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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 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, and it will not run under Windows XP. 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, although you are welcome to use it if you insist.)

Important: This page describes a new (August 2017) version of the vDosWP system. It includes many enhancements, and drops "VDM" (Virtual Dos Machine) from its name, although it still acts somewhat like the NTVDM "DOS window" included with 32-bit Windows versions. Search this page for "2017" for some of the new features in this version. The previous (2016) version is still available for anyone who might want or need it (unlike the 2017 version, the previous version runs under Windows XP). The new version is code-signed with a digital signature, which may help to reduce spurious warnings from anti-virus software.

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 DOSBoxWP vDos creates a DOS “environment” that acts like a “virtual” computer inside your real one. The vDosWP system uses the same drive letters and paths that exist on the “host” Windows computer.

A version of this system designed to be installed on a USB key ("thumb drive") is described on another page.

A version of this system that runs under OS X or macOS on a Macintosh computer may be found on another page.

Compared with other methods of running WPDOS on a 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.


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.) 

Note: If you have WPDOS 6.0x, follow the instructions for WPDOS 6.1, but replace "61" with "60" in names like WPC61DOS. The resulting program will have "61" in its name, but will launch WPDOS 6.0x.

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 note on antivirus software before you run the installer: If you have Avast antivirus software installed on your system, you may not be able to run the installer program or vDosWP itself. If you use Avira or Webroot antivirus software, you may be warned that the installer is infected. It is not. You may want to test the installer by uploading it to VirusTotal.com, which will run it through more than sixty different antivirus testers. A few will incorrectly report that the file is infected, while up to sixty other programs will correctly recognize it as safe. If you don't trust this system, don't use this system! Don't waste your valuable time asking me for advice! Use a different word-processor instead!)

Don't be clueless! Clueless Visitor No. 171 complained that ransomware infected his computer after he ran the installer. If Clueless Visitor No. 171 was not merely trolling (i.e. mischievously sending false information) when he sent his message, and his computer was in fact infected by ransomware, then something else that he downloaded was at fault, not this program. (One of a series of “Don’t be clueless!” messages provided by this site as a public service.)

Your antivirus software may only allow the installer to run if you make an "exception" for it. If you can't figure out how to do this, ask your antivirus vendor for help. Do not waste your valuable time asking me how to accomplish this task with your specific antivirus program, because I do not know the answer. (Also, under Windows 10, you may need to turn off the SmartScreen security feature; search the web if you don't know how to do this.) Again, if you don't trust this system, don't use this system!

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

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.

Note: As described above, the installer runs a setup program that asks where your WPDOS folders are located and then very briefly runs and closes WPDOS under vDos. This setup program does the following: (1) it copies some macros into your WPDOS macros directory (WINLIST, WINOPEN, PDFMAKER, PDFVIEWR, CNV2WORD, NEWDRIVE, EURO, VPASTE, VCOPY, and a few others, 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 your existing WPDOS settings! None!

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, vDosWP61, vDosWP62. (If you installed Shell support, you will also find a shortcut named vDosWPShell; if you installed Editor support, vDosWPEditor; if you installed PlanPerfect support, vDosPlanPerfect.) 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!


How to use vDosWP

A help page is available from the vDos system menu (the icon at the upper-left of the window), and may be found here. You may also use Ctrl-F1, DOS Command, and enter VDOSHELP. Please at least glance over this page for details of vDosWP features.

You may use F5 as usual to find your files. Remember that you will only see DOS-style 8.3 filenames, and you may have difficulty finding exactly the file you are looking for if it has a Windows long filename (you will only see it listed with a name that looks like FILENA~1.EXT), or if it is in a folder with a Windows 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 you go to a DOS prompt from WPDOS and see a list of Windows long filenames and their corresponding short filenames:

Note: Older versions of vDos hid the short names (FILENA~1.EXT) of files that have Windows long filenames (which vDos did not display anyway. If you wish to restore this behavior, see the LISTSFN item in the CONFIG.TXT file for your WP version.

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 this line in the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in its configuration folders:

B: = <your userfolder>\vDosWP

Warning: Don’t be clever! Don’t be ingenious! Don’t change the names of the files or 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 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.

If you see a pop-up "About" screen with information about vDos: I strongly recommend that you register the vDos program on which vDosWP is based. If you access a network drive or if you use vDosWP on a network domain, you may see a "nag screen" prompt reminding you to register vDos. You may ignore the nag screen when it pops up, but the only way to eliminate is to visit vdos.info and register the program, following instructions on the "Register?" page. You will receive a license.txt file from Jos Schaars; copy it into the vDosWP\Programs folder, and the prompt will no longer appear.

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 51Config, 61Config, 62Config 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 ShellCfg folder; for the WP Editor, in your EdConfig folder; for PlanPerfect, in the PlanCfg 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 and inconsiderate 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.

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!)

The VRUN command (new in 2017): vDosWP includes a VRUN command that launches another instance of vDosWP so that you can run other 16-bit programs (like the WP Font Installer) while running WPDOS. You may enter the command VRUN from the Ctrl-F1 DOS Command menu item to open the second copy of vDos. Or you may add a command-line parameter with the full path of the program that you want to run (for example: VRUN c:\windows\notepad.exe). The most effective way to use this feature is to create a batch file that runs a program and ends with an EXIT line; place this batch file in the vDosWP\Programs folder, and run it by using the DOS command: VRUN filename.bat

512-character font support (new in 2017): vDosWP supports the 512-character font option in WPDOS, but only when WPDOS runs in 25-line mode. This is enabled by editing the CONFIG.TXT file in either the 51CONFIG, 61CONFIG, or 62CONFIG folder, and changing the LINS = setting to LINS = 25 (or adding REM at the start of the LINS line so that vDos uses its default 25-line setting. Then, in WPDOS, under Shift-F1, Display, choose (or, under WPDOS 6.x, create) the 512-character text display.

This support works with the default 512-character font, and also with the 512-character fonts installed by the WPDOS Greek and Russian language modules. It does not work with Arabic or Hebrew WordPerfect, but if you use Arabic or Hebrew WPDOS, and want or need this support, please contact me. You may also create a custom VGA512.CHM file listing the chraracters that you want to display by using the WP Screen Font Editor, available from another page on this site.

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?


vDos Shell emulation (new in 2017)

An optional setting (which can be turned on during installation or at any other time) makes WPDOS 5.x and WPDOS 6.x act somewhat as if they were running under the WP Shell program. This means that when you press Ctrl-F1 in WPDOS, you will not see the usual "1 - Go to DOS, 2 - DOS" Command choices. Instead you will see (in WPDOS 6.x; 5.1+ has a similar menu):

  1. Go to Shell
  2. Save to Clipboard
  3. Append to Clipboard
  4. Retrieve Clipboard
  5. DOS Command

By default 1 - Go to Shell opens a Windows Explorer window in the current directory; an option in CONFIG.TXT, "GoToCmd =  ON" will cause Go to Shell to open a Windows CMD prompt instead. 2 - Save to Clipboard saves to the Windows clipboard the entire contents of the current document (or blocked text if block is on). 3 - Append to Clipboard adds to the Windows clipboard the entire contents of the document(or blocked text if block is on). 4 - Retrieve Clipboard pastes the contents of the Windows clipboard into the current document. 5 - DOS Command runs a command; you may need to enter a full path. See further notes on the VRUN command above.

vDos Shell emulation has some disadvantages. Under WPDOS 5.1+, you will not be able to import WPDOS 6.x files transparently; you will need to use the CV.exe program supplied with WPDOS 5.1+ or temporarily disable vDos Shell Emulation using the supplied vDosWP Shell Emulation Option program. Under WPDOS 6.x, you will not be able to use the WordPerfect Font Installer from menus in WP itself (you can run it separately with the VRUN command described below); Grammatik will not be available; and large files in other formats may not import successfully. Again, you can restore normal WPDOS behavior temporarily with the vDosWP Shell Emulation Option program.

vDos Shell emulation is enabled by default for WPDOS 5.x versions earlier than 5.1+ The vDosWP Shell Emulation Option program has no effect on these versions. To disable Shell Emulation in these versions, go to the 51Config folder, edit the CONFIG.TXT file, changing WP = 5 to WP = #5 (add the # mark before the 5).


How to customize the vDosWP system

Add startup switches to the WPDOS command line: Many WPDOS users rely on startup switches when launching WPDOS. These switches typically include network IDs, startup macros, etc. You can add these switches to vDosWP by following either of these two procedures.

(a) You may add WPDOS startup switches to the vDosWP desktop shortcut, or you can make one or more copies of the desktop shortcut, adding different startup switches to each. To do this, right-click on the vDosWP 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).

(b) Alternatively, you can modify the command line that launches WPDOS in vDos itself:

Assign drive letters in vDos to Windows 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.) By default, vDosWP uses the same drive letters used by your Windows system, but you can add line that begins "USE" which will assign the drive letter that you want to use for any specific folder, 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 almost any usable number of lines and 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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig 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 almost any usable number from 24 to the limits of your screen to 60. COLS can also be almost any usable number, but LINS x COLS must be less than 16,835.

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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder, for the WP Editor, in your EdConfig 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 ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config 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 (improved in 2017): vDosWP offers multiple methods for exchanging data with 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: By default, vDosWP enables mouse support in WPDOS 6.x only (not in WPDOS 5.1). Your existing mouse driver may not work well with vDos; if you have problems, try running the MOUSEON macro that switches to a more-compatible mouse driver. Or simply run the MOUSEOFF macro to disable mouse support.

Note on mouse support: The MOUSEON macro does the equivalent of using Shift-F1, Mouse, and selecting Mouse Driver (Absolute/Pen;  you may want to experiment with Mouse Driver (Absolute/Pen 2) if you have trouble, but it probably won't work well. 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 be clueless! Don't waste your time trying!

Use the mouse in WPDOS 5.1: This method almost certainly will not work, but you can feel free to experiment with it. Edit CONFIG.TXT (as described elsewhere on this page), and find the that reads MOUSE = OFF ; change OFF to 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 be clueless! 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 ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config 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:

Print to specific printer trays: If you were able to print to specific trays on your printer when running WPDOS from Windows XP (or similar systems), you should be able to do so again under vDosWP. Make sure that your printer is the default Windows printer, then in WPDOS, choose the same printer driver that you used earlier, but specify LPT2 as the port instead of whatever it was earlier.

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 51Config, 61Config, 62Config 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 ShellCfg 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 LPT5 or LPT6), 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.


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.


Convert the current document to Microsoft Word

This system includes a WPTOWORD 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 program, created by this site, named WPtoWord.exe, which uses a combination of programs, including Microsoft Word, to convert the document, By default, the resulting Word document will have the same name as the WPDOS file with an additional ".docx" extension, will be written to the same folder that contains the WPDOS document, and will open in Word when the conversion is complete.

If you find that you often need to apply the same formatting or other changes to converted documents that open in Word, record a Word macro that applies those changes, and name it WPtoWordMacro. The WPtoWord.exe program will automatically run that macro when the converted document opens in Word.

Note: The system also includes a CNV2DOCX macro that uses an earlier method of converting the current document to Word format, but the new WPtoWord macro provides superior results.

The system also includes a SAVEDOCX macro that uses WordPerfect for Windows to save the current document in Word format. It requires that WordPerfect for Windows be installed on your system.

Do not expect perfection from these macros! Their limitations are those of the programs involved, and I can do nothing to fix them!


Open the current document in DOSBoxWP for high-resolution graphics

One limitation of the vDosWP system is that it can only display VGA-resolution graphics (640x480). In contrast, the less convenient and less reliable DOSBoxWP system can display high-resolution VESA graphics (up to 1280x1024). If you are editing a document in vDosWP, and want to view or edit it in high-resolution graphic mode, then run the DBOXOPEN macro. The current document will close, and, if you have DOSBoxWP installed, the document will open in DOSBoxWP. You can then, in DOSBoxWP, run a VDOSOPEN macro to open the macro again in vDosWP. (Of course, both systems must be installed correctly for this to happen.)


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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig 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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig 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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folders inside the vDosWP folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same files in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig 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 ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config 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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config 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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig 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 ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config 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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder( if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig 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 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig 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 ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config 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. 

To display the euro symbol in other DOS programs, go the Plain DOS folder in vDosWP, and make the change to CONFIG.TXT described above, depending on your region; use EURO = 128 in North America, EURO = 213 in Western Europe.

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.)

To display cyrillic characters in WPDOS, add CHCP 866 to AUTOEXEC.TXT as described above. The full Russian alphabet is supported, but not the full alphabet of other languages that use cyrillic. (This technique will not work with Greek or Hebrew.)

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 ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config 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, then let the installation continue. Then, launch the vDosPlanPerfect  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.

Exchange data between the Shell and the Windows clipboard: The installer adds a WINCOPY shell macro to your Shell folder. You may use this macro to copy the current document (or blocked text in a document) to the Windows clipboard. To paste from the Windows clipboard into the current document under the Shell, run the DOS command VCPASTE from the Ctrl-F1 Shell menu.

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 ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config 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\ShellCfg 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!


Use Plain DOS  with other DOS software

You can use the Plain DOS  shortcut to run other DOS software. If you want my help setting up any specific software, be prepared to pay me an enormous consultation fee, or ask for free no-cost help at the vDos forum at SourceForge.

To create PDF files, or print PCL output directly to a printer, from the Plain DOS  folder add commands like these to the config.txt file in the PlainDOS 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 = "RawWinPrinter.exe" HIDE #LPT1.ASC

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

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., do not include any setting for LPT1, or rem out the existing setting like this:
rem LPT1

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" HIDE #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" HIDE #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-Setup installer dated 2 July 2016 or later):


Add-on software for WPDOS under vDosWP

Add-on software such as abbreviation expanders and font software such as FaceLift may or may not work with vDosWP. Among abbreviation-expanders, only SmartType works well under vDosWP; feel free to ask me for help getting started. Among font add-ons, I know that FaceLift for WordPerfect works, but needs some default settings to be changed; feel free to ask me for details. (TrueType for WordPerfect will not run under vDosWP; use this site's DOSBoxWP system instead.)

Setup instructions: If you need to use an abbreviation expander such as 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 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 vDosPlainDOS.exe. This command will open a 25-line version of vDos at the C:\ prompt. At the prompt; enter 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 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\51Config 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 something like this (be careful to choose the line that begins %WPDRV%WP, and not any line that starts with rem or REM):

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

Now 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\STWP.BAT

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

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 ShellConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored! This means that the changes described above should be made in the ShellConfig folder!

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 alternate 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. The alternate version also works with Flash Forward and the Stedman's Plus Spellchecker. (All of these are described on this site's medical transcriptionist page.)

If you really, really need the special alternate version, first install the normal version of vDosWP, then download and run this installer for vDosWPKbd, the special-keyboard-support version of vDos. Launch the vDosWPKbd 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.


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