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vDosWP for the Mac


How to install it | How to use it | Printing | Graphics, color, etc. | Home page


vDosWP for the Mac runs WordPerfect for DOS 5.1, 6.1, or 6.2 under the Macintosh operating system. It is one of two systems created by this site for running WPDOS on Macintosh systems; the other is the WPDOSBoxMac system described on another page. Each has its own advantages, but, unless you require high-resolution graphics for print preview or (in WPDOS 6.x) page view or graphic view, the vDosWP system is probably the best choice.

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. The vDosWP for the Mac system runs vDos in a "wrapper" (based on the open-source Wine project) that allows it operate on the Mac.

Like DOSBox (the basis of this site’s older WPDOSBoxMac system), vDos creates a DOS “environment” that acts like a “virtual” computer inside your real one. For example, drive C:\ in vDos is actually a folder on your hard disk named vDosDisk inside your OS X user folder. You absolutely must understand this concept while using vDosWP.

Compared with the WPDOSBoxMac system, the vDosWP for the Mac system has these advantages:

Disadvantages of vDosWP for the Mac include:

The system runs under OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, macOS 10.12, and later versions. It is frequently updated; for example, as of 11 February 2017 it uses Wine 2.0 to run vDos (2016.10.01 version with minor patches).

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

If you want to read about WordPerfect for the Macintosh, which is an entirely different program from WordPerfect for DOS, see a separate page about WPMac on modern Intel-based Macs.

Frequently asked question:

Q. My Mac tells me that the vDosWP application is broken and must be moved to the trash! How could you be so time-wasting and incompetent as to send me a broken application? I want my money back immediately!
   A. First, take a deep breath. Did you ignore the extremely important instruction below, and the paragraph above it that warns "Don't be clueless!" Probably you did ignore that paragraph. Now please read it slowly and follow it carefully. Also, I can't return your money, because you didn't give me any. However, you are certainly welcome to do exactly that.


How to install vDosWP for the Mac

1. You will need a copy of your WPDOS program files 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 Mac or to a USB drive plugged into your Mac. 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; optionally copy the folder(s) to your Mac. (You can also e-mail the folders to yourself or use any other method of transferring them, of course.) If you copied to a USB drive, plug it into your new computer, and make sure you can find it in the Finder.

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. 44 asked how to find those files on his computer even though he had no reason to believe that he ever had them before. Please do not follow the example of Clueless Visitor No. 44. (One of a series of “Don’t be clueless” messages provided by this site as a public service.)

2. Download and double-click to mount the vDosWP Installer disk image. 

3. Read the vDOSWP ReadMe First PDF file and be certain that you understand what it says.

4. In the window that displays the contents of the installer disk image, double-click the Install vDosDisk application to copy the vDosDisk folder to your OS X or macOS home directory, typically the directory with your own name. (Depending on your security settings, you may need to Ctrl-click the application and select Open from the pop-up menu.) The vDosDisk folder contains the C:\ drive used by vDos. The Install vDosDisk application will prompt you for the location of the WP program files that you copied in step 1.

5. In the same installer disk image window, drag the vDosWP icon to the alias for your Applications folder that you will see in the same window. You may, if you prefer, drag the applications to any folder your Mac hard disk; it can be on your desktop or in your Applications folder or anywhere else you prefer. You may now close this window and eject the disk image.

4. Find the copy of vDosWP application that you dragged to your OS X or macOS disk. By default it tries to launch WPDOS 6.2. If you want it to launch WPDOS 5.1, change its name so that it has a "5" in its name (for example, vDosWP51). (Help! How do I rename a file on the Mac?)

Don't be clueless! Don't ignore the extremely important step described immediately below!

5. This extremely important step is absolutely required the first time you run vDosWP! Ctrl-click or right-click on the vDosWP icon and select Open from the pop-up menu. Answer Yes to the prompts. After you run vDosWP the first time, you will not need to go through this process again. In the future, you can simply double-click on the application to launch WordPerfect in a window on your OS X or macOS desktop.

Note: If an OS X or macOS message asks whether to accept incoming connections for X11, you may safely answer either Yes or No, but I suggest answering Yes in order to make it easier to use advanced functions in the Wineskin wrapper; you may need these for future maintenance and fine-tuning.

6. The first time you launch vDosWP, it will offer to open a vDosWP Options menu so that you can specify whether to launch WPDOS 5.1 or 6.2., or change the vDosWP screen size, or make other changes. You should probably ignore this menu the first time you run the app, but you can always return to it by holding down the Option key when launching vDosWP and holding the Option key down until the vDosWP Options menu appears.

By default, the WP Documents folder will be a folder named WPDocs in your Documents folder in OS X or macOS. To "map" any additional OS X or macOS folders to drive letters in vDos, hold down the Option key when starting vDosWP and choose the option to "Add or remove drive letters for OS X folders."

Frequently-asked questions:

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, 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. I can’t use your system! My old copy of WordPerfect 5.1 had a menu bar at the top of the window, with File, Edit, Search, etc. Your system doesn’t have that menu bar! It’s worthless!
    A. First take a deep breath. Then, in WordPerfect, use Shift-F1, 2 - Display, 4 - Menu Options, 8 - Menu Remains Visible, type Yes, then F7. Now, wasn’t that easy? (Incidentally, run the supplied WPDOS 5.1 MENUCLR macro to make the menu look better.)


How to use the vDosWP system

Convenient ways to access files and folders:  When vDosWP opens, its default directory (the directory listed when you press F5) will be Drive D:\WPDOCS  - which in reality (that is, in the reality of your OS X or macOS disk), is the folder WPDocs inside your OS X or macOS Documents folder. When WordPerfect creates or saves a file in what it sees as Drive D:\ it actually creates or saves a file in your OS X or macOS Documents folder.

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

Summary of default drive assignments in vDosWP: As supplied, vDosWP assigns the following drive letters to specific folders in OS X or macOS. You may change the assigment of drive D: but do not change the assignments of drives B:, C:, and W:, and do not assign drive Y:

B: = the vDos program directory (contains config.txt, autoexec.txt, etc.)
C: = the ~/vDosDisk folder (inside your Mac user folder)
D: = the ~/Documents folder (inside your Mac user folder)
W: = the Wineskin Windows folder; do not change anything here!
X: = the Mac Desktop (use with caution!)

Also, the system reserves Y: for use as the drive letter for files or folders dropped on a vDosWP shortcut icon. You can always see a list of currently assigned drive letters by using Ctrl-F1, Go to DOS, and entering the command USE.

To open files with long file names: I recommend against trying to open files in vDosWP that have long filenames (instead of standard 8.3 DOS filenames). However, if you drop a file with a long name on the application, it will offer to copy it to a file with an arbitrary short name, open that file for editing, and then restore the orginal name when you are finished editing. I have made this method as reliable as I know how, but I can't guarantee that it will always work.

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. You can change this by holding down the Option key when launching vDosWP until the vDosWP Options menu appears. Choose the appropriate option and follow the prompts.

Keyboard help: For a list of special keystrokes used  by this system, go to the vDos topline menu and choose Help, then vDosWP info. You may need to switch to the Finder and back to vDosWP before the vDos topline menu appears. Here is a list:

How to exchange data with the OS X or macOS 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 OS X or macOS clipboard into WPDOS at the current cursor location, press Cmd-Ctrl-V. Alternatively, you can can also run VPASTE macro supplied with the system, which will produce slightly different results. (Cmd-Ctrl-V uses emulated 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 OS X or macOS clipboard, either (a) hold down Cmd and Ctrl, then click and hold 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 OS X or macOS clipboard or (b) select a block and run the VCOPY macro (supplied with the system) to copy that text to the OS X or macOS clipboard.


Printing from vDosWP

To print from vDosWP, you absolutely, positively must already have installed a printer in OS X or macOS! Before you begin, try to print from an OS X or macOS application, such as this web browser. If you cannot print from an OS X or macOS application, you will not be able to print from vDosWP! (Don't 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 OS X or macOS, then start vDosWP and start printing as you did in WPDOS.

By default this system uses a PCL printer driver (the kind of driver traditionally used to print to LaserJet printers), but it prints to your default OS X or macOS printer, whether or not that printer is a PCL printer. Simply press Shift-F7, then Full or Print (depending on your version), and, after a few moments, your document will print on your default OS X or macOS printer. Don’t change anything in the Shift-F7 menu! Don’t choose a different driver! Don’t choose a different port! Just print it.

Remember: Do not try to select your actual printer in the WPDOS print menu! Just leave the system exactly as you found it! I really mean it! Make sure you understand this! Look into your heart! If you find an uncontrollable impulse to change the name of the printer or use a different printer driver, then stop now, and do not try to use this system!

Technical note: Behind the scenes, when you print to LPT1 (the default setting) vDosWP creates a PDF file and relies on an invisible OS X or macOS 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.

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

A note on the PDFMAKER macro: Instead of changing the printer driver to print to LPT3 as described above, you can run the PDFMAKER macro supplied with this system. It will set the ports correctly (and reset them when finished), and will create a PDF file in the same folder with the current document; the PDF will have the same name as the document, with a .PDF extension. If the document is unnamed, the PDF will be created on the OS X or macOS desktop with an arbitrary name. When using this macro, don’t be clever, don’t be ingenious! Don’t change any settings before or after running the macro. Just run the macro! Remember: You absolutely should not do anything to change your settings before or after running the macro. Just 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. Before installing fonts from inside WPDOS, copy your TrueType soft font files to the ~/vDosDisk/TTF folder (you may need to create the TTF folder) and your PostScript Type 1 soft font files to the v~/vDosDisk?PSFONTS folder. You may of course use any other directories you like, but you must create those directories on the vDosDisk folder and specify their location correctly in Shift-F1/Location of Files. Remember that ~/vDosDisk/PSFONTS must be listed in the Location of Files menu in WPDOS as C:\PSFONTS.


Graphics, color, and other settings

View and print the euro: In the printer drivers supplied with vDosWP, the euro symbol is mapped to WP character 4,72 (as it is in WordPerfect for Windows). By default, this system loads a WP2001.WCP codepage file (via a startup switch in the command that launches WP) so that the euro symbol appears on screen when you type 4,72 (or run the EURO macro supplied with the system). You will probably see a different character in print preview, but the euro will print correctly if you use the supplied printer drivers. You can change the WPDOS codepage setting by holding down the Option key when launching vDosWP and choosing the option to edit autoexec.txt.

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 launch it again, holding down the Option key until the vDosWP Options menu appears. Choose the option edit the config.txt file, 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.

Color 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, hold down the Option key when launching vDosWP until the vDosWP Options menu appears; choose the option to edit config.txt, and add a minus sign before the number, like this: WP = -5 or WP = -6. If you use underlined text and you don't like the resulting appearance of the optional menu in WPDOS 5.1, run the MENUCLR macro; you can also use the RESETCLR macro to restore the default color settings. (Remember that this applies to WPDOS 5.1 only.)

Other customizable settings: For many other customizable settings in the vDosWP system, hold down the Option key when launching vDosWP until you see the vDosWP Options menu; choose the options to edit config.txt or autoexec.txt. Use these settings at your own risk, and be prepared to change them back if you don’t like the results.


Help! How do I rename a file on the Mac?

The instructions on this site sometimes tell you to rename an application or file. To do this on the Mac, select the application or file with a mouse and then use any of these methods:


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