SignWriter and Windows XP

Valerie Sutton Sutton at SIGNWRITING.ORG
Thu May 30 15:16:09 UTC 2002

SignWriting List
May 30, 2002

Ilka Schäfke, a new SW List member, wrote from Hamburg, Germany:
>>heard about SignWriting first from STefan Wöhrmann, who had taught 
>>a class at Hamburg University, and i´m working there, too, trying 
>>to get my dissertation about literacy in deaf and hard-of-hearing 
>>german children done. I just subscribed to the list (i hope!) and 
>>have been trying to find one comment in the archive about someone 
>>who has installed SignWriter 4.4 successfully on a computer running 
>>on Windows XP. I downloaded the programm, but it refuses to do 
>>anything while open and i can´t get it to close again, either. I do 
>>have another programm running dos-based, though, so i wonder what 
>>the problem might be. Is there anyone with a hint what i could try 
>>next? Greetings from Hamburg (your site is just great!) Ilka, 
>>ilka at

Hello Ilka, and welcome to the SignWriting List!
I know Stefan has been teaching a course on SignWriting in Hamburg, 
so it is nice to meet someone from there. We would interested to know 
more about your dissertation...Feel free to share with the list 

Regarding SignWriter on Windows XP....Recently, another List member, 
Jerry Spillman, was very kind to experiment to see if he could get 
SignWriter to work on Windows XP....It was both positive and 
negative, as you can see by his messages below:


Date:         Mon, 20 May 2002 17:24:15 -0600
Subject:      Signwriter 4.4 under Windows XP

Dear Valerie, Stuart, and any other interested Windows XP users:

We have managed to get SignWriter 4.4 to run in the Windows XP DOS 
box (command prompt).  I cannot yet guaratee how the outputs will 
function, however, since we have barely made it run.  It looks good 
at this time.

Currently, we have made a "Windows Shortcut" pointing to the sw.exe 
file on the desktop.
If we right click on the shortcut and select "advance properties", it 
shows two files necessary to modify, using the "notepad" editor 
program.  XP will ask what program to open these files in, as it does 
not recognize them, and will provide an icon to select "notepad".

The first file is called "Autoexec.NT", and is very similar to the 
old DOS Autoexec.bat file.  Once you open it in the "notepad" editor 
program, add one simple line at the bottom (actually anywhere on the 
left margin would work):


using the "dos path" to where the sw.exe file exists, assuming in 
this example that your actual file path is C:\SW\sw\exe.

The second file is called "Config.NT", and is very similar to the old 
DOS Config.sys file.  It can be opened also in the "notepad" DOS 
editor program.  It requires the addition of a files statement larger 
than the one already at the bottom of the left side of the file. 
Mine came configured for 40 files.  I changed this line to read:


So far, this has worked to operate SignWriter 4.4, as far as typing 
signs.  I will report again soon after trying to export the .bmp and 
..pdf formats.

Jerry Spillman


Date:         Tue, 21 May 2002 05:34:15 -0600
Subject:      Re: Signwriter 4.4 under Windows XP

Dear Valerie and List,

My excitement was short lived yesterday.  After I posted to the list 
about running SW 4.4 in XP, I went back over all that I had done and 
tried the rest of the evening to get it to run again, with no 
success.  What I reported to you is exactly what we tried, the one 
time that it did run.  However, I am determined that if it did open 
and run properly once, that there must be a way, and we will continue 
toward that goal.



Val ;-)


Valerie Sutton
Sutton at

....visit the...

Read & Write Sign Languages

Sign Language Dictionaries

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Read & Write Movement & Gesture

Deaf Action Committee for SignWriting
Center For Sutton Movement Writing
an educational nonprofit organization
Box 517, La Jolla, CA, 92038-0517, USA
tel: 858-456-0098....fax: 858-456-0020

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