A new version of Fireworkz for the new year

Well, there are always fireworks to mark the new year, so why not Fireworkz as well?

New Year’s Day 2014 saw Stuart Swales announce the release of the latest version of Fireworkz – v1.35/00 – for both RISC OS and Windows – with a long list of changes, some affecting the RISC OS version only, some the Windows version only, and some both.

Looking further, that list is even longer, if other updates since the last mention of Fireworkz on RISCOSitory are taken into account – the update to version 1.34/10 was reported on in March of this year (having been built in December 2012), and version 1.34/11 was released in May 2013. Cherry picking from the list of changes for both versions, then, benefits of upgrading to the latest version of Fireworkz for RISC OS include:

  • Euro currency formats added.
  • A Choices directory is now supplied alongside the Fireworkz application, with instructions for putting it in the appropriate place in Boot and copying any existing user data across.
  • Saving a documents as a Drawfile now also exports any Drawfiles (including sprites and JPEGs) and charts present in the document.
  • Fonts used in Drawfiles that are used as pictures/markers in charts now better match up with existing fonts in the charts.
  • Some previously undocumented functions are now included in the – quite extensive – HTML help files,  supplied in a zip file within the application itself, and also available as the online user guide, which have also been updated in other ways.
  • Some font mappings have been changed, for example the RISC OS  ‘Pembroke’ family is now mapped t the Windows ‘Palentino’ family.
  • Shift-clicking on the Fireworkz icon on the icon bar will now open the Choices:Fireworkz directory, thus providing access to user-created Templates and Choices.

Fireworkz1, an integreted word processor and spreadsheet package, was originally a commercial application supplied by Colton Software, until the unfortunate death of Mark Colton in 1995. Mark was a leading driver of the British Hillclimb Championship, and he lost his life in August of that year during a practice run at Craigantlet Hillclimb, Northern Ireland.

Stuart, who now runs Croftnuisk Consulting from his (splendidly located, judging by the pictures and what Stuart has written on his website) home near Aberfeldy in Perthshire, was one of Colton Software’s developers alongside Mark Colton and Paul Fellows, and he started updating Fireworkz again in 2011, at which point it was made compatible with the newer hardware that was available, as well as becoming a free download.


  1. Fireworkz also has a bigger brother, Fireworkz Pro, which features a database as well as the word processor and spreadsheet. Fireworkz Pro was, therefore, a more expensive package from Colton Software, and for the last couple of years has been available commercially from R-Comp – though for a much lower price than the heady days of the 1990s. Stuart has said in a post to the Colton Software Fireworkz mailing list on Google Groups that he has forwarded the corresponding version of Fireworkz Pro to R-Comp.

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