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Our fork of zmakebas, a Spectrum BASIC tokenizer (text file → .TAP) [Public domain]
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This is Cat's Eye Technologies' fork of zmakebas, a tokenizer for Spectrum BASIC files. It takes a BASIC program source, as a text file, as input, and produces a .TAP file containing the tokenized program, as output.

This was forked from OS2World's APP-EMULATOR-zmakebas, because it was convenient to do so. The changes to port it to OS/2 were trivial and have been reverted. It compiles under Ubuntu 12.04 and I would be extremely surprised if it didn't also compile under FreeBSD, Cygwin, etc.

The original readme documents are included below, in this order:

  • The original zmakebas readme
  • The readme for the OS/2 port
  • OS2World's readme

zmakebas 1.2 - convert text files into Spectrum Basic programs. Public domain by Russell Marks.


zmakebas converts a Spectrum Basic program written as a text file into an actual speccy Basic file (as a .TAP file, or optionally a raw headerless file).

Using zmakebas rather than (say) writing the Basic in an emulator means you can write using a nicer editor, and can use tools which work on text files, etc. Also, with the -l option you can write without line numbers, using labels in their place where necessary.

The program was originally intended to be used simply to make little loader programs, so they wouldn't have to be sourceless binaries. However, I went to a fair amount of effort to make sure it'd work for bigger, more serious programs too, so you can also use it for that kind of thing.


While I think zmakebas should be fairly portable, I've only ever compiled it on Linux and MS-DOS. Things should be ok for Linux as-is - just do make then (as root) make install.


See the man page for details of how to use zmakebas.

There's a short demo file showing the use of escape sequences for UDGs and block graphics characters etc. here, named demo.bas. You can use zmakebas demo.bas to generate an out.tap file from it. A version using labels is in demolbl.bas, which can be converted with zmakebas -l demolbl.bas.

Contacting me

You can email me at

Share and enjoy!


This is a quick port of zmakebas for OS/2.

I needed only to add -Zexe to the build flags into the original makefile.

ZMakeBas is actually a program to convert BASIC programs (written for the great Sinclair ZX Spectrum or its US release, the TS2068) into .TAP files which can be directly loaded into an emulator, or transferred to a real Speccy.

This port was built with GCC 3.3.5 and the build environment made by Paul Smedley.

For details on how to use zmakebas.exe, read the README file and the included manpage (sorry for not processing it - I still didn't configure the proper tools).

If you like these programs, please consider making a donation to Paul Smedley, which is doing a tremendous amount of work to let us have more and more programs updated and new, OS/2 native.

Have fun!

Mentore Siesto Pisa, Italy


Convert text files into Spectrum Basic programs.


  • Public domain



  • Port: Mentore Siesto


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