Perfect Writer

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Perfect Writer is a word processor computer program published by Perfect Software for CP/M,[1] subsequently rewritten and released as Perfect II by Thorn EMI Computer Software for IBM PC compatible computers.[2] It was written in C and famous for its stability. It was an enhanced version of MINCE, which itself was a version of Emacs for microcomputer platforms. Emacs itself was too heavyweight to fit within the 64kb RAM limit of most microcomputers.[3] Like MINCE, it included a floppy disk based virtual memory system.

Along with its companion spreadsheet (Perfect Calc), and database (Perfect Filer), Perfect Writer was bundled with early Kaypro II and Morrow computers, as well as with the Torch Computers Z80 Disk Pack add-on for the BBC Micro[4] and had a list price of USD$349. In the UK, it was bundled with the short lived Advance 86B PC (a near IBM compatible). It supported up to 7 buffers, had a character transpose command, undo, footnotes, and indexing. Its capabilities were very close to that of the dedicated word processors of the day.[5] Perfect Writer's ability to cut and paste between documents open in multiple buffers was an advantage over WordStar.[6]

Perfect Writer supported a number of add-on programs, Perfect Speller and Perfect Thesaurus, also published by Perfect Software, along with third party software such as Plu*Perfect published by Plu*Perfect Systems. Plu*Perfect included "D", a dired-like file browser that was deemed "the best of all directory displayers" by Stewart Brand.[3]

Perfect Writer was originally published by Perfect Software. Later versions of the product were developed and maintained by Knowledge Engineering in Austin, Texas. The thesaurus was designed written and maintained by George O. Jenkins, Jr.


  1. ^ Vogler, John (March 1985). "Perfect Power". Personal Computer World. Vol. 8, no. 3. pp. 156–159. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  2. ^ Lang, Kathy (May 1985). "Perfect II". Personal Computer World. Vol. 8, no. 5. pp. 196–199. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b Whole Earth Software Catalog. Quantum Press/Doubleday. 1984. ISBN 0-385-19166-9. LCCN 84-15096.
  4. ^ "Z80 Communicator".
  5. ^ Ford, John (14 June 1982). "The Perfect Writer, a new word-processing system". InfoWorld. Vol. 4, no. 23. p. 97.
  6. ^ Waite, Mitchell; Lafore, Robert; Volpe, Jerry. The Official Book for the Commodore 128. The Waite Group, Inc. p. 100. ISBN 0-672-22456-9. LCCN 85-50977. Another reason that split windows are important is that you can cut and paste between two documents while both are on the screen. In WordStar, you have to save the text to be pasted in a file, quit the current document, reload the new document, and read in the file of text.

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