Truthfully allow 51 column text on a Spectrum.

A 2021 effort that started from a discussion on Twitter about 51 column text on the Spectrum. While 64 column is quite common (3 pixels + space), 42 also quite common (5 pixels + space) and of course the default of 32 (8 pixels + space) a few people have created 51 column routines such as Micro Print 85 and Handywide.

The challenge with a 51 column routine is that each character is 4 pixels wide. Now you might be thinking, “well, three works,” and you’d be half right (it’s an unreadable mess), but the other part of the challenge is that 4 pixels wide is an even number which means we have to get creative with the centers of characters. I and T, you can choose left or right, but what about Y or X? You can see the choices I made here.

It doesn’t look too bad, and if you want a bit of a unique look, you could do worse. It works for large amounts of text in all sorts of scenarios, especially when you want to squeeze some extra text on the screen without crunching down to 3 pixel wide fonts.

Simulated usage