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MacroDisk is a system of programs and macro commands that add new capabilities to ProDOS Apple Writer. When MacroDisk is configured for your Apple // computer, your Apple Writer program will be added to the MacroDisk volume. You will then be able to use the advanced macro and WPL features of MacroDisk while using Apple Writer. In addition, some MacroDisk programs are available as preboots, or programs you can use before running Apple Writer. These include such utilities as setting the date and copying files.

It is helpful to think of MacroDisk as being divided into two separate sections. When MacroDisk is first started up the ProDOS operating system loads Applesoft Basic into memory which in turn runs a Startup program, called the Main Menu. The utilities and program selector available on the Main Menu can only be used at this point in the program. This is the first section of the MacroDisk program. The second section begins once Apple Writer is selected from the Main Menu.

It is the second section that contains the majority of the MacroDisk programs and commands. Like the first section, these options can only be used while Apple Writer is in memory. The options include Apple Writer macros, WPL programs, and ProDOS utilities.

MacroDisk takes full advantage of the power of Apple Writer macros. Most macro commands are text editing commands that reside in the Apple Writer glossary. Others call WPL programs that are stored on the MacroDisk volume. MacroDisk also uses the WPL buffer area to store a series of powerful WPL mini programs that execute instantly.


All MacroDisk commands are executed by pressing the open-apple key and then another key. For some commands the shift key or the control key is also required. The template displays the letter or key that initiates a particular command when it is pressed along with the open-apple key. If the template is not already affixed to your keyboard, please place it there now. We're going to cross-check the template commands with their corresponding entries in the glossary.

Select Apple Writer from the MacroDisk main menu and load the following file into memory:

/MacroDisk Volume/Macro/Gloss.Files/Gloss.Sys

Note: 'MacroDisk Volume' is the name you gave to your MacroDisk when you first created it.

Press [B] to get to the beginning of the file. A character enclosed by brackets in this manual is a control character – a character that is accessed by pressing the control key in combination with another key. Therefore [B] should be interpreted as control-b.

Gloss.Sys, the standard MacroDisk glossary, is loaded into the glossary buffer when you first start up MacroDisk. It contains all of the keyboard macro commands as well as the commands that initiate WPL programs.

Notice the far left column of characters in the glossary. They begin with the number '1' and then run down the screen through the remaining numbers, then the symbols, the letters, and finally the control characters and other odds and ends. In other words, every character that can be typed from the keyboard is contained in the far left column. These characters are called delimiters. When the open-apple key is pressed together with a delimiter key, the glossary initiates whatever command is listed for that delimiter. It is the delimiters that are listed or displayed on the keyboard template.

Let's look closely at that first command. It begins with an inverse bracket, which is the symbol for the esc key. All inverse characters in the glossary are control characters. esc is actually control-[. Notice the next character in the command, an inverse 'Q' which represents control-q, and then the letter 'g'. The first character on the left is the delimiter. in other words, when you press the open-apple key together with the esc key, the other two characters are enacted as a command. Is control-q-g a command? Go ahead and type control-q on the keyboard. Ah-hah! You're at the Additional Functions Menu, and option 'G' is listed as 'Toggle Carriage Return Display'. So if you press open-apple-esc when using MacroDisk, the carriage return display will be automatically toggled. This type of command, which condenses several individual commands into one, is called a macro.

As you scan through Gloss.Sys, you will notice other types of commands. For example, the letters A-S contain printer codes. When you type open-apple and then a letter key, one of these codes is embedded in your document at the position of the cursor. Other commands begin with '[P]do'. These commands initiate WPL programs, and in fact you can see the pathname of the WPL program just to the right of the command.

If you should lose the glossary, MacroDisk commands will no longer function. You should be aware of an Apple Writer bug that always erases the glossary when you use the 'Format Volume' option from the [O] ProDOS commands menu. To restore the glossary when it disappears, simply type [P]do Macro/Setup and press return.


Still other glossary commands begin with '[P]go'. These commands initiate a portion of the Resident Master program which is located in the WPL buffer. The WPL Buffer is an area of memory normally empty until you run a WPL program. In fact, when you run a WPL program, the Resident Master program is temporarily erased and then reinstalled when the WPL program is finished. Like the glossary, the Resident Master program, can, under certain rare conditions, be erased and not automatically reinstalled. Apple Writer will notify you of its disappearance with the following error message:

WPL Error : Label not found -> Press RETURN

To restore the Resident Master Program, you can use the same method you used to restore the glossary: type [P]do macro/setup and then press return. The Setup program reinstates both the Gloss.Sys standard glossary and the Resident Master program. You can also, as the template indicates, regain a lost Resident Master program by entering the open-apple-[r] command.

See Appendix.A located on /Md.Create for full details on how Resident Master works and how to personalize it, including directions on how to configure MacroDisk to work without a Resident Master program.

Occasionally a WPL program or command will be displayed on the screen one line at a time. This will happen if you've had a recent Prodos Error. Continue using the program. Most WPL programs will override ProDOS errors. You can exit any WPL program at any time by pressing the esc key while the program is running. This method will not work if you are at a prompt (if you are being asked to answer a question). At a prompt you can enter control-reset to get back into the text entry mode. Just be careful not to hit open-apple control-reset! If you do, you will boot whatever disk is in the highest numbered slot and lose the document in memory!

The Control-Reset command is useful for solving some other Apple Writer problems. One example is a 'hung' WPL program. You may have entered something a WPL program did not like and caused it to start displaying the text screen – you see the document in memory with a single flickering line of text on the screen. That line is the WPL program displaying itself one line at a time. Use control-reset to exit from the WPL program. Experiment with the control-reset command at other times when you encounter problems. Apple Writer is flexible. Unlike Appleworks, which dumps you out of the program when you enter control-reset, Apple Writer keeps hanging in there. Once you have regained the normal text entry mode you can rerun the WPL program by using the open-apple-[s] command.

START WPL PROGRAM open-apple-[s]

This command will automatically run whatever WPL program is currently located in the WPL buffer. If you interrupt a MacroDisk WPL program with control-reset, the image of the program is still in the buffer, ready to be run again. There is no need to reload the program.

WPL programs not specifically designed for MacroDisk cannot be run using this command unless the beginning routine of the WPL program contains a 'Start' label. See Appendix.A for details.

Currently, almost all MacroDisk WPL programs exit by loading the Resident Master program into the WPL buffer. This means that when you have finished using a MacroDisk WPL program, the open-apple-[s] command will usually not work since the Resident Master program has been reloaded into the buffer. Interrupted programs, however, will restart with this command.