S1E19 DataSoft Letter Wizard – Supplement

This episode features Letter Wizard, originally released in 1984 by DataSoft.  It was developed by Special Software Systems.  This title is an updated replacement for the 1982 product called Text Wizard.

Podcast: Download

Box and Supplement Scans

The DataSoft logo:



Scan of the front of the box.  This was taken from an auction where a photo was taken at an angle on a table.  I heavily modified it in Lightroom to bring it back to square and facing straight up.  I could find no other box shots or scans (note the Apple II in the photo):



Scan of the Text Wizard box from 1981, the pre-cursor to Letter Wizard (not an actual Atari in the artwork):



A Text Wizard advertisement from the July 1981 issue of Compute! magazine:



A Text Wizard advertisement from the September 1983 issue of ANALOG magazine:



Manual cover (sepia toned and simplified version of the box):



Here is a DataSoft catalog: download


Letter Wizard in Action

Trying to boot with BASIC.  To get to the BASIC program on the master disk, boot a DOS II disk first with BASIC inserted/on.

Letter Wizard Boot Error


Boot splash:

Letter Wizard Boot Splash


Main menu:

Letter Wizard Main Menu



The editor at the start of a new document:

Letter Wizard Edit 1


Editor in typeover mode (note the gray overscan area):

Letter Wizard Edit 2


Editor in insert mode (note the blue overscan area).  Sadly the insert/typeover mode is not remembered after going to the menu:

Letter Wizard Edit 3


Inverse mode ON, not the change in the tab line:

Letter Wizard Inverse On


Invoking a function that takes a second or more to complete yields the BUSY indicator in the state area.  These were mostly very brief and not really noticeable.

Letter Wizard Editor Busy


Editor allows you get a catalog of the disk without returning to the main menu / disk management menu.  This can save you a few seconds of time:

Letter Wizard Edit Catalog


Loading a document:

Letter Wizard Edit Load


Saving a document.  There is no over-write warning so be carefull:

Letter Wizard Edit Save


Status update showing filename, memory free, size in (single density) sectors, and number of words:

Letter Wizard Editor Status


Marking a block of text.  Note the inverse daimond at the start.  This disappears once the end is marked:

Letter Wizard Edit Mark


Disk Management

The Disk Management menu:

Letter Wizard Disk Menu


Using the Format function:

Letter Wizard Disk Format


Using the Catalog function:

Letter Wizard Disk Catalog


Using the Rename function:

Letter Wizard Disk Rename


Using the Lock function:

Letter Wizard Disk Lock


Using the Unlock function:

Letter Wizard Disk Unlock


Using the Delete function (enter name of file, then confirm):

Letter Wizard Disk Delete 1


Letter Wizard Disk Delete 2



Confirming the connected printer choice:

Letter Wizard Printer Selection


Setting the various print options:

Letter Wizard Print Options



Letter Wizard Printing




DataSoft Letter Wizard uses Atari DOS 2.0.  The contents of the disk can be seen in this screenshot.  Note only the BASIC program can be seen.



Data files on a data disk:



Dump of a Letter Wizard document.  Largely in plain text (as typed):

Letter Wizard document dump



Sample output demonstrating various text stylings.  Note the emulated Epson FX-80 didn’t support the Epson MX-80 proportional command:




Reference card download


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.

5 thoughts on “S1E19 DataSoft Letter Wizard – Supplement

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