How to Use a Program to Write Text on the TI-84 Plus

By Jeff McCalla, C. C. Edwards

The Disp and Output commands on the TI-84 Plus calculator are used to get a program to display text on the Home screen. Because each line of the Home screen can accommodate up to 26 characters, the wise programmer will limit all text items to no more than 26 characters. A space counts as one character.

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The first screen shows an example of a program that displays the text “PRESS THE ENTER KEY TO CONTINUE” in two ways. The first Disp command displays the whole text, in spite of the fact that it contains more than 26 characters.

The Disp command followed by an empty text item can be used to make a program skip a line on the Home screen. The next two Disp commands break the text into two parts, each of which contains fewer than 26 characters.

The output of the program in the first screen is shown in the second screen. The ellipsis at the end of the second line in this screen indicates that the calculator could not display the whole line. (The calculator does not understand “wrap around.”) And worse than that, you can’t use

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to see what comes after that ellipsis. The remaining lines of this screen illustrate the solution to this problem.

When programming the calculator to output text, limit all text items to 26 characters. A space counts as one character. If necessary, break the text into two or more text items that are consecutively displayed.