Announcement from Andrew Rawnsley, 21st October, 2015.
Fireworkz Pro 2 is a huge upgrade for the popular Fireworkz integrated word processor / spreadsheet / database software. The list of “bullet point” improvements alone covers 11 A4 sheets of paper, so you can imagine the scope of work that this has entailed!
Key to Fireworkz Pro 2 is compatibility with the outside world. With this in mind, virtually all import/export facilities have been revamped and improved.
The headline capability is MS Excel export, allowing you to save your spreadsheet work in an industry standard format which can be opened by your friends and colleagues. Previously, Fireworkz had basic import of Excel data, but couldn’t save any changes, and couldn’t export your existing spreadsheets. This is no longer the case – thanks to dozens of new Open Document-compliant functions, Fireworkz is able to handle and translate to/from industry-standard sheets with ease.
Of course, these new functions also massively improve Fireworkz’ Excel import capability, which has also undergone something of a revamp. Not only is it far more compatible than ever before, but it also now handles cosmetic elements such as colour, font and size. This can be important as negative numbers are often shown in red, and many spreadsheets use coloured elements or text styles to highlight key data.
On the word processing front, RTF (rich text format) import/export has seen much work, with support for modern, extended RTF files, including RTF with embedded objects/pictures etc. There is extensive character translation support for RTF documents, making transition between Windows and RISC OS much smoother. Another key word-processing element – mail-merge – has also been revamped, and is now much clearer to use. This now shows you exactly what’s going on, and indicates merged fields clearly. Being an integrated word processor and spreadsheet makes mail-merge extremely elegant in Fireworkz, so that you can have a sheet of, say, Christmas letter addresses, and your letter itself, easily linked together.
There are also legacy import capabilities added in the CD edition of Fireworkz Pro 2. According to the author it is now possible to bring files in from as far back as the BBC era, and export them in Windows (and RISC OS!) friendly formats! To aid in being cross-platform, the CD also includes a version of our PDF Maker software, allowing PDF generation from your Fireworkz Pro 2 documents. The Windows version of Fireworkz 2 is also included, meaning that your Fireworkz documents will be safe whatever the future may bring.
The actual core functionality of each part of Fireworkz Pro has also been improved. There are around 100 new/revised functions, covering many areas from statistical functions through matrix operations, to database routines. You begin to see where those 11 A4 sheets of improvements are just bullet points!
The user interface has been improved/modernised, with various revisions, simplifications and standardisations throughout the software. There are new keyboard short cuts, and more configuration capability if users so desire. The look and feel can now be adjusted and tailored if needed. There’s improved Unicode/UTF-8 support for foreign language handling, improved Draw and JPEG handling, and lots more.
Fireworkz Pro 2 will be available at the London Show on CD for the usual £39.00 price. A low cost upgrade will be available for existing users. Fireworkz Pro 2 will be available for purchase/download on !Store also.
In the interest of transparency, a “Fireworkz” (non-Pro) update will also be coming in due course, although much of the capability described above relates specifically to the Pro edition.