Version 6

ViSta for Windows
Version 5


Version 5 has many new features.
Compare it with previous versions.
Try the Preview of Version 6

To get ViSta, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Download ViSta for Windows:
  2. You should choose the version of ViSta for Windows that is appropriate for the version of Windows you are using.

    • ViSta 5.0.5 for Windows 3.1(32 bit), 95, NT, and for OS/2 (1499 KBytes).
      • For Windows 95/98/NT, read about Version 5.6 before downloading 5.0.5.
      • For Windows 3.1, this version requires that you install version 1.15 (or later) of Microsoft's Win32s.
      • For OS/2, you must have Warp version 3 or 4. Warp runs any Win32s program EXCEPT those needing Win32s ver 1.30 - ViSta works with ver 1.15 or later.

    • ViSta 5.0.5 for Windows 3.1 (16-bit version) (1410 KBytes)
      • I have been upable to test this version, since I no longer have access to the 16-bit operating system. For this reason, I recommend that you install version 1.15 (or later) of Microsoft's Win32s and use the 32-bit version above.

    • ViSta 5.1 for Windows 95 only. (1628 KBytes). This is a development release of ViSta that is only available for Windows 95. It includes several new features, and is stable. Read about Version 5.6 before downloading 5.1.

You can also get these versions by anonymous FTP (faster than the net) from The files vista32.exe and vista16.exe contain the 32-bit and 16-bit versions of version 5.05. The vista542.exe file is a preview of the next release.


  1. Running ViSta the First Time
    1. Extracting ViSta
    2. (This step may be done automatically by your browser.) The downloaded file that you receive is a self-extracting zip archive that contains all of ViSta along with the portions of the XLisp-Stat system that are needed for the version of MS-Windows that you specified. Run the .EXE file to extract all of the ViSta files. This should create a folder that contains VISTA.EXE, several other files and folders named README, DATA, EXAMPLES, CODE and USERS.

    3. Configuring ViSta
    4. Install the Andale Mono font: Andale Mono (formerly known as is a freely redistributable font from Microsoft which greatly improves the appearance of ViSta. To install the font, do the following:

      • Windows 95 or NT: Run andale32.exe or mtcom32.exe (read the agreement, click yes, and then click OK -- now the font is installed).
      • Windows 3.x (32 or 16 bit): Run MTCOM.EXE. This creates the monotype file. Copy this file to the Win3.x System folder. Then run the font installer in the Win3.x Control Panel (control.exe).

      Run VISTA.EXE. You should see a dialog box (if you get an error, see the next paragraph). The dialog box allows you to

      • Change the startup directory. By default, the startup directory is the one containing VISTA.EXE. It is recommended that you not change this (but see the information in the next paragraph).
      • Change fonts and font sizes. Change the font to MONOTYPE.COM (if you have installed it). You can change font size from within ViSta later if it is too small.
      • Change default names of items in the Program Group that will be created by the configuration process. If you wish, change the default names to ones that you like.
      Click "Configure and Quit". Click "OK" in the next dialog box to quit. This sets the startup directory and fonts as specified, and creates a Program Group containing two icons. If you used the default names, one is named ViSta, which is the ViSta program, and the other is named LispEdit, which is a program editor.

      Problems? If ViSta doesn't present you with a dialog box it isn't searching in the right directories. This problem is especially likely in networked environments with Windows NT.

      First, make sure that the wxls32.ini file is in the search path. You can try moving it to the directory that ViSta.exe is in.

      Second, you may need to make a change to the statinit.lsp file in the directory containing the ViSta executable. Near the beginning of the file are the following two statements:

      ;#+msdos(working-directory *default-path*)
               (strcat (get-working-directory) separator)
      These statements determine where ViSta looks for it's startup files. The two alternatives are:
      1. Look where wxls32.ini says to look. The value of the variable *default-path* in the first statement is set by the config.lsp file and by the dialog box seen during configuring. This value is saved in the wxls32.ini file, which is loaded on startup. This value is independent of where the .exe file is located.
      2. Look in the directory containing ViSta.exe. The value of the (get-working-directory) function in the second statement always correpsonds to the directory in which the .exe file is located.

      Only one of these statements is being used, the other is a comment. The semicolon (the ; character) makes a line a comment. You can try moving the semicolon from one statement to the other. Note that exactly one of the statements should have a semicolon before it. ViSta will not work if both statements begin with a semicolon.

    5. Running ViSta
    6. Vista is now ready to run. Simply use the ViSta icon in the Program Group.

  2. Get the Documentation:
  3. Documentation for ViSta includes a chapter overviewing its features and presenting the motivation underlying ViSta's design, a chapter presenting a tutorial that introduces the user to most of ViSta's features, and a chapter describing how to define data within ViSta. Some additional chapters describing specific analysis methods are also available.

Hardware Requirements:

Both versions require a color monitor, 3 MB of free hard disk space and 8 MB of RAM. Each version includes XLisp-Stat 3.52.4 and ViSta 5.0.5 in a single download.


Thanks to Chris Tiffany for the tip about the Monotype.Com font, and for his many comments that have helped improve ViSta for Windows.