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WPDOS Under Windows Vista


Frequently-asked question | Warning: WPDOS may not work well under Vista | What to do if you must use Vista with WP | Enable full-screen mode | Expanded (EMS) memoryPrinting | Batch files under Vista | Generic icon only | Help! My Start Menu does not have a Run... box! | Home page


This page concerns 32-bit Windows Vista. If you have 64-bit Vista, see another page for a method of running WPDOS under 64-bit Windows.


Frequently-asked questions

Q. You asked us not to write to you for further information, but I really need to know whether WP and Vista will work together on the Delnovo-Hackard 770PDQ computer that I'm about to order. I'm sure you know the answer, and I don't understand why you're too selfish to reveal it.
    A. I asked you not to write because I could not bear to think that you would waste your time (as you just did) asking a question for which I don't know the answer.


Warning: WPDOS may not work well under Windows Vista

Warning: If you want to run WPDOS under a current version of Windows, use Windows XP, not Windows Vista. Windows Vista causes the following problems with WPDOS:

(1) You may not be able to open WPDOS in traditional full-screen mode unless you either (a) throttle back Vista so that it uses only its least-capable graphics, or (b) follow the instructions below for installing the Windows XP driver for your video hardware (although I do not recommend using the XP driver, because, with the XP driver installed, Vista may crash and reboot when you try to view any graphics file). Warning: Neither of these steps may be possible on some systems.

Note: Of course, Tame can expand a window to fill the screen, but Tame's "full-screen" mode is absolutely not the same as the traditional full-screen mode used by WordPerfect in all versions of DOS and Windows up to and including Windows XP. Tame's "full-screen" mode does not permit you to switch to print preview or any WP graphics mode, and uses Windows fonts, not the fonts built into your video card, as in the original WP full-screen mode.

(2) If you use WPDOS 5.1 or 5.1+, it will probably run slowly because Expanded (EMS) Memory is not normally available under Windows Vista. WPDOS 5.1 and 5.1+ use Expanded (EMS) Memory to provide additional working space for working with longer files and for avoiding "Not enough memory" errors when performing operations such as hyphenation, printing, graphics-printing, and running complex macros. (This problem can be worked around, somewhat awkwardly, by installing EMS Magic as described elsewhere on this page.) If you do decide to use WPDOS 5.1 under Vista, use Tame to speed the keyboard and provide other conveniences. On some systems, WP runs far too slowly to be usable unless you install Tame and use Tame's graphics-based mode when switching to full-screen WP.

(3) If you use any version of WPDOS together with abbreviation-expander software, you may not be able to use the abbreviation-expander software at all. Most WP-related abbreviation-expander software requires Expanded (EMS) Memory, and such memory is not normally available under Windows Vista. Smartype, ShortCut, and PRD+ are examples of programs that require Expanded (EMS) Memory and will not work without it. Other programs that may have similar problems include programs that generate fonts while WP is running. This problem can be worked around (somewhat awkwardly) by installing EMS Magic as described elsewhere on this page.

(4) Unless you use Tame (which fixes this problem), WPDOS may run very slowly under Windows Vista. Depending on your video hardware, WP may take up to a minute to load. If you attempt to switch from text mode to Print Preview or other graphics mode, WPDOS may appear to lock up (if you can use graphics mode at all).

(5) Most Vista systems will not allow WPDOS to display any graphics mode (print preview, etc.). You may be able to use graphics mode in one of two ways: either (a) by installing the "Standard VGA Video Driver" in Vista (which can be used with some video hardware, but not all), or (b) by following the instructions below for installing the Windows XP driver for your video hardware (a procedure that will probably cause your system to crash). You can, however, use a full-screen display (using Windows' own fonts) for the combination of WPDOS with Tame. If you need the traditional full-screen text mode of WPDOS, or if you need to use WPDOS in graphics mode, then you should use either Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 as described on another page on this site, or one of the additional methods described on this site's page about WPDOS under 64-bit Windows; those methods also work under 32-bit Windows, but should only be used if you need to have the traditional full-screen text mode or if you need to use graphics mode in WPDOS.

(6) A minor but annoying detail: If you create or reuse a desktop shortcut for WPDOS, it can only appear on the Windows desktop as a plain white rectangle with an arrow in the lower-left corner. Desktop shortcuts for DOS-based applications running under Vista cannot display any other icon that you might wish to use. (See the workaround described elsewhere on this page.)

(7) Many of the procedures available on this site for printing to printers that are connected by a USB cable, or over a network, or to any Windows-only printer, will not work under Windows Vista.

After attempting these methods, you may decide to return to Windows XP, or, if you have no choice other than to run Vista, you might try running WPDOS under Virtual PC instead.


What to do if you absolutely must run WPDOS under Windows Vista

Note: Before performing the steps described here, you may need to disable Vista's User Access Control (UAC) security feature until you have completed making the changes. If Windows will not let you open the relevant files, or bothers you with prompts, download and run TweakUAC and turn off UAC or switch it to "quiet mode"; when you are finished making and testing the changes suggested here, run the utility again to restore UAC.

Follow these steps very carefully before attempting to run WPDOS with Windows Vista:

(1) Test whether your system supports full-screen mode. On your Windows Vista computer, click on the Vista "pearl" where the Start Menu was in earlier versions, and enter the word "COMMAND" (no quotation marks); a DOS prompt should open. Press Alt-Enter, which normally switches between windowed and full-screen mode. If you get an error message saying "This system does not support fullscreen mode", then proceed to step (2), after entering "exit" to close the window. Otherwise, enter "exit" to close the command prompt, and proceed to step (3).

(2) Enable full-screen mode if possible. Follow the instructions elsewhere on this page.

(3) Enable non-US keyboard if necessary. If, and only if, you do not use a US-English keyboard layout in WP, you must modify the Autoexec.nt file on your Vista system to that DOS applications such as WPDOS use the keyboard that you need. Download this desktop shortcut EditAutoexec.nt to your Vista desktop or some other convenient location (you may need to right-click on the links and select Save link as...). Right-click on the file; choose "Run as Administrator" from the pop-up menu to edit the associated file inWindows Notepad; go the foot of the file and add this line (replacing xx with the two-letter abbreviation of your keyboard layout, for example, uk or nl):

kb16 xx

Close and save the file. The change that you made will apply to the next DOS application you launch; you do not need to reboot your computer. Important: If you use any program that uses a special Autoexec.nt file, you must make this change in all such files (as in the examples noted elsewhere on this page under Expanded (EMS) memory under Vista.

(4) Install WPDOS. Install WPDOS to your Vista computer; you may follow the steps in this site's installation guide for WPDOS under Windows XP. Install a desktop shortcut for WPDOS following the advice elsewhere on this site. Note that the shortcut will appear on the desktop as a plain white rectangle, no matter which icon you may select in the shortcut properties sheet. Specify on the Window tab that the program should open in either a window or full-screen, depending on which you prefer.

(5) Install Tame. Run WP. If it seems impossibly slow, install Tame now; otherwise, you may install Tame later.

(6) Consider disabling graphic mode. After selecting a printer, use Shift-F1/Display and choose Auto-Select so that WP will chose its IBM VGA 640x480 graphics driver. Now use Shift-F7, 6 (in WPDOS 5.1) or Shift-F7, 7 (in WPDOS 6.x) to switch to print preview; you may have to wait as long as a minute before the preview appears. When it appears, press F7 to return to text mode; you may have to wait as long as a minute. If the wait is intolerable, and you want to avoid it in the future, close WPDOS and rename all the .VRS files in the WPDOS directory (rename them to something like .VR9 so that you can restore them in the future if you need to); with the .VRS files are renamed, WPDOS cannot try to switch to graphics mode, and will display only a brief error message if you attempt to do so.

By following these procedures, WPDOS will be usable (although perhaps without graphic mode), but you may prefer to run WPDOS under Windows XP.


How to enable full-screen mode for DOS applications under Windows Vista

Some but not all Vista-based system ship with a video driver that does allow DOS applications (including WPDOS) to switch to full-screen mode. If you open WordPerfect for DOS, it will open in a window; if you press Alt-Enter to switch to full-screen mode, you will see an error message that says "This system does not support fullscreen mode." To use full-screen mode in Vista, follow one of the following procedures, and be certain to follow the troubleshooting advice at the end of this section:

(a) Install the Windows XP driver for your video hardware. This option works with the widest range of video hardware. The following example describes the procedure to follow for Nvidia-based hardware; presumably something broadly similar applies to ATI, Intel, and other video hardware. (Note: These procedures are illustrated at some other web sites, for example, this one.)  Important: Before starting this procedure, make certain that you have set up Vista so that Windows Explorer displays all file extensions; see these instructions if necessary.

Download the Windows XP installer for your video hardware from Nvidia.com. Run the installation program and take careful note of where the installation program installs itself. For example, the installer program may install itself a directory with a name that resembles C:\NVIDIA\WinXP\181.22 or some similar number. When you run the installer the first time, it will present an error message saying that you are not using the correct version of Windows. Cancel the installation, then, using Windows Explorer, navigate to the directory that contains the installer. Right-click on Setup.exe; choose Properties; then Compatibility Mode. Add a checkbox next to "Run this program in compatibility mode" and choose Windows XP Service Pack 2 from the dropdown menu; click OK. Now double-click on Setup.exe to run the installer. After you reboot the system, WPDOS will be able to enter full-screen mode. (Presumably, a similar procedure will work with ATI video hardware, but I do not know whether Compatibility Mode will be required and I do not know the names of the files that may be involved.)

(b) Install the Standard VGA Graphics Adapter. This option works with some but not all video hardware. It will not work with wide-screen monitors, only with traditional-sized monitors. Right-click on the Windows desktop; choose Personalize from the pop-up menu; choose Display Settings from the Personalize dialog; on the Monitor tab, click Advanced Settings...; on the Adapter tab, click Properties; on the Driver tab, click Update Driver...; click on "Browse My Computer for Driver Software"; click on "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer"; in the "Select a device driver" list, scroll down to Standard VGA Graphics Adapter and highlight (select) it; click Next. (If you do not find the Standard VGA Graphics Adapter listed, see the note below.) If your monitor goes blank, wait five minutes, then power down your computer and restart it normally. If your monitor does not go blank, wait while the driver is installed; click Close; then continue to press Close or OK or otherwise close dialog boxes until you are back to the desktop. If you are prompted to restart your computer, do so. You probably should do so anyway. (If you want to reverse this procedure, follow the same instructions, but let Windows automatically install the appropriate software for your system instead of browsing your computer for driver software.) (Note: These procedures are illustrated at some other web sites, for example, this one.)

Note: If the Standard VGA Graphic Adapter is not listed in the "Select a device driver" list, then copy this display.inf file into your C:\Windows\inf directory and try again. You may need to restart Windows before the Standard VGA Graphics Adapter appears on the list.

Note on high-resolution VESA graphics: Depending on your video hardware, your system may or may not be able to display VESA high-resolution graphics. Before testing whether VESA graphics will work properly, close all other programs, because you may lock up your system. With WPDOS 6.x, VESA graphics can be used by selecting the "VESA VBE" driver in Shift-F1, 2, 1, 1 (you may need to use the WP installer to install this driver, which uses the file VESA.VRS). With WPDOS 5.1, you must download and install a new VESA driver available elsewhere on this site. Test VESA graphics by pressing Shift-F7, then V for Print Preview. If your system locks up, press the power button to turn it off and start it again. Run WPDOS, then Shift-F1, and change the display settings so that the standard IBM VGA graphics driver is selected instead of the VESA driver.

Trouble-shooting and trouble-preventing: Windows Update will attempt to replace your XP video driver or Standard VGA Graphics Adapter driver with the latest Vista-style driver for your video hardware. To prevent this from happening, run Windows Update (search Windows Help if you do not know how to do so). When you see the list of available updates (you may need to click on a link labeled something like "3 optional updates available", although probably with a different number from "3"), find the entry for the video driver; right-click that entry and select "Hide this update" (or some similar option). Windows will not attempt to update the driver until a new version of the driver becomes available at the Windows Update site.

If Windows Update replaces your XP or Standard VGA driver with the latest Vista driver, and you cannot make WPDOS enter full-screen mode, then you can "roll back" the new driver to the one you installed earlier. Go to the Control Panel; try to find the Device Manager; if you cannot find the Device Manager, find System and go to the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager. In the list of devices, press the plus sign next to "Display Adapters" to expand the list; find the entry for your video hardware; right-click that item; choose Properties, then go to the Driver tab, and click "Roll Back Driver"; follow the prompts, and restart to complete the process.


Expanded (EMS) memory under Vista

Note: Before performing the steps described here, you almost certainly will need to disable Vista's User Access Control (UAC) security feature until you have completed making the changes. If Windows will not let you open the relevant files, or bothers you with prompts, download and run TweakUAC and turn off UAC or switch it to "quiet mode"; restart your computer to make the change to UAC effective. Later, when you are finished making and testing the changes suggested here, run the utility again to restore UAC, and restart your computer again.

WPDOS 5.1 and almost all abbreviation-expander and other add-on software for WPDOS requires the use of expanded (EMS) memory in order to run properly or to run at all. EMS memory is not normally available to DOS applications under Vista unless you use an ingenious program named EMS Magic.

Begin by visiting the EMS Magic web page to read about the program. Download the Windows Installer version from the program's download page, and run the installer. From the Start Menu, go to Programs (or All Programs) and find EMS Magic; choose the menu item named "Command Prompt with XMS & EMS" (or, preferably, right-click it and drag a shortcut to your desktop). Run this menu item (or shortcut) to open a command prompt that supplies expanded memory. Within this prompt, navigate to your WPDOS directory and run WPDOS.

The following instructions apply to EMS Magic version 2.1 and presumably to later versions also. You should not use attempt to use any version of EMS Magic that has a lower version number than 2.1.

If you have installed Tame, it will not be available in this EMS-enabled command prompt until you perform some further steps. First, open a command prompt and enter the following line exactly as it appears here (including the quotation marks and spaces):

Notepad "%ProgramFiles%\EMS Magic\shortcuts\autoexec.nt"

When the file opens in Notepad, move the cursor to the foot of the file and press Enter to create a new line. Leave the file open in Notepad.

Next, download this EditAutoexec.nt shortcut file (right-click the link and choose Save Target As... or Save Link As...) and save the file to your desktop. Run the file; when the Autoexec.nt file opens in another copy of Notepad, find the line that runs tame-nt.com (probably the last line), and copy the entire line to the Windows clipboard by highlighting the whole line and pressing Ctrl-C. Close this copy of Notepad without making any change to the file. Now switch to the other copy of Notepad that you opened earlier and left open; be certain that the cursor is at the foot of the file, and press Ctrl-V to paste in the the line that runs Tame. Close the file, and respond Yes when prompted to save the changed contents. Tame will now operate in the EMS Magic command prompt named "Command Prompt with XMS + EMS".


Printing under Vista

Note: Before performing the steps described here, you may need to disable Vista's User Access Control (UAC) security feature until you have completed making the changes. If Windows will not let you open the relevant files, or bothers you with prompts, download and run TweakUAC and turn off UAC or switch it to "quiet mode"; when you are finished making and testing the changes suggested here, run the utility again to restore UAC.

If your printer is a standard laser printer that is connected to your computer by a parallel port, then WP will print normally under Vista. If your printer is connected by a USB cable or across a network, but uses a WP printer driver (not one of the methods found on this site for printing to any Windows printer), then you can use one of this site's methods for printing to USB or networked printers; follow either this site's instructions for the DOSPrint method of printing to a USB printer or the instructions for the PrintFile method of printing to a USB printer.

If you have a Windows-only printer and require one of this site's methods of printing to any Windows printer, then you may want to experiment with the methods on the linked page. Most, possibly all, of the methods described on that page should work with Windows Vista.


Batch files under Vista

Most batch files written for use in earlier versions of Windows (or DOS) will run under Vista. For security reasons, however, Vista will not allow traditional batch files to perform certain actions, such as copying files. If you run WPDOS from a batch file that also performs such actions as copying a file, you must edit the batch file so that a command that now reads something like this:

copy thisfile.ext thatfile.ext

is changed by adding the command "cmd /c" (without quotation marks) at the start of the line so that it reads instead something like this:

cmd /c copy thisfile.ext thatfile.ext

The same procedure may be required for other commands; feel free to experiment.


MS-DOS programs use a generic icon under Vista

Note: Before performing the steps described here, you may need to disable Vista's User Access Control (UAC) security feature until you have completed making the changes. If Windows will not let you open the relevant files, or bothers you with prompts, download and run TweakUAC and turn off UAC or switch it to "quiet mode"; when you are finished making and testing the changes suggested here, run the utility again to restore UAC.

Generic iconDesktop shortcuts for DOS-based programs running under Windows Vista display only a blank generic icon, as in the example shown here. When editing the properties sheet of a desktop shortcut, you can select any icon you like, and the icon that you select will appear in the General tab of the properties sheet, but it will not appear on the Vista desktop. Only the generic icon will actually appear on the desktop.

This problem can be worked around in either of two ways:

Either (a) Create a batch file that runs the DOS-based program, create a shortcut to the batch file, and assign a custom icon to the shortcut. (For detailed information on creating and changing shortcuts, see another page on this site.) This workaround may cause minor problems in memory management, etc.; further information will be posted here when it becomes available. (But see the note elsewhere on this page about batch files under Vista.)

Or (b) Right-click on the Windows desktop; select New from the pop-up menu, then Shortcut; enter cmd.exe when prompted to enter the location of the item; type a name such as "WPDOS" when prompted to type a name for the shortcut; click Finish; right-click on the resulting shortcut and choose Properties; on the Shortcut tab, in the Target field, do not change what you see there, but carefully move the cursor to the right of cmd.exe, type a space, then the following text (replacing c:\wp51 with the actual location of WPDOS on your system): /c c:\wp51\wp.com  (note very carefully that this begins with a forward slash, then the letter "c", then a space, then a directory location), then click on Change Icon and change the icon as described below.

Note: If you have WPDOS 5.1+ (Plus) or any version of WPDOS 6.x, use the program name wp.com as described above; if you have the original WPDOS 5.1 (not Plus), then use wp.exe instead.

WP Icon Corel Image WP Icon Novell ImageIf you use either of these workarounds, you may want to use one of the two Vista-ready WP icons included in this archive file; the two images are based on the Novell and Corel logos used for Windows versions of WordPerfect. Download the archive file to your Windows desktop; double-click on the archive to open it; and copy one or both icons to your WP directory. (You may need to disable User Access Control temporarily in order to do so.) Right-click on the shortcut to your batch file; in the Program tab, use the "Change Icon" button, and select one of these two icons.  The two icons look like this, WPNovell.ico on the left, WPCorel.ico on the right.

You may also use the more familiar WP icons available with earlier versions of Windows. For WPDOS 5.1, after pressing the "Change Icon" button in your batch file shortcut, type MORICONS.DLL in the filename field, and choose the familiar gray icon. For WPDOS 6.x, download this icon library file; copy it to your WPDOS directory; and, after pressing the "Change Icon" button in your batch file shortcut, navigate to your WPDOS directory, choose the file named WPICON60.ICL, and select the first icon in the library.


Help! My Vista Start Menu does not have a Run... box!

By default, the Vista Start Menu does not include the familiar Run... box. To enable it, do one of two things:

If you prefer the "classic" Windows Start Menu, right-click on the Vista "Pearl" in the lower-left corner of your screen, choose Properties, go to the Start Menu tab if it is not already open, and select Classic Start Menu. The Start Menu will now include the familiar Run... box.

Or, if you prefer the Vista-style Start Menu, right-click on the Vista "Pearl" in the lower-left corner of your screen, choose Properties, Start Menu, and click on Customize... In the list of options, scroll down until you find "Run Command". Check the box next to it, then click OK. The next time you open the Start Menu you will see a Run... command in the lower right of the menu.


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