About XL Search:
Using The Search Form:
XL Search is a simple search engine which will help you find
Public Domain and ShareWare programs and files for the
Atari 8-bit computer! This includes the following
models: 400, 800, 600XL, 800XL, 1200XL, 800XE, 65XE, 130XE, XEGS,
as well as the many Atari "emulators" you can get for, DOS, Windows,
the Macintosh, Unix and Linux, etc.
If you're looking for Atari ST (16-bit) software, or software
for Windows, Linux or Mac, please visit
and countless other websites.
If you're looking for Commercial Atari 8-bit software (both old
and new), contact one of the many
developers of Atari 8-bit software.
As of the last update (on 2018-04-11)
XL Search searches through an index of
files found in
XL Search is based on a simple keyword-based search. Enter any number
of words you'd like to search for. Add a "+" to the beginning of a word
to require it (matches NOT containing that word won't appear). Add a "-"
at the beginning to exclude it (matches that DO contain the word won't
About The Results:
You can also stick words together by placing a "+" in between words or
quotes around words. This lets you make sure two words appear together,
rather than anywhere, as part of any other word.
You can have the results sorted by filename, by direcotry path,
or by matches (how many times certain keywords appear).
Keywords which matched your query will appear in bold.
The results show you the filename of the program, the directory it's
stored in at the FTP or Web site, it's size (in Kilobytes), when it was
uploaded (and a "NEW!" if it was added in the last week), and
a brief description.
Any keywords that matched for that file are highlighted in
Atari filenames are usually up to 8 letters or numbers followed by an
"extension," which is a period (".") followed by a 1- to 3-letter
long sequence. These extensions usually describe what type of
file a file is. In the PC and Mac world, as well as the Atari, the
.TXT" extension, for example, would be a text file.
Some file types you should know about include the following:
ARC An "ARC" archive. Similar to a "ZIP" or
"SIT" (StuffIt) archive on the Mac or PC. It is a collection
of files saved together as one file and usually compressed to save
space. You need an "unarc" program to extract its contents.
ATR A disk image used by Atari emulators and Atari
peripheral emulators (like SIO2PC and APE). It's the contents of an entire
Atari floppy disk saved into a file.
BAS An Atari BASIC source code file. You'll need to
open it from Atari BASIC using the "
COM An executable program. Load it from DOS or a menu
program on the Atari.
DCM A "Disk Communicator" disk image. It is
an entire floppy disk saved as one file. You'll need
"Disk Communicator" to save its contents onto a new disk, or use a
program like "dcmtoatr" to convert it to an ATR disk image for use with
emulators or SIO2PC or APE.
DOC A text file explaining how a program runs.
You'll want to read it or print it.
EXE An executable program, like COM.
GIF A "GIF"(tm) graphics file. There are a few
programs to view GIFs on the Atari, but you'll usually want to look at
them with a program on your PC or Mac.
OBJ Sometimes an executable program, sometimes simply
some "object" data used by another program.
PRO An "APE" disk image similar to ATR, but which
contains copy protection information.
SFX A Self-Extracting archive. An executable
program which extracts other files from within itself.
SYS A system file, usually used by a DOS.
TBS A TurboBASIC XL source code file. You'll
need to open it from TurboBASIC using the "
TXT Text file. Sometimes they're in the Atari
"ATASCII" format (versus the common "ASCII" format used by PCs and Macs).
ZIP "ZIP" archive. A set of files compressed
into one file. Use PKZIP or WinZIP on the PC or UnZIP on the Mac to
extract the files.
You may wish to read the document on UMich called
00.EXTENSIONS which describes all of these and many more.
XL Search can convert files for you! The following formats are, or will soon
In cases where these files can be converted, a second link will appear
directly below the file download link. (ie, "View" or "Download as ATR")
- TXT, ATA - Atari text files ("ATASCII"). You can view the
text, with graphical control-characters converted to similar-looking plain
ASCII, and inverse characters highlighted, or you can even view the file
as it would look on an Atari! (Note, this is slow, since you may need to
load up to 256 GIF images, and of course requires a graphical browser!)
- ARC, ZIP - View the contents of an ARC or
ZIP archive, and download each file separately if you wish!
- DCM, ATR - Download Atari DiskCommunicator
disk images (DCM's) as "ATR" disk images ready for use on an emulator.
For those of you with Atari's but no PC's, (Coming soon)
download "ATR" disks as "DCM" files and turn them into disks using
- Graphics - (Coming later) View Atari graphics in your web browser!
If you want to access XL Search, but don't have web access, you can
get instant e-mail search results by sending an e-mail to:
Adding Your FTP or Web Site:
with the subject "
The body of the message should contain one or more lines which begin
K: " (capital "k", colon, space).
The rest of the line should be keywords, as you would enter them into
the web-based search form.
K: +game +maze
You will immediately receive an e-mail reply. (If your message doesn't
contain any keyword searches, a small help file will be sent instead.)
If you wish to join 5
sites and have the contents of your site accessible through
XL Search, please send e-mail to:
About QIF Files:
your FTP or Web site's address, or simply use the online form on the
You must also create a "
QIF" file which will be used
by XL Search's engine to search through your files. (See below).
QIF files are simply text files which have information about the files
on your FTP or Web site. Each file in your archive is listed on a separate
line in the file. Each line is a tab-delimited collection of data:
the path to the file, the date the file
was uploaded or created (in YYMMDD format), the size of the file (in bytes),
and a brief description.
fun1.arc 971031 4915 Fun games, archive #1.
draw.com 960925 13423 A simple paint program.
This file will be downloaded occassionaly by XL Search, to keep
the database fresh.
Remember, there should be no blank lines and only tabs between fields.
If you are using a Unix-based server, you can get a simple
program called "
will search your archive for you and create a QIF file automatically.
XL Search by
1997 - 2018.
New Breed Software