The Electronic Labyrinth


Asymmetrix's Toolbook is a capable HyperCard clone for Microsoft Windows 3.0. Version 1.5 ($395) requires a 16-bit processor and a minimum of 1MB RAM, though a 32-bit processor with 4MB RAM is more reasonable. An unlimited runtime is provided free.

Toolbook supports TIFF, BMP, DIB, DRW, EPS, and WMF graphics in up to 24-bit colour. The built-in draw features are quite capable. Flat file database functions allow records with up to eight sort keys. Cards (here called pages) may be of any size, and support scroll bars. More than one book/stack may be open at once. Sound is supported through Windows' WAV format. Text formatting includes character and paragraph styles, as well as search and replace. Sample applications are included; one is DayBook, a complete personal organizer. DDE is supported.

For $300, users can upgrade to Multimedia Toolbook, which supports CD-ROM, laser disc, animation, audio cards, video, and MIDI.

The OpenScript language is a superset of HyperTalk. It includes a script recorder, editor, syntax checker, and debugger. DLLs are supported. Unlike other HyperCard clones, Toolbook can easily create anchors in text, to which scripts may be attached. Creating a hypertext system is therefore made simpler.

We did not perform a hands-on evaluation of Toolbook, but can assume from its success in the market and positive reviews that it is a capable package. It has more features, and is less expensive, than PLUS. If only there was a Mac version, Toolbook would be the clear winner in its class.

Asymmetrix Co.
110 110th Ave. NE #717
Bellevue, WA

phone: 800-624-8999 x299H

© 1993-2000 Christopher Keep, Tim McLaughlin, Robin Parmar.
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