Page 2 of 5

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:46 pm
by ptyerman
Just to mention there is a Word Perfect 5.0 for the Amiga. I have never used it so I don't know if it is real or not, it is in the Amiga Tosec along with versions 4.1 and 4.1.12. Version 4.1 is on four disks (adf's) whereas 4.1.12 and version 5.0 are on two. It has a release date of 1990, one year after 4.1.
Looking through some stuff on my hard drive, I do have it in another collection, I may try it and see what it is later.
Also, don't forget Kindwords. That was the goto word-processor for the missus back in 1989 and 1990. She used Kindwords 2 but it did have a further release in 1992 to kindwords 3. It was originally developed by the "Disc Company", but was taken over by "Digita" before the version 3 release. :)

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:20 am
by Shot97
I have "vague" recollections of recently reading an Amiga World (great American Amiga Magazine) issue where they mentioned Word Perfect. Actually a couple of them did. My recollections are from the readers comments in one and then a "state of affairs" letter from the main editor of the magazine in another.

The reader comment was a call to arms for everyone else! The company behind Word Perfect (Borland?) made headlines in the American Amiga stratosphere when they, having already been asked about Word Perfect for the Amiga many times, well, they originally said no way, we don't care about the Amiga! Then they released Word Perfect and IMMEDIATELY said they will no longer be supporting the Amiga.

And the Amiga people were up in arms, they claimed this was as soon as it was released the company said nothing else on the Amiga! - and it was selling great numbers according to Amiga World. This was very upsetting to a lot of Amiga die-hards, who had seen some ups and downs at that time, with some big developers choosing to continue supporting the Amiga and others choosing to stop.

The funny thing is everyone they mentioned had abandoned the Amiga at the time came back pretty quickly! But since Word Perfect had just come out, and, even though I don't understand it, many people wanted it, then they just made a point to say THAT'S IT! - Without giving it any time... That pissed off this one reader who wrote in, and screamed at everyone else to write Borland and tell them they want their stuff on the Amiga!

The editor, in a later issue, mentioned Borland taking back their previous statements and indeed stating they will continue to support the Amiga because of high demand from its users.

- Didn't last long, it seems, but an interesting story I just remembered thanks to ptyerman.

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:55 am
by ptyerman
I can confirm Word Perfect 5.0, I tried it on WinUAE but not tried it on my Amiga's yet. It is a Workbench program, not Amiga DOS, and has a mouse driven GUI and menu system.
It has four options in the "export" menu, Locked (no idea what this is), Text, IBM WP, and IBM Text. So it looks possible to exchange files with the PC version of Word Perfect at least.


It seems that the the big companies, Borland, Lotus, Microsoft, etc. perceived the Amiga to be a threat to their business model so chose to ignore and avoid it. Sheer stupidity and nonsense I think. They could have added to their profits through the Amiga market and made everyone happy at the same time. Just ludicrous, and even spiteful.

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:52 am
by Shot97
Well, Workbench itself is an Amiga DOS program, just like Windows until Windows ME was an MS-DOS program. To me it's either an Amiga DOS program or it's a "non-DOS program", which means when it loads you never see the AmigaDOS screen, it uses its own custom bootloader. While many (European especially) games did this I've never come across a single software application that was not AmigaDOS. As long as you see the AmigaDOS screen pop up during loading, even if workbench is never loaded, you can, theoretically, install the game in some way onto your hard drive and load it from Workbench, which, for me, has always tied the two together.

Although I know what you're getting at, you're just saying you put the disk in, Workbench loads with icons, you start up the program, you can multi-task if you want, it's utilizing the Amiga's graphical operating system. Which is always cool in my book.

You'll have to define "mouse driven GUI with menu system" a little more clearly for me, though. Often times, that was the ONLY way a DOS original was adapted to the Amiga. They rarely made something keyboard only and usually had menus... But does it have "page view"? I can't pinpoint a single DOS word processor that ever had the modern looking page view, where you look at a white "page" which is how the paper is actually shaped.

From anything I've ever seen of Word Perfect on any system of that era, it was all text based. Doing a quick look up of the various versions, it was not until Word Perfect for Windows, which was version 5.2, where they made the switch to graphics. In fact, it seems version 5.1 received HEAVY criticism because it was "called" Word Perfect for Windows, but it was a DOS application, installed from DOS, you could run it via the MS-DOS prompt, that's what made it "windows" to them. HA!

And, apparently, in a version I should download, Word Perfect 6.0 for DOS in 1993 was the first and only DOS version to use a graphics system with the what you see is what you get look that, honestly, ended up destroying these former top of the pack DOS word processors. Microsoft Word for Windows came out in 1990, and it has not changed much to this day. And, didn't really offer anything the Amiga or the Mac had not already shown everyone...

^ I mean that's just my reasons for never understanding people that thought the Amiga had nothing to offer with Word Processors... The Amiga original stuff was all graphics based, with the still used and way ahead of its time page real page view. The DOS powerhouses, which a lot of people wanted on their Amiga's back then, I see the features, I get it, it's still text based, and, I don't care how many columns it has, looks bad to me.

And, in a move that would shadow them and lead to their ultimate failure, Word Perfect came out on the Amiga looking just like DOS... It may have "technically" been a graphics mode but it still looks like a text mode. They didn't care about the Amiga and what it was capable of. Nor did they care about Windows, and they paid the price. I mean I guess they're still around, can't say I knew that until today, but their first "Windows" version was panned, it took them another 3 years to do what they should have done with the Amiga, but sadly, for them, Microsoft Word was already doing for Windows... And we all know who won.

Oh man! Bad designs in my opinion. Word Perfect was John Madden Football! Year after year they released version after version with little changes and boy did they charge a nice fee for them! I've always wondered if the Amiga community being so happy about their own version of Word Perfect "should have" been that happy... Maybe they should have done what the Windows people did not long after, shame them into making something good!

hahha! But that's just my opinion, and, looks like a lot of people liked Word Perfect, even for the Amiga! I'm wondering if this Amiga version 5.0 truly used a graphical system or if it was just going after the DOS version, which they were known for. And to be fair to them, it's not like businesses were suddenly buying up Amiga's because of the graphical based word processors... Hell, Mac wasn't even having much success with it. I suppose it was not wrong of them to continue what everyone loved, but they are guilty of terrible foresight. So it's always been strange to me hearing thoughts on those old DOS word processors, which, if you have one, you've got them all! Microsoft Word 5.5 for DOS is still downloadable for free from Microsoft's website, and, good luck showing me anything lotus or WP had over that version, they all looked the same! I guess Word 5.5 for DOS was "graphical", not text based, but you could have fooled me and I've used it for years!

Would love to see some screenshots though, if you got any. Would be cool to compare... and yes, per the original post from Intric8, this might be a good ticket for him with the Amiga version having that awesome compatibility with the DOS version, and, I assume, Word Perfect for Windows, maybe to this day since it's still around, also might have support for those old versions... I'm pretty sure Microsoft Word had support for it for a little while, and can probably be downloaded somehow.

-But... Then you'll be the Amiga... Writing in DOS.... AHHHHHHHH!!!! Hahahah! But I'm really looking forward to the continuation of this thread by Intric8 - I have the feeling that will be awhile, because he's a man that wants that physical copy! Which I can respect, but I hope you don't become like LGR, and suddenly be dead set against pirating in 2016, long after the damage has been done. I really think it would be a great idea to just download a bunch of ADFs of all the word processors you can find, give them a quick test, see what they give you, maybe write up something super quick. Then go on to the next one and so on. If you manage to find you're looking for, then you start looking for the real deal. Otherwise... man, you've got your work cut out for you and your wallet is not going to be happy.

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:10 am
by Shot97
From Wiki: "Among the remaining avid users of WordPerfect are many law firms and academics, who favor WordPerfect features such as macros, reveal codes, and the ability to access a large range of formatting options such as left-right block indent directly with key combinations rather than having to click through several layers of submenus as MS Word often requires, the fact that the user interface has stayed almost identical from WPWin 6 through WP X5 (2010) and that file formats have not changed, as incompatible new formats would require keeping both obsolete software versions and obsolete hardware around just to access a few old documents. Corel now caters to these markets, with, for example, a major sale to the United States Department of Justice in 2005.[9] A related factor is that WordPerfect Corporation was particularly responsive to feature requests from the legal profession, incorporating many features particularly useful to that niche market and those features have been continued in subsequent versions usually directly accessible with key combinations."

...and that file formats have not changed, as incompatible new formats would require keeping both obsolete software versions and obsolete hardware around just to access a few old documents.

There you go, my friend! Might be your ticket! Still made to this day and still using the same file formats! And that's what they care about and, although stupid back in the day, is a very smart thing now, and I understand why they're still holding on... Theoretically speaking, you should be able to save an Amiga Word Perfect document and open it exactly as you saw it in the newest version of Word Perfect... And, you should be able to to write in a format on Windows using Word Perfect and get the Amiga to load it just like you see it as well...

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:39 am
by intric8
I will hunt it down for sure - I'll let you know whenever I do. I think the WordPerfect might be the golden ticket.

At the end of last week I retrieved Excellence! v2. Out of FinalWriter, WordsWorth and Excellence I think Excellence is my current favorite.

It doesn't look exactly like what I'm looking for (and I still need to test its export capabilities) but at least in terms of the simplified interface it wins hands down. It also comes loaded with a ton of fonts, which so far in my experiments is an anomaly. Now, are those fonts any good? No, not really, but there are at least 2 that are pretty good screen fonts.

I believe in the next two weeks I'll be testing TextCraft. But I very much want to check out ptyerman's idea for Kindwords, too. That wasn't on my radar at all!

But yes - I think you're both right. Everything is leading me towards WordPerfect 4.1.

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:48 am
by Shot97
awww, it's so cool seeing those very same disks I have for Excellence! I've since upgraded to the very last version they made, like 3.something I think... It is a little different looking compared to 2.0, which was the one I remember as a kid, but it's just as fast as 2.0 with I guess a few more features. That's my favorite thing about Excellence, it's just super fast and really anything I could personally want from an Amiga word processor today. And, it was the main one I used as a wee little one.

Let us never forget one of the great Excellence features, Text to speech!

It's always been my favorite, despite using some other ones here and there, and Final Copy II still seems like the feature rich one, but it runs slow on my A500, and Excellence always just seemed to beat all the rest out.

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:40 pm
by intric8
So, you know you might have a collecting "issue" when you finally get your NOS copy of a 29 year old word processor in the mail - and absolutely feel giddy! I got a never-opened copy of Textcraft plus in the mail today.

I will fire this bad boy up soon and compare against Excellence! v2 and post the results.

More here.

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:20 am
by ptyerman
I have done a little experimenting myself today and the results are quite good news.
WordWorth 7 does load and save .rtf files with very little problems, it also loads plain text files. The only problem (if you can even call it that) I have encountered with it while loading a .rtf file is it complains about fonts not been available, it's not a big problem because it loads the file anyway and reverts to whatever font is available.
It supports Bitmap Fonts, Agfa Compugraphic, Adobe Postscript, True Type, Printer Fonts and Agfa Math Fonts.
It also supports Amiga and PC ASCII Line Breaks, A few different spell checkers (with automatic spell checking), Auto Save, and a few more modern options like Auto Correct and a Thesaurus. It also has a Speech option.
On the save dialogue you can save as Wordworth Document, Wordworth Template, Wordworth 3.0 Document, Rich Text Format (RTF), Wordperfect 5.1 and ASCII Text.
All in all, quite a modern word processor as far as Amiga software is concerned. It is dated as 1998, although the version I am running is labelled as a Beta.
I think I will be keeping this installed on my Amiga's. :)

Re: How to Use Classic Amiga for Word Processing Today

Posted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:51 am
by Shot97
If the program you're using to load the WordWorth file in is complaining about fonts, then I would imagine all you would have to do is figure out the fonts that are used on the Amiga side and search for Windows fonts with the same name. Then download/copy them to your fonts folder, at that point any modern word processor should display those fonts.