FAQ Home | HC-FAQ 1 | HC-FAQ 2 | HC-FAQ 3 | HC-FAQ 4

Welcome to the HyperCard FAQ - Part 2 of 4 - The Basics
FAQ Version 1.2.2 Tue, Nov 18, 1997

  FAQ Version History
  Foreward for Version 1.2 

  Add your $.02 
  Copyright Info 
  Easy View and Setext 
  New in HyperCard FAQ 1.2.1
  New in HyperCard FAQ 1.2 
  New in HyperCard FAQ 1.1 
The Basics
  Where Can I purchase HyperCard?
  HyperCard Info Resources 
  Where can I find HyperCard stacks? (ftp info)
  Books on HyperCard
  Book Reviews
  Hypercard Products and Related Applications
  Addresses for HC Products
  What is HyperCard?
  What is HyperTalk?
  What is Home?
  What is the HyperCard Player?
  What is a standalone?
  What is AppleScript?
  What is the user level?
  What's the background domain? What's the card domain?
  What does the Compact Stack do?
  How can I make my menubar appear (or disappear)?
  How do I record my own sounds?
  Can I add color to my stacks?
  How many stacks can I have open at once?

Version Misc.
  Version History
  What's new in version 2.0?
  What's new in version 2.1?
  What's new in version 2.2?
  Version 2.2 Review
  Will Version 1.2.5 work with System 7?
  Will HyperCard 2.x work with System 6?
  Will my HC 2.2 stack work with earlier versions of HC?
  How do I convert a 1.x version stack to 2.x?

Problems & Bugs
  Miscellaneous HyperCard Problems and Memory
  I only have two (or three) user level choices available.
  Why do my buttons disappear when I go to another card?
  The "Fonts not installed" Message
  Command-space doesn't toggle the menubar.
  The Protect Stack command disappeared.
  Help! I lost my password.
  My color standalone has no color!
  My visual effect commands don't work.
  HC 2.1 Bugs and the Mac AVs
  HyperCard doesn't work on my PowerMac.
  What is the merryxmas virus?
  What is the HC virus?

  Reporting bugs and suggesting improvements.
  How do I make pictures of card images?
  Hidden printing features.

  Who's Peter Fleck?

FAQ Versions
  Interim Organic FAQ v.0.0.2 by Dave Lorand released in October, 1993
  Version .04 released in November, 1993
  Version 1.0 released in 1994
  Version 1.1 released in 1995
  Slight modifications 7/20/96
  AND NOW version 1.2, released on Monday, December 9, 1996
  It's been a long, strange trip.
  Version 1.2.1 released Monday, December 23, 1996
  Have a happy HyperCard holiday and script safely.
  Version 1.2.2 released Monday, November 18, 1997
                   SEE THE FAQ ON THE WEB!
         [Please be patient for the current version.]

Foreward for Version 1.2 

  Apple is still alive and kicking and HyperCard seems to be making a
  comeback. Me, I've delved into Macromedia Director and learned some
  things about the DOS/WINDOWS world and my own conclusion is that
  there's still nothing in the scripting/authoring world like
  Long live Bill Atkinson.

  This may be the last version of the FAQ for HC 2.x.  Rumors of HC 3.0
  are hot and heavy with folks seeing it more often than Elvis and it
  hasn't been released yet (as of this writing).  My guess is Q2 of '97.
  The FAQ addendum contains what's known in the civilized world about
  3.0. Join the mailing list or news group to keep up with the latest
  rumors or go to MacWorld or the WWDC for a preview.

  Mine was not the only FAQ in HC history -- several of us got the FAQ
  idea about the same time and Dave Lorand got tired of waiting for my
  FAQ and released the Interim Organic FAQ.  (Dave continued to help
  with the FAQ thru 1996.)  I *think* Bruce Carter was also preparing a
  FAQ and kindly sent me his archive. Seeing I didn't really understand
  the amount of work involved, everyone deferred to me.  I thought it
  would be easy.  It's not which is why this is the first big update in
  quite a while.
  I want to thank hypercarders everywhere for all of the support and
  help I've received in the process of putting this document together.

  Peter Fleck, Keeper of the HyperCard FAQ
  December 9, 1996


  A Listing of Frequently Asked Questions and Information about the
  HyperCard Programming Environment

  Part 1 is general information and a full table of contents. Part 2 is
  meant as an introduction to the HyperCard environment. Part 3 covers
  scripting. Part 4 is an addendum that covers multiple topics of more
  recent interest than the previous FAQ files.  I'm hoping to do more
  frequent updatings within the addendum.

  Current versions of the FAQ are available for anonymous ftp from


  [You'll also find links to downloading at:

  The purpose of The HyperCard FAQ is to provide information and answer
  basic questions about HyperCard; its scripting language, HyperTalk;
  and various resources and products relating to HyperCard.

  When I first released the FAQ, Apple was still bundling the "real"
  HyperCard application with new Macs, sans documentation. One of my
  goals with the FAQ was to provide some very basic documentation for
  those curious about following the HyperCard path.

  Today, Apple only includes the HyperCard Player; to script and author,
  you have to buy HyperCard and you get all the manuals.  You should
  also consider some third-party books -- check the Books section of
  this FAQ for more info.

  The HyperCard FAQ is not meant to replace the Apple manuals, or the
  excellent third party books available.

  Editorial comments are in brackets ([]). Script commands and internet
  addresses in text appear between <> (except where I forgot to use
  these conventions).

Add your $.02

  Comments, suggestions, ideas, typo lists, are welcome 
  and appreciated. [I know I didn't proof this version as well as 
  I should have.]
  I can be reached via the internet at:

Copyright Info

  This document may be copied and redistributed on the
  understanding that NO resale of this information is undertaken
  by any recipient. This means non-profit, non-commercial
  publications (user group newsletters, for example) can reprint
  the FAQ but that it cannot be used in a book or commercial
  magazine.  Individual authors who contributed to the FAQ still
  own the copyright on their material.

  Any reproduction of the information should be complete and
  entire and provide reference to the original source (i.e. the
  HYPERCARD FAQ) and the editor (Peter Fleck), and individual
  authors where directly mentioned in the text.  The editor would
  like to be informed of any reprints and would very much
  appreciate a copy of the publication.

  The editor takes no responsibility for any errors, omissions or
  misunderstandings, however induced!

Easy View and Setext

  [I have a 7500 with System 7.5.5 and Easy View still works with 
  no problems. 12/9/96]

  This document is formatted as setext. You can use the Easy View 
  structured text reader to browse the FAQ. Easy View divides the FAQ 
  into chapters and heads and has search capabilities. 
  Easy View is available for anonymous ftp 
  from <mac.archive.umich.edu> in directory /mac/util/text. 
  [Info from the Easy View Read Me]
  Easy View is an application for intelligent browsing of collections 
  of structured text files, large or small. It allows very fast access 
  by recognizing the internal structure. All of the following text 
  formats can be viewed using Easy View: 
    - setext, including TidBITS and similar publications 
    - Info-Mac, c.s.m.p, or similar digests
    - Mail collections: Internet, Navigator, Notebook, etc.
    - Text with "simple" format
    - Dictionaries
    - Plain text
  Written by M. Akif Eyler, Bilkent University, 06533 Ankara, Turkey.
  e-mail: eyler@trbilun.bitnet          eyler@bcc.bilkent.edu.tr
    More information can be obtained from the designer Ian Feldman   
    <setext-list@random.se>, or by sending "setext" alone
    on the subject line, no quotes, to <fileserver@tidbits.com>

New in HyperCard FAQ 1.2.2

  Updated "HyperCard Info Resources" (Part 2) to reflect the new 
  mailing list. Also some other minor updating of that section.
  Added some new info from Paul Foraker about the resizing windows.
  (Part 4).
  Corrected some errors.

New in HyperCard FAQ 1.2.1

  Jacque Gay reported some 8-bit characters in the text which caused
  her problems when uploading the FAQ files to AOL.  I think I've
  removed them via the Convert to ASCII... extension in BBEdit.

  Added "Where did the Button Tasks button go?" in part 4, Bugs

  Added "How do I extract my original stack from a stand-alone?" in
  part 4, Misc. section.

  Added "How can I get my HyperCard stack on the web?" in part 4,
  Misc. section.

  Added Mark Gregory's HyperCard tutorial site:
  <http://www.chepd.mq.edu.au/boomerang/teachhc/> in part 2, The
  Basics, "HyperCard Info Resources".

  Added short blurb about my home page in the Introduction section.

  Added Jacque Gay's name to the people I thank in Acknowledgements.

  Added Peter Brigham's name to the people I thank in Acknowledgements
  for his "FAQ to stack" work.

  Updated info on Michael Swaine's HyperPub publication in part 2, The
  Basics, "HyperCard Info Resources". There is a web site: 

New in HyperCard FAQ 1.2

  Added a new Part 1 which contains a full table of contents and general

  Part 4, The Addendum is all new.

  Updated URLs and put them in standard format.

  Added some URLs for downloading x-things.

  Updated titles and ISBNs for Winkler's, Kamins's, & DeVoto's _The
  Book_ and Goodman's Complete Handbook.

  New introductory section.

  Updated "Are there programs like HyperCard for ...?" with new information
  about Oracle Media Objects, MetaCard, and HyperCard IIGS

  Added info about TrueColor and OpenStack.

  Did some other stuff I can't remember.

New in HyperCard FAQ 1.1 (1995)

  What's the background domain? What's the card domain?
  How many stacks can I have open at once?
  Will my HC 2.2 stack work with earlier versions of HC?
  My color standalone has no color!
  Can I add color to my stacks? [Moved from HC Scripting FAQ]
  My visual effect commands don't work. [Moved from HC Scripting FAQ]
  HyperCard doesn't work on my PowerMac.
  What is the merryxmas virus?
  What is the HC virus?
  Reporting bugs and suggesting improvements.

  Minor changes, additions, or updates were made to the 
  following FAQs
  Where Can I purchase HyperCard?
  HyperCard Info Resources
  Where can I find HyperCard stacks? (ftp info)
  What is the HyperCard Player?
  What is AppleScript?
  What is Home?
  Books on HyperCard
  Book Reviews
  HyperCard Products and Related Applications

The Basics

Where Can I purchase HyperCard?

  Purchase is a key word here. If you want the scriptable HyperCard  
  application (instead of the HyperCard Player which, at this  
  writing, is still bundled with new Macs), you have to pay for it.  
  It's no longer bundled with every Mac.  
  HyperCard is available wherever quality software is sold meaning  
  via mail order from the major Mac sources or at local software  
  distributors. An educational discount is also offered for educators  
  and students.  
  You can also purchase HyperCard from APDA, Apple's source for 
  developer tools. They had a $99 special on the product in early 
  1994. (According to net rumor, the APDA also sells the current 
  version of the HC Player for about $25 plus shipping.)
  Registered users of previous HyperCard versions (and you're 
  only registered if you paid for the product), are eligible for an 
  upgrade. For details, users should contact the Apple 
  Software Programs Customer Service at (800) 769-2775, ext. 7810.
  (If that number is no longer valid, try (800) SOS-APPL.) 

HyperCard Info Resources 
  Most of the resources listed here are online and available through 
  the Internet or commercial BBS services. Many local BBS's also have 
  HyperCard discussion areas or link to one of the major ones. 
  The World Wide Web:
    <http://www.glasscat.com/hypercard.html> The HyperCard Resource
    <http://members.aol.com/hcheaven/> HyperCard Heaven
    <http://www.chepd.mq.edu.au/boomerang/teachhc/> A HyperCard tutorial
    site by Mark Gregory. Very extensive. Lots of tidbits and examples.
    <http://www.hypercard.apple.com/> Apple's official site! [Still 
    under construction as of 7/20/96.]
    /SuperCard_FAQ_02.text>  The SuperCard FAQ.
    <http://www.allegiant.com/> Allegiant makes SuperCard so this it the 
     SuperCard home page.
  comp.sys.mac.hypercard: Usenet. One of the best sources 
  for HyperCard information and frequented by some of the developers 
  of HyperCard itself. 

  HyperCard Mailing List: An e-mail discussion of HyperCard, 
  currently (11/97) moderated by Simon Hayes. 
  [Simon is webmaster for the HyperCard Resource Page
  Sign up online at: 
  Or subscribe via email:
  To subscribe to individual messages, send email to: 
  with the word "subsingle" as the message body [sans quotes].
  To subscribe to the daily digest, send email to: 
  with the word "subscribe" as the message body [sans quotes].

  Messages for posting to the entire list go to:
  Administrative messages (problems with subscribing, etc.) go to: 


  [The previous incarnation of the list was moderated by Ro Nagey
  of Royal Software <http://www.royalsoftware.com/>. 
  Many thanks to Ro for keeping the list alive.]

  [Before that, George Allen managed the original list, known as 
  the HYPERCRD mailing list. George did a wonderful job
  and the HyperCard community thanks him.] 
  <http://www.hypercard.apple.com/> HyperCard's home at Apple.
  There is a discussion forum online. 
  America Online: MacHyperCard forum (keyword MHC) Strong 
  community feeling. Very active with discussions on all 
  levels. CompileIt! Special Interest Group including both 
  Message boards and file library. SuperCard Special Interest 
  Group [most active Supercard discussions I've seen] Large 
  file library with decent (i.e. fairly complete) 
  descriptions. Scheduled online conference every Friday at 9 
  p.m. EST. The conference has featured Danny Goodman and Kevin 
  Calhoun (and me). 
  Macintosh User Groups: User groups often have special 
  interest groups that focus on various software such as HyperCard. 
  Check with an Apple Authorized dealer for the names of user groups 
  in your area. 

  [Most of the following resources probably don't exist any longer
  but I decided to keep them here for historical accuracy.]

  MACHYPE Echo: Fidonet. VERY Low traffic and few regulars. Available 
  on many local BBS's. 
  Compuserve: MacHyper forum (also call HyperText forum). 
  Strong community feeling and very active. Discussions on all levels 
  - beginners welcome. Good file library. 
  AppleLink: Feels more corporate, less community. The 
  HyperCard Discussion has mild activity with items that don't 
  seem to show up elsewhere. Software Sampler area has demos. XCMD 
  source code and other items can be found if persistent. 
  NIFTY-Serve: Japanese Sister service to Compuserve. Has very 
  active HyperCard community. [Hiroyasu Oyama, sysop of 
  Macintosh HyperMedia Forum on NIFTY-Serve contacted sent me a note 
  thanking me for mentioning the service.] 
  BMUG: Has boards for HyperCard, internet 
  comp.sys.mac.hypercard, AppleScript, etc. Does not yet have 
  a "community" feel but traffic seems to be picking 
  Michael Swaine's HyperPub: Journal of hypermedia products,
  markets, techniques, and technology.  HyperPub is no longer 
  published and back issues are not available.  (Michael hopes
  to make them available in the near future.)  HyperPub does 
  have a web existence at:
  Inside HyperCard: This is monthly (hard copy, newsletter 
  format) for scripting tips and techniques put out by the Cobb Group.   
  $59.00 year domestic, 79.00 year outside U.S.A. It is aimed at the 
  novice HyperTalk programmer. For subscription information write 
  to: Customer Relations 9420 Bunsen Parkway Suite 300 Louisville KY 
  40220 1-800-223-8720 
Where can I find HyperCard stacks? (ftp info)

  There are thousands of share/freeware stacks. Both CompuServe 
  and America Online have libraries. Check user groups in your area; 
  they often distribute disks of stacks. Check local Mac BBS's for 
  stack libraries. 
  Internet Sites with lots of stacks
  HyperCard toolschests at Apple  

  The World of X-Things
  HyperCard is blessed with some fine developers who can extend the 
  capabilities of the scripting environment. Many of these are 
  free for non-commercial use.
  So as not to play favorites, I've listed the sites in alpha order.
  Dartmouth Collection
  Jeff Iverson's x-things
  Lawrence D'Oliveiro collection of x-things
  Jon Pugh's x-things
  Frederic Rinaldi's collection of x-things
  Core Collection by John Sudderth

  Popular Stacks
  The following popular stacks and external collections are 
  available via anonymous ftp from mac.archive.umich.edu: 
  Colorizing HC XCMD [not upgraded since '93]
  Deprotect Stack
  Developer's Stack [1991]

Books on HyperCard

  [The book list is still in a bit of disarray. I haven't had time to 
  standardize the format or get copyright info on every listing. Some 
  of these books are old and would not be of much help with version 
  Ambron, Sueann, & Hooper, Kristina (Eds.) Learning with 
  interactive multimedia: Developing and using multimedia tools 
  in education. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 1990. 
  Anzovin, Steven. Compute!'s quick & easy guide to HyperCard.
  Apple Computer, Inc. HyperCard script language guide. Bundled 
  with HyperCard. 
  Apple Computer, Inc. HyperCard stack design guidelines. 0- 
  201- 51784-1 $18.95 
  Apple CD-ROM Handbook: A guide to planning, creating, and producing 
  a CD-ROM. Addison-Wesley, 1992. $14.95. 
  Beekman, George. HyperCard 2 in a hurry. Wadsworth.
  Bull, Glen,  &  Harris, Judi. HyperCard for educators: 
  An introduction. International Society for Technology in 
  Education. ISBN 0-924667-92-3 $12.95 paperback. 
  Coulouris, George and Thimbleby, Harold. HyperProgramming: 
  Building Interactive Programs with HyperCard. 
  Addison-Wessley, 1993. I'm really enjoying this text. It 
  contains very readable prose, examples, information about 
  turtle graphics, and hypertext, and a disk. Mark G. Gillingham 
  Culp, George, H. & Watkins, G. Morgan. The educator's guide to 
  HyperCard and HyperTalk. Allyn & Bacon, 1993. ISBN 0-205- 
  Fraase, Michael. Rapid reference guide to HyperCard for 
  the Macintosh. Business One Irwin, 1992. ISBN 1-55623-902-5 $9.95 
  Gluck, Myke. HyperCard, hypertext, and hypermedia for libraries 
  and media centers Imprint: Englewd, Co: Libraries Unlimited,1989. 
  Gold, Rebecca. HyperCard 2 quickstart. Que Publ, 1993.
  Goodman, Danny. The Complete HyperCard 2.2 Handbook 4th edition.
  Random House Electronic Publishing ISBN 0-679-79122-1. 1993. $35 US.
  Goodman, Danny. Danny Goodman's HyperCard developer's guide. 
  New York: Bantam Books, 1988. 
  Harvey, Greg. Understanding HyperCard. Sybex, 1989. $24.95
  Hofmeister, Joseph F. & Rudowski, Joyce B. Learning with HyperCard. 
  Cincinnati, OH: South-Western Pub, 1992. 
  Kaehler, Carol. HyperCard power: techniques and scripts. 
  ISBN 0201-06701-3 $17.95. 
  Lamb, Annette, & Myers, Dennis. HyperCard Creativity tool. 
  Career Publ. Co., 1990. ISBN 0-89262-362-4 $39.95 
  Lamb, Annette, & Myers, Dennis. HyperCard authoring tool. 
  Career Publ. Co., 1990. ISBN 0-89262-362-4 $39.95. 
  Michel, Stephen L. Hypercard: The complete reference.
  Shafer, Dan. The complete book of HyperTalk2. New 
  York: AddisonWesley, 1991. ISBN 0-201-57082-3 $26.95 
  Shell, Barry. Running HyperCard with HyperTalk 
  Vaughan, Tay. Multimedia: Making it work. Berkeley, 
  CA: Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 1993. ISBN 0-07-881869-9 $24.95 
  Vaughan, Tay. Using HyperCard: from home to HyperTalk. Que, 1988. 
  Venezky, Richard, & Osin, Luis. The intelligent design 
  of computer-assisted instruction. New York: Longman 
  (Addison- Wesley), 1991. ISBN 0-8013-0390-7 $24.95 

  Ventura, Fred. HyperCard Projects for Kids. Ventura Ed. 
  Wilson, Stephen. MultiMedia design with HyperCard. Prentice 
  Hall, 1991. ISBN 0-13-488891-x $24.95 
  Winkler, Dan, & Knaster, Scott. Cooking with HyperTalk 2.0. Bantam. 
  ISBN 0553-34738-1 $39.95. 
  Winkler, Dan, Kamins, Scot, & DeVoto, Jeanne. HyperTalk 2.2: The Book.
  2nd Edition. Random House Electronic Publishing, 1994. ISBN
  0-679-79171-X $35.

Book Reviews

  Bill Brown-Stone <brownw@msu.bitnet> or <brownw@ibm.cl.msu.edu>
  My personal favorite is _The Complete HyperCard 2.2 Handbook, 4th 
  Ed._ by Danny Goodman. It covers the basics of HyperCard, the 
  HyperCard programming environment, and HyperTalk scripting in 
  a range from the most basic to very sophisticated. This is the first 
  book I stumbled across and I have never felt the need to buy 
  anything else. 
  If you have Goodman's previous edition for HyperCard 2.0, the 2.2 
  version does not add that much. If you want an additional 2.2 
  reference book and are thinking about buying the new Goodman, you 
  might consider investing in a different book. If the new edition is 
  your first HyperCard book, I still think it is an excellent choice. 
  Den Draphaely <draphaely@clarku.bitnet>
  If you can't find the Goodman, and/or you think you really might 
  spend some time scripting, I suggest Winkler & 
  Kamins "HyperTalk 2.0: The Book". 
  "Cooking with HyperTalk" by Winkler & Knaster is a book of canned 
  scripts for doing all kinds of deft (not daft) things. For instance, 
  the handler selectParts allows you to select all kinds of objects by 
  clicking on them (thus forming a group "copy"), and then to paste 
  (by means of pasteParts) or delete (by way of deleteParts), and so 
  on. Or by way of rectSelectParts, everything within a given 
  rectangle defined either by drag-click or by definition can be 
  transferred into selectParts. There are numerous other 
  wonderful tools - do something to each card / to each card in a 
  background / to each bg / to selected bgs... number lines, indent 
  fields, compare two texts (fields) for differences... - 
  I'm reeling-off from memory since the book is at home, but you get 
  the picture that I think its worth your hard-earned 
  George Allen <alleng@msu.edu> 
  "HyperCard Authoring Tool" is by Dennis Myers and Annette 
  Lamb, both of U. Toledo. Career Publ. Co., 1990. It's a not-quite- 
  beginning level text with the following chapter titles: 
  1. Developing simple linear presentations with limited graphics. 
      2. Developing presentations with graphics. 
      3. Developing presentations involving interactive video. 
      4. Developing linear tutorials. 
      5. Developing criterion-referenced tests. 
      6. Developing complex tutorials: the instructional system. 
      7. Developing complex tutorials: lesson development. 
      8. Developing simple information exploration materials. 
      9. Developing stacks incorporating advanced technologies. 
      10. HyperUtilities.
  Aimed at teachers and trainers who are interested in creating their 
  own computer-based instructional materials. (iii) 729 pages, 
  quite thorough, and clearly written. 
  They also wrote _HyperCard Creativity Tool_, Lamb & Myers, Career, 
  Mark G. Gillingham <Gillingh@Vancouver.wsu.edu>
  Coulouris, George and Thimbleby, Harold. HyperProgramming: 
  Building Interactive Programs with HyperCard. I'm really 
  enjoying this text. It contains very readable prose, 
  examples, information about turtle graphics, and hypertext, and 
  a disk. 
  Joe Dulak <jdulak@REX.MNSMC.EDU>
  I recommend a text called "Learning with HyperCard", by Joseph F. 
  Hofmeister and Joyce B. Rudowski, from South-Western 
  Pub., Cincinnati, OH. I had the opportunity to sit through two 
  training sessions done by the authors. The book is for teaching high 
  school students HyperCard. It starts from the ground floor. I'm not 
  thrilled with the organization, but it should give you some ideas 
  and may remind you of exactly how simple you may need to go for some 
  people to catch on. 
  Russell Cotton <rcotton@tenet.edu>
  I have a book that I bought at "WaldenBooks" called 
  "HyperCard Power". It has helped me greatly. It goes step by step 
  teaching you HyperCard. 
  Don E. Descy <descy@vax1.mankato.msus.edu>
  Two other great HyperCard books are (in order of preference) 
  "HyperCard 2 in a Hurry" by George Beekman (Wadsworth) 
  and "HyperCard 2 Quickstart" by Rebecca Gold (Que). Students 
  also like these. 

  Terrie Lynn Gray <tgray@eis.calstate.edu>:
  Two titles of books I've found helpful with my junior high  
  students: HyperCard Projects for Kids by Fred Ventura (Ventura ed.  
  systems)is very programming-like with sketchy explanations, but  
  still usable. HyperCard Creativity Tool by Annette Lamb and Dennis  
  Myers(distributed by Career pub.) is a text + projects. The  
  explanations are complete. Sometimes the projects are a little  
  tedious, but the scope is great; it covers the basic paint and  
  animation uses as well as kinetic text, calculations, and peripheral  

Hypercard Products and Related Applications

  HyperGasp, Caliban Software
  HyperGASP 3.0 is an authoring tool for multimedia presentations,
  hypertextual courseware, and web pages.  It is available both as an
  extension to Apple's HyperCard authoring environment and as a
  stand-alone application.

  As an "auto-scripting" interface for HyperCard, HyperGASP
  automatically generates the HyperTalk scripts needed to produce
  sophisticated, interactive presentations and applications.  As a web
  authoring tool, HyperGASP allows you to automatically export the
  multimedia contents of stacks as HTML web pages.

  Intended to be powerful enough to act as the right-hand scripting
  wizard for expert developers, yet easy enough to allow novice users
  to create sophisticated, interactive multimedia presentations,
  HyperGASP includes integrated auto-scripting tools and developer
  utilities, along with extensive libraries of ready-made objects,
  sounds, textures, animations, and XCMDs.

  Requirements:  System 6.0.7;  for use in conjunction with HyperCard,
  HyperCard version 2.1 or later is required.

  A functional preview version, "HyperGASP Light", is available for
  download from the Caliban Mindwear web site: 

  For more information, including pricing for individual and lab
  licenses, please contact:

  Caliban Mindwear 
  Web:  http://www.CalibanMW.com 
  Orders & info:  800-269-0660 
  Fax:  805-684-7765 
  eMail:  Info@CalibanMW.com
  OpenStack by Harry Alloul
  I'm looking for a review of this.  Fairly new as of late 1996.
  Very nice web site (if a bit slow).
  Web: http://www.netinfo.fr/objectivesw/
  email: objectivesw@dial.oleane.com
  Shareware: $20
  HC/HT Help by Matt Neuberg
  Matt Neuberg has put together a DocMaker standalone reference for 
  HyperCard that includes everything you're likely to forget and 
  have to look up in the manuals including keyboard shortcuts; 
  functions; a list of HyperCard's globals; how to refer to custom 
  menus; info on me, the target, the result; info on Apple Events 
  and AppleScript. It's an excellent companion to the FAQ files.


Addresses for HC Products

  US (800) 282-2732; Canada (800) 637-0039; International 
  (716) 871-6555. 
  Royal Software (formerly Heizer Software)
  300 Cedar Lane 
  Largo, FL 34640 USA
  800.888.7667 US 
  813.581.6422 Int'l 
  813.559.0614 Fax
  email: ronagey@royalsoftware.com
  WWW: http://www.royalsoftware.com
  Caliban Mindwear 
  WWW:  http://www.CalibanMW.com 
  Orders & info:  800-269-0660 
  Fax:  805-684-7765 
  eMail:  Info@CalibanMW.com
  MacroMedia, Inc.
  600 Townsend St.
  San Francisco, CA 94103
  Internet: <76074.1756@compuserve.com> <MACROMIND.aol.com>

What is HyperCard?

       The human mind... operates by association. With one 
       item in its grasp it snaps instantly to the next 
       that is suggested by the association of thoughts 
       in accordance with some intricate web of trails  
       carried by the cells of the brain. 
       -- Vannevar Bush, "As we may Think" 
          Atlantic Monthly, 1945
  HyperCard is a Macintosh application that allows you to create and 
  use HyperCard documents known as stacks. A stack has a minimum of 
  one card (and one background) but could have several thousand cards 
  (and, I suppose, several thousand backgrounds). Each card 
  usually has some sort of unique information on it and can share 
  elements with other cards via the background. 
  Looking at HyperCard in terms of database terminology, a stack would 
  be a database file, a card would be a single record, and each card 
  can have fields to store individual pieces of information. The 
  Address stack, included with every release of HyperCard, is a good 
  example of this concept. 
  But HyperCard is much more than just another database. Think of it 
  as a way to present information in a custom designed format that 
  allows users to easily retrieve the information they want. In this 
  sense, and because it includes a programming language, it's a 
  complete development package. 
  There are trade offs. HyperCard stacks are slow as far as 
  applications go, and the program doesn't support color easily (and 
  if you use color, it slows down even more). 
  HyperCard is purposefully designed to present itself to the user in 
  small steps. You can start by just looking around and clicking some 
  buttons (level 1 or browsing), progress to typing information in 
  fields (level 2 or typing), move on to creating paint graphics 
  (level 3 or painting), learn how to create your own buttons and 
  fields (level 4 or authoring), and finally learn how to program your 
  stacks (level 5 or scripting). (To attain levels 4 and 5, you must 
  have HyperCard and not the HyperCard Player. They are two different 

What is HyperTalk?

  HyperTalk is the scripting (or programming) language that 
  controls HyperCard. In terms of programming languages, 
  HyperTalk's syntax is very English-like and very forgiving, 
  making it relatively easy to learn. 
  Part 2 of the FAQ covers HyperTalk and scripting.

What is Home?

  The Home Stack has special scripts that configure your HyperCard 
  environment and allow you to adjust HyperCard's defaults (such as 
  changing the user level). The Home Stack also has buttons that you 
  click to get to other stacks. 
  HyperCard (both the application and the player) looks for the Home  
  stack when it opens. If it can't find it, it will put up a dialog  
  asking you to locate it. At this point, any stack can be designated  
  as Home and HyperCard will open but HyperCard will ask again next  
  time you open it if the stack you choose is not named Home.  
  It's a good idea to keep the Home stack at the same directory level  
  as HyperCard on your Mac.  
  There is no one look to a Home stack. Apple and Claris released 
  several variations and users can customize their Home 
  stacks easily. 
  Any stack (even a completely empty, one card stack) can function as Home 
  simply by naming it "Home." But you will lose much of HyperCard's 
  functionality without a "real" Home Stack. 
  The stack script of the Home stack contains useful utility handlers 
  and is worth exploring. (see Home Stack Specials in Part 2 of the 

What is the HyperCard Player?

  The HyperCard Player appeared in 1992. The Player cannot be 
  scripted; it can only run HyperCard stacks -- sort of a Teach Text 
  app for stacks. With the release of the Player, HyperCard became a 
  retail product only. 
  Version 2.2 of the Player was released shortly after the release of  
  HyperCard 2.2. It should be bundled with current Macs or it can be  
  purchased from APDA.  

What is a standalone?

  HyperCard 2.2 has the ability to save a stack as an application. You 
  access this feature with the Save a Copy command under the File 
  menu. The resulting application can be run without HyperCard or the 
  HyperCard Player. 
  Saving your stack as an application adds about 800K to it. The 
  reason is that the HyperCard application and related resources are 
  being embedded in your stack. 
  Before the release of HyperCard 2.2, Claris sold the Developer's 
  Licensing Kit that added this ability to HyperCard 2.0 and 2.1. 

What is AppleScript?

  AppleScript is a system-wide scripting environment for the 
  Mac. Scriptable applications are able to send messages and commands 
  to other scriptable applications. Even non-scriptable 
  applications can at least receive some messages if they're Apple 
  Event aware. 
  AppleScript makes it easy to refer to data in applications. You can 
  get a cell from a spreadsheet application, or a paragraph from a 
  word processor. Once you get the data, you can process it in some 
  way and send it along to another application. 
  Current Mac system software now has all AppleScripting extensions 
  included.  Apple has AppleScript documentation and files available for 
  downloading at 
  HyperCard is very scriptable although it is not recordable (meaning you 
  can't have AppleScript "watch" as you perform something in HyperCard
  and then automatically turn it into an AppleScript script).  But you 
  can make a button in HyperCard that really has an AppleScript attached 
  to it (instead of a HyperTalk script).  Or, you can tell HyperCard to
    do someVar as AppleScript
  and have the variable loaded with AppleScript commands.

  In relation to HyperCard, AppleScript can trigger 
  HyperCard scripts. For example, in preparing this FAQ, I used 
  AppleScript to send data from a text editor to HyperCard. HyperCard 
  then created a new card, titled it with the first line of text in 
  the data, and stripped out extra returns and spaces. While this was 
  going on, I continued to work in the text editor. [I also had to 
  invoke QuicKeys in this process.] 
  AppleScript also allows you to control applications over a network.
  Apple says AppleScript and HyperTalk are fairly similar. My own 
  experience is that the AppleScript language is much pickier about 
  how you refer to objects. You also have to deal with how an 
  application returns the info you're requesting and coerce it into 
  the form you need. 
  The HyperCard 2.3 package includes an excellent introduction 
  to AppleScript and everything you need to get 
  started AppleScripting. 
  There is an AppleScript FAQ and a mail list (MACSCRPT). The FAQ (and 
  other AS-related files) is available at:
    [this URL worked on 7/20/96 but may change]
  To subscribe to the mailing list, send your request to  
  <LISTSERV@dartmouth.edu> with the following in the message area:  
    subscribe macscrpt [your full name here]
  The MACSCRPT list also covers UserLand Frontier scripting.

  On the WWW, there's a major scripting site at:

What is the user level?

  HyperCard has five user levels which are adjusted by going to the 
  last card of the Home Stack. (Choose Last from the Go menu while in 
  the Home Stack.) The higher the user level, the more you can do with 
  HyperCard. Higher level numbers include all the features 
  of previous levels. 
  Menubar commands change depending on the user level you've chosen.
  The user level can also be set with scripting. In the message box 
  type <set the userLevel to |1-5|> and press return. 
  The levels and what you can do at each level are:
  Browsing or Level 1
  Open, close, and browse stacks, search for text, click buttons, move 
  between stacks, print, and save copies of stacks. 
  Typing or Level 2
  Type, edit, style text, add and delete cards, compact stacks, set 
  Arrow Keys in Text option. 
  Painting or Level 3
  Create and edit graphics with the paint tools, set stack protection, 
  edit icons, delete stacks, move between background and card layers, 
  use the Power Keys. 
  Authoring or Level 4
  Create, modify, and delete buttons, links, fields, 
  cards, backgrounds, and stacks. 
  Scripting or Level 5
  Write, edit, and debug scripts, set the Blind Typing option.

What's the background domain? What's the card domain?

  [Thanks to Bill Brown <brownw@ibm.cl.msu.edu> for the following]

  While there can be many layers in HyperCard, there are really only
  two domains: background and card.  When you choose Background from
  the Edit menu (or Cmd-B from the keyboard) you are in background
  mode and any objects, including graphics, you place in the stack at
  that time go into the background domain.  When you are not in
  background mode you are by default in card mode and any objects,
  including graphics, you add during that time go into the card
  The background graphics layer is at the very back (farthest from
  you) of the background domain and anything else you place on the
  card in either domain is in front of the background graphics layer.
   The card graphics layer is at the very back of the card domain;
  anything you place in the background domain is behind the card
  graphics layer and anything you place in the card domain, except
  card graphics, are in front of the card graphics layer. Each of the
  two graphics layers are single-level layers; that is, you can have
  no more than one graphic layer in either the background or card
  domains.  You can place more than one seemingly separate graphic
  elements in, say, the card domain by having them located in
  different areas of the screen, but if you overlay them, the pixels
  will combine in that layer and you cannot separate them; this is
  the essence of bit-mapped graphics as opposed to draw graphics
  (which HyperCard does not support) -- any graphics you import to
  HyperCard, whether or not they are PICT graphics, must be bit-maps.
  [Using the Picture external, you can show PICT graphics in a 
  separate window in HC. PF]
  Any buttons or fields you place in one of the two domains is in a
  layer of its own.  If, for example, you put two buttons in the
  background domain, each button has its own layer and the layer for
  the first button you add is behind the layer for the second button
  you add.  This becomes apparent when you position both of the
  buttons in the same area of the card.  It's like each button and
  field is on its own sheet of transparent plastic.  You can change
  the front-to-back layering of buttons and fields within a domain by
  choosing the button or field tool, then selecting the button or
  field, then using the Send Farther or Bring Closer menu items from
  the Objects menu. No button or field in the card domain can be sent
  farther back than the card graphics layer; no button or field in
  the background domain can be brought closer than card graphics

What does the Compact Stack do?

  [Some info from the HyperCard Help stacks]
  The Compact Stack command is under the File Menu.
  Each time you delete a card, background, field, or button, the space 
  it occupied stays in the stack as unusable space called free space. 
  As you work on a stack, it can accumulate a substantial amount of 
  free space -- and the more free space a stack has, the slower it 
  runs and the larger it is. There's also a better chance that your 
  stack will become corrupted (meaning unusable) if you let the free 
  space get out of hand. 
  To check the amount of free space in a stack, choose Stack Info from 
  the Objects menu. 
  To reclaim the free space:
  1. Make a backup copy of your stack using the Save a Copy command 
  (just as a precaution). 
  2. Choose Compact Stack from the File menu.
  Note: If the stack has a custom palette, and the stack won't 
  compact, close all the palettes and then compact the 
  You can add a handler to your Home stack script to perform auto 
  compacting when the free space reaches a certain percentage. The 
  HyperCard Scripting FAQ has examples in "Auto-Compacting Handlers". 

How can I make my menubar appear (or disappear)?

  Command-space toggles the visibility of the menubar. 
  [Some extensions and control panels to the Macintosh system use the 
  command-space combination. See the Problems & Bugs section of the 
  Menubar visibility can also be set with scripting. In the message 
  box type <show menubar> or <hide menubar> and press 

How do I record my own sounds?

  [Read the documentation that came with your Mac on how to record 
  sounds. This FAQ deals with recording in HyperCard.] 
  Several versions of HyperCard 2.x came bundled with the Audio Stack. 
  Check the Edit menu for the Audio Help command. If the command is 
  not there, check the HyperCard disks that should have come with your 
  Mac and see if the Audio Help Stack is there (or check on your hard 
  disk for the stack). Placing the Audio Help Stack in the same folder 
  as HyperCard (and at the same level) and opening HyperCard should 
  get the command to appear. 
  To record, choose Audio Help from the Edit menu and read the 
  The built-in audio recording features of HyperCard (those 
  described in Audio Help) assume that your Mac has a built-in 
  microphone for use in recording sounds. If you have an older Mac 
  that doesn't have a built-in microphone, you will need to acquire 
  some third-party microphone device such as MacRecorder 
  from MacroMedia. A third-party microphone may or may not work 
  directly with the built-in audio features of HyperCard; if is does 
  not, it should come with software (probably HyperCard stacks) that 
  assist you in recording and editing sounds. 
  If you don't have the Audio Help Stack, you'll have to purchase 
  something like MacRecorder which comes with software 
  called SoundEdit Pro. SoundEdit Pro will allow you to record the 
  sounds and a resource mover will allow you to get them into your 
  HyperCard stacks. [The HC Scripting FAQ covers moving resources.] 

Can I add color to my stacks?

  You can add color PICT images to HyperCard using the picture XCMD
  that comes with HyperCard. [See the 'What are the correct
  parameters for the picture command?'] A borderless picture can be
  added that looks like it is part of the card. Clicking on the
  picture sends the <mouseDownInPicture> and <mouseUpInPicture>
  Using the QuickTime XCMD that is part of the QuickTime Tools stack
  is another method. A movie can be borderless and does send messages
  when clicked (<mouseDownInMovie> and <mouseUpInMovie>).
  If you have HyperCard 2.2, you have the Color Tools stack which
  allows colored buttons, colored fields (but not text), colored
  backgrounds and importing colored pictures that can be on
  either the card or background layer. It is slow and there are
  limitations such as colored pictures having to use the system
  palette. But it's very easy to use and great for basic color work.
  This stack uses the AddColor XCMD. Beyond basic use, it's fully
  scriptable and Color Tools includes documentation.
  AddMotion II, which came with early releases of HyperCard 2.2 (and
  may still be shipping with it), gives HyperCard color capability in
  the form of color animations. [I don't have any experience here so
  I'm not sure of its full capabilities.]
  The Colorizing HC XCMD is an alternative to Apple's AddColor XCMD.
  It's available via ftp. [See Part 1 of the FAQ for info on where
  it's available.]
  HyperGasp from Caliban Software is a commercial product used for
  multimedia creation in HyperCard including color. [See "Hypercard 
  Products and Related Applications" in this FAQ for more info.]
  Also available for adding color to HyperCard (and I'm afraid I
  don't have more info):
    HyperCard Color
  Dr Nigel Perry <N.Perry@massey.ac.nz> has developed the 
  following externals for color buttons and color text (these are 
  Dr. Perry's descriptions): 
    Pictoids Package - Any-shape you like colour buttons 
      based on pictures (PICT's) or movies (QuickTime) 
      i.e. a button with a movie "label" is entirely possible...
      Colour Text Package - colour text in fields
    Available: most archive sites (Pictoids is now v1.2)
    Cost: postcard for personal & educational use to non-shareware 
      authors add a shareware fee waiver for me if you're a 
      shareware author commercial use etc. can be licensed.
    My son gets postcards :-)

How many stacks can I have open at once?

  [From Kevin Calhoun]
  The number of stacks that can be "open" at one time is exactly one.
   In HyperCard 1.x, you can have only one stack open and only one
  card window open.  In HyperCard 2.x, you can have only one stack
  open but many card windows open -- the stacks in inactive windows
  are actually closed, i.e. the files on disk are closed.  As I've
  explained elsewhere, an inactive card window is nothing more than a
  big button whose "script" tells HC to "go to the card whose image
  is in this window".  When you click on such a window, HyperCard
  activates it, closes the current stack, and opens the stack in the
  newly active window.
  The total number of windows that HyperCard 2.x can open is 25. 
  This includes card windows, built-in floating windows such as the
  message box, and external windows.  HyperCard opens seven windows
  by itself that aren't card windows -- Message, Scroll, FatBits,
  Patterns, Tools, Message Watcher, and Variable Watcher.  Therefore
  you can have as many as 18 card windows.  However, Picture windows,
  Palette windows, and other external windows reduce the number of
  card windows you can open.

Version Misc.

Version History

  The information in this FAQ assumes you are using a 2.x version of 
  HyperCard (the application, not the Player). However, users 
  of earlier versions (hopefully no earlier than 1.2.5) can still 
  benefit from much of what is discussed. An excellent reference on 
  which version supports which commands, properties, 
  functions, messages, etc., is Winkler & Kamins (and Devoto's in the 
  second edition) HyperTalk 2.0: The Book. See the Book List section 
  of the FAQ for more info. 
  What follows is a very brief history of HyperCard.
  HyperCard version 1.0 was released August, 1987. It had a _very_ 
  limited distribution. Version 1.0.1 released later the same 
  year, was the first large distribution and was bundled with Macs. 
  User Groups were also able to distribute HyperCard. 
  HyperCard moved through several 1.x versions, adding features 
  and correcting bugs, until the release of 1.2.5 in 1988 (maybe '89). 
  Many users and developers are still using this version. Version 
  1.2.5 requires system software 6.0.5 or later. At this time, no one 
  should be using an earlier version than this. 
  Version 2.0 came out in 1990. It was the last unmodified full 
  version bundled with Macs. It lacked the Script Language Guide, but 
  did include stack based documentation that introduced 
  scripting. The Debugger was introduced with this version. This was a 
  very buggy release with really nasty problems related to managing 
  resource forks and had a very short life-span. This was the last 
  version that user groups were able to distribute for 
  The plot thickens here as Apple gives HyperCard to Claris. Claris 
  responded with the first "clean" release of version 2: 2.0v2. It was 
  bundled with Macs but with obscured functionality. (The 
  <magic> command was introduced with this version.) Only a few sample 
  stacks were included. 
  Version 2.1 was the second release from Claris, and introduced 
  AppleEvent support. This was the last bundled version. 
  In 1992, the HyperCard Player appeared. The Player cannot be 
  scripted; it can only run HyperCard stacks -- sort of a Teach Text 
  app for stacks. With the release of the Player, HyperCard became a 
  retail product only. 
  Version 2.2 was released in December, 1993. A separate section of 
  the FAQ covers 2.2's new features. 

What's new in version 2.0?

  This is a very brief list of new features introduced with version 
  2.0. Taken from the Claris HyperCard Script Language Guide. 
  [Warning! The straight 2.0 is buggy. You should be using at least 
  Variable card sizes
  Multiple stack windows open at the same time
  Multiple fonts, font styles, and font sizes within fields
  Group text for identifying hypertext links
  Navigation palette
  Support for user-defined palettes
  Support for PICT files and resources in a floating window
  Improved printing
  Script editor enhancements including option of leaving an 
  editor window open and returning to the stack 
  Built-in script debugging tools
  User-definable menus
  Extensions to the XCMD interface
  Enhanced support for MultiFinder
  Stacks as shared code libraries
  Enhanced HyperTalk: new commands, functions, and properties 
  to handle new features and enhancement of the old 

What's new in version 2.1?

  [To find out more about these features, check your documentation or 
  the New Features stack that came with version 2.1.] 
  - Two new Power keys for paint and field text: Command-Shift-[ for 
  previous font and Command-Shift-] for next font. 
  - New option for pasted text: Hold the shiftkey down during the 
  paste to have the text take on the default attributes of the field. 
  - New properties for windows: ID and number.
  - Error dialogs: lock out the Error dialogs to run in "quiet" mode 
  (without any user interaction). 
  - Determining system software version: the systemVersion function.
  - New "dialingTime" property: Determines how long HyperCard 
  waits before closing the serial connection to a modem after sending 
  the dial string. 
  - Print dialog with "Print Field...": Hold the shift key down when 
  you choose "Print Field..." to get the standard Macintosh print 
  - Extensions to read/write commands.
  - Addition to the Picture XCMD: "floating layer" parameter.
  - HyperCard support for System 7.0: Alias files, Balloon and 
  Application menus. 
  - Apple event support in HyperTalk.
  - "System 7 Friendly" running programs: <answer program> command.
  - item delimiter can be set with the itemDelimiter property

What's new in version 2.2?

  Better color implementation: 2.2 comes with the Color Tools Stack 
  which provides external commands and functions to attach color to 
  buttons, fields, and card and background layers. You can also import 
  color images and attach them to the card or 
  Integrated Stand-Alone Application Builder: A choice in the Save a 
  Copy dialog. [The Application Builder does not work on a Mac Plus 
  and possibly other 68000-based Macs.] 
  Open Scripting Architecture (OSA): Allows you to write 
  AppleScript scripts (or scripts of any OSA compliant 
  scripting language) from within HyperCard. 
  Script Attachability: Scripts can be written in HyperTalk or in any 
  attachable language (like AppleScript). 
  Message Box: Select All now works in the message box. Set Text size, 
  font, style of message box. 
  Movable Modals: Many dialog boxes (including all the Info dialogs) 
  are now movable modals. 
  PowerBook choice for sizes when resizing card windows.
  Oval button style choice but transparent only.
  Default and standard button styles: these look like your standard 
  "OK" and "Cancel" buttons. 
  Pop-up menu button style.
  The Button Info and Field Info dialogs now have a preview area.
  Buttons and fields have a part number that places them among all the 
  other buttons and fields in the card or background domain. This 
  number can be set from a script. 
  Buttons have enabled property allowing them to be grayed out. When 
  disabled, they don't pass messages. 
  New family property for buttons. Only one button in a family can 
  have its hilite set to true. Useful when dealing with radio buttons. 
  Buttons are now containers and can hold text like fields. The text 
  is only visible from within the Button Info dialog, but is available 
  for use in scripts. 
  The Button Info dialog now has a Text Style button.
  List fields can be created that hilite the entire line when clicked 
  by using the autoSelect property. By using the selectedText and 
  selectedLine functions, you can script an action based on the user's 
  Enhanced HyperTalk
  [This list does not include all new features and enhancements of the 
  language -- just some highlights.] 
  - disable/enable <button>
  - do <expression> as <scriptingLanguage>
  - find international (recognizes international characters)
  - put <text> into <button>
  - select line <number> to <number> of <field | button>
  - sort (allows sorting by an arbitrary sort key such as word 2 of a 
  series of lines) 
  - visual effect push
  - destination (returns full pathname of destination stack when HC is 
  in process of going to another stack) 
  - diskspace (returns amount of free space on any mounted volume)
  - selectedButton (returns name of the button that is highlighted in 
  a family) 
  - sum (returns the sum of a list of comma-delimited numbers)
  - autoSelect (defines a list field if lockText is true) [There's a 
  typo in the Script Language Guide regarding this. The Guide states 
  that fields have an autoHilite property. Not true, as far as I can 
  tell. It means autoSelect.] 
  - bottom (determines bottom of menubar) [Why?]
  - bottomRight (again, for the menubar) [again, why?]
  - dialingVolume (sets volume of touch tones generated through the 
  Mac speaker) 
  - environment (returns <development> if running the HC ap, or 
  <player> if running HC Player) 
  - scriptingLanguage (returns current scripting system for 
  scripts of objects) 
  - visible (now applies to menubar)

Version 2.2 Review

  [I pulled the following from the Net. I'm using it with the author's 
  permission. Paul Foraker, a member of the HyperCard 2.2 team, wrote 
  Color Tools
  The integration of color into HyperCard 2.2 is accomplished by an 
  XCMD called AddColor, and an interface provided by a Color Tools 
  stack. You install the color capability by clicking a button in the 
  Color Tools stack. The installer puts a button on your Home card, a 
  small script in your Home stack script, and a Color menu in your 
  menubar. There are two menu items: Open Color Tools and Redraw 
  Screen. When you want color in a stack, you select Open Color Tools. 
  This menu installs the XCMD and a couple of scripts in your stack, 
  opens a 256 color palette, and puts you in a modal environment. 
  The Color Tools palette has four tools: button, field, picture, and 
  rectangle. (There are no color paint tools.) To color a button or 
  field, you click the appropriate tool, select the object and select 
  a color from the palette. The XCMD writes a record to a small 
  database in the resource fork of your stack, identifying the card 
  and object colored and draws the color on the card window. The 
  picture button allows you to link a PICT file, or import a PICT 
  resource, or place an existing PICT resource on the card or 
  background layer, updating the database. When you "place" a PICT, it 
  locates with its top left corner centered on the card. You drag it 
  where you want it, and resize it (scaling the picture automatically) 
  if you want. To get a colored rectangle, you double click the 
  rectangle tool and get a small square on the card (or background) 
  which you can resize and recolor. Layering is fully supported 
  (within the domains of background and card). All the colored objects 
  can have various width bevels (except, I think, the transparent 
  field). Colored objects can be opaque or transparent (white is the 
  key color). When you move a colored object (button or field), the 
  database gets updated when you redraw the card, either with the XCMD 
  directly, or through the Redraw Screen menu item. Everything the 
  interface provides can also be done directly by scripting the XCMD. 
  As part of Color Tools, about 20 new visual effects are available. 
  Using the Color Tools interface is as easy as using the HyperCard 
  Tool palette to make buttons and fields. Scripting the XCMD is 
  remarkably straightforward. 
  OSA-Compliant Scripting Languages
  We tend to think of HyperTalk and HyperCard as being inseparable. 
  For this version, Kevin [Kevin Calhoun of the HyperCard Development 
  Team] separated them, in that it is no longer necessary to use 
  HyperTalk in the scripts of HyperCard objects. Any 
  OSA-compliant language you have installed in your system can be 
  selected in a new popup menu in the script editor window. HyperCard 
  2.2 ships with AppleScript 1.1, Apple's first 
  OSA-compliant language. Other possibilities are UserTalk 
  from Frontier (though its implementation is not quite 
  complete), and CE Software has one which will be available soon. 
  There's a new property (all objects): the scriptingLanguage. 
  So, you can have, for example, a HyperTalk button on a card that 
  calls an AppleScript function in the background, that in turn 
  depends on the result of a HyperTalk function in the stack script. 
  Further integration is possible through the use of the (expanded) do 
  command. For example, 
    do theCmd as "AppleScript" 
    -- where theCmd is a valid AS statement
  Although AppleScript is based on HyperTalk, it has a slightly 
  different orientation and hence some additional capabilities. 
  With AppleScript, for example, any scriptable application 
  becomes, in Kevin's words, an XCMD for HyperCard. 
  Furthermore, HyperCard is now scriptable. That is, 
  using AppleScript, you can control it from other applications. 
  Built-In Stand-Alones
  The Save A Copy menu has been modified to include a popup menu with 
  which you select Stack, Application, or Custom File Format (or any 
  third party components you have installed). The Application 
  choice yields a standalone application (the Player embedded in your 
  stack). You can specify the signature (type and creator) of the 
  application and then use the Custom File Type choice to save other 
  stacks as documents linked to that application). 
  New Button Types
  There are four new button types: Popup, Default (double bordered), 
  Standard (round rect with no drop shadow), and Oval. Buttons are now 
  containers, just like fields. The button info dialog contains a 
  "Contents" button that brings up a window for you to enter text. In 
  the case of a popup button, this text becomes the menu items. 
    on mouseUp -- script in a standard button, for example 
      answer me -- displays the contents of the button 
    end mouseUp
  New Button Property
  Buttons can belong to families (1 thru 15 for either card or bkgnd). 
  So, to make radio buttons without scripting, you identify (with the 
  button info dialog or in a script) which family the buttons belong 
  to, and they will automatically function as linked radio 
  New Field Behavior
  List Fields are now available by simply locking a field, settings 
  its dontWrap to true, and its (new property) autoSelect to true. 
  There is also an optional (new property) multipleLines. So a script 
  that gets you to a card by the name of the item clicked in the field 
  would look like: 
    on mouseUp 
      go card (the selectedText of me)
    end mouseUp
  The multipleLines property allows continuous selection (but 
  not, alas, discontiguous). 
  At this point, it appears that every Macintosh will have the Player 
  bundled with it. The Player is a fully functional HyperCard, without 
  a scripting environment. The Player's About Box will tell you how to 
  get the full featured version. 
  In the Box
  In its 16-lb box, HyperCard 2.2 comes bundled with ADDMotion II, 
  from MotionWorks. AppleScript 1.1 (runtime), Scriptable 
  Text Editor, and Script Editor. There's a complete set of new 
  manuals, written by Scot Kamins and Alan Spragens (two of the best 
  in the business). There's a catalog of HyperCard add-ons (including 
  an ad for a book I'm co-author of: Advanced HyperCard Solutions). 
  Total of 11 800K diskettes. 
  Do I like it?
  Yes. This is, to me, a much more significant upgrade than the ".2" 
  would indicate. While we all lament the absence of integrated color 
  and paint tools, the AddColor solution is elegant and powerful. The 
  AppleScript-ability leaves HyperCard fairly dripping 
  with functionality. The new button and field features make it quite 
  easy to construct an application that doesn't look at all like 
  HyperCard. I'm looking forward to upgrading and implementing 
  new solutions for my clients. 

Will Version 1.2.5 work with System 7?

  There are some problems related to sound. If you turn the sound off, 
  1.2.5 tends to work fairly well. 

Will HyperCard 2.x work with System 6?

  HyperCard 2.0 and later requires system software version 6.0.5 or 
  If you want to take advantage of WorldScript, open scripting 
  (including AppleScript), and stand-alone application building 
  of HyperCard 2.2, you have to use System 7.1. 

Will my HC 2.2 stack work with earlier versions of HC?

  You can run a version 2.2 stack on earlier versions of HyperCard  
  2.x as long as the stack you are running doesn't use any HyperCard  
  2.2 specific features that aren't present in earlier versions. For  
  example, new button and field features and AppleScript scripts  
  aren't going to work in pre-2.2 stacks.  

  Even HC 2.2 colorized stacks will work on any 2.x versions with  
  some precautions.  

How do I convert a 1.x version stack to 2.x?

  First, save a copy of your stack as a precaution. Then open the 
  stack in HC 2.x. You should see a padlock in the menubar. Choose 
  Convert Stack from the File menu. If the command is not there or the 
  Compact Stack command is there, you are not working with a 1.x 

Problems & Bugs

Miscellaneous HyperCard Problems and Memory

  MANY basic HyperCard problems can be traced not allotting enough 
  memory for the HyperCard application. The default allotment 
  is usually too small. 
  Some of the problems you may encounter are the inability to use the 
  Paint tools, card windows that can't be resized, and system freezes 
  while using HyperCard. If you're using the Coloring Tools Stack 
  (version 2.2), you may find colors or pictures disappearing. 
  To change the allotment, select the HyperCard icon in the finder and 
  choose Get Info from the File menu. (Make sure you've quit HyperCard 
  before you do this.) Type a new (and higher) number in the Preferred 
  Size box. How high the number is depends on how much memory you have 
  installed. Setting it to 2500 usually solves most problems that are 
  memory related. 
  Increasing the memory allocation for HyperCard is 
  especially important if you're developing. 

I only have two (or three) user level choices available.

  You can set your user level from the Preferences card (last card) of 
  the Home Stack. 
  If there are only two levels available (Browsing and Typing), you 
  have the "disabled" version of HyperCard. An opaque button is hiding 
  the other three levels. To see all the levels, choose Message from 
  the Go menu, type "magic" (no quotes) in the Message Box, and press 
  return. Levels 3 to 5 will appear. 
  If you have three level choices (Browsing Typing, and Painting), you 
  probably have the HyperCard Player. You cannot author or script with 
  the Player. 

Why do my buttons disappear when I go to another card?

  Each card has 2 layers. The background layer can be shared by many 
  cards. The card layer is card specific. Objects created on the card 
  layer will not appear on other cards. If you want a button, field, 
  or graphic to appear on every card, put it in the background. 
  To move objects from the card layer to the background, select the 
  object, choose the cut command, go to the background (Edit menu or 
  command-b) and paste. The object will be pasted in the same position 
  it was on the card layer. 
  When the background layer is active, the menu bar is cross-hatched.

The "Fonts not installed" Message

  HyperCard uses an external function (XFCN) to check to ensure you 
  have the fonts necessary to use the stacks that come with HyperCard. 
  Unfortunately, the XFCN doesn't understand TrueType fonts and 
  looks for the exact bitmap in your system. 
  Fortunately, you can turn the font checking off. Open the stack 
  script in the Home stack by choosing "Stack Info" from the Objects 
  menu and clicking the Script button. Find the words <on startUp>. 
  Find the line <checkForMissingFonts>. This is the command 
  that triggers the font checking. Type two hyphens (--) at the 
  beginning of this line. This tells HyperCard to ignore the command. 

Command-space doesn't toggle the menubar.

  Some extensions and control panels to the Macintosh system use the 
  command-space combination and override its use in HyperCard. 
  Try restarting your Mac with the shiftkey down to disable extensions 
  and see if the command works in HyperCard to hide/show the menubar. 
  A common culprit is SCSI Probe which uses command-space as a short 
  cut. You can change the command in SCSI Probe so HyperCard is able 
  to use command-space for the menubar. 

The Protect Stack command disappeared.

  The Protect Stack command (File menu) will disappear if the user 
  level (for the stack) is set below Painting (level 3). You can get 
  it back if you hold down the command key while pulling down the file 

Help! I lost my password.

  Try the DeProtect Stack by Ned Horvath and Allan Foster. (Not 
  guaranteed, but it usually works.) It should be available in the mac 
  archives at umich. 
  [Check "Where can I find HyperCard stacks? (ftp info)" in 
  this FAQ.] 

My color standalone has no color!

  First check how much memory you have allocated to your standalone  
  (see below for instructions on how to do this). You should allocate  
  at least 2000 KB and you may need more.  
  If you up the memory and still can't get color, it may be a  
  resource problem. According to a HyperCard 2.2 ReadMe:  
    When Color is first applied to a HyperCard stack using 
    Color Tools, a set of resources are copied into the stack. 
    The copying of resources is not actually complete until 
    the stack is closed. If a standalone application is built 
    from the colored stack before the resources have been 
    copied, the standalone application will not work correctly. 
    To avoid this problem, be sure that you have closed and 
    reopened your colored stack at least once before turning 
    it into a standalone application.
  Checking Memory Allocation
  1. Quit the standalone and go to the Finder.
  2. Select the standalone icon.
  3. Go to the File menu and choose Get Info.
  4. Adjust the figure in the "Preferred Size" text box, lower right  
  5. If you can't adjust the number, you haven't quit the standalone.

My visual effect commands don't work.

  Possible Causes
  [Thanks to Neil Clennan <nclennan@umich.edu> for the Color Tool  
  Your using HC 2.1 or an earlier version and your monitor is set for  
  thousands or millions of colors. Visual effects work only at 256  
  colors (8 bit) or less. With HyperCard 2.2, visual effects work at 
  all bit depths.  
  A <lock screen> command is in effect. If you've added color to a  
  stack using HyperCard's Color Tools stack, a "closeCard" handler  
  has been added which contains the <lock screen> command. This is  
  because the color externals have their own visual effects. You can  
  remove the <lock screen> line from the "closeCard" handler, which  
  could make your color transitions sloppy or you could rewrite your  
  scripts to use the color visual effects, but depending on your  
  stack, that may be a lot of scripts.  
  The card picture crosses more than one monitor. 
  The obscure debugging command "debug pureQuickdraw true" 
  is active.
  Going between two stacks with different card sizes (or any 2 stacks  
  prior to HyperCard 2.1).

HC 2.1 Bugs and the Mac AVs

  There are reports of a bug when using the Audio Palette on a Centris 
  660AV. The bug causes the Mac to hang when it's finished recording a 
  sound. HyperCard 2.2 is supposed to fix this. 
  There's also a problem with 2.1 with editing/modifying 
  scripts Don't use the Enter key to exit the script editor or you 
  risk a system freeze. This is also fixed in 

HyperCard doesn't work on my PowerMac.

  [From Kevin Calhoun]
  There is a known incompatibility between HyperCard and the version
  of the Modern Memory Manager that shipped with System 7.1.2.  You
  can eliminate the problems you're having by turning off the Modern
  Memory Manager in the Memory Control Panel.
  System Update 3.0 fixes the problem.  Once you've installed System
  Update 3.0, go ahead and turn the Modern Memory Manager back on if
  you like.

What is the merryxmas virus?

  [This information is from Ken Dunham's <kdunham@ednet1.osl.or.gov>
  merryxmasWatcher1.0 stack. This stack (and the others mentioned
  below) are available online at major archives. I got mine from
  The infamous merryxmas virus was discovered by Ken Dunham, in April
  of 1993.  The name "merryxmas" was given to the virus since the
  word appears in the beginning handlers of the virus script.
  The merryxmas virus is very quiet about its presence and spreads
  easily through the computers of novice and intermediate Hypercard
  The merrxymas virus only infects HyperCard stacks on the Macintosh.
   It can result in bombs, unexpected errors, and interference with
  digital sound output (macinTalk).
  To check for the virus manually you can check script of your home
  stack by selecting "Stack Info..." from the Object menu and then
  clicking on "Script..."  Look for the words "merryxmas" near the
  bottom of the script or use the Find function in the script editor.
  If you find the word merryxmas you either have:
  a)  the virus
  b)  the inoculation scripts
  c)  a coincidental situation where merryxmas means nothing
  The virus begins with the line "on openBackground --merrxymas" and
  usually contains 36 lines of script.  Several mutations have
  occurred due to people not realizing they have the virus and then
  typing in their own scripts following the virus.  The virus
  responds by added the new script to the original virus and then
  re-infecting.  This means that there are countless mutations of the
  merryxmas virus floating around(Bill Swagerty)."  
  The inoculation script contains the following three lines:
  --on openBackground --merryxmas
  --on closeBackground --merryxmas
  --on idle --merryxmas
  If you have an inoculated stack you are NOT infected.  Sadly,
  companies like SAM don't discriminate between the actual virus and
  the inoculation.  Even if you are just protected against the
  virus, SAM will kick your disk out with the message that you are
  infected and need to take your disk to the disk doctor.  Hopefully
  this will change as more people become aware of the merryxmas virus
  and how to fight it.
  Several stacks, available at sumex-aim and other on-line resources,
  have been developed to eradicate the merryxmas virus from your
  computer.  I have been involved with the following:
  a)  merryxmas vaccine
  b)  scrooge
  c)  merryxmasWatcher
  Merrxymas vaccine was created by Bill Swagerty.  His stack will
  scan your entire hard drive and eradicate the virus for you.  A
  nice information file on the virus is also included.
  Scrooge was created by Colleen Dick of Platypus Software.  Her
  stack will scan individual disks and insert an inoculation script
  at your request.
  MerryxmasWatcher1.0, does three things:
  a)  Kills off any merryxmas virus that might be in your Home stack
  b)  Inoculates your Home stack from further infection.
  c)  Installs a watcher script that scans all used stacks for the 
      virus.  It notifies you and eradicates any existing virus, at
      your command, when you close stacks.

What is the HC virus?

  [I found this info in the Virus Reference 2.1.3 stack by Kevin
  Harris (c)1994 Software Perspectives. I've never heard of anyone 
  getting infected with it and I don't know what protects against it.]
  HC Virus
  Infects HyperCard stacks only.
  Causes Mac to hum strangely.
  HC painting tool symbols appear at random parts of the screen.


Reporting bugs and suggesting improvements.

  [This information is about a year old and may have changed.
  Originally posted by Kevin Calhoun.]
  Send ideas for improvements and new features to:
  To report bugs, write: 

How do I make pictures of card images?

  Go to the card, press the option key down, and choose Copy Card from 
  the Edit menu. This will place a full size PICT of the card on the 
  clipboard for you to paste into another application. You can also 
  get only an image of the background if you open the background 
  (choose Background, Edit menu) before issuing the 
  copy-with-option command. 
  If you forget to use the option key you will get a miniature image 
  of the card for pasting in another application. This is useful for 
  making index cards and the like. 
  HyperCard also has an Export Paint command that creates an image of 
  the card or background in a MacPaint file. Choose any Paint tool and 
  then choose Export Paint from the File menu. 

Hidden printing features.

  [Following applies to version 2.1. With 2.2, Apple "unhid" the 
  If you hold down the option key while choosing the Print Report menu 
  item, several hidden features will appear in the Print Report Dialog 
  including a "Precision Adjustments" option, a Save button, and 
  the ability to put lines and boxes around print 



  Many are they who have contributed to this FAQ and I thank you all.  
  A few are mentioned in the articles. Special thanks to the  
  Dave Lorand <davel@earlham.edu>,ex FAQ Archivist. Dave posted the  
  FAQ to comp.sys.mac.hypercard and archived it at ftp.earlham.edu.  
  Dave has the distinction of posting the first HC FAQ. He beat  
  me by a few days.  
  Bruce Carter and John Pinto for some of the early data collection 
  that got the FAQ going. John has a text version of the FAQ on the web.
  Brian Molyneux for version data and info on Royal Software products.
  Editing and proofing: Bill Brown, Bruce Carter, Bill Karle  
  Book List: Originally compiled by Asif Taiyabi
  HyperCard 2.2 Review: Paul Foraker
  Peter Brigham for taking the FAQ and making it a stack and getting it
  done really fast after a text release.  The stack is available on 
  my AOL ftp site (or will be RSN). 
  The following list submitted answers or suggestions that 
  were helpful in the FAQ preparation. 
  Jay Cross
  Dave Blackburn
  Cory Doctorow
  Geoff Duncan
  Jacque Gay
  Mark G. Gillingham
  Christopher J.  Henrich
  Scott Raney
  Jeffrey D. Wurtz 

Who's Peter Fleck?

  He is president of PF Hyper, a Mac consulting company
  that uses HyperCard (and Director and SuperCard) for 
  making training programs and interactive multimedia for 
  both the Mac and Windows.  Check out his web page at

FAQ Home | HC-FAQ 1 | HC-FAQ 2 | HC-FAQ 3 | HC-FAQ 4