Site map | Search this site | If WP won't run on your new computer | Summary | Quick solutions to common problems | Voluntary contributions | Recent changes (RSS) | Announcements | The reasons for this | New printer drivers | WPDOS under Windows | Windows printing problems solved | Print to any printer or any Windows fax program | WPDOS graphics mode in a window | WP for and on the Mac | Workarounds | Euro symbol | Networking WPDOS | Graphics mode survival guide | Text mode survival guide | Additional and under-documented features | Arabic and Hebrew WP | WordPerfect-related programs and utilities | Third-party tools | Discussion groups and other links | Obtaining WPDOS | WPDOS 6.2 patch program | Linux and OS/2 Warp | What Corel should have done | Feedback | Acknowledgments
Go immediately to this site's page about the WP-64 system.
WordPerfect for DOS will run on any modern Windows-based computer. It will run more smoothly and with fewer problems under Windows XP than under Vista or Windows 7 or 8, and requires special techniques if you want to run it under any 64-bit version of Windows. If you use WordPerfect for DOS for your daily work, you should try to buy a computer with Windows XP installed, not Vista or Windows 7 or 8.
This site provides methods for running WordPerfect for DOS on 64-bit versions of Windows, including Windows 8. This site recommends that you use a special system, devised for this site, that makes it possible to run WordPerfect for DOS under 64-bit versions of Windows. Information about other methods of running WordPerfect for DOS under 64-bit Windows may also be found on this site.
Note: It makes absolutely no difference whether you have a Pro or Basic or Home or Ultimate or Enterprise or any other specific subtype of Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 or 8; WordPerfect for DOS will run equally well on Pro, Basic, Home, or any other variety of Windows XP, and equally well or any variety of Vista, or any variety of Windows 7, and any variety of Windows 8 for Intel-based computers only. However, it is far more trouble to run WordPerfect for DOS on 64-bit versions of Windows than on 32-bit versions.
This site provides methods for running WordPerfect for DOS on Macintosh computers. You do not have to give up WordPerfect for DOS if you switch to a Mac. See this site's method for running WordPerfect for DOS under OS X.
A warning about Windows 7 and 8: Windows 7 and 8, like Windows Vista, offer many disadvantages to anyone who wants to use WordPerfect for DOS. Windows XP remains the best recent operating system to use with WordPerfect for DOS. If you must run WPDOS under Windows 7 or 8, you should study this site's Windows 7 page or its Windows 8 page for further information on how to proceed. Similarly, if you must run WPDOS under Windows Vista, you should study this site's Windows Vista page. This site now offers a system that runs WPDOS in full-screen mode under Vista or Windows 7 and 8, but you will get better results with Windows XP.
Buy a Windows XP computer: After 22 October 2010 major manufacturers were no longer licensed to sell computers with Windows XP installed, but you may be able to get such a computer from a local vendor. If you plan to make extensive use of WordPerfect for DOS, do not buy a Windows Vista or Windows 7 or 8 computer. You will regret your choice.
If you use, or plan to use, WordPerfect for DOS on a Windows XP computer, read this site's step-by-step installation guide. For further advice on making WPDOS run efficiently, study the whole of this site's Windows XP page, especially the list of potential problems and limitations.
If you are already running WPDOS on a Windows computer, and you are looking for a printer driver for your new printer, see this site's printer driver page for WPDOS 5.1 or a separate printer driver page for WPDOS 6.0, 6.1, or 6.2.
If you need to open old WordPerfect files (files created in WPDOS 4.2, 5.1, or 6.x) on a modern computer, you can use any version of WordPerfect for Windows, starting with version 6 of WordPerfect for Windows. All versions of Microsoft Word for Windows can open WordPerfect 5.1 files, and most can open WordPerfect 6.x files, but only if the necessary converter files were installed together with Word. If these converters are missing from your Word installation, they can be added by running a "Repair" installation of Microsoft Word; use your favorite search engine if you need to find instructions.
For fast access to this site's mostly commonly-requested advice, please go directly to the troubleshooting page. You can also search the complete text of this site with the Google, Yahoo, or Bing search engines. For an overview of the information available on this site, please visit the site map.
You may also want to read some of the frequently-asked questions about the contents of this site.
If any of the drivers, files, or suggestions on this site are of value to you or your business, please consider making a voluntary contribution to help pay the costs of maintaining the site. Payment can easily be made in U.S. or Canadian dollars, Euros, Pounds Sterling, or other currencies through this link to the PayPal payment service.
WordPerfect for DOS 5.1+ and 6.2 are legally available for sale on CD to licensed users of WordPerfect for DOS. Further details are available elsewhere on this site.
Version 6 of Tame from www.tamedos.com is indispensable for use with WPDOS under Windows 2000, XP and the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7 or 8 (but is not needed for 64-bit versions of Windows). This US$20 program speeds keyboard input and improves compatibility for WPDOS and other DOS applications under recent Windows versions. New features include the following: italics and underlines can be displayed in text mode; more than 60 lines of text can be visible in a window; the number of rows and columns on screen can be changed while the program is open; text can be copied and pasted to and from the Windows clipboard without macros or add-ons; a keystroke (Win-Enter) switches between windowed mode and a full-screen mode that uses Windows's fonts but is as fast as - or faster than - WP in traditional hardware-based full-screen mode. A page of further details provides preliminary information on the vast range of customization options available under Tame.
How to display the euro symbol in MS-DOS and Windows DOS. This site provides instructions for typing and displaying the euro symbol in full-screen MS-DOS (including Windows DOS) and in windowed DOS boxes.
Appeals for help:
Alternate address for this site: This site can almost always be reached at an "alias" address, http://wpdos.org. It can, of course, also be reached at its real address, http://www.columbia.edu/~em36/wpdos.
WordPerfect for DOS, in the opinion of many knowledgeable users, is still the greatest program ever written. Some of its features have not been matched even by the latest Windows software, and its interface remains unequaled for efficiency and elegance. Its support for multiple font formats has not been equaled by any other program or operating system, and its support for multiple alphabets, languages, and symbol sets has only been equaled by twenty-first-century versions of Windows, Linux, and the Mac OS.
As a reviewer for PC Magazine and other publications since 1985, I have tested hundreds of programs, including almost every word processor that was ever released to the public, plus one or two, like IBM's Signature, that were never released at all. There is much to admire in WordPerfect for Windows (and every user of the DOS version should own a copy of the Windows version, for use with graphics-rich documents), but I still return to WordPerfect for DOS whenever I want to get any serious work done, and even when I simply want to write a letter and address an envelope. (If there were a truth-in-reviewing law, it would oblige me to add that, among graphics-based word processors, I generally prefer Microsoft Word for Windows to Corel WordPerfect for Windows, but if I were forced to choose only one word processor, and I could choose among all text-based and graphic-based programs, I would unhesitatingly choose WordPerfect for DOS 6.2.)
This site was created as a way to share printer drivers and other files that can be of help to anyone who wants to continue to use WordPerfect for DOS in the twenty-first century. This site exists partly because the DOS "environment" (the so-called Virtual DOS Machine, or VDM) in recent versions of Windows (including XP, Vista, and Windows 7) is in many ways slow and awkward compared to the original MS-DOS operating system.
The awkward Virtual DOS Machine (VDM) in current versions of Windows derives from the original VDM that Microsoft wrote for Windows NT. It did not need to be as awkward as it is. The old OS/2 operating system, which began as a joint project of Microsoft and IBM, included a superb DOS environment, probably the best ever written, which was the work of a group of Microsoft programmers led by Ben Slivka, who was still working at Microsoft when Windows NT was being written a few years later. Microsoft had the resources to make a Windows NT VDM that worked well, but simply didn't use them, and we continue to suffer the consequences.
Note to WordPerfect for Windows users: The most generally reliable versions of WordPerfect for Windows are probably Corel WordPerfect 8, X3, X4, and X5; keep in mind that Corel WordPerfect 8, unlike later versions, is subject to conflicts with scanning and optical-character-recognition software that you may or may not have on your system. Be certain to download and install all update patches for version 8 (or for any later version) from www.corel.com (for recent versions) or from Corel's FTP site (follow the version numbers for upgrades). WordPerfect versions 9, 10, 11, and 12 are notably less reliable than 8 and marginally less reliable than X3, X4, or X5. Note that the later updated versions of WordPerfect for Windows 9 (only) have a bug in the WordPerfect Characters feature that causes some European accented letters to be entered incorrectly when you use the Compose feature. This bug is not present in other versions.
WordPerfect is a registered trademark of Corel Corporation. This site (which was created in Microsoft FrontPage and is maintained in Microsoft Expression Web) is not associated with Corel Corporation, PC Magazine, or any other person or organization. The site is hosted on Columbia University's web server, but the university is not responsible for any of the site's content. Corel Corporation does not support or endorse any of the documents or files on this site, and is perhaps not even aware that the site exists. - Edward Mendelson
This site provides many new printer drivers for WPDOS 5.1 and 6.x, and links to the original printer drivers created by WordPerfect Corporation when WPDOS 5.1 and 6.x were first released.
This site has new WPDOS 5.1 drivers for the HP LaserJet, HP Color LaserJet, and Business Inkjet models. Both PCL and PostScript drivers are available; all 80 internal fonts in the 3200 and later models are supported; and all these drivers support the euro through the printer's hardware or through soft fonts available from this site. Drivers are also supplied for recent HP OfficeJet and other inkjet models, with euro support where available. Drivers are also available for recent Postscript Level 3 printers, Lexmark Optra laser printers. Special HP LaserJet drivers that "draw" the euro symbol, for older printers without built-in euro support, are also available. All these drivers are written by the author of this site, and are not endorsed or supported by Corel, Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, or anyone else. Information is also provided on drivers available elsewhere for some other printer models.
This site also has new WPDOS 6.x drivers for all recent HP LaserJet, HP Color LaserJet, and HP Business InkJet models. Both PCL and PostScript modes are supported; all 80 internal fonts in the 3200 and later models are supported; and all these drivers support the euro symbol either through the printer's hardware or through soft fonts available from this site. Drivers are also supplied for recent HP OfficeJet and other inkjet models, with euro support where available. Drivers are also available for recent Postscript Level 3 printers, Lexmark Optra laser printers, and some Canon bubble-jet printers. Special HP LaserJet drivers that "draw" the euro symbol, for older printers without built-in euro support, are also available. All these drivers (like all other WPDOS6.x printer drivers) may also be used with Corel WordPerfect for Linux. All these drivers were prepared by the author of this site, and are not endorsed or supported by Corel, Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, Canon, or anyone else. Information is provided on drivers available elsewhere for some other printer models.
This site's WPDOS 5.1 and 6.x driver pages also offer recommendations that can help you to choose a printer that works effectively with WPDOS 5.1 or 6.x.
If possible, I will try to provide drivers for other printers not supported on this site if you are willing to beta-test the results. Some Windows-only printers, however, cannot be directly supported through custom WPDOS drivers; for these printers, see this site's instructions on printing to any Windows printer.
The original WPDOS 5.1 and 6.x printer drivers are available from Corel's page for WPDOS 5.1 printer drivers or its page for WPDOS 6.x printer drivers. If you have difficulty downloading files from Corel's site, see this troubleshooting advice.
WordPerfect for DOS can be used without serious difficulties under all versions of Windows, and WPDOS6.x can use many of the TrueType fonts that Microsoft provides with Windows 9x, Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 and 8. Troubleshooting and other tips for Windows users may be found this site's Windows page. Separate pages provide essential information on customizing the WPDOS desktop shortcut, on running WPDOS under Windows NT, 2000, and XP, and on running WPDOS under Vista, Windows 7, or Windows Me.
If you cannot avoid using a 64-bit vesrion of Windows, then use the special system, devised for this site, that makes it possible to run WordPerfect for DOS under 64-bit versions of Windows.
This site offers a system that runs WordPerfect for DOS from a portable USB drive (a "thumb" drive) lets you use WPDOS on any Windows-based system, including 64-bit windows.
Useful advice on Windows housekeeping for WPDOS users may be found on a separate page.
A survival guide for medical transcriptionists provides methods of using WPDOS with abbreviation-expander software under Windows. Advice on using WPDOS on Windows networking may be found on a separate networking page. Brief instructions are also provided on running WPDOS 5.1 on Windows CE and Psion handheld devices.
A wide range of information is also available on opening WordPerfect files in Microsoft Word, on automatic conversion of WordPerfect files to Word or PDF format, and on converting Microsoft Word files for use in WordPerfect.
Extensive problem-solving advice on printing under Windows may be found on a page about printing and faxing from WPDOS under Windows, so you can avoid mysterious crashes and extra pages containing nonsense characters. The same page includes advice on using Windows fonts in WPDOS 6.x, on using WPDOS's fax services under Windows (a separate page is devoted to printing to Windows fax software), and on printing to a printer connected by a USB cable or across a network. (If your printer is a Windows-only printer, see the separate page on printing to any printer supported by Windows.) Multiple methods are provided for creating PDF files from WPDOS.
Advanced techniques for accessing characters and symbols in multilingual TrueType fonts in WPDOS 6.x are on a page of their own. Other pages explain how to install PostScript Type 1 fonts into WPDOS 5.1 and 6.x and how to install and use Speedo soft fonts in WPDOS 6.x.
Using a combination freely-available programs, you can print from WPDOS to any printer supported by Windows, even if no WPDOS driver exists for the printer, and even if the printer is connected to your computer by a USB cable. This site offers a variety of methods for printing from WPDOS to any Windows printer, some of which can be set up automatically, some of which require complex manual setup. After any of these methods is first set up, however, it works automatically with no further effort from the user. A separate page explains how to use a similar method to fax from WPDOS to any Windows fax software.
One problem with WPDOS under modern Windows systems is that Windows makes it impossible to use WPDOS's graphics mode in a window on the Window desktop. This means that print preview and image editing under WPDOS 5.1 and 6.x, and graphics-based text entry under WPDOS 6.x, can be used only when WPDOS is running full-screen under Windows XP, and, on most systems, cannot be used at all under Vista or Windows 7 or 8. This site provides methods of running WPDOS in graphics mode in a window on the Windows desktop, either through the use of a special system based on the DOSBox emulator or through the use of Microsoft's Virtual PC 2007 (for Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 only, including 64-bit versions of Windows). (Other methods are available on this site's page about WPDOS under 64-bit Windows.)
WordPerfect for the Macintosh (a freely downloadable program) was written for older version of the Macintosh operating system, but it can be run on modern Intel-based Macs (or any Mac running OS X 10.5 or later) through the use of "emulation" software. A page on WordPerfect for the Mac on Intel-based Macs provides a complete system for running WPMac on Intel machines. Methods are provided for converting WPMac files to modern word-processing formats, or for converting modern word-processing files into WPMac format.
WPMac works even more smoothly on PowerPC-based Macs running Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" or earlier. A page on WordPerfect for the Mac in the OS X "Classic" environment includes advice on setting up the program, automatically creating PDF files, and other details.
Separate pages covers methods of running WordPerfect for DOS on modern Macintosh hardware, including a method that can run WPDOS full-screen on modern Macintosh hardware.
WPDOS has built-in limitations that will never be removed. Perhaps the most annoying is the program's inability to import GIF, JPEG, and other modern graphics formats; this site's WPG graphic format page provides ways of converting such formats into WordPerfect's WPG format. A separate workarounds page offer solutions for minor bugs and other inconveniences. A further page describes minor limitations in WPDOS related to Year 2000 issues.
The euro symbol was introduced after Corel stopped further development of WordPerfect for DOS. However, through the use of drivers, fonts, and other files available from the euro page of this site, the euro symbol can be used in WPDOS 5.1 or 6.x. The most extensive support provided on this page is for HP LaserJet and other PCL-compatible printers, but the euro can also be printed with any other printer that supports graphics, and this site provides drivers for newer HP, Lexmark, and other HP-compatible printers that have the euro symbol in the printer's hardware. Instructions on this site's euro page also make it possible to use the euro as a currency symbol in WPDOS 6.x tables.
A separate page provides methods of displaying and accessing the euro symbol in MS-DOS and Windows DOS, in both full-screen and windowed modes. These methods are designed mostly for users in Western Europe.
Some basic advice on using WordPerfect for DOS on a Windows network may be found on this site's networking page.
WordPerfect for DOS includes a graphics-mode print preview, page view, and graphics view (the latter two in WPDOS 6.x only). These modes require graphics driver files. All existing driver files were written before the mid-1990s, but some can be used with current hardware. This site includes a page with basic advice on which WPDOS graphics driver to use with your hardware, together with tools and techniques for displaying WPDOS graphics at high refresh rates instead of a headache-inducing 60Hz.
The page includes a VESA graphics driver for WPDOS 5.1 that gives 5.1 users the same high-resolution, low-flicker images available under WordPerfect for DOS 6.x. The page also includes a patched WPDOS 6.x VESA VBE graphic driver for new video cards for use with some video boards that will not work with the original driver. (If your board works with the original driver, you do not need the patched driver, and you will not gain any advantage by using it.)
The built-in text-mode font on many recent computers is less attractive and legible than the fonts on older machines. This site's text mode page provides a utility that can replace the text font used by full-screen DOS. The page also includes notes on using WPDOS in monochrome mode.
Some features that have been added to recent versions of WordPerfect for Windows can also be added to WPDOS through the use of macros. among the features available on this site's additional features page are tools for copying and pasting text between WPDOS and Windows applications, "smart quotes" for WPDOS 5.1, Windows-style block selection for WPDOS 5.1, and a LineBreak code for WPDOS 6.x.
WordPerfect for DOS is so packed with features that some were never described in the printed manuals or help files. They are only known through experimentation or because they were described only in the files distributed with some versions of the program that listed enhancements made in interim versions. Some of the most notable of these changes will be listed on this site's underdocumented features page, together with the original lists of enhancements.
WordPerfect 5.1 and 6.x for DOS are generally free of Y2K problems, and accept four-digit years in almost all dialogs where you can enter dates. Details, and links to Corel's Y2K pages, may be found on this site's year 2000 page.
A page on this site includes notes on using the special Hebrew and Arabic versions of WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS. Please send feedback if you have further information for this page.
WordPerfect-related utilities by WordPerfect and Corel are available either directly from this site or through links to other sites. These utilities include a conversion program that converts recent Microsoft Word files into WP 5.1 and 6.x format, and (on a separate page) the WordPerfect Shell, Editor, and other WordPerfect Office for DOS programs. Another page includes links and compatibility information on DataPerfect, DrawPerfect, PlanPerfect, WP Presentations, and WP Works. For nostalgic visitors, a chronology of WordPerfect software is available for browsing.
This site does not provide support WordPerfect for Windows, but, for the convenience of users, some notes about compatibility with current Windows versions have been provided for older versions of WordPerfect for Windows.
Many third-party freeware and shareware tools have been developed for use with WPDOS. Among those that can be obtained from this site are TrueType for WordPerfect, by LaserTools, the font-installation modules of PrimeType for WordPerfect, also by LaserTools, utilities for repairing and viewing WordPerfect files, and utilities for removing password-protection from WordPerfect 5.0 and 5.1 files (together with links to commercial software that removes password-protection from WP 6.x files).
This site includes a miscellaneous list of links to Corel and other WPDOS sites, including Corel's files and patches for WPDOS, bulletin board sites where WPDOS can be discussed, and other sites of interest.
A note on this site's tools and links page provides a link to a source from whom you can buy legal copies of WordPerfect for DOS 5.1+ and WordPerfect for DOS 6.2. Another note provides a link to any current eBay auctions for all versions of WPDOS.
Some development work continued on WordPerfect for DOS after the final public release of WPDOS 6.2. A patch program available on this site will update the final public version to the final internal version, which was never released, but includes some minor changes that make it worthwhile (and at least two bugs that you may want to avoid).
WordPerfect 6.x, 7.x, and 8.x for Unix and Linux all use WPDOS 6.x printer drivers. Older drivers may be found on Corel's website and newer drivers on this site's WPDOS 6.x printer driver page. That page includes beta versions of Ghostscript drivers for use with Unix and Linux systems that print through Ghostscript.
Instructions for running WPDOS under Linux may be found on this site's Linux page. Some suggestions for installing WPDOS in OS/2 Warp may be found on this site's OS/2 page (but if you run WPDOS under OS/2 because you want to avoid software written by Microsoft, keep in mind that much of OS/2, including its DOS emulation, was written by Microsoft, so you should probably try Linux instead).
Corel abandoned a small but potentially significant source of income when it stopped development of WordPerfect for DOS, and it strained the good will of many of its most loyal customers. What Corel should have done (but never will do) was work toward making a slightly updated version of WPDOS available for downloading at a reasonable price; no retail boxes would be involved. One or two of the original programmers should have been rehired to add the following enhancements for WPDOS running under Windows:
These enhancements would have encouraged many law firms, government offices, and others to continue buying WPDOS instead of switching to Microsoft Word. Corel could easily have earned back the small investment required.
I am always happy to receive feedback and questions. Please see the feedback page for notes on the information that I will need about your system before I can provide any help. If you want to make a contribution to the maintenance of this site, please see the contributions page.
Computer and technical support personnel in educational institutions, corporations, or anywhere else should feel free to archive or copy all or part of this site for internal use, and any individual visitor should feel free to download all or part of this site for personal use. Please do not repost anything from this site in public without specific permission.
Many visitors to this site have helped to improve it by generously offering corrections, suggestions, files, links, and other material, and by testing printer drivers and other files created for the site. Niek Campagne, John Gay, Bob Headrick, Robert Holmgren, Mark Lomax, Timothy J. McGowan, Michal Necasek, John Ogden, Lutz Reuter, Don Rolfson, Randy Spurrier, Haye van den Oever, and Richard Wood deserve special thanks for their generosity and ingenuity.
I also want to express my gratitude to Gianfranco Accardo, Tom Aiuppa, Sherrie Baumann, Keith Bernstein, the late Henk Bok, Jesse Bouma, Chris Butcher, Juan Miguel Campanario, Chris Condon, Janet Cyford, Douglas D'Angelo, Peter Das, Geert De Baets, Michael DeBusk, Tony Duff, Hans Olav Fekjśr, Barbara Fields, Mark Fountain, David Garde, John Garziglia, Ian Gay, John Greenwood, Philip Griffin-Allwood, Marcy Grupp, Dr. Martin R. Hadam, Brian Hancock, H. F. G. F. Huijnen, Gregor J. Jones, Becky Jones, James Jones, Don Keeler, David Lasher, Timothy McGowan, Martin Malina, Paul Merrill, Tom Miller, Chris Moore, Elden Nelson, Matthias Paul, Ed Plowman, M. W. Poirier, Mitzi Ponce, Candace Primeaux, Eiji Primrose, John Rethorst, Carol Reese, Vicky Richardson, Ed Rippetoe, Brad Robertson, Edwin Russell, Frank Schaedlich, Stephen D. Schery, S. C. Schmidt, Chris Scott, George D. Selim, Jeannette R. Shearer, Ruth Sinclair, Charles Smith, Ron Smith, David Stanley, David Testardi, Udo Tjalsma, James Richard Tyrer, Gerard van Loenhout, Jack Waananen, Garry Wanlin, Martin Webb, Joe Weber, Malcolm Wheatley, Betty Whiting, Paul Whiting, and Jerome Zimmerman. Some pages on this site have additional acknowledgments. My apologies to anyone whose name I have inadvertently omitted.
This site has no prejudices for or against any software vendor. I am happy to acknowledge my debt to Microsoft FrontPage, the program that made it easy for me to create these pages, and to Microsoft Expression Web, the program that has made it easy for me to maintain them. (However, the code on this page that displays this site's current RSS feed is from Adobe Dreamweaver because the corresponding code in Expression Web does not work with the Safari web browser.)
Accessibility statement: This site conforms to most current accessibility standards. Images include descriptive text in image tags, and color is only used to convey information when the same information is conveyed as text. Two points should be noted: at the top of each page is a paragraph containing sequential links leading to other sections on the same page; and all links to pages outside this site will open in a separate browser window. If these or any other aspects of the site cause accessibility problems, please contact me.
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