These pages are meant to serve two useful purposes. The first it to provide some basic information about the main features of the TechWriter/EasiWriter family. The second is to advertise some of the ways !TechWriter (and !EasiWriter) can be ‘tweaked’ by the user to get a customised
version which is tailored to your individual needs.
If you are familiar with these pages you may want to jump immediately to the newest pages. These describe the latest features of the ‘Pro+’ version of TechWriter and EasiWriter (version 6.0x). They include Java capability, much greater keyboard flexibility and Animations!
Features and Capabilities.
The outstanding feature of TechWriter and TechWriter Pro is the way they allow the user to create equations and other technical typographic features. This is done in a simple keyboard-friendly way that makes 'typing equations' remarkably easy. TW/TWPro 'know the rules of professional equation setting' so they automatically handle all the details, allowing the user to get on with typing what they want to write. The whole process is achieved in a wysiwyg environment without the need for extra windows or 'helper' applications. For technical authors, TW/TWPro are probably the best authoring/DTP tools available on any computer platform!
The EasiWriter/TechWriter family have extensive file import/export facilties. A particularly useful feature of the 'Pro' versions of EasiWriter and TechWriter is their ability to import/export both Word6/7/8 documents and HTML. For detailed information of the abilities of the various family members, click on the relevant item in the following list:
From ver. 4.08 onwards the 'Pro' versions have significantly enhanced html output capabilities. Version 4.10 further extended these capabilities. Using TechWriter Pro, both illustrations and equations can be automatically turned into GIF images linked to the html! This works for DrawFile illustrations as well as bitmaps. Hence it is now possible to save technical documents as webpages at the click of a mouse.
When used with ImageFS, embedded graphics and equations can also be translated when importing or exporting Word documents. The flexibility of import/export makes TW/EW excellent for cross-platform work.
The word import/export and html import/export systems normally work in an ‘invisible’ manner, so the user can simply ‘drag and drop’ in the usual way. However, the following pages provide detailed information on how the process works so you can understand what is happening and see how to get the best results.
The ability to export DrawFiles is also sometimes very useful as it means TechWriter can be used to create equations, tables, etc, which can then be exported to any other RiscOS application that accepts drawfiles.
The TW/EW family take a different approach to most other DTP applications. 'Traditional' DTP tends to be 'frame based' and items are placed with respect to fixed positions on the page. The TW/EW family use a structural approach. Chapters, paragraphs, tables, etc, etc, are all 'structures'. These can be nested in arbitrary ways to build complex layout arrangements. Some of the properties of structures are inherited from the the structures they are nested within. This approach is a very powerful one, aimed at being particularly useful for authors who can build a graphical design based on the content of their work.
Hints and Tips.
Note that although I talk about TechWriter, most of
what follows also applies to EasiWriter ˜ although some things
won't work on older versions of the software. (So Upgrade then, OK?)
The following information has been produced after some chats with Icon
Technology, but please note that I‘m not connected with
them and they take no responsibility for any wacky or daft things I
If you make changes, remember to take copies of the original files so you
can restore the application back to the starting state if you get into
trouble. Also bear in mind that any changes will have to be re-done in any
upgraded version you get at a later date if you like your improvements. None
of these changes are supported or approved in any way by anyone.
To modify !TechWriter you may need to alter the contents of various files inside it. These are !Run, Messages, Resources, and MenuData. As it comes, some of these files will be compressed using Acorn‘s !Squash, so you‘ll have to un-squash them before modifying them. It‘s up to you whether you re-squash them again afterwards, !TechWriter doesn‘t actually care.
Each subject is given a short page of its own to make it easier to find. The topics covered so far are:
There is now an e-mail ‘chat’ list for users of Icon Technology software. This list is useful as it allows users with various levels of experience to discuss how to get the best out of TechWriter, etc. Icon Tech have established a excellent reputation for customer support and being very helpful. They now use this list as an additional way to provide help, get customer feedback, etc. If you use an IconTech product, I’d recommend you join the list.
Links to other sites with information about TechWriter and EasiWriter...
The Icon Tech button will take you to the official website of Icon Technology who are the creators of these excellent DTP/wordprocessor applications. The Review button will take you to John Woodthorpe's review and explanation of how TW works.
Content and pages maintained by: Jim Lesurf (firstname.lastname@example.org)
using a StrongARM powered RISCOS machine.