S1E2 LJK Letter Perfect – Supplement


This episode features LJK Enterprises Letter Perfect, originally released in 1980.  The FIRST word processor for the Atari 8 bit line of computers, released within several months of the Atari computers initial shipping.  Also featuring an interview with LJK founder Ken Leonhardi.

Podcast: Download


From A.N.A.L.O.G. magazine July 1983:

Ad Analog 1983-07


LJK Letter Perfect In Action

Version 1 menu:


Version 3 menu (Copyright (C) 1982 Antic Magazine):


Version 6 menu:


Version 6 editor:


Spell checking:



Version Differences

Version 3:

  • Subject dividers added to manual
  • Keyboard click eliminated in editor
  • Speaker rasberry eliminated and turned to soft beep
  • Cursor now flashes
  • Insert mode added (no wonder I couldn’t get it to work in version 1)
  • Global replace added
  • Defaults to proportional printed font
  • Print range selection added
  • Printer control code added (CHR$)
  • Headers and Footers can now alternate left and right
  • File chaining added
  • 80 column support added

Command Cheat Sheet

Download PDF: Cheat Sheet

Show Links:



Intro music is an excerpt from a chip tune by Wizwars named 8 Bit Raceway.  It is used under Creative Common license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.

4 thoughts on “S1E2 LJK Letter Perfect – Supplement

  1. I like your podcast and it’s a good complement for the other Atari podcasts. I used Letter Perfect (and later Data Perfect) during my senior highschool years to write papers, etc., first on cart and later on floppy (can’t really remember whether I used the upgrade option) It’s good to be reminded how basic and sophisticated word processing was at the same time in the late 80s. One tends to forget that user interface “basics” like “shift and move highlights” were not invented yet and every program had its own concepts and shortcuts. Looking back less WYSIWYG probably resulted in more productive work as you were not tempted to care more about correct indentations and graphical design of bullet points than about the actual contents….(of course – lacking the wisdom gained in the 30 years since – I totally fell for Signum! on the ST that had real fonts (!) on screen and allowed you to move characters pixel by pixel)

    I can’t recall whether I remembered and used all those nifty cursor movement shortcuts but I do know that I don’t bother to learn them today as I switch between different systems and the lazy convenience of just having to grab a mouse to highlight some text keeps me from utilizing keyboard shortcuts which would still allow for faster typing and editing.

    I did try a couple of other Atari Word Processors later on but they never even came close. That >50% market share was well earned and it’s good to know that the company and author who wrote it are still in the software business.

    BTW my Letter Perfect cartridge (about 1983/4 vintage) does NOT work on XEs and Letter Perfect carts are listed as “400/800 only” in the Atari FAQ.

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