XyWrite for Windows

An installer for XyWrite for Windows (16-bit) running under modern Windows

XyWrite for Windows was a version of the DOS-based XyWrite 4 word processor written for 16-bit Windows 3.x. If you already know what it is, you don't need to read any more about it; if you don't already know what it is, you almost certainly won't want to spend time reading this page, and you won't want to use it.

Thanks to the otvdm/winevdm project, it is now possible to run XyWrite for Windows under 64-bit Windows. The original XyWin installer program circulating on the Internet causes many problems in modern Windows, and doesn't install the final version of the program, so I have created an installer that sets up XyWrite for Windows in its final version, and does some housekeeping to make it work smoothly. You may download the installer here.

Note: Two systems for running the DOS version of XyWrite 4 may be found here.

When running XyWin, you should almost certainly use a Windows printer driver, not a XyWrite driver, partly because you won't be able to print directly from the XyWrite drivers. To use a Windows printer driver in XyWin, use File->Printer Setup, and then, if the "Select XyWrite Printer File" dialog opens, click on "Windows..." at the lower right. When the "Select Windows Printer" dialog is open, select from the list of Installed Printers, and click "Load." XyWin will remember your selection.

If you prefer to create PDF files rather than print directly from XyWrite, then use my PrintFilePrinter program. On the linked page, see especially the sections that give details of the Save-to-PDF feature and the method for creating a print-to-file printer under Windows 10. When you have created a print-to-file printer in Windows 10, use XyWin's Printer Setup menu to select and load that printer dirver.

If you encounter errors with every Windows printer driver that you try, you might experiment with this possible fix: edit XWSTART.INT and change the setting for UWF from 2 to 1. (You can do this in Notepad or in XyWin itself.) Then restart XyWin and try to print. Or consider reinstalling XyWin.

If XyWin crashes immediately on startup, edit the XWUIF.UIF file in a text editor, and remove everyhing after the equals sign in the line that begins device=.

If for any reason you choose to use XyWrite's native printer drivers, the program may crash unless you make the change in otvdm.ini (described below) that my installer urges you to make. Also, XyWrite's printer drivers may or may not work in modern systems, but you can use them smoothly with my PrintFilePrinter program.

(Note: The installer linked from this page will offer to make this change for you when you first install XyWin!) If you have already installed XyWrite for Windows, edit the text file c:\otvdm\odvdm.ini by removing the comment mark (";") from the start of line 43 (or whatever line number may be relevant in the current version), and save the file, so that the relevant line reads:


This will prevent an error that would otherwise occur when XyWin tries to list the fonts on your system. Some Windows printer drivers will cause errors; some, like the default PCL6 driver for my HP LaserJet, will print correctly. You may need to experiment.

The otvdm.ini file gives instructions for enabling or disabling specific fonts when you turn on the EnumFontLimitation option.

This comes with no warranties. If you want help with XyWrite for Windows, join the XyWrite mailing list and ask for help there.

Edward Mendelson (em thirty-six [at] columbia [dot] edu, but with two initials and two numerals before the [at] sign, not spelled out as shown here).