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Desktop publishing for spreadsheets.

One of the most active sources of Chemputing reviewers has been MacLaren Engineers. The need for computer literacy was recognized by their scientific and engineering staff with considerable enthusiasm. Occasionally we get together for a 'Chemputing lunch' at one Of our favourite haunts: The Light-house, just around the corner from their office. I had just received Allways and we were thinking of applications. That day's lunch gave us the challenge.

Allways is an add-on for Lotus 1-2-3. There is also a Symphony version. It brings the capabilities of desktop publishing directly to the spreadsheet. Font styles and sizes can be set for each cell or groups of cells. Other attributes include shading and lines or combinations.

Installation was easy and it took only a few minutes to become proficient USing it. The entire package consumes about 1.0 Meg of hard disk space. Allways provides a WYSIWYG display and operates from a simple Lotus-like menu system. Printing, being in the graphics mode, was slow, but the quality was outstanding. By selecting appropriate fonts, titles can be emphasized or a large spreadsheet can be printed on a vertical page. White printing on black is accomplished by selecting solid for the shading and white for the print. Full colour is supported with colour printers and includes an automatic switch from black to red for losses. The full LICS character set allows operation in both French and English plus a limited number of symbols.

Graphs can be incorporated within the text. This process requires the graph as a .PIC file; so, it must be saved again each time the data is updated. To speedup rewrites of the screen display, the graph can be represented as a block of text.

As a demonstration of the capabilities of Allways, the menu shown in Fig. 1 was prepared as well as several high-quality title pages and tables. Where cells contain formulae, it is a very simple matter to update the data and print a new copy. Using Lotus and Allways was much simpler and faster than going through the bother of exporting files into a desktop publishing (DTP) program. If it's part of a bigger document, for consistency just let the DTP or wordprocessor print the page numbers on the Allways page. My only negatives were the inability of my DeskJet Plus printer to print graphics in the landscape mode and the incapability of Lotus to handle sub and superscripts.

This program is highly recommended for applications including title pages, tables of all sorts (particularly those with interacting formulae) and essentially anything that will be seen by other. If you are questioning upgrading your Lotus, Allways has been incorporated into version 2.2. We also recommend you visit The Lighthouse for the best fish & chips in Metro Toronto.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Chemical Institute of Canada
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Chemputing
Author:Silbert, Marvin D.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:May 1, 1990
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