consider whether a margin to the right of the normal left margin is necessary for appearance or for binding or filing. Let's assume we do. So hold down FUNC and press O. As before, the cursor will move into the left margin. Now type LM and RETURN then type 5 and RETURN. The number defines how many character spaces your printer should make the margin. (I find for normal correspondence that 5 is a suitable margin to use for the end result to be fairly balanced)

There are many other 'tricks' with View which can be programmed into the margin at the head of the document that are not printed. These are all listed in the handbook. In addition, some are inserted in the margin wherever they are required to take effect. For example, PE which causes the printer to move on to a new page.

Styles Within A Document

There is yet another type of command which goes into the margin in a similar manner but is not actioned until a relevant point is reached in the printing. This is the highlighting command. To make use of this, it is necessary to have a Printer Driver Generator program which in turn creates a machine code program which then controls the styles of printing between the highlights inserted in the text.

Thomas Boustead, EUG #2