EmPress has several functions. Its primary use is to convert ordinary
text files into Press format, and to send the converted files to a
Press printing server. Options include the ability to produce a Press
file without transmitting it, and to transmit Press files that have
been previously produced. Additional features provide for merging
several Press page images into a single Press file, and for
personalizing individual copies of documents.
EmPress can distinguish Press files from text files, so it need not be
told whether to convert. As a text file converter, EmPress is intended
for formatting program listings and supports only simple formatting
operations such as Tab and FormFeed. Bravo trailers are ignored.
Joe Maleson wrote the original program. David Boggs made the
modifications that allowed transmission of files to printers. Rick
Tiberi produced the current version, adding the Press file merger and
copy personalization facilities, and curing many problems.
To send one or more Press or text files to your default Press printer,
using a default font to convert the text files, type:
empress file1 file2 file3 ...
and read no further. The more general command line to EmPress is:
EmPress[/] [/] inputFiles
The square brackets denote portions of the command line that are
optional and may be omitted. EmPress will print up to 100 input files.
Each global switch has a default value which is used if the switch is
not explicitly set. To set a switch to 'false' proceed it with a
'minus' sign; to set it to 'true' just mention the switch.
Switch Default Function
/T true [Transmit] will send the resulting press file to a
/number 8 (text files only) tab width -- see below.
/H true (text files only) [Headings] will print a heading
and page number on each page.
/D false (press files only) [Date] will add the machine-
readable time stamp to Press files that need them
and don't have them. This allows Press files created
by old software to print correctly. If your Press
file prints with improper line justification and
character spacing, try this switch before giving up.
Copyright Xerox Corporation 1980
EmPress December 14, 1977 2
/2 false [Duplex] will format text files for 2-sided printing
and inform the server to print the transmitted file
/S false [Secret] will send the current Alto password to the
server, requesting that the server not print the
files until the password is entered at the server
/W false [Wait] after sending the files, will wait for input
from the keyboard to check completion status of the
print request. If the user confirms with a RETURN,
Empress will check and print the status of the file,
if possible. DEL exits from Empress.
EmPress December 14, 1977 3
EmPress recognizes a number of optional parameters which can be set
from the command line. Parameters set from the command line take
precedence over defaults built into the program.
Parameter Default Function
string/O Swatee [Output] the name of the output file. EmPress
uses Swatee unless told otherwise, since the
output press file is usually sent to the
printer and then discarded.
number/C 1 [Copies] the number of copies to print.
string/H none [HostName] the name of the printer. This takes
precedence over the name following PRESS: in
the [HardCopy] section of User.cm.
string/I none [Input] the name of an input text file to be
formatted and saved or transmitted, or of an
input Press file to be transmitted.
string/S none [Secret] a password to be sent for
confirmation, as the global /S switch above.
string/N none [Name] the name of a user for whom the file is
being printed, to be sent to the printer for
direction to that user's mailbox.
string none a string without any switches is assumed to be
an input file.
The remaining switches apply to text conversion only.
number/T 8 [Tab] the width of a tab character in multiples
of the width if a space character.
string/F Gacha [FontFace] the font to use. You must have
'Fonts. Widths' on your disk.
number/P 8 [PointSize] the point size of the font.
EmPress December 14, 1977 4
The following is a sample User.Cm hardcopy section, configured to use
the Menlo Press printing server as the preferred printer:
FONT: TIMESROMAN 10 MIR
The FONT entry specifies that TimesRoman10i (italic) should be used as
a default font instead of Gacha8 (EmPress's default choice). The
second, point size argument, and the third, face specification argument
are optional. The face argument contains three letters specifying
weight (M, B, or L), slope (R or I), and expansion (C, R, or E),
The PRINTEDBY field, if present, specifies the name to be used in the
Name field on the break page. The current disk login name will replace
the character $. EmPress chooses "$" as a default in the absence of a
EmPress December 14, 1977 5
When EmPress encounters a Press file in the input list, it transmits
(or stores) any text file that it is currently converting, then
transmits the Press file. A new break page will be printed for each
Press file, containing that file's name. EmPress will override the
"created by" field of a Press file with a name derived as described
above. It will fill in blank file name and date fields with the obvious
defaults. If copies are specified in the command line, EmPress will
override the number of copies specified in the Press file with the
command line value.
EmPress uses the file Swatee for temporary storage while converting
text for transmission. If in so doing Swatee becomes nearly full,
EmPress will suspend formatting, send what has accumulated so far, and
then press on. This has two desirable consequences: 1) a very full disk
will not run out of space and 2) some pipelining can take place since
the printer can munch on the first chunk while EmPress empressifies
Press File Merging
EmPress will merge several one page Press files into a single one page
Press file. This allows the outputs of Bravo, Sil, Draw, Markup, etc.,
to be merged without a separate pass through Markup. One additional
text or Press file may also be submitted, and it will be printed
following the one page merge result.
One invokes the merge feature through one additional global switch, and
one additional local switch:
Additional Global Switch:
/m Merge. All subsequent input files that are not qualified by
switches must be single-page Press files. They will be merged
to form a single (cover) page in the Press file result,
containing all their Press specifications. This switch also
conditions Empress to expect the additional local switches,
described just below and in the Personalization section.
Additional Local Switch:
/d Document. This switch may be used to identify an optional main
document, when the merge option is used. The file may be a
simple text file or a Press file. It will follow the one page
merge result in each copy printed.
EmPress December 14, 1977 6
This relatively specialized feature is provided to allow the
personalization of individual copies of a document. Each copy of the
document might contain, for instance, the name and address of the
person for whom it is intended. Up to six lines of personalized
information can be specified. This information will replace distinctive
"key strings" that have been placed in the cover page (merged) files or
in the main document.
The key strings must appear in contiguous groups of up to six lines
each. The personalized information for the current copy, specified in a
paragraph of a special Bravo-format addressee file or in the command
line, will replace the key strings in each group, line for line. Thus
the personalized information may occur more than once in each document
(Dear Mr. PARC/SDD: ... yes, you and all the members of the PARC/SDD
household can enjoy the benefits of ...). Lines in the addressee
paragraph for which no keys are provided are discarded.
The default key is "<", forty hyphens ("-"), then ">". If the string
"<--title-->" appears anywhere in the document, the name of the "main"
document (the one specified using the "/d" switch) will replace it.
The "/m" (merge) global switch must be specified before any of these
personalization specification switches are valid.
Additional Local Switches:
/k Key. The item is a key that replaces the default (see above).
/a Addressee. The item is either the name of a Bravo format file
containing a list of addressees -- one per paragraph, one line
in each paragraph for each key line in the cover page or main
document -- or a literal addressee, enclosed in double quotes.
In a literal, use hyphens where you wish blanks to appear in