GEOS Text Scrap Maker

English: Commodore 64 computer (1982). Post pr...
Commodore 64 computer (1982). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote an article called “GEOS Text Scrap Maker” that was published in Compute magazine (Gazette edition, December 1992). The source code for the program, written in Commodore 64 Basic, was also published along with the article. It worked in conjunction with GEOS (Graphic Environment Operating System). What follows is the version that was published in the magazine (minus the source code), which was very similar to my original submission with a few minor edits.

Have you ever wanted to convert a SpeedScript document to geoWrite format? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to do this. Gazette published geoWrite Converter (April 1990), but it only converts geoWrite documents to SpeedScript or ASCII. I needed something that would convert the other way around. Enter GEOS Text Scrap Maker.

I am the proud owner of geoWrite 1.1 and GEOS 1.2. (That’s no typo folks; I’ve owned it since December 1986.) Probably many of you also have this early version of GEOS and are aware that it provides no utility for such conversions.

GEOS Text Scrap Maker runs like (and has many of its routines modified from) the Print Shop To GEOS converter (April 1987 Gazette).

Entering the Program

GEOS Text Scrap Maker is written entirely in BASIC. To help avoid typing errors, enter it with The Automatic Proofreader; see “Typing Aids” elsewhere in this section. Before exiting Proofreader, be sure to save a copy of the program to disk. I like to keep Scrap Maker on my GEOS work disk with geoWrite and my geoWrite documents.

Scrap Maker writes to disk, so make sure it has been entered properly before you use it with important files. A syntax error could be fatal to your precious files. Caution: Scrap Maker creates a temporary file called S on your GEOS work disk. So if you already have a file on the disk with that name, be sure to rename it.


Before using Scrap Maker, make sure there’s a Text Scrap file on your work disk; otherwise the conversion will not be complete. Create a Text Scrap if you don’t have one. To do this, double-click the geoWrite icon and then cut or copy any text from a geoWrite file. Once you have a Text Scrap on disk, you can use Scrap Maker.

Load and run Scrap Maker as you would any BASIC program. If you are within the GEOS environment, just double-click on the Scrap Maker icon.

Scrap Maker first asks you to insert the disk that contains the file that you want to convert and then asks for the conversion type you want to execute. You have three conversion options: SpeedScript to GEOS, Commodore ASCII to GEOS, and true ASCII to GEOS. Next, Scrap Maker requests the name of the file to be converted. If the file is too large – the maximum size is about 6K – you’ll get an overflow error, and Scrap Maker will restart.

After the file loads, Scrap Maker translates the file in memory, reporting on the status as it converts and on how large the text will be, Scrap Maker then asks for a GEOS work disk (the one with the Text Scrap already on it), and it writes the new Text Scrap on it. Finally, Scrap Maker requests the GEOS master or boot disk. After GEOS boots up, you can paste the new Text Scrap into a Text Album or geoWrite file. The text you just pasted will be in the BSW font, so if you want a different font, make the change within geoWrite.

Helpful Hints

Since Scrap Maker can convert only 6K at a time, large documents will have to be broken down and saved as smaller ones. Convert each of these small documents one at a time, and after each conversion, paste the document into a geoWrite file. After all the conversions have been done, the end product will be in one geoWrite file.

Scrap Maker is written entirely in BASIC, so it is quite easy to modify. I have assumed that Commodore ASCII files and true ASCII files will be SEQ files, which covers most cases. You can change this to suit your needs if you have true ASCII files saved as PRG files. You can also add conversion options if you like, such as converting PaperClip III files.


I have tested this program with GEOS 1.2 and geoWrite 1.1. This is the only version of geoWrite available to me. Experiment with whatever version you have, but be sure to back up your disk just in case something goes awry.