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The vDosWP System for WPDOS under 64-bit Windows


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The vDosWP system runs WordPerfect for DOS 5.1, 6.1, or 6.2 (and optionally PlanPerfect, the WP Office Shell, and the WP Editor) under Windows XP or later, including Windows 7, 8 and 10. If you recently bought a new Windows computer, it almost certainly uses either 64-bit Windows 7, 8, or 10, and it requires a system like this one to run WordPerfect for DOS. If you still have Windows XP, you do not need this system! It is useful only under 64-bit Vista, Windows 7, 8, or 10. (If you are one of the extremely few people with 32-bit Windows 7, 8, or 10, then you don't need this system.)

Important: This page describes a new (June 2016) version of the vDosWP-VDM system. (VDM = Virtual DOS Machine; the old DOS system in 32-bit Windows was called the NTVDM, or Windows NT Virtual DOS Machine.) Unlike the 2014 version, recent vDosWP versions use your existing WPDOS system and the same drive letters and paths recognized by your actual Windows computer. Unlike versions released before April 2015, this version no longer displays italicized text in WPDOS in an italic font. If you need on-screen italics in WPDOS, use Wengier Wu's vDosPlus variant of vDos instead of vDosWP.

The vDosWP system is based on vDos, by Jos Schaars, a Windows program that runs DOS applications in a window on the Windows desktop or in full-screen mode. Like DOSBox (the basis of this site’s older WP-64 system), vDos creates a DOS “environment” that acts like a “virtual” computer inside your real one. The current version of the vDosWP system uses the same drive letters and paths that exist on the “host” Windows computer.

Compared with other methods of running WPDOS on modern Windows computer, the vDosWP system has these advantages:

Disadvantages of the vDosWP system include:

If you find this system useful, please visit this page.

Note: This site provides a similar system for the Macintosh.


How to install the vDosWP method

1. You will need a copy of your WPDOS folder (or folders) from your old computer. If you use WPDOS 5.1, copy the entire WP51 folder from your old computer to a USB drive or some other disk, or copy the whole folder to your new computer. If you have WPDOS 6.x, copy your entire COREL folder, if you have one, or your entire WP61 or WP62 and WPC61DOS or WPC62DOS folders) to a USB device and copy the folder(s) to your new computer, and put them in the same locations where they were in your old computer. If you had a C:\WP51 folder on your old computer, create the identical folder on your new one. (You can also e-mail the folders to yourself or use any other method of transferring them, of course.) 

If you don't have the files from your old computer, and you need to install WPDOS from its installation disks, see the section "How to install a fresh copy of WPDOS" below!

Don’t be clueless! If you do not have either WordPerfect for DOS 5.1 or WordPerfect for DOS 6.x on your old computer, you will not find the folder for that version on your old computer. Clueless Visitor No. 43 asked how to find those files on his old computer even though he had no reason to believe that he had ever had them. Please do not follow the example of Clueless Visitor No. 43. (One of a series of “Don’t be clueless!” messages provided by this site as a public service.)

Read this before you run the installer: If you use Avast antivirus software, the installer or vDosWP may not run. If you use Avira Antivir or Webroot antivirus software, you may be warned that the installer is infected. It is not, but if you don't trust my software, then don't use my software. Please do not waste your valuable time sending me an e-mail asking for advice; if you don't trust this system, use a different word-processor instead!)

2. Download and run the vDosWP-VDM-Setup installer program. This is what will happen when you run the installer:

Note: As described above, the installer runs a program that asks where your WPDOS folders are located and then very briefly runs and closes WPDOS. This program does the following: (1) it copies some macros into your WPDOS macros directory (WINLIST, WINOPEN, PDFMAKER, PDFVIEWR, CNV2WORD, NEWDRIVE, EURO, VPASTE, VCOPY, and for WPDOS51 only, RESETCLR); (2) it copies some printer drivers into your WPDOS printer directory; (3) it copies some codepage files (used for displaying the euro, importing from the clipboard, etc.) into your WPDOS directory; (4) it runs WPDOS to install two printer drivers (with vDos in their names) - but it does not select either of these new drivers as your default WP printer driver. The new drivers exist to be used by the PDFMAKER and  PDFVIEWR macros and in case you find them useful for printing. The installer makes no changes to any of your existing settings!

Troubleshooting: If you see a WPDOS message that reports Error in driver installation, or if the installer tells you to follow the instructions in order to copy some files: If the installer cannot figure out where to place some macro and printer files, or finds other problems, here is what to do. Run vDosWP. Then use Shift-F1/Location of Files to find out whether you keep your Keyboard/Macro files and Printer files in different folders from the main WP folder. Then do the following.

3. Double-click on a vDosWP desktop shortcut. If you allowed the installer to create one or more desktop shortcuts, you will find those shortcuts on your desktop, named vDosWP51 VDM, vDosWP61 VDM, vDosWP62 VDM. (If you installed Shell support, you will also find a shortcut named vDosWPShell VDM; if you installed Editor support, vDosWPEditor VDM.) Double-click on one to launch vDosWP. When the program opens, you may press Alt-Enter to switch to full-screen mode (and back again). You may press Win+F11 to reduce the size of the window, or Win+F12 to enlarge the window. You may rename these shortcuts, but don't try to modify them in any other way (except to add startup switches as described below)! You will only be asking for trouble!

You may use F5 as usual to find your files. Remember that by default you will only see files and folders listed that have DOS-style 8.3 filenames! If you want to open a file with a long filename (or in a folder with a long name in its path), you may either (a) open and edit any WP file that has a Windows-style long name by dropping it on a vDosWP shortcut, or (b) press Alt-F10 and run the WINOPEN macro installed by the program. If you want to use the WPDOS List Files screen to view a list of the files in any Windows folder, press Alt-F10 and run the WINLIST macro. And see the following paragraph for an option that lets WPDOS list the "short names" of files with Windows long filenames:

To view and open files with long file names: By default, the vDos system does not display files with Windows-style long file names in directory listings. If you want WPDOS to list the "short names" of files with Windows long filenames (the short name typically has a tilde and number, as in FILENA~1.EXT) then do the following: If you have a Start Menu in your Windows system, go to the vDosWP group on the Start Menu and run the Long Filename Option program. If you do not have a Start Menu, go to the vDosWP folder and run the vDosLongFilenameOption.exe program. This will cause vDosWP to use a special version of vDos called vDos-lfn (an older version of what is now called vDosPlus; it includes modifications by Wengier Wu) that enables the listing of files that have Windows long filenames. For further information on Wengier Wu's modifications of vDos, see a separate page.

Note: The version of vDos-lfn included with vDosWP does not enable all the advanced features of Wengier Wu's full, updated version of his vDosPlus, which is constantly updated to add features like a blinking cursor, optional display of italics in WordPerfect and XyWrite, adjustable keyboard speed, and keyboard support for a few programs that do not run under the original version of vDos. If you need any of these features, download Wengier Wu's latest vDosPlus version from the link on another page and use it to replace the version supplied with vDosWP.

The installer optionally creates on your desktop a shortcut to your vDosWP folder. You can use that shortcut to find any of the configuration folders described below.

Warning: Don’t be clever! Don’t be ingenious! Don’t change the names of the files or the folders in this system! The system will not work if you change its filenames and folder names! If you absolutely insist on ignoring this advice, be prepared to change the system back to its original state! Don’t ask me for help putting everything back together, because I warned you very clearly about the consequences of your actions. Read the frequently-asked questions on this page before you start changing things! Don’t waste your valuable time specifying some other version of Windows in a shortcut's “compatibility” tab! If I don’t explicitly tell you to do something, don’t do it! If you are foolish, clueless, or self-defeating enough to insist on doing it anyway, do not ask me to help you to figure out why it didn’t work.

Second warning: Don't move this system after you install it! If you need to put it into a different folder, first either delete the entire vDosWP folder (or, preferably, run the Uninstall vDosWP-VDM program from the Start Menu or Control Panel), then run the installer again, specifying a different folder in the Select Destination Location screen.

A note for network users: This system can access files across a network if you assign a drive letter to your networked drives. However, do not expect it work as it did in a system where WordPerfect was installed specifically to be networked - in other words, when WordPerfect was installed in such a way that every user must enter his or her initials when WordPerfect starts, and the user’s settings are then picked up from a central storage directory somewhere on the network. If you want to use settings that are now stored in a settings file in a networked location, you will need to recreate those settings by hand in the copy of WordPerfect that you use in this system. Note that if you access a network drive or if you use vDosWP on a network domain, you may someday see a prompt reminding you to register the underlying vDos program; to do so, visit vdos.info and read the registration page.

Convenient ways to access files and folders: This system lets you access files in multiple ways, in addition to the List Files screen in WP itself:

Open vDosWP in full-screen mode: With vDosWP, “full-screen” almost always means “a blue WP screen surrounded by an empty black border on two sides or all sides, but without anything else visible on screen.” If you start vDosWP in its default windowed mode, you can press Alt-Enter to switch to full-screen mode. If you always want to start vDosWP in full-screen mode, go to the vDosWP folder, open either the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, 62VDMConfig folder; edit the CONFIG.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the WP Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder); find the line that reads WINDOW = 65 (or some other number) and change the number to 100 ; then save the file and restart vDosWP.

Frequently asked question about full-screen mode:

Q. But I want WP to look exactly the way it did under Windows XP, so that it fills the screen! Why are you so selfish that you won't you let me do that?
    A. If you want WPDOS to look exactly as it did under XP, then install 32-bit Windows 7 on your computer, and follow the procedure described on this site's Windows 7 page. There's no guarantee that it will work with your hardware.

If you only see 25 lines of text on screen, and you want more: In WPDOS 5.1, use Shift-F1, 2 - Display, 3 - Text Screen Type, 2 - Auto-Select. In WPDOS 6.x, use Shift-F1, 2 - Display, 2 -Text Mode Screen Type/Colors, 1 - Screen Type, 2 - Auto Select.

Customize the desktop shortcut: You can add WP startup switches to the vDosWP desktop shortcut, or make one or more copies of the desktop shortcut, adding different startup switches to each. To do this, right-click on the desktop shortcut, choose Properties, then the Shortcut tab, and in the Target field, scroll all the way to the end, add a space and then the startup switches that you want to use (for example, /m-macroname). Of course, you may also add startup switches to the line that launches WP in the AUTOEXEC.TXT file; for instructions on finding and editing this file, see another section of this page.

Add vDosWP to the Windows 8.1 start screen: You can add the icon for vDosWP to the tiles displayed on the Windows 8.1 start screen. From the start screen, click on the circled arrow at the lower left of the screen. Find vDosWP51 VDM, vDosWP61 VDM, or vDos62 VDM in the list of applications; right-click on the one you want and select “Pin to start” or some similar choice. The icon will now appear among the start screen tiles (possibly off-screen at the far right, but you can drag it to the left for easier access).

Keyboard help: For a list of special keystrokes used  by this system, click the C: icon at the upper left of the DOSBox window (this is called the System Icon) and select Keyboard Help... If you are running vDosWP full-screen, this list is not visible, so make a note of the following:

Keyboard problems: With normal vDosWP, in WPDOS 5.1 only, you cannot access the top-line menu (if you use it) simply by tapping the Alt key; you must press Alt-= (Alt-Equals) to access the top-line menu. This problem does not occur in WPDOS 6.x, only in WPDOS 5.1. And it does not occur if you enable the Long Filename Option explained elsewhere on this page.

Additional commands: If (for example) you want to open a PDF or DOCX file from inside WPDOS, via a macro or the Ctrl-F1 DOS Command feature, you may use the command WINSTART, like this:
WINSTART C:\FOLDER\MYFILE.PDF
This command will cause the PDF file to open in your default Windows PDF viewer. It is the equivalent of the START command in the Windows command prompt. (Added to vDosWP, 24 January 2016; not present in earlier versions!)

Troubleshooting:

Frequently-asked questions:

Q. Your installation program changed all my settings! None of my WordPerfect settings are what they were before! I will never forgive you for doing this! Also, I don't understand how your wicked, cruel installer knew all the names of the folders that it wrote into my Location of Files settings when it changed all my settings without my asking! Why and how did your installer do this terrible thing? It has ruined my life!
    A. Take a deep breath, and read the following sentences very slowly. My installer did not change your Location of Files or any other WordPerfect setting. You seem to have forgotten that you - and only you - changed those settings yourself, perhaps when you were running WPDOS under DOSBox or under an earlier version of the vDosWP system. I don't know the names of any folders on your disk; you typed in those folder names yourself. I have not changed your Location of Files settings, nor, I hope, have I ruined your life.

Q. I’m a lot smarter than most people who visit your site, and I have a lot of experience with computers, so I was able to figure out that your instructions imply that I should perform certain steps that you never explicitly mention, and they imply that I should make changes to the instructions that you never explicitly call for. Anyway, being extremely clever and shrewd, I cleverly performed those steps and made the changes that you clearly implied but never explicitly stated, and now my vDosWP setup doesn’t work at all. Why did you do this to me? Why did you imply that I should do those things that caused so many problems? How dare you imply such dangerous things?
    A. You, and you alone, caused the problems, because you insisted on performing steps and making changes that I never told you to perform. My instructions don’t imply anything. They tell you exactly what you need to do - no more, no less. Next time, please follow the instructions exactly.

Q. Your instructions are all wrong! Everything that you said I should type into text files and configuration screens is wrong! Nothing works! Your system is worthless and this page is a total waste of time! I want my money back!
    A. Please check your typing and make sure that you typed exactly what this page tells you type. Also, you haven’t sent me any money yet, although I hope you will feel free to do so here.

Q. I rely on an old DOS program called CheesMkr which I use for making cheese. Could you please test this program with the vDosWP system and tell me if it works?
    A. Is anything stopping you from taking the radical step of trying it yourself?


How to use and customize the vDosWP system

To use the vDosWP system, start vDosWP from the desktop shortcut optionally created by the installer, or from a Start Menu shortcut, and use WordPerfect as you always used it before. A few further details are described below.

Summary of default drive assignments in vDosWP: As supplied, vDosWP uses the same drive letters used in your Windows system, except that it reserves drive B: for its own use with the line:

B: = <your userfolder>\vDosWP

Assign drive letters in vDos toWindows folders: To assign a drive letter in vDosWP to any folder in your Windows system, open the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the WP Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder.) Find the lines that start USE. If your host system does not use one or more of the assigned drive letters, or if you want to access an assigned drive letter from vDosWP, you can assign one or more drive letters to one or more Windows folders, as described here:

Follow this example, and remember that it is only an example!

USE H: C:\The Path\To\Some folder or other

This assigns drive H: to whatever Windows folder you choose. Do not use quotation marks for folder names with spaces. Be prepared to experiment until you get this right. And do not try to map B:, which is reserved for the system.

For the best possible display: As supplied, vDosWP opens in a window with 43 lines and 80 columns. However, the vDosWP window can display any number from 24 to 60 lines and any number from 80 to 160 columns. If you work full-screen, and have a traditional 4:3 VGA-style monitor, vDos in full-screen mode will fill the screen if you use settings such as 35 lines and 80 columns, or 60 lines and 142 columns. You may want to experiment.

Lines and columns: Open the CONFIG.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder inside the vDosWP folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder.) Find the lines that begin LINS = and COLS = near the top of the file. LINS (note that it is spelled LINS without an “E”) can be any number from 24 to 60. COLS can be any number from 80 to 160.

Window size and position: You may fine-tune the starting position and size of the vDosWP window. Open the CONFIG.TXT file and find the block of lines that begins “The window is by default centered on the desktop.” Below that line, find the line that reads something like rem WINDOW = 65,60:0. Remove the word rem from the start of the line; the first number is the percentage of the screen occupied by the window; the second and third numbers represent the horizontal position (in pixels, from the left) and the vertical position (in pixels, from the top) of the upper-left corner of the window. Adjust these numbers until you find a setting you like.

Display font: vDos includes a built-in TrueType font for displaying text on screen; however, the vDosWP system is setup to use an alternate font, the Consolas supplied with all version of Windows since Vista, and all versions of Microsoft Office (so you almost certainly have a legal copy). Remember that these fonts are not used for printing, only for displaying text while you edit in ordinary text mode!

You may use almost any monospaced TrueType font instead of Consolas or the built-in font, although most fonts will produce unsatisfactory results. Copy the font into the Programs folder inside the vDosWP folder. Then edit CONFIG.TXT (in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder inside the vDosWP folder (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder, for the WP Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder), and change the line that reads FONT = CONSOLA - you can add REM at the start of the line if you want to use the build-in font. Note that the FONT = FONTNAME line uses the filename of the font, not the fontname, so you must use CONSOLA with no “s” at the end.

To change the point size of the displayed font, experiment with the WINDOW = setting until you find the size you prefer.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

You might want to use the freeware Nouveau_IBM.TTF font (by Arto Hatanpää) also supplied with this system. This imitates the hardware-based font from your old system. If you use this font (by adding the line FONT = NOUVEAU_IBM in CONFIG.TXT (and removing any other FONT line), you will find that it looks right only at small sizes. Experiment by pressing Win+F11 to reduce the vDosWP window, and then experiment with the WINDOW and LINS settings in CONFIG.TXT until the window starts at the size you prefer.

Remember that the display font has absolutely nothing to do with the font that prints from WordPerfect! It only affects the font that displays on screen! You will not change the font on the printed page by changing this setting. If you don’t understand any of this, please ignore this whole paragraph! 

Note: Do not waste your valuable time trying to use Tame to change the way this system looks on screen; Tame has absolutely no effect on vDosWP or any program that runs inside it - it won’t hurt, but it also won’t help, because it does absolutely nothing that affects vDosWP in any way whatever.

How to exchange data with the Windows clipboard: In case you don’t remember these instructions, you can click on the system menu of the vDosWP window (the “C:” icon at the upper left of the window) for details.

To paste the contents of the Windows clipboard into WPDOS at the current cursor location, press Win-Ctrl-V. Alternatively, you can can also run VPASTE macro supplied with the system, which will produce slightly different results. (Win-Ctrl-V uses Windows functions to translate the data from the clipboard in DOS format; the macro uses WordPerfect's file conversion functions.)

To copy from WPDOS to the Windows clipboard, either (a) hold down Win and Ctrl, then click and drag the mouse to start drawing a rectangle for copying text; when you release the mouse button, the contents of the rectangle are copied to the Windows clipboard or (b) select a block and run the VCOPY macro (supplied with the system) to copy that text to the Windows clipboard.

To restore non-working function keys, read the advice on the relevant page for your Windows version, for example the pages for Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 10.

Use the mouse in WPDOS 6.x: This method is probably not reliable or usable, but you can experiment with it. Edit CONFIG.TXT (as described elsewhere on this page), and make sure there is a line that reads MOUSE = ON ; if the line reads MOUSE = OFF then change OFF to ON.  If it reads  rem MOUSE = ON, then remove the "rem" so that the line reads only MOUSE = ON .Save the file and restart vDos. In WPDOS, use Shift-F1, Mouse, and select Mouse Driver (Absolute/Pen); or you might want to experiment with Mouse Driver (Absolute/Pen 2). Do not use Auto-Select and do not try to select a name that matches the hardware mouse that you move around on your desk! It won't work! WP may lock up if you try. Don't waste your time trying! The results will probably be better in graphic or page mode than in text mode. (And see the paragraph that begins "Remember" slightly below this one.)

Use the mouse in WPDOS 5.1: This method is probably not reliable or usable, but you can experiment with it. Edit CONFIG.TXT (as described elsewhere on this page), and make sure there is a line that reads MOUSE = ON ; if the line reads MOUSE = OFF then change OFF to ON.  If it reads  rem MOUSE = ON, then remove the "rem" so that the line reads only MOUSE = ON .Save the file and restart vDos. In WPDOS, use Shift-F1, Mouse, and select Mouse Driver (MOUSE.COM). But don't expect this to work correctly in the current version of vDosWP.  Do not use Auto-Select and do not try to select a name that matches the hardware mouse that you move around on your desk! It won't work! WP may lock up if you try. Don't waste your time trying! (And see the paragraph that begins "Remember" below.)

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!


Printing from vDosWP

To print from vDosWP, you absolutely, positively must already have installed a printer in Windows! Before you begin, try to print from a Windows application, such as this web browser. If you cannot print from a Windows application, you will not be able to print from vDosWP! (Please do not ask if I can make an exception to this rule for your benefit; it is physically impossible to do so.) After you have set up a printer under Windows, then launch vDosWP and start printing as you did in WPDOS.

Remember: this system does not change your existing printer driver! Before you do anything else, try printing from your existing printer driver! I really mean it! Don't try to be clever! Don't change anything! Don't get the idea that you must choose a new printer driver! Don't decide that the WPDOS driver should have the name of your actual printer! Just try printing with the printer driver you were already using in your old system, even if you no longer have your old printer!

I really mean what I said in the preceding paragraph. It applies to you, no matter how smart, special, clever, and wonderful you are, no matter how many years you have been working expertly with computers! Don't even think of touching the Select Printer menu in WordPerfect! Just try to print something! If all goes well, the document will print on your default Windows printer, whatever printer you may have. If nothing prints, then, and only then, read on:

If your existing printer driver doesn't let you print from vDosWP, then do the following in WPDOS. First, try this:

If that does not solve the problem, then do this:

vDosWP will now print to your default Windows printer.

Technical note: Behind the scenes, when you print to LPT1 (the default setting) vDosWP creates a PDF file and relies on a Windows application to print that PDF file to your printer. I describe other printing methods below, including two that print directly to a PCL- or PostScript-capable printer.

Once you have printed successfully from vDosWP, then - and only then - you can experiment with different methods of printing and different printer drivers. Feel free either to read or ignore the following section:

Troubleshooting: If your documents contain embedded graphics, and only part of a document prints, or if vDosWP seems to think that you are printing two documents instead of one, do this. Open either the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, 62VDMConfig folder; edit the CONFIG.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder); add a line anywhere in the file, reading TIMEOUT = OFF and save the file. Then restart vDosWP.

The easiest way to control printing from vDosWP is to change the Port settings in WordPerfect's Print/ Select/Edit menu. These settings are the easiest ones to use:

To print to a specific Windows printer that is not your default printer: By default, when you print to LPT1 or LPT2 from vDosWP, you print to the default Windows printer. If you want to print to a different Windows printer, and you do not want to select it every time you print (as you must do if you print to LPT4 or LPT5), you must perform the following steps with great care.

A note on the PDFMAKER and PDFVIEWR macros: Instead of manually changing the printer driver to print to LPT3 or LPT4, as described above, you can run the PDFMAKER or PDFVIEWR macros supplied with this system. Both macros will set the ports correctly (and reset them when finished), and will create a PDF file in the same folder as the original document with the name of the current document and a PDF extension (if the current document already has a name). The PDFVIEWR macro works in exactly the same way as the PDFMAKER macro, but also opens the PDF file for viewing in your default PDF viewer application. If the current document does not have a name, a PDF will be written to the Windows desktop, with an arbitrary name based on the current date and time. Serious warning: When using either of these macros, don’t be clever, don’t be ingenious! Don’t change any settings that you foolishly believe you are required to change before or after running the macro - which is what Clueless Visitor No. 131 tried to do, with predictably bad results. Just run the macro! Remember: You absolutely should not change any settings before or after running the macro. Just run it! Look into your heart: if you find an uncontrollable impulse to change settings before or after you run either the PDFMAKER or PDFVIEWR macro, just don't run it!

To install soft fonts into WPDOS 6.x: Install soft fonts into WPDOS 6.x exactly as you do in any WPDOS 6.x system.


Convert the current document to Microsoft Word

This system includes a CNV2WORD macro that converts the document currently open in WPDOS to Microsoft Word format. It requires that Microsoft Word be installed on your system. To use it, open a document and run the macro. The macro launches a Windows script that uses Word to convert the document, and the script displays a series of prompts (from Windows). By default, the resulting Word document will have the same name as the WPDOS file with an additional ".docx" extension, and will be written to the same folder that contains the WPDOS document.

Do not expect perfection from this macro! Its limitations are those of Microsoft Word, and I can do nothing to fix them! For further details, see the script itself, named WP2MSW.VBS, which is located in your vDosWP\Programs folder, and read the Frequently-Asked Questions about the script, which may be found on another page of this site.


Use any existing PCL or PostScript printer driver

If you customized a printer driver in your existing WPDOS system (perhaps by creating paper definitions), you can almost certainly continue to use that driver in the vDosWP system if your printer is a PCL or PostScript-capable printer. Your existing printer driver will still be selected as the default driver in vDosWP. If you want to choose another driver, simply select it in Select Printer menu in WPDOS, and print. You may need to experiment with setting the printer port to LPT1 or LPT2 or other options as described in the note on printer settings above.


Graphics, color, and other visual settings

Graphics: vDosWP supports VGA graphics (640x480) only. If the window is too small or too large when you use Print Preview or any other graphics, close vDosWP, and use a text editor like Notepad.exe to edit the CONFIG.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder.) Find the line that reads SCALE = 2 . Change the number to 1 to reduce the size of the image or to 3 or more to increase it. Note that this scaling feature merely expands the 640x480 window in a rather ugly way; it does not change the resolution of the image itself.

Screen colors (including monochrome): You may modify the default screen colors by changing a setting in CONFIG.TXT. The system, as supplied, uses the same colors used by Tame with WPDOS under Windows XP. If you want to change this setting, close vDosWP, and, using a text editor like Notepad.exe, edit the CONFIG.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder.) Notice the instructions at the bottom of the file; notice that you can set COLORS = MONO and make vDosWP imitate an old Monochrome Display Adapter (or Hercules Graphics Card, though without the graphics). Make sure that only one line (or none) begins COLORS = or you may not get the results you want.

Underline and other text settings: vDosWP displays underlined text when your CONFIG.TXT file includes the line WP = 5 or WP = 6 (use 5 if you have 5.1, 6 if you have 6.x). If you do not want underlined text, add a minus sign before the number, like this: WP = -5 or WP = -6. Underlined text displays correctly only if you use the default color settings in WPDOS itself (the settings accessible under Shift-F1, Display), and not a custom color scheme; however, you may modify the vDosWP color settings in CONFIG.TXT as described above. There is one exception: in the display settings for WPDOS 5.1, the Shadow attribute must be set to A H instead of the WP default setting B H . If you have changed these color settings but decide that you prefer the the original WPDOS 5.1 color settings, you may restore them by running the RESETCLR macro supplied with this system. (Remember that this applies to WPDOS 5.1 only.)

WPDOS 5.1 top-line menu: If you enable the top-line menu in WPDOS 5.1 under vDosWP, the menu looks unappealing, with unneeded underlines. To set a better-looking set of menu colors, run the MENUCLR macro supplied with this system. You can restore the default menu colors with the RESETCLR macro. (Remember than this applies to WPDOS 5.1 only.)

Other customizable settings: For many other customizable settings in the vDosWP system, see the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folders inside the vDosWP folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same files in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder.) Use these settings at your own risk, and be prepared to change them back if you don’t like the results.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!


 View and print the euro symbol

In the printer drivers supplied with vDosWP, the euro symbol is mapped to WP character 4,72 (as it is in WordPerfect for Windows). A EURO macro is provided to type that symbol easily. However, if you want the euro to be visible on the WordPerfect text screen, you must change the some settings in this system.

If you are using WP in Europe, and you typically use a DOS system with codepage 850 or 858, then do the following:

1. Open the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder inside the vDosWP folder, then find the lines near the foot that reads "rem Euro support". A few lines below that, remove "rem" before chcp 858 (under Windows XP only, use chcp 850) and, a few lines below that (in all Windows versions, including XP), at the end of the line that begins %WPDRV%WP add (after a space) the startup switch (replacing any existing /cp- switch):  /cp-858

2. Open the CONFIG.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder inside the vDosWP folder (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder), then find the lines that begin "rem To display the Euro symbol" and change the line that reads something like "rem EURO = 213" to remove the "rem" so that the line reads: EURO = 213

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

If you are using WP in North America, or anywhere else where you prefer to use a US-English setup of WPDOS with codepage 437, then do the following:

1. Open the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder inside the vDosWP folder( if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder), then find the lines near the foot that reads "rem Euro support". Do not remove the "rem" before the line that contains "chcp"! At the end of the line that begins %WPDRV%WP add (after a space) the startup switch (replacing any existing /cp- switch):  /cp-2001

2. Open the CONFIG.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder inside the vDosWP folder (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder), then find the lines that begin "rem To display the Euro symbol" and change the line that reads something like "rem EURO = 213" to remove the "rem" and change the number so that the line reads: EURO = 128

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

Then restart vDosWP. In print preview and other graphics modes, when you use the euro, the correct symbol should display in WPDOS 6.x (because this system uses a modified graphic font) but under WPDOS 5.1, and in all menus in WPDOS 6.x, you will probably see a different character (probably circle-u). The euro symbol will print correctly if you use the supplied printer drivers. 

See also the separate section below on codepage support.


Codepage and other national language settings

If the wrong characters appear in European systems: It is possible that some European-language characters will appear incorrectly when this system is used outside North America. If and only if you find that the wrong characters appear on your system, and you are using this system on a Windows computer acquired outside North America, then edit the AUTOEXEC.TXT file as described elsewhere on this page, find the section headed “rem CodePage” and follow the instructions for using the CHCP command. (Search the internet if you do not know how to use this command.) In experimenting, you may want to try codepage 850 or 858 or any other standard codepage. (Codepage 858 is available only in Windows Vista, 7, 8, or later, not in Windows XP.)

You may use the ASCII application in B:\UTIL to see the effect of different codepage settings.

See also the section on euro support elsewhere on this page; you will need to use one of the settings specified for the AUTOEXEC.TXT file to assign the euro symbol to WP character 4,72.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

For further information on euro and other national-language support, see another page on this site.


PlanPerfect 5.1

The installer gives you an option to install support for PlanPerfect; it has been tested with version 5.1. If you encounter difficulties during the installation, and the PlanPerfect window opened by the installer has stalled or shows an error message, press F1 and F7 until you exit PlanPerfect and let the installation continue. Then, launch the vDosPlanPerfect VDM desktop shortcut, and do the following:

More or less everything described above about printing in WPDOS 5.1 applies to PlanPerfect. If you want to print to your default Windows printer, set the printer driver in PlanPerfect to print to LPT1. If you want to create a PDF (which will appear on your desktop with an arbitrary name), print to LPT3. The installer should set up appropriate printer drivers for both these options.

The PDFMAKER macro should create a PDF from the current worksheet in the same folder with the worksheet itself. You must use Ctrl-F10 to edit the macro and (as described at the top of the macro) enter the name of the printer driver that you normally use when printing from PlanPerfect.


WordPerfect Office Shell and Editor

The installer gives you options to install support for the WordPerfect Office Shell and WordPerfect Editor (ED.EXE). You can use the Shell-support option to run any version of the Shell, and you can run any of the WordPerfect Office programs from the Shell itself.

Note that Shell 3.1 will always display a menu with 25 lines, even in a larger window, but programs launched from Shell 3.1 (such as the Editor, Notebook, or WordPerfect) will open in the window size that you specify in CONFIG.TXT.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

Note: In order to use Shell (.SHM) macros with Shell 4.0, the MC.EXE utility must be running in the background; to enable this, go to the vDosWP\ShellVDMConfig folder, edit the AUTOEXEC.TXT file and follow the instructions near the bottom of the file. This applies to Shell 4.0 only, not to Shell 3.1!


 Abbreviation expander software for medical transcriptions and court reporters

If you need to use an abbreviation expander such as PRD+ or Smartype with WPDOS 5.1, first set up the vDosWP system so that WPDOS 5.1 works correctly. Next, be certain that you have a copy of all the files in the abbreviation expander setup that you formerly used under Windows XP or DOS, as described on this site’s medical transcriptionist page; remember that some programs require a batch file that launches your expander software and WPDOS, as described on that page. (Do not save these files by burning them to a CD or DVD! They will not work correctly! Use a USB drive to copy the files, or e-mail them to yourself. Do not burn them to a CD or DVD!)

In your new computer, create a folder for your expander files with exactly the same name and exactly the same location as the folder on your old system. The folder will typically be named PPLUS2 or ST or some similar name. Copy all the files from your old expander setup into that folder.

Take the next step slowly and carefully. Go to the vDosWP folder (typically inside your user folder) and double-click VDMvDos.exe. This command will open a 25-line version of vDos at the C:\ prompt. At the prompt; enter CD PPLUS2 or CD ST or whatever CD (Change Directory) command takes you into your expander directory; then enter the name of the batch file that you created that starts your expander and then starts WP (the batch file may be named something like PRDWP.BAT or STWP.BAT). You should be able to use your expander as you normally do. When you have it working, write down all the various commands that you entered in order to run WPDOS with your expander.

Take the next step slowly and carefully. In your vDosWP\51VDMConfig folder you will find files named CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT. Using an editor like Windows notepad, edit CONFIG.TXT, find the line that reads LINS = 43 and change 43 to 25 then save the file. Then edit AUTOEXEC.TXT and find the line that reads:

%WPDRV%WP /w-*,* /D-%WPDRV%%WPPROGS% %WPSTRING%

Put the word REM at the start of the line so it looks like this:

REM %WPDRV%WP /w-*,* /D-%WPDRV%%WPPROGS% %WPSTRING%

Immediately below that line, add the line or lines that you use to launch the batch file that starts your abbreviation expander, something like the following (but remember it is only an example and almost certainly will not work on your system!). If you don't understand the concept of an "example," stop now, and do not attempt this procedure!

C:\WP51\PRDPLUS.BAT

Or perhaps something like this:

C:\FLASH\FLASH.EXE

Now restart vDosWP51 VDM, and your expander software should function as it always did.

If keyboard shortcuts don't work correctly in your abbreviation-expander software: Some abbreviation-expander software does not work perfectly with the normal version of vDos, but requires a special version prepared (for use with the XyWrite word processor) by a programmer who calls himself "catastrophicanomaly." For example, the <Ctrl>,<Ctrl> sequence used by PRD+ to bring up the menu does not work in vDos, but does work in the alternate version. If you really, really need the alternate version, first install the normal version of vDosWP, then download and run this installer for the special-keyboard-support version of vDos. Launch the vDosKbd shortcut that you will find on your desktop, and follow the instructions that appear in the vDos window about adding to the autoexec.txt file the commands that run your expander software and WPDOS.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellVDMConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51VDMConfig folder or any other folder will be completely ignored! This means that the changes described above should be made in the ShellVDMConfig folder!


Use Plain DOS VDM with other DOS software

You can use the Plain DOS VDM shortcut to run other DOS software. If you want my help setting up any specific software, be prepared to pay an enormous consultation fee, or ask for help at the vDos forum at SourceForge.

To create PDF files, or print PCL output directly to a printer, from the Plain DOS VDM folder add commands like these to the config.txt file in the PlainDOSVDMConfig folder. Note that you can replace LPT1 with LPT2, LPT4, or LTP5, but make sure to replace both instances in each line. Also note that if your DOS program can produce PCL output, the output must be PCL5 output; the intermediate PDF noted below will not be created from PCL3 or PCL4 output.

Note: PCL or PDF output to LPT3 will always create a PDF file on the desktop!

To print raw data to the default Windows printer:
    LPT1 = RAW

For PostScript or PCL-capable printers, send raw data to a printer selected from the standard Windows Print menu:
    LPT1 = RAW SEL

For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript output, this creates a PDF file and prints it to the default Windows printer (which need not be a PCL or PostScript printer):
    LPT1 = "PDFXCview.exe" HIDE /print #LPT1.PDF

For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript out, this creates an arbitrarily-named PDF file and opens it in your default PDF reader for viewing, printing, saving, etc:
    LPT1 = "" #LPT1.PDF

For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript output, this creates a PDF file and prints it to to a printer selected from a menu (which need not be a PCL or PostScript printer):
    LPT1 = "vDosSelPtr.exe" #LPT1.PDF

For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript output, this creates an arbitrarily-named PDF file on the desktop; this works with LPT3 only:
    LPT3 = "vDosSelPtr.exe" #LPT3 .PDF


How to install a fresh copy of WPDOS

If you no longer have your WPDOS folders from your old computer, you may need to install a fresh copy of WPDOS on your new computer. To accomplish this, follow these steps (note that this procedure requires a copy of the vDosWP-VDM-Setup installer dated 2 July 2016 or later):


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