Archived - Apple Writer II: DOS 3.3 Version -- Printer codes from all Apples

Many printers have special features that the computer signals by sending command codes. To send codes to a printer from Apple Writer II (DOS 3.3), you must insert the codes into the Apple Writer file you want printed.

The manual of the printer may list the codes by several names: decimal, hexadecimal, teletype abbreviations (SOH, ETX, DC1, DC3, etc.), standard keys, and combinations of the above.
This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Using the chart "ASCII characters, values, and keystrokes", you have to translate from the name of the code in the printer manual into the name of the corresponding keystroke or keystrokes on the keyboards of the Apple II, Apple II Plus, Apple IIe, Enhanced Apple IIe, or Apple IIc.

Some keystrokes put so-called control characters into the Apple Writer file. These control characters are not part of the conventional English character set; while screen shows them, the printer intercepts and does not print them, instead recognizing them as signals to turn special functions on and off or to change printer settings.

NOTE: In the descriptions of the keystrokes, the characters greater than and less than, < and >, are used to contain one keystroke, which can mean that you must simultaneously hold down the control key, the shift key, or both as you press the other key.

With these considerations in mind, here is a list of codes and methods for inserting them in an Apple Writer II file.

Null (ASCII value 0):

II and II Plus: <CTRL-V><CTRL-SHIFT-P><CTRL-V>

All other Apples: <CTRL-SHIFT-2>

Control-A through Control-Z (ASCII decimal values 01 through 26):
Example: Control-Z (ASCII decimal value 26): <CTRL-V><CTRL-Z><CTRL-V>
Exception: Control-V (ASCII decimal value 22) can't be entered. See "Missing Keys" below.

Escape (ASCII value 27):
Some keystroke sequences start with or include the ESCAPE character.

On Apple II without shift key modification:
  • If the printer manual shows the code as an escape followed by an upper case letter: <CTRL-V><ESC><ESC><ESC><CTRL-V>
  • If the printer manual shows the code as an escape followed by a non-alphabetic character or lowercase letter: <CTRL-V><ESC><ESC><CTRL-V>
On Apple II with shift key modification: <CTRL-V><ESC><CTRL-V>

Missing keys:
To produce uppercase a-z, press the ESC key first, otherwise Apple Writer II under DOS 3.3 enters the a-z keystroke as lowercase.

The Apple II and Apple II Plus don't have some keys: underline, backward slash, brackets, braces, vertical line, open single quote, tilde, or delete. You can't enter a Control-V in Apple Writer. To use these and other characters in Apple Writer, it is necessary to create an Apple Writer glossary file from a BASIC program.

For example, to insert the ASCII value 22 (Control-V) into an Apple Writer file, follow these steps:

1. Start up the DOS System Master.

2. Write and save the following program:

1 REM APPLE WRITER II GLOSSARY CREATION
10 D$=CHR$(4)
20 PRINT D$;"OPEN CVGLOSS"
30 PRINT D$;"WRITE CVGLOSS"
40 PRINT "V";CHR$(22)
41 REM USE LINE 40 AS A TEMPLATE FOR OTHER NEEDED CODES
42 REM CHOOSE A DIFFERENT GLOSSARY ENTRY FOR EACH CODE
43 REM PRINT "V";CHR$(22) V=ASCII 22 (CONTROL-V)
44 REM PRINT "W";CHR$(31) W=ASCII 31 (CONTROL-UNDERLINE)
45 REM PRINT "X";CHR$(128) X=ASCII 128 (CONTROL-@ WITH THE HIGH BIT SET)
46 REM PRINT "Y";CHR$( ) Y=AND SO ON
50 PRINT D$;"CLOSE CVGLOSS"

3. Run the program, thus creating a file called CVGLOSS.

4. Start up the Apple Writer diskette.

5. Press CTRL-Q and select the option to Load a Glossary File.

6. Remove the Apple Writer diskette and insert the diskette containing CVGLOSS.

7. Enter the name CVGLOSS at the "Enter File Name" prompt.

8. Return to Apple Writer and enter your text.

9. At any point where you need to enter a Control-V, type CTRL-G for the glossary function and enter V (uppercase).

10. This procedure should imbed the ASCII 22 in your text. Once CVGLOSS has been created, you can reuse it whenever necessary by following steps 5 through 9 each time you start up Apple Writer.

There's already a glossary file on the Apple Writer II diskette. This file is named SPECIAL and contains key definitions for the keys \\, ^, ~, _, |, [, ], {, }, ESC-D, and ESC-U.
Last Modified: Feb 19, 2012
  • Last Modified: Feb 19, 2012
  • Article: TA31126
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