How can I input a string in ZX Spectrum BASIC and not show the quotation marks on input?

I've written a program for my 3-year old daughter to type in some letters, but she keeps deleting the quotations marks by accident and then gets stuck when the Spectrum shows a flashing ? :-)

  • Teaching her right! Can you share the program? Am curious... had my 3 yr old playing Putt Putt recently :)
    – Matt Lacey
    Apr 18, 2019 at 12:27
  • I can do, it's very simple - just inputs a string, changes the colour each time, then prints it to the screen. She really enjoys just typing letters and watching them change colour...
    – Gaz
    Apr 19, 2019 at 8:48

1 Answer 1


See the ZX Spectrum Basic manual.

Note that plain INPUT a$ will accept quite arbitrary string expressions, e.g. entering "a"+"b" is the same as entering "ab", and you can even use other (defined) string variables. The quotes are thus nothing more than a part of the string expression.

  • Thanks so much! I forgot what the syntax was (I knew I'd done it years ago, but couldn't remember how).
    – Gaz
    Apr 19, 2019 at 8:46

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