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Switches Reference Page

The default properties of members of the TechWriter family can be controlled via a set of optional ‘switches’. These can be applied in two ways. The ‘old fashioned’ way is to add them to the end of the run line in the application’s !Run Obey file. For example, by making the last line of the file something like

Run <TechWriter$Dir>.!RunImage %*0 -ustyle_def -r1600

Here each switch is preceeded by a ‘-’ and may be followed by an appropriate value. There should be a space between items.

The alternative, and more modern, way is to include the switch information in a Choices file. The location of this may depend upon the version of the operating system and !Boot you are using. If your system is fairly up to date, the most likely place is


So, for example, this file might contain something like

d n120 q33 r1600 uReport

Note that in this case the switches do not require a preceeding ‘-’. If an item is set by both the Choices file and on the run line it is the values given in Choices that will assert priority and be acted upon. So in the case of the examples given here, the default stationery will be the file ‘Report’ not the file ‘style_def’.

The following list gives details for the switches. Note that some are obsolete, or may become so in the future. Other switches only apply to specific applications or versions. The information given is believed to be correct at the time EW/TW 7.02 (Pro+) were released. The actions of the switches may change without prior warning between versions of members of the TechWriter family. Some switches are for special purposes and should not be employed in normal use, but most of them can be set as you prefer.

switch action
b Right to left font(s). e.g. ‘-bHomerton’ would cause any text in the Homerton family of fonts to be displayed right to left. Multiple fonts can be seperated by commas. Note however that there must be no spaces as these are used to seperate switches. So ‘-bHomerton,Zapf’ would mean that both the named font families would be displayed right-to-left. (Note that there are no spaces before or after the comma.)
c colour model
c1 = RGB
c2 = CMYK
c3 = HSV
c by itself (no number) = standard dialogue without colour cube
otherwise use colour cube if available, else use dialogue.
d 2d/3d icons. From OS version 3.10 onwards a CMOS bit has been allocated for this purpose, so the d switch is nominally obsolete for OS3.10 or higher. However using d will overule the CMOS bit and force the use of 3d icons.
e [Pro] End of paragraph terminator in exported text
0=<LF>, 1=<CR>, 2=<LF><CR>, 3=<CR><LF>
4 - 7 as above, but each character is repeated.
[TalkWrite] Allow spelling exceptions
f Failure options (bitfield) Only to be used for debugging purposes. In the unlikely event that you ever need this, IconTech will tell you what to do!
g HTML GIF export options (bitfield). Detailed explanation on linked page.
h [Pro+ 7.00 or higher] Bitmap resolution used when DrawFile images are converted to BMP bitmaps when a Word document is exported. By default conversions are performed assuming the Acorn standard of 90 pixels per inch. This is acceptable for screen display. A higher value (e.g. ‘-h300’ or ‘-h360’) may give much better results when printed from a Word document, but will probably also result in significantly larger exported Word document files. (Alas, Word being what it is, you don't always get better results from the higher bitmap resolution...)
Note that DrawFiles that have been produced by importing a WMF embedded in a Word document have the WMF data 'hidden' in them and will become a WMF again if you re-export them as part of a Word doc. This setting will therefore not affect these.
See the entry on w for more details.
[TalkWrite] Word bank default. Now obsolete as set by configuration utility.
i [TalkWrite] Ignore menu entries / Use alternate template. Used for producing shortened menus in TalkWrite for simplified use.
k [Pro] End of line characters in exported text. Values as ‘e
l [Versions 2·08 to 2·16 only] Crop marks enabled. Now obsolete as this is in the Paper Size dialogue box from 2·17 onwards.
m [Pro] Maximum line length in characters. e.g ‘-m70’ means limit lines to 70 characters when exporting as ASCII text, HTML, and RTF.
n [TW Pro] Maths HTML scale factor. Used when equations are converted into GIFs for display on exported webpages. Explained in detail on linked page.
o [2·17 onwards] Easy save directory name.
p Reserved for use as part of printing process when files are dropped directly onto the Printer Driver icon. Do not set this!
q [2·17 onwards] Smart quote delay. This sets the delay (in centiseconds) before repeated pressings of ‘ or ’ give a repeat character rather than a double quote. This delay also applies to any other x35 values added to the messages file.
[TalkWrite] Quiet mode. Disables talking.
r File size for RAM. This sets the file size (in kbytes) below which files will always be loaded into RAM if enough space is available. Above this value the file will be held open on the source disc and only a portion loaded for editing/display. The option allows the user to set the behaviour which they find most convenient for the amount of RAM and disc space they have available.
The default behaviour is set by the x5 line of the messages file. Refer to the information on that if you wish to alter the default behaviour. Note that unless you have altered the messages file, holding down <CTRL> when loading a file will normally force it to be loaded entirely into RAM.
s [EasiWriter & TechWriter] Select new structures. When a new structure is created this leaves it selected so that style changes can be applied immediately without having to reselect it.
[TalkWriter] Suppress drag-and-drop
t Expand tabs in exported text. For example, ‘-t8’ will set tabs to be in multiples of eight characters.
u Default stationery pad. e.g. ‘-uStdPaper’ would use the stationery file ‘StdPaper’ (if present) when the icon bar icon is clicked with the select mousebutton.
v [TalkWrite] Vertical tool bar
w [ TW Pro+ Version 6.01 onwards] Bitmap resolution used when display and inline equations are converted to BMP bitmaps when a Word document is exported. By default conversions are performed assuming the Acorn standard of 90 pixels per inch. See the entry on h for more details.
[TalkWrite] Word bank default. Now obsolete as set by configuration utility.
y [TechWriter & EasiWriter] Use Dynamic Areas. (Available from OS3.60 onwards.) This option means that documents will be loaded into a Dynamic Area of memory. Using these can significantly speed up multitasking and given a more responsive desktop. Unfortunately, some printer drivers can’t print correctly from text held in a Dynamic Area. Note that at the time the TW/EW manuals were printed this switch could only be used from the run line, but this option can now be included in Choices.
[TalkWrite] Sticky keys
z Use old font manager calls. This can sometimes be useful for difficult or old printers/printer drivers where some items otherwise vanish or are displaced. Should be obsolete... (Famous last words.)

Link to Messages reference page.

Back to the main TechWriter Tips page for more info...
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