SpeedScript was a type-in word processor for various home computers. Approximately 5 KB in length, it provided many of the same features as commercial word processing packages of the early 8-bit era, such as Easy Script and Bank Street Writer.


Initially, SpeedScript was written by COMPUTE!'s Gazette Program Editor Charles Brannon for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20, and published in the January 1984 issue of the Gazette. It was later ported to various other computers that used the 65xx family of CPUs, including the Atari 8-bit family and the Apple II family. SpeedScript was written entirely in assembly language, and COMPUTE! Publications later released a book/disk combination that contained the complete commented source code (as well as compiled object code).

80-Column Updates

The original versions of SpeedScript were designed for the 40-column Commodore 64 and the 22-column VIC-20. When the Commodore 128 was released, featuring an 80-column display, many users requested an updated version of SpeedScript to take advantage of this new capability. In June 1986, COMPUTE!'s Gazette published SpeedScript-80, a short patch for SpeedScript 3.0 or higher, which enabled the use of the VDC's new 80-column capabilities on a Commodore 128 running in 64 mode. However, this did not take advantage of the C128's expanded memory, and a few minor commands were eliminated due to the alterations to the existing code. A native version of SpeedScript for the C128 was finally released in October 1987. This version eliminated the problems of the patch and took full advantage of the C128's 80-column screen, expanded memory, and enhanced keyboard.

In December 1987, COMPUTE!'s Gazette published Instant 80, a utility for the C64 version of SpeedScript that allowed 80-column document previewing (though not editing) on a standard C64. This was done by using half-width characters on a high-resolution graphics screen.

Spelling checkers

Although SpeedScript did not include a built-in spell checker, additional utilities were soon published to fill this hole. In December 1985, SpeedCheck was published in COMPUTE!'s Gazette. This external utility accepted SpeedScript files (as well as those from compatible word processors, such as PaperClip) and spell-checked them against a user-defined dictionary. An enhanced 80-column version for the C128, SpeedCheck 128, was published in September 1988.

SpeedScript 3.0 for the Commodore VIC-20

SpeedScript 3.0 for the Atari 400/800/XL/XE


  • Charles Brannon. "SpeedScript Word Processor For Commodore 64 And VIC-20". COMPUTE!'s Gazette, January 1984.
  • Charles Brannon. "SpeedScript 3.0: All Machine Language Word Processor For Expanded VIC-20". COMPUTE!, April 1985.
  • CAPUTE!. "SpeedScript 3.0 Update". COMPUTE!, May 1985.
  • "SpeedScript 3.0: All Machine Language Word Processor for Atari". COMPUTE!, May 1985. ISSN 0194-357X.
  • "ScriptSave: Automatic Disk Saves for Commodore 64 SpeedScript 3.0". COMPUTE!, May 1985. ISSN 0194-357X.
  • Charles Brannon and Kevin Martin. "SpeedScript 3.0: All Machine Language Word Processor For Apple". COMPUTE!, June 1985.
  • Charles Brannon. "SpeedScript 3.0 Revisited". COMPUTE!, December 1985.
  • Ottis R. Cowper. "SpeedCheck: An Expandable Spelling Checker For The Commodore 64 And 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette, December 1985. ISSN 0737-3716.
  • Charles Brannon. SpeedScript: The Word Processor for Atari Computers. Greensboro, North Carolina: COMPUTE! Publications, Inc., 1985. ISBN 0-87455-003-3.
  • Todd Heimarck. "SpeedScript-80 For The 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette, June 1986. ISSN 0737-3716.
  • Charles Brannon. "SpeedScript 3.2 For The Commodore 64". COMPUTE!'s Gazette, May 1987. ISSN 0737-3716.
  • Charles Brannon and Robert Kodadek. "SpeedScript 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette, October 1987. ISSN 0737-3716.
  • Glen Mackinnon. "Instant 80: True 80-Column Preview For SpeedScript". COMPUTE!'s Gazette, December 1987. ISSN 0737-3716.
  • Larry D. Smith. "SpeedCheck 128: A Spelling Checker For SpeedScript 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette, September 1988. ISSN 0737-3716.

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