EZ as a Word Processor

In this article, Terry Gliedt introduces us to the Andrew project, and gives us a taste of one aspect of it: the ez editor, which can edit text and graphics, and can be used as a word processor.
Page Breaks, Footnotes and Headers

Some insets have special meaning for the formatting of the text document. They generally have their own menus. If you select the “Insert Pagebreak” menu item, a thin horizontal line appears on the screen. This causes a new page to begin when the document is printed or previewed.

Footnotes can be added to your document with the “Insert Footnote” menu item. The footnote will appear as a small square with a star in it. Footnotes can be open or closed by simply clicking in the box. They are displayed in-line as shown in Figure 3, but print at the bottom of the page, as you would normally expect.

A page header or footer can be specified for your document by inserting the Header/Footer inset on the Media menu card. As shown in Figure 3, you can specify various fields. There are special $-keywords you can use for variable data. Select the AUIS Help menu and then select Show Help On... When prompted, enter headers to get more detail on headers. Alternatively, you may enter auishelp headers in an xterm window.

Having It Your Way with Styles

The list of styles that come with ez is usually sufficient for simple documents. However, you may need better control of tab stops, paragraph indenting or outdenting, or double spaced lines. Perhaps you want your own combination style that sets the margins, font, point size all from a single menu item. All this and more can be done by selecting the “Edit Styles” menu option. This brings up a second window which is divided into several panels, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Edit Styles Window

The style editor window has its own menus. The top part of the window, above the double line, is used to select a style to edit. The left-hand panel is a list of all the menu cards that have style options. If you select a menu card name, it is highlighted and its list of styles appears in the right-hand panel. Once you select a menu card and style name, the rest of the panel becomes active. It displays the attributes that apply to the selected style.

To change the attributes of a style, highlight the different options in the attribute panels. The document will not change until the document is redrawn. You can select “Update Document” to force the redraw.

Choose the menu item “Add Style” to create your own style. When you do this you are prompted in the message area at the bottom of the screen for a menu name. You should enter a pair of names like “Region,MyWay”. This will add a menu item “MyWay” to the “Region” menu. You should then select the attributes you want for this new MyWay style.

When you edit or add styles with the style editor, the changes only affect the document you are currently editing. They are saved in the data and will exist when you edit the document later. If you copy text containing the new style and paste it in a new document, the style will be transferred to the new document, but the attributes of that style will not be transferred. This is because the attributes of the style are saved at the top of the file in an area you cannot see. So when you copy the selected area, you only get the name of the style, but not the definition of the style (which you cannot see). You will need to either add a new MyWay style to the second document or learn about templates.


A template is a set of ready-made formatting information or instructions that you can apply to a text document. Templates describe two types of information:

  • Style specifications, which determine what formatting styles (such as boldface and centering) can be applied to a document, and exactly how they change the appearance of the text to which you apply them. Thus templates lend a standard appearance to documents by making a style always look the same.

  • Set text, which is text that you want to include over and over in many documents. A template saves you time in this case because you only have to type that text once. ez gives you an extensive set of templates. Most of these include style specifications only, but some also include set text (e.g., the template used for creating memos). Creating a template is described in detail in the on-line help (enter the command auishelp templates in an xterm window).

Printing and Previewing

The entire AUIS system is designed to print using PostScript. This was a decision made many years ago and is still in transition. In this version AUIS objects all generate troff output—along with copious amounts of embedded PostScript. The troff is then processed to generate the necessary PostScript. In the auis63L0-wp distribution the default print command will invoke a shell, /usr/andrew/etc/atkprint. The default preview command calls the shell /usr/andrew/etc/ atkpreview. Each of these shells will invoke the groff formatter to generate the PostScript output. In atkpreview the groff output is piped into ghostview.

If you do not have a PostScript printer, you can modify atkprint to pipe the PostScript output through ghostscript to generate the correct stream for your printer. Andreas Klemm andreas@knobel.knirsch.de has written a filter, apsfilter (available from ftp. germany.eu.net in /pub/comp/i386/Linux/Local. EUnet/People/akl/apsfilter*), which works with your /etc/printcap entry and will automatically convert PostScript into the correct DeskJet stream. I have a DeskJet 500 printer which works very well in this mode.

There are other ways to control printing/previewing by AUIS. These will be discussed in a future article about tailoring your AUIS applications.