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Basic Windows Techniques for WPDOS Users


Copy installation diskettes to a single directory | How to install WPDOS | Switch from window to full-screen or change window size | Change cursor size | View full filenames in Windows Explorer | Help! What's a shortcut? | Help! How do I create a shortcut? | Help! How to add WPDOS to the Start Menu? | Help! How do make a program run when Windows starts? | Help! WPDOS displays the wrong characters! | Help! WPDOS does not remember my settings changesHelp! WPDOS locks up after "No room on backup drive" error | Help! How do I open or create a DOS prompt?| Help! How do I edit Config.sys? | Help! What does a "full path" mean? | Help! How do I find the Control Panel? | Wait! What does "right-click" mean? | Home page


Copy your installation diskettes to a CD, thumb drive, or hard disk

Before you install WordPerfect for DOS on a modern computer, make your life easier by copying the installation diskettes (if you have them) to a faster storage medium, such as a CD-R, USB ("thumb") drive, or a folder on your hard disk. (If you do not know how to "burn" files to a CD-R or CD-RW, please do not ask me to tell you; use a different method instead).

Create a new directory on your CD, USB drive, or hard drive; give the folder a simple name (eight characters or less, no spaces), for example, WP51DISK or WP62DISK. Copy the contents of all your WPDOS installation diskettes into this folder. Do not create separate subdirectories for each disk! Simply copy every file on every diskette into the same directory. (Do not ignore this advice; this method will only work if you copy every file from every diskette into one directory only - the same directory for absolutely every file. I really mean it!) When you copy files from the diskette, you may ignore all warnings that you are overwriting an existing file; do not panic, but simply allow the copying procedure to overwrite the existing file. No harm will result.

Don't be clueless! When I told you not to create separate folders for the files in each separate diskette, I did so for a reason. Don't try to be clever (like Clueless Visitor No. 23) and create separate folders for the contents of each diskette. (One of a series of Don't be clueless! warnings, presented by this site as a public service.)

When you have copied your files, open a DOS prompt (Help! How do I open or create a DOS prompt?), navigate to the directory that contains all the files that you copied, and enter INSTALL. The WP installer should launch. As you proceed through the installation procedure, the installer will repeatedly prompt you to insert a new disk; simply press Enter, and the installation will continue.


How to install WordPerfect for DOS under Windows

(This is very basic information that has been requested by some visitors to this site. Experienced Windows and WPDOS users may ignore this section.)

When you install WPDOS under Windows, you can open and use WordPerfect while Windows is running. You do not have to shut down Windows to run WordPerfect, and you do not have to exit WordPerfect to return to Windows. You can switch from WordPerfect to Windows by using the Alt-Tab key or (if WP is running in a desktop window, not full-screen) simply by clicking with your mouse anywhere outside the WPDOS window. And you can switch back from Windows to WordPerfect by pressing Alt-Tab until you get back to WordPerfect, or (if WP is running in a desktop window) by clicking inside the WPDOS window. See further information elsewhere on this page after you have WPDOS running.

Before installing WPDOS, change the way in which Windows displays filenames, as described as elsewhere on this page. Then perform the following steps:

Under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7:

See the step-by-step instructions elsewhere on this site. Also see the special instructions for using WPDOS under Vista or for using WPDOS under Windows 7.

Under Windows 95, 98, or Me only:

(1) Insert the Install diskette (or Program 1 diskette if your copy does not include an Install diskette) into your floppy (diskette) drive.

Note: If your copy of WPDOS was originally distributed on a CD-ROM (WPDOS 6.1 or 6.2 only), insert the CD in your CD drive instead, and, in step (2), find your CD drive instead of the floppy drive, and use cdinstall.exe if your CD does not have install.exe.

(2) Double-click the "My Computer" icon on your Windows desktop, then double-click the icon labeled "3 1/2 Floppy (A:)", then double-click the icon labeled "Install" or "Install.exe." (Alternatively, you can simply use the Start Menu, select Run..., type A:\install.exe and press the Enter key.)

(3) The WordPerfect installation program will open; follow the prompts and install WordPerfect. When the installation program is finished, you can close its window by clicking the X at the upper-right hand corner of the window. If the installation program ran in full-screen mode (so that Windows was not visible at all), press Alt-Enter to reduce the screen to a window, then click the X at the upper-right corner to close the window.

(4) Follow the steps described elsewhere on this page for creating a desktop shortcut for WPDOS and elsewhere on this site for customizing that shortcut.

(5) Start WPDOS by double-clicking the shortcut you created in the preceding step. If you are using Windows Me, do not even think of starting WPDOS until you have customized its shortcut as specified in the preceding step. If you are running Windows 95 or 98 you should customize the shortcut before doing any real work in WPDOS, but you may try out the shortcut to make sure WPDOS runs. If you see an error message about "insufficient file handles" see the solution elsewhere on this site.

(6) If you have not installed a driver for your printer, do so now, either from the original installation disks or from the WPDOS 5.1 or WPDOS6.x drivers available on this site. Full instructions are provided on the linked pages. If your printer is connected by a USB cable, set up this site's method of printing from WPDOS to a USB printer. If no driver is available for your printer, set up this site's method of printing to any Windows printer.

You may be able to print to your printer without any problems. If you cannot print from WPDOS, this site's Windows printing page offers solutions for all known problems with printing from WPDOS under Windows.


Switch from window to full-screen, or change window size

If WPDOS is running in a Window, and you want to switch to full-screen, simply press Alt-Enter. Press the same key if WPDOS is full-screen and you want to switch to a window. To make the change permanent, switch to windowed mode, press Alt-Space, then Properties, go to the Window tab, select either Window or Full-screen, and click OK. (If Alt-Space does nothing when you press it, see below.)

Note for Vista and Windows 7 users: Vista and Windows 7 do not normally allow a DOS program to switch into full-screen mode. See this site's Vista page for instructions on modifying Vista so WPDOS can run in full-screen mode.

To change the font size used in windowed mode, switch to windowed mode if necessary, press Alt-Space, then Properties, go to the Font tab, and select the font you prefer.

You may also set these screen options by modifying your WPDOS shortcut. (Help! What's a shortcut?)

If Alt-Space does nothing when you press it, then you need to modify the Misc tab on your WPDOS shortcut, and add a check-mark next to Alt-Space so that it will be available to Windows and can change the screen mode.

 Press Alt-Tab to jump between WPDOS and the Windows desktop or any other open program.


Change the size of the DOS cursor

(For Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7) If the cursor in your DOS window is too large or too small, and you are not using Tame, do the following. Press Alt-Spacebar (or click the icon in the upper-left corner of the DOS window) to open the System menu of the DOS window. Choose Properties. Go to the Option tab (which is probably showing when you open the Properties dialog box); choose a cursor size (Small, Medium, or Large), and click OK. Windows will ask whether you want your settings to apply only to the "current window" (which means that your setting will not apply to DOS windows that you open in the future) or to "future windows with the same title". Choose the one you prefer and click OK.


View full filenames in Windows Explorer

Before you copy or move or do any other file management tasks in Windows Explorer, you must make a change in the way Windows displays filenames. By default, Windows does not display filename extensions of "recognized file types," which means, kinds of files that Windows knows what to do with when you click on them. (The extension is the part of the name that follows the dot, or the last dot if there are more than one; for example, the extension "DOC" in the filename of Microsoft Word documents.) This makes file management very inconvenient when working with files created or used by DOS programs. By forcing Windows to display full filenames and extensions, you will make it easier to find exactly the files that you may need when working with WordPerfect; the procedure does no harm whatever to any programs that you have already installed.

To make Windows show the extensions of all file types, do the following:

Windows Me, 2000, or XP: Open a Windows Explorer window; feel free to use your "My Computer" or "My Documents" icon if you have one; otherwise use Start/Run and enter C:\ or the name of any other directory. From the top-line menu, choose Tools/Folder Options, then go to the View tab. Under Advanced Settings, Files and Folders, remove the check mark next to "Hide file extensions for known file types." Click OK and close the Explorer window.

Windows Vista or Windows 7: From the Start menu, choose Control Panel, type Folder Options in the search box at the upper right; open the Folder Options control panel, go to the View tab, scroll down to "Hide extensions for known file types" and remove the check mark. Click OK.

Windows 95, 98, or NT: Open a Windows Explorer window; feel free to use either the "My Computer" or "My Documents" icon if you have them. From the top-line menu, choose View/Folder Options, then go to the View tab. Under Advanced Settings, Files and Folders, remove the check mark next to "Hide file extensions for known file types." Click OK and close the Explorer window.


Help! What's a shortcut?

Much of the advice on this site refers to the a "desktop shortcut" or a "WordPerfect shortcut." If you don't know what a Windows shortcut is, or how to modify one, read on.

In Windows, a shortcut is a small file that tells Windows how to run a program. You may encounter shortcuts in many forms:

There are two basic methods for creating a shortcut. To create a shortcut for WPDOS itself, see the next section, immediately below. To create a shortcut for any Windows program or any other file (which means any program that was not written for old-style DOS, such as WPDOS itself), right-click on the icon for the program in Windows Explorer (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?), and choose Create Shortcut from the pop-up menu. A new shortcut icon will appear in the same window (or on the desktop if the program is on the desktop itself). You may now drag this shortcut to the Windows start menu. You may also add it to the programs that run when Windows starts up by following the instructions elsewhere on this page.


Help! How do I create a shortcut for WPDOS on the Windows desktop?

The key to making WPDOS run smoothly under Windows is to create a desktop shortcut (an icon on the Windows desktop) that you can customize so that WP runs in exactly the conditions it needs. To create a desktop shortcut for WPDOS, follow these steps.

Before you begin, you must force Windows to display full filenames, using the method described elsewhere on this page. This step is absolutely essential! Do not omit this step!

(1) Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop.

(2) Double-click the Drive C: icon in the My Computer window. (If you know that WordPerfect is on a different drive letter, double-click the icon for that drive instead!)

(3) Double-click the icon in the Drive C: window (or whichever window you chose) that represents your WordPerfect directory (typically C:\WP51 or C:\WP61 or C:\WP62).

(4) In the top-line menu of the WordPerfect directory, choose View, and select Details. You should see a list of files with their size, date, etc.

(5) What you do next depends on what you see in the directory list in the Explorer window. One of the three choices are possible. (a) If you see an item named simply named WP (no extension), in addition to items named WP.COM and/or WP.EXE, highlight the WP filename, hold down the right mouse button, drag the file to the Windows desktop, release the right mouse button and choose "Create shortcut here" from the menu. (b) If you see both WP.COM and WP.EXE, but no file simply labeled WP, highlight WP.COM, hold down the right mouse button, drag the file to the Windows desktop, release the right mouse button and choose "Create shortcut here" from the menu. (c) If you see only WP.EXE (and you do not see WP.COM), highlight it, hold down the right mouse button, drag the file to the Windows desktop, release the right mouse button and choose "Create shortcut here" from the menu.

(6) Right-click on the filename that you selected from the WordPerfect directory and hold down the right mouse button. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) Still holding down the right mouse button, drag it to the Windows desktop. Release the right mouse button and choose "Create shortcut here" from the pop-up menu. A new shortcut will appear on the desktop. (In some versions of Windows, you can create a desktop shortcut simply by dragging the filename to the desktop, but this does not work under Windows XP and you should learn to use the right-click-and-drag method instead.)

You may now close any Explorer windows that may be open. Close the windows by clicking the "X" in the upper right or choosing File/Close from the top-line menu.

(7) Right-click on the newly created shortcut and select Properties. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) What you see is the Property sheet for WordPerfect. It has multiple tabs with names like Program, Memory, etc. Explore these and, if you feel ready to do so, modify them as instructed in the customization advice on the main Windows page, or simply study the contents.

(8) When you are finished, click Apply and OK to close the Properties sheet of the shortcut.

(9) You can rename your desktop shortcut to any name you choose by pressing F2 while the icon is selected. (But do not rename anything in the WordPerfect directory itself.) You can drag or copy this shortcut to the Start menu.

Warning: If you right-click on the WP icon on your desktop or Start menu and modify it, your changes will only affect WordPerfect's behavior if you launch WP from the same icon that you have modified. If you want to modify the way WP behaves when launched from the DOS prompt, you must do two things: (1) right-click and drag your desktop shortcut back to the WordPerfect directory itself and select "copy" or "create shortcut" from the pop-up menu; and (2), at the DOS prompt, use the command  start wp  instead of simply  wp when starting WordPerfect (or use Start/Run and enter  wp (in each case, your DOS path must include your WordPerfect directory.


Help! How do I add a WPDOS item to the Windows Start Menu?

After (and only after) you create a desktop shortcut for WordPerfect for DOS as described immediately above, you can add a WordPerfect item to your Windows Start Menu.

Click on your WPDOS desktop shortcut; hold down the mouse button, and drag the shortcut to the Start button at the lower left of your Windows desktop. Release the mouse button. When you open the Start Menu, you will find a WPDOS item. Depending on your version of Windows, you may be able to drag the menu item to specific places on the Start Menu; feel free to experiment. You may also right-click on the menu item to change its name and other properties. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?)


Help! How do I make a program run when Windows starts up?

Some instructions on this site tell you to add a program to the Windows Startup program group so that the program will run automatically whenever Windows starts up. There are many ways to do this; the following are especially foolproof and easy to follow.

Windows XP and Vista: First, create a desktop shortcut for the program that you want to add to the Startup group, or find an already-existing shortcut that you want to use. (To create a desktop shortcut, see the instructions elsewhere on this page.) Move the shortcut toward one of the edges of the screen so that you can find it easily when other windows are open.

Right-click on the Start Menu button (or the Vista "Pearl"), typically in the lower-left corner of your screen. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) From the pop-up menu, choose Open. (Alternatively, if more than one user has an account on your computer, and you want a program to run automatically when any user begins working, choose Open All Users).

A Windows Explorer window will open. Double-click the icon named Programs; then double-click the icon named Startup. The contents of the Startup group will appear in the window. (The window may be empty or it may contain one or more icons.) If necessary, move this Explorer window so that you can see the desktop shortcut that you want to add. (Move a window by clicking in the title bar at the top, holding down the mouse button, and moving the mouse; then release the mouse button.)

If you want to move your desktop shortcut to the Startup group so that no copy of the shortcut remains the desktop, simply click on the desktop shortcut, hold down the mouse button, drag the shortcut into the Explorer window, and release the mouse button. If you want to leave the original shortcut on the desktop, right-click on the shortcut with the mouse (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?), drag it into the Explorer window, release the mouse button, and choose Copy Here.

Close the Explorer window. Close any open windows on screen, then restart Windows to make sure that your program runs during startup.

Windows 7: First, create a desktop shortcut for the program that you want to add to the Startup group, or find an already-existing shortcut that you want to use. (To create a desktop shortcut, see the instructions elsewhere on this page.) Move it toward one of the edges of the screen so that you can find it easily when other windows are open.

Open the Start menu. Right click on "All Programs..." and choose "Open" from the pop-up menu. Find the Startup folder and open it; it will show some of the programs that run when you log on to Windows. (The folder may be empty or it may contain one or more icons.)

If you want to move your desktop shortcut to the Startup group so that no copy of the shortcut remains the desktop, simply click on the shortcut, hold down the mouse button, drag the shortcut into the Startup folder window, and release the mouse button. If you want to leave the original shortcut on the desktop, right-click on the shortcut with the mouse, drag it into the Startup folder window, release the mouse button, and choose Copy Here. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?)

Close the window. Close any open windows on screen, then restart Windows to make sure that your program runs during startup.

Alternate method for Windows 7: In the search box near the foot of the menu, enter "Startup" (without the quotation marks). A "Searching..." message may appear briefly, then a list of items will appear above the search field. Under a heading "Files (1)" (or some other number) will be an icon for a folder named Startup. Click on the name or icon "Startup" to open your Startup folder in Windows Explorer. You may now drag your shortcut into this Startup folder.

Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, and 2000: First, create a desktop shortcut for the program that you want to add to the Startup group, or find an already-existing shortcut that you want to use. (To create a desktop shortcut, see the instructions elsewhere on this page.) Move it toward one of the edges of the screen so that you can find it easily when other windows are open.

From the Start Menu, choose Settings, then Taskbar and Start Menu (or Taskbar & Start Menu). In the dialog box that opens, click on the Start Menu Programs tab (in Windows Me or 2000, click on the Advanced tab). Click on the rectangular button labeled Advanced. A two-pane Windows Explorer window will open. In the tree-view in the left-hand pane, the highlight should be on the item named Start Menu; if it is not, tap the Tab key once and the highlight should appear on Start Menu. Below it will be an item named Programs (if you do not see that item, press the Right Arrow key while the highlight is on Start Menu). Double-click on the item named Programs. In the tree view that opens below Programs, find the item named StartUp (or Startup) and highlight it by clicking it once with the mouse or by navigating to it with the arrow keys. The contents of the StartUp group will appear in the right-hand pane. If necessary, move the Explorer window so that you can see the desktop shortcut that you want to add to the StartUp group. (Move a window by clicking in the title bar at the top, holding down the mouse button, and moving the mouse; then release the mouse button.)

If you want to move your desktop shortcut to the Startup group so that no copy of the shortcut remains on the desktop, click on the shortcut, hold down the mouse button, drag the shortcut into the right-hand pane of the Explorer window, and release the mouse button. If you want to leave the original shortcut on the desktop, right-click on the shortcut with the mouse, drag it into the right-hand pane of the Explorer window, release the mouse button, and choose Copy Here.

Close the Explorer window. Click OK in the Taskbar Properties (or similarly-named) dialog. Restart Windows to make sure that your program runs during startup.


Help! The wrong characters appear in WPDOS

If you live outside the United States of America, and if the wrong characters appear on the WPDOS screen (and at the DOS prompt) when you type keys like shift-3 (if WP enters # instead of, for example, ), you need to set the "DOS codepage" or "system locale" for DOS applications. Different methods must be used with different versions of Windows:

Windows 95: If you have the original installation CD, you can use the CHANGECP utility to select the correct code page. Find your Windows 95 installation CD and use Windows Explorer to navigate to this folder: Other\Changecp. Inside that folder, double-click the program CHANGECP.EXE and select the keyboard layout for your country from the list. Restart Windows after running the program.

If you do not have the original installation CD, you must set the DOS codepage by hand by editing your C:\Config.sys and C:\Autoexec.bat files. (Help! I don't know how to edit my Config.sys file!) Your Config.sys file must include lines like these (the specific example is appropriate to the UK only):

country=044,,c:\windows\command\country.sys
device=c:\windows\command\display.sys con=(ega,,1)

And your Autoexec.bat file must include lines like these (again, the example is appropriate for the UK only):

mode con cp prepare=((850)c:\windows\command\ega.cpi)
mode con cp select=850
nlsfunc c:\windows\command\country.sys
keyb uk,,c:\windows\command\keyboard.sys

Study a DOS manual or search the Internet for the exact settings for your country. Restart Windows after making this change.

Windows 98: Find your Windows 98 installation CD and use Windows Explorer to navigate your way to this folder: Tools\ResKit\Config\Chdoscp. Inside that folder, double-click the program CHDOSCP.EXE and select the keyboard layout for your country from the list. Click OK, and, when prompted, restart Windows. You may also make the changes by hand, as described above for Windows 95.

Windows Me: Use Start/Run and enter MSCONFIG. When the MSCONFIG program opens, go to the International tab. From the Language dropdown list, select your language and locality (for example, English (British)). Make sure the MS-DOS Code Page is the number that is correct for your locality (for example, 850 in Western Europe). Because of a bug in Windows Me, you must also perform the following two steps. First, in the "Keyboard Data File Name" enter keyboard.sys (for most of Europe); but do not enter the directory name (e.g. C:\windows\command), only the filename keyboard.sys even though the two fields above this include the directory name, because a bug in Windows Me sometimes causes the directory name to be garbled inside the system. Second, in the "Keyboard Layout" field, you must enter the abbreviation for your country's keyboard layout (for example, uk); this is often, but not always, the same as the "Language ID" and you must be certain to use the correct abbreviation for the layout that you need. Click on OK until you exit MSCONFIG and restart your computer.

Windows NT: I have not tested this, but apparently you must edit your Config.nt and Autoexec.nt files to add similar lines to those listed above under Windows 95; change the paths to match the location of ega.cpi and other files on your Windows NT system.

Windows 2000: Go to the Control Panel, choose Regional Options, and on the General tab click Set default... Under Select System Locale, select the language of your version of WordPerfect (for example, English [United Kingdom] or Dutch [Netherlands]).

Windows XP: Go to the Control Panel, choose Regional and Language Settings, go to the Advanced tab, and, under "Language for non-Unicode programs," select the language of your version of WordPerfect.

Windows Vista or Windows 7: 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 shortcut (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) and click Run as Administrator in order to edit the associated file in Windows Notepad; go the foot of the file and add this line (replacing xx with the two-letter abbreviation of your local keyboard layout, for example, uk or nl):

kb16 xx

Remember that xx is only an example, and absolutely must be replaced with the actual two-letter abbreviation of your local keyboard layout! 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


Help! WPDOS does not "remember" the changes I make in my settings

If WordPerfect does not "remember" the changes you make when you select a printer or modify any other default setting, and you must select your printer every time you run the program, or if you can't save any changes that you try to make to a macro or keyboard definition, there are two possible reasons, with two possible solutions. Study both (a) and (b) below. You may need to perform the steps listed in both methods:

(a) One possibility is that the general program settings, your printer driver settings, or your macro and keyboard definitions are in files that Windows has marked as "read-only." (You probably copied your WP setup from your old computer by copying it to a CD-R or CD-RW disk and then copying it from the CD to a new computer.)

To fix this problem, use Windows Explorer to find your WPDOS program directory (typically C:\WP51 or C:\WP61 or something similar) and display a list of all the files in the directory. (If you know the name of the directory, use the Start menu, then Run..., and enter the name of the directory to open the window.) Click on any of the files, then press Ctrl-A to select (highlight) all the the files, then right-click anywhere in the list. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) Select Properties from the pop-up menu. Find the checkbox labeled "Read-only" and clear the check mark. Click OK. Close the Explorer window by clicking on the X in the upper-right-hand corner of the window, or by pressing Alt-F4.

If you have WPDOS 6.x, your printer files are probably in a directory with a name like C:\WPC60DOS or C:\WPC61DOS, or C:\WPC62DOS. Follow the same procedure with this directory to clear the read-only setting on all the files in the directory.

(b) Another possibility, especially if you are running Vista or Windows 7, is that your user account does not have read-write access to your WPDOS directory (and, if you are using WPDOS 6.x, directories used for printer files, fonts, etc.). To repair this situation, do the following:

In Windows Explorer, find your WPDOS program directory (perhaps C:\WP62). Right-click on it, and choose Properties. In the dialog that opens, go to the Security tab. In the middle of the Security tab, just below the window labeled Group or User Names, click on the Edit button.

A dialog will open headed "Permissions for directoryname" where directoryname is the name of your WP program directory. In the upper window, labeled Group or User Names, scroll all the way down to the entry that looks like "USERS(computername\users)" and highlight that entry. Remember that you must scroll down to this entry in this window! In the lower window, labeled Permissions for Users, the top line is labeled "Full control"; click on the "Allow" checkbox on the same line as "Full control." All the "Allow" checkboxes below it should now automatically be checked also. Click OK, then click OK to close the next dialog.

Repeat this procedure for all the directories listed under "Location of files" in your WordPerfect setup menu (Shift-F1, Location of Files)! You must be absolutely certain that you have "Full control" of every one of those directories. Don't be clueless! Don't omit this step!


Help! WPDOS 5.1 says "No room on backup drive" and then locks up

When you copy an existing WPDOS 5.1 installation to a new computer, and then try to start WPDOS, you may see a message asking if other copies of WP are running on this computer; if you answer No, you may see a message saying "No room on backup drive. Press any key"; and WPDOS then locks up. If this occurs, first try the procedure described immediately above ("Help! WPDOS does not 'remember' the changes I make in my settings"). If that does not work, you should rename or delete the WP{WP}.SET file in your WPDOS directory and start WP again. You will need to recreate all your WP settings (locations of files, select printer, initial codes, etc.).


Help! How do I open or create a DOS prompt?

Many of the instructions on this site require you to go to the "DOS prompt" or a "command prompt". With Windows 95, 98, and Me versions, a simple way to do this is to click on the Start Menu and choose Programs/Accessories/MS-DOS Prompt or simply Programs/MS-DOS Prompt. Under Windows XP or Vista, you can use the Start Menu, then All Programs (or simply Programs, depending on how your system is set up), then Accessories, and then Command Prompt. (Or you can use the Start Menu's Run... command: from the Start menu, choose Run... and type command and press Enter.)

A more useful method is to create a customized desktop shortcut that opens a command prompt.

To begin, right-click on the Windows desktop. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) From the pop-up menu, choose New/Shortcut. When prompted for a command line, enter

 command.com

and when prompted to name the shortcut, enter (or accept, if it is already there),

MS-DOS Prompt

and press Enter or click on Finish. A new icon will appear on your desktop.

Right-click on the new icon, and choose Properties. (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?) On the Program tab, you may want to change the Working field to be the name of the directory in which you keep WPDOS, but this is not necessary. Under Windows 95, 98, Me, or NT only, move the cursor to the Shortcut key tab and press Ctrl-Alt-D (or whatever other key-combination you want to use when launching a DOS window); a shortcut key will not launch a DOS window under Windows 2000 or XP.

Go to the Font tab and choose a legible font (I prefer the 8x12 size).

Go the Memory tab and choose the largest available amount of Expanded (EMS) memory. (If Expanded memory is grayed out and unavailable, see this site's advice for accessing expanded memory in Windows 95 and 98 systems, or for Windows Me, or for Windows NT, 2000, and XP systems.) If you use WPDOS 6.x, select the maximum available memory for Extended (XMS) memory.

Go the Screen tab, and choose either Full-screen or Window, whichever you prefer. You can always switch between full-screen and windowed DOS by pressing Alt-Enter. Click OK.

Under Windows 95, 98, Me, or NT, you may now open your customized DOS prompt from anywhere in Windows by pressing Ctrl-Alt-D, or whichever shortcut key you selected. Under any version of Windows, you may open your customized DOS prompt by double-clicking on its desktop icon.


Help! How do I edit my Config.sys file?

Note: Do not read this note if you use Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7! This section is for use with DOS, Windows 95, or Windows 98 only. Windows Me, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 do not use the config.sys file for any purpose at all!

If you are using Windows 95 or Windows 98 (or plain DOS), you may have to edit your Config.sys file (or create a new one) in order to enable expanded memory or to solve installation problems. (The details of exactly what you may need to add or change in the Config.sys file are given elsewhere on this site.) This section merely tells you how to open the file for editing and save it again.

Under Windows, the simplest way to edit the file is to click the Start menu, choose Run, and type

notepad c:\config.sys

followed by the Enter key. Edit the file; choose File/Exit, and Windows will prompt to save your changes. Choose Yes.

If you prefer to use WordPerfect, in WPDOS 5.1, press Shift-F10, enter

c:\config.sys

and edit the file. When you are done, press Ctrl-F5, choose DOS Text, Save, then press Shift-F10 to enter the original filename (c:\config.sys), and answer yes when asked if you want to replace the existing file.

In WPDOS 5.1, if you are creating a new Config.sys file because you do not already have one, create the file, then press Ctrl-F5, choose DOS Text, Save, type c:\config.sys and press Enter.

In WPDOS 6.x, press Shift-F10, enter

c:\config.sys

and press Enter when the File Format screen lists "ASCII Text (Standard)" as the input format. Edit the file, press F7, Save As..., and confirm that the file should be saved c:\config.sys, with the format "ASCII Text (Standard)" Press OK, and answer Yes when asked if you want to replace the existing file.

In WPDOS 6.x, if you are creating a new Config.sys file because you do not already have one, create the file, then press F7, type c:\config.sys  in the Filename box, move to the Format box, choose "ASCII Text (Standard)," and press OK.


Help! What does a "full path" mean?

Wherever the instructions on this site tell you to type the "full path" of an application or batch file, you should type in the drive, directory name, and program name in a form that looks like this:

c:\wp51\runwp.bat

or like this:

c:\programs\wp60\wp.com

or like this:

c:\autoexec.bat

The full path always includes a drive letter followed by a colon and a backslash, and then either one or more subdirectory names (separated by backslashes) and a program name, or, if the program is in the "root directory" (in other words, at the top of the directory tree, and not in any subdirectory), simply a program name immediately after the first backslash.


Help! How do I find the Windows Control Panel?

If I tell you to find the Windows Control Panel, do one of the following:

When the Control Panel opens, if you don't see the "applet" (miniature program) that I tell you to open, look at the top right of the Control Panel window. If you see "View by", click on the button next to it and select "Small Icons" from the drop-down list. If instead you see "Classic View" or "Detailed View", click on it. You can now find the "applet" you are looking for in the alphabetical listing in the Control Panel window.


Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?

When I tell you to "right-click," what I mean is: "click the secondary mouse button on your mouse." For most right-handed users, the primary mouse button is the left button, and the secondary button is the right button. If you are left-handed, or for any other reason, your mouse has the normal primary and secondary buttons reversed, then, whenever you see "right-click" on this site, then translate it in your mind to mean "click the secondary mouse button, which in my system means the left button."


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