IT IS GOOD to see such a rabid interest in the Psion business packages but, with the dearth of books on other QL subjects, it's about time a halt was called to the production line.
The latest off the conveyor belt is Word Processing with QL Quill, by David Dempsey. His book is a practical tutorial with exercises at the end of each section, and information accompanied by diagrams.
Unfortunately, the book is a bit of a slow starter. The first two chapters describe the functions of a word processor and show how Quill is loaded into the QL.
By page 52 we have learnt how to make back-up copies and Dempsey has explained the characteristics of QL cartridges.
That page is the turning point of the book, which goes on to describe formatting techniques and advanced editing features such as the import command.
The Sinclair Quill manual gives few examples of how to set up a document with margin settings, underlining, and various typefaces. It also gives a garbled account of how to set tabulation points on a page. That is one of the most difficult aspects to understand, and Dempsey gives a simple and readable explanation.
The section on advanced editing covers such topics as placing headers on the page, and importing text from a file produced by one of the other Psion packages. It is a lucid and well designed account of those processes.
The final chapter of the book looks at printing, a topic which is largely ignored in the manual. Although he says little about the types of printer you can use with Quill - a glaring omission - Dempsey does provide a survey of the types of printing you can do.
The only other book which can be compared in terms of quality with Dempsey's is QL Quill, from Century. There is little between them.
Word Processing with QL Quill is for both the business and home user who wants to know more about the machine as well as the package. The combination works well, and if you are interested in the esoteric aspects of QL usage, then the Longman book is a perfect buy.
Price: £7.95 (paperback)