The First XLEnt Word Processor

The First XLEnt Word Processor is a floppy disk-based word processor for the Atari 8-bit family published by XLEnt (pronounced "excellent") Software in 1986. It was written by David Castell who was a student at the time.[1] Though sold by a budget publisher for US$29.95,[2] it was favorably compared with more established competitors.[3]

The First XLEnt Word Processor
Original author(s)David Castell
Developer(s)XLEnt Software
Initial release1986; 36 years ago (1986)
PlatformAtari 8-bit family
TypeWord processor
LicenseProprietary software


The First XLEnt Word Processor was released without copy protection in 1986 for $29.95 (equivalent to $74 in 2021). It runs on Atari 8-bit computers with 48 kB of RAM.[1] Contemporary word processors for the Atari platform include PaperClip, AtariWriter Plus, and Letter Perfect.[2]

The word processor includes cut-and-paste block moves of up to one screen,[3] search-and-replace, chaining files, support for a variety of printers including graphics, mail merge, the insertion of graphics into a text document, inserting a text file into another text file, controlling the cursor with a joystick, editing two documents simultaneously, and raw text file export.[2]


Charles Cherry of Antic called it, "as good or better than any other word processor you'll find for the 8-bit Atari". His list of advantages included performance and "very comprehensive printing capabilities". In a later comparison of seven word processors, Antic cited the issues with The First XLEnt Word Processor as, "the cut-and-paste buffer holds you to one screen—800 characters. Also, the printing section in the manual could be more informative."[3] The word processor received an Outstanding Product award from Antic in 1987.[4] When version 2.1 was released, Antic's Gregg Pearlman wrote, "First XLEnt Word Processor came highly recommended in its original version, and Version 2.1 merits an even longer look."[5]


  1. ^ a b The First XLEnt Word Processor Manual. Springfield, Virginia, USA: XLEnt Software. 1986.
  2. ^ a b c Cherry, Charles (January 1987). "Feature Review: First XLEnt Word Processor". Antic. Vol. 5, no. 9.
  3. ^ a b c Pearlman, Gregg (February 1987). "Word Processors: 7 For The 8-Bit". Antic. Vol. 5, no. 10.
  4. ^ Friedland, Nat (May 1987). "Antic Awards". Antic. Vol. 6, no. 1.
  5. ^ Pearlman, Gregg (December 1987). "New Products: The First XLEnt Word Processor V. 2.1". Antic. Vol. 6, no. 8.

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