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WPDOS Under Windows NT, 2000, and XP


Warning: Some XP computers won't run WPDOS full-screen | Step-by-step WPDOS installation guide | Compatibility summary | If WPDOS locks up when switching to graphics mode | Use the Tame program for faster keyboarding | View full filenames in Windows Explorer | Do this first! Modify Config.nt | Windows XP does not use Config.sys or Autoexec.bat | Restore non-working function keys | Adjust language settings for non-English versions of WPDOS | How to create a desktop shortcut under XP | Fix printing problems | Installation problems solved | Set memory and other options for batch files | Prevent WPDOS from slowing down other programs | Launch a WPDOS shortcut from a hotkey | A macro to fix the WPDOS 5.1 F5-F5 problem | Virtual Device Driver errors | Force full-screen WPDOS to start in 25-line mode | Control cursor size and turn off mouse cursor | Solve text-mode display problems | Fix "System cannot open COM port" error | Make Windows XP less annoying | Run WPDOS in monochrome mode | Maximize memory for WPDOS | Create a special Autoexec.nt for WPDOS | Help! I can't find my Config.nt or Autoexec.nt file | Home page


Note: For most Windows-related issues, see this site's main WPDOS under Windows page. The page you are now reading contains additional material that applies only to Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP; much of it also relevant to Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Important: If you use WPDOS under Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, you should immediately buy the US$20 program Tame from Tame Software. It speeds keyboard entry, provides unprecedented flexibility in text display, makes WPDOS faster and more responsive, and, as a significant minor benefit, makes the clock in WP match the clock in Windows. Details may be found in a separate section below.

Important: Download the latest Windows 2000 or XP drivers for your graphics card! For the best compatibility between Windows 2000 or XP and WPDOS in VESA graphics mode, make sure to download and install the latest version of the drivers for your graphics card. Users of graphics card based on the Nvidia chip should immediately download and install version 23.11 (or later) of the XP Detonator drivers from Nvidia's web site. This version allows you to Alt-Tab reliably between the Windows 2000 or XP desktop and WPDOS in VESA graphics mode. Users of any video hardware that has problems with WordPerfect for DOS may consult basic instructions elsewhere on this site, under the heading Help! I need to download a new driver for my video card!

Note for Windows XP users: Some problems with graphic display under Windows XP are reportedly solved by installing the latest Windows XP Service Pack from the Windows Update site available from the Start menu or the Tools menu in Internet Explorer. If you are unable to use WordPerfect's graphics mode under Windows XP, the problem may be solved by installing the current Service Pack. (Information kindly provided by Tony Duff.)

If you see an error message saying "16-Bit Subsystem... The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows applications," etc., this is the result of file corruption in your Config.nt, Autoexec.nt, and other files. The simplest way to solve this problem is to download and run this XP_FIX.EXE program from TRF Systems. The program restores the defective files. Note that if you have installed Tame or if you have made any other changes to your Autoexec.nt file, you will need to reinstall Tame and edit the restored Autoexec.nt file to make any other changes that you might have made.


Warning: Some Windows XP computers with flat-panel monitors cannot run WPDOS in full-screen mode

Note: The following warning applies to the hardware-based full-screen mode familiar from the DOS era; it does not apply to the graphics-based full-screen mode provided by the Tame utility.

Beginning in around 2003, some manufacturers began shipping desktop Windows XP computers with flat-panel (LCD) monitors that cannot run WPDOS in full-screen mode. (This problem does not occur with traditional television-style CRT monitors.) When you start typing in full-screen WPDOS, or any other full-screen DOS application, the screen locks up. Before you buy a new Windows XP computer with a flat-panel monitor, make certain that you can return it to the seller for a full refund. When you first turn on the computer, do the following before you attempt to install WPDOS:

From the Start Menu, select Run..., type COMMAND.COM and press Enter. A DOS window will open. Press Alt-Enter to switch into full-screen mode. At the DOS prompt, type EDIT and press Enter. The DOS "edit" program will open. Type a few words or your name or anything else. If your typing appears on screen, you will be able to run WPDOS successfully. If your typing does not appear on screen, close the DOS session by pressing Alt-Enter to reduce the full-screen application to a window, then press Alt-Space, and select Close. Return the computer to the seller immediately.

Important note: This is not the same problem often found in laptop computers, in which DOS applications that you try to run in full-screen mode (by pressing Alt-Enter) appear as a small rectangle in the middle of an otherwise black screen. This is a completely different issue; for a full discussion, see another page on this site.


Step-by-step guide to installing WPDOS under Windows NT, 2000, XP

Most of the following steps include links to other information on this site. Do not skip any of these steps if you want your program to run smoothly.

Note: The steps below are for users who have the original installation disks for WPDOS. If you do not have those disks, or if you want to retain all the macros, keyboard layouts, printer drivers, and other settings of your current installation, you can simply copy the WP directories from your old computer to a writable CD, Zip disk, "thumb" or other USB drive, and copy them to directories with the same name on your new computer. If you do so, you should perform steps (1) and (2) listed below; then copy the files, then (if you used a writable CD to copy the files) clear the read-only setting on the copied files by performing the procedure described elsewhere on this site; then proceed with steps (7) through (10) as listed below. If you are copying a WPDOS 5.1 setup from your old computer, you probably need to copy only your C:\WP51 directory (which may be on a different drive from C:). If you are copying a WPDOS 6.x setup, you will need to copy all these directories and their subdirectories (if any): C:\WP62 [or WP61 or WP60], C:\WPC62DOS [or WPC61DOS or WPC60DOS], C:\BTFONTS, C:\PSFONTS, and possibly C:\SH40 (all these may be on different drives from C:). Before copying a WPDOS 6.x setup, use Shift-F1/Location of Files and make sure you copy all the directories listed; be careful to look in the Graphics Font Data Files entry for filenames that do not appear on the main screen.

(1) Force Windows to display full filenames in Windows Explorer. (This step makes it easier for you to find the files you need to find; it does no harm whatever to any programs or settings that you have already installed.)

(2) Modify your Config.nt file to enable expanded memory as explained when you follow the link; when editing the Config.nt file, you should find the line in the file that begins FILES= and make sure that the number is at least 60 (a higher number than 60 is probably not necessary). When you are finished editing, close Notepad to save the modified file.

Note: After completing step (2) you should perform this site's simple test to determine if expanded memory is actually enabled on your system. If the test fails, repeat step (2) and try again. If it still fails, visit this site's page about enabling expanded memory on some Windows 2000 and XP computers that do not otherwise support it.

(3) Open a command prompt (or DOS prompt), which you will use in step (4). You can press Alt-Enter to toggle the command window between windowed and full-screen mode. Remember that you can use the same Alt-Enter key combination to switch between window and full-screen mode with any DOS application, including WordPerfect for DOS.

Note: Most Windows Vista and Windows 7 systems cannot switch to full-screen mode.

(4) If you are installing WPDOS from diskettes, insert your WordPerfect installation diskette in your A: drive (see the note below if you are installing from a CD-ROM). At the command prompt that you opened in the preceding step, enter the DOS command A:\INSTALL and then press Enter.

Note 1: You can save time by copying the contents of all the WP installation diskettes to your hard disk and installing from there. Create a directory on your hard disk (named something like c:\wpdisks); copy the contents of all the installation disks into this directory; do not create subdirectories for separate disks. After the contents of all the diskettes have been copied, store the diskettes safely, then open a command prompt and run the INSTALL command from from the copy on the hard disk. When the installation program prompts you to insert a new disk, simply press Enter, and the installation will continue.

Note 2: If you are installing WPDOS from an original WordPerfect CD-ROM that contains an installation program, insert the CD in the drive; then, at the command prompt that you opened in the preceding step, enter the DOS command D:\CDINSTAL or D:\INSTALL and then press Enter (but replace D: with the drive letter of your CD drive, and make sure that you use the correct name of the installation program).

(5) Follow the prompts to install WordPerfect. Remember the name of the directory into which you install WordPerfect; it will probably be something like C:\WP51 or C:\WP61. If your printer is not listed among the printers on the installer's list, select Standard Printer from the list. When the installer offers to modify your Config.sys file and to add the WordPerfect directory to the DOS "path," answer Yes; the changes to Config.sys will have no effect, but it can do no harm to add the WP directory to the "path."

(6) When the installation is complete, type the DOS command EXIT and press Enter to close the command prompt window; if the window does not close, click on the X button in the upper-right-hand corner of the window to close it. (If you are in full-screen mode, not a window, press Alt-Enter to reduce the full-screen session to a window, and then use the X button in the upper-right-hand corner of the window to close it.)

(7) Use the Start Menu, choose Run..., type the name of the directory into which you installed WordPerfect (this is your "WordPerfect directory," for example, C:\WP51), and press the Enter key. A window will open showing the contents of the directory. (Note: In Windows, a directory is normally called a "folder.") From the View menu at the top of the Window, choose Details to see a list of the files in the menu.

(8) Scroll down the list of files until you find WP.COM; if you do not find WP.COM, find WP.EXE. Highlight the filename; hold down the right mouse button and drag the file to the Windows desktop; when you release the mouse button, select "Create shortcut here" from the menu. Make sure that a WordPerfect (or similarly-named) icon appears on your desktop; if nothing happens, try again. Close the list of files in your WordPerfect directory by clicking the "X" button in the upper right-hand corner of the Explorer window.

(9) Find the WordPerfect shortcut on your desktop, right-click on it, select Properties from the menu, and specify memory and other settings as described elsewhere on this site. On the Misc tab of the Properties sheet, the setting you choose for the Idle Sensitivity slider will depend on how you use WordPerfect; if you have installed the Tame utility (as you most certainly should have done), the Idle Sensitivity slider should already be moved all the way to the left (and the Tame installer will move it automatically when you install Tame). If you do not use Tame, and you often switch between WP and Windows itself, without exiting from WP, move the slider most of the way to the right to prevent Windows from running slowly when you temporarily switch away from WP; if you generally exit entirely from WP before switching back to Windows, move the slider most of the way to the left in order to let WP run at the highest possible speed.

Important note: If you use WPDOS 6.x, when applying settings to the Memory tab of the shortcut, remember that you do not need expanded (EMS) memory; instead choose the "Auto" setting for extended (XMS) memory. Remember: this applies to WPDOS 6.x only; WPDOS 5.1 does require expanded memory for the smoothest possible operation.

(10) Still on the Misc tab, under Windows shortcut keys, clear all the checkboxes except Alt-Tab, Alt-Enter, and Alt-Space (in other words, leave the check marks filled-in next to those three keys). For convenience in the next step of this procedure, when you reach the Screen tab, select Window, not Full-screen. Click OK to close the Properties dialog.

(11) Double-click on your WordPerfect shortcut; WordPerfect for DOS should appear in a window; depending on your Windows version, the window may be a surprisingly tall window with 50 lines of text. Press Alt-Enter to switch into full-screen mode, which is much faster than windowed mode. If you like the default 50-line mode, with its small font, you need not make any other changes in your system. If you prefer to work in 25-line mode, press Alt-Enter again to switch to window mode, and modify the window properties to force 25-line mode in future sessions (it may be easiest to use method (b) as described in the linked page). If you want to change the font used in the window, and therefore the size of the window, use the method described elsewhere on this site to change the font used by WP in a window; be certain to use method (b) for Windows 2000 and XP.

If you use Alt-Enter to switch between windowed and full-screen mode for WPDOS, and if you find that the screen colors that you selected in full-screen mode do not match the screen colors, you may prefer to turn on the WP default settings for screen colors. In WPDOS 5.1, use Shift-F1/Display/Colors-Fonts-Attributes, and select item 6 - Normal font only. In WPDOS 6.x, use Shift-F1/Display/Text Mode Screen Type-Colors, and under Color Schemes, choose [WP Default], or experiment with other preset color schemes for best results.

If you want to choose a high-resolution video driver for WordPerfect's print-preview and graphics mode, carefully study this site's graphics mode survival guide. Where that guide says "Do not choose the IBM 8514/A driver" for graphics mode, be very careful to follow that advice.

If you are not in the United States of America: If, and only if, the wrong characters appear on the WPDOS screen when you type keys such as shift-3 (if WP enters # instead of, for example, ), you need to set the "system locale" for DOS applications. In 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 (for example, English [United Kingdom] or Dutch [Netherlands]). In 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.

Optional additional steps: If you have not installed a driver for your printer, do so now, either from the original WordPerfect installation disks or from the WPDOS 5.1 or WPDOS 6.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 one of this site's methods 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.

If you need to set up an abbreviation expander for use with WPDOS, see this site's survival guide for medical transcriptionists. If you have other difficulties with WPDOS, see this site's troubleshooting page.


Compatibility summary: WPDOS runs well under Windows NT, 2000, and XP

If you follow the suggestions on this page, WPDOS will run reasonably well under Windows NT, 2000, or XP, with even more memory than under Windows 95, 98, or Me. If you use the Tame utility, many aspects of its performance will be far superior than under Windows 95, 98, or Me, or under pure DOS. The only issues you may want to consider are these:


What to do if WPDOS locks up when switching to graphics mode

If WPDOS locks up when you switch to graphics mode, and continues to do so after restarting, see the advice elsewhere on this site.


Use the Tame utility to speed up keyboard and other operations in WPDOS

Most problems with slow keyboarding in WPDOS under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 can be solved by buying and installing the long-established program Tame from Tamedos.com. This US$20 software works automatically to cure most problems with DOS-based software under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7. It also provides highly flexible options for controlling the display of WPDOS in a window or full-screen mode. This is the only third-party software that I recommend without reservation to all users of WPDOS under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7.

Full details on installing and fine-tuning Tame may be found on a separate page of this site.


View full filenames in Windows Explorer

Before copying any files from your old computer, or performing any other file management tasks, change the Windows setting that determines how filenames are displayed in Windows Explorer. The technique for doing so is described on this site's basic Windows technique page. Do this on both your old and new computer before you start copying files!


Important! Modify Config.nt and fully enable expanded memory

Two changes in the configuration file that controls DOS sessions under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 may make it possible to run WPDOS when it would not otherwise be able to run, and can increase memory available to WPDOS.

Find and edit your Config.nt file. (Help! I can't find my Config.nt file!) In Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7, this file is typically located in C:\Windows\System32. In Windows NT and 2000, this file is typically located in C:\WinNt\System32.

If you find a line near the end of the file that reads files=40  change the number 40 to 60. If you do not see such a line, go to the very end of the file and add this line:

files=60

(If you want to put a space before and after the equals sign, feel free to do so; the result is the same with and without the spaces.) Also, in many cases, especially when you run WPDOS from a batch file, you can greatly increase the memory available to WordPerfect by fully enabling expanded (EMS) memory for DOS programs. This procedure is to be used in addition to any modifications you make to the memory settings in desktop shortcuts. To increase this memory, add the following line to Config.nt, either before or after the files=60 line.

EMM=RAM

and press Enter at the end of the line so that there is a blank line following it. (If you want to put a space before and after the equals sign, feel free to do so; the result is the same with or without the spaces.) Save the file. Depending on your configuration, you may have an additional 35 KB of available memory the next time you open WPDOS.

Note: In order to make expanded memory available to all your DOS applications, it may help (or it may not, but it can't hurt) to modify the file named _default.pif (note the underscore) in your Windows directory (typically C:\Windows). See the instructions elsewhere on this site.

Very important (for WPDOS 5.1, not important for 6.x): Test whether EMS is enabled on your computer. Now perform this site's quick memory test to determine whether EMS memory is actually enabled on your computer. Right-click on this link; from the pop-up menu, click Save Target as... or Save Link as... or some similar option; in the file-save dialog box that appears, save the file on your Desktop (either choose the top line in the dropdown list at the top, or click on the icon labeled Desktop, or that looks a pencil writing on an old-fashioned desk blotter). Click OK. After a few seconds you should see an icon on your desktop with the intertwined letters MS-DOS and labeled "memorytest." Double-click on the icon. A window will open showing your memory settings. If you see a number like 16777216 bytes total expanded (EMS) memory (or some other number much higher than zero), then all is well. (Enter Exit to close the window; you may delete the icon from your desktop to remove it from your system.) If you do not see that number listed for expanded (EMS) memory, double-check your editing of the Config.nt file and try again. If you only see a listing for exTENded (XMS) memory, but not for exPANded (EMS) memory, then you do not have exPANded memory, and you should check your editing of the Config.nt file and try again. You must see entries for both exPANded (EMS) memory and exTENded (XMS) memory!!!

If you still do not see EMS memory listed by the test, then see a separate page on enabling EMS memory on Windows XP computers that do not otherwise support it (including some Dell models and some IBM ThinkPad models) for possible solutions.

Extremely, vitally, crucially important point (don't ignore this!): To get EMS memory in WordPerfect or your batch files that run WordPerfect, it is not enough to modify Config.nt. You must also enable EMS memory in the Memory tab of the Properties sheet of your desktop shortcut for WPDOS or for a batch file that launches WPDOS.

And one more very important note: If you upgraded an existing Windows 95, 98, or Me system to Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you must also look in your Autoexec.nt file (found in the same directory with Config.nt) for lines that look like this (probably at the very end of the file):

REM ***************************
REM ** Lines below this have been migrated from the original Microsoft ME settings
REM ****************************
REM
SET COMSPEC=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND.COM

If you find lines like these, add the word REM at the very start of the line that begins SET COMSPEC, so that it begins REM SET COMSPEC, and then save the file and reboot your computer.


Windows XP uses Config.nt and Autoexec.nt, not Config.sys or Autoexec.bat

If you have a Config.sys or Autoexec.bat file left over from your old system, Windows NT, 2000, and XP will (mostly) ignore them. Nothing in Config.sys will have any effect on your system. Any line in Autoexec.bat that launches a program or changes a directory will be ignored; the only lines in Autoexec.bat that Windows XP will read are the lines that begin SET or PATH.

In order to run WPDOS effectively, or to change settings for WPDOS and other DOS programs, under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, you must modify two files named Config.nt and Autoexec.nt, typically found in the C:\Windows\System32 directory. (Help! I can't find my Config.nt file!) Instructions may be found elsewhere on this page for modifying Config.nt to increase available memory and enable expanded memory and prevent installation and startup errors.

Config.nt is used for the same kind of tasks formerly performed by Config.sys (loading device drivers, etc.). Autoexec.nt is used for the same kind of tasks formerly performed by Autoexec.bat (launching memory-resident programs, etc.) Advanced users should note that only old-style 16-bit DOS and Windows 3.1 programs can be run from Autoexec.nt. You cannot use Autoexec.nt to run 32-bit Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7 text-mode programs like MODE or SUBST; these programs may be run in an ordinary batch file, but not in Autoexec.nt.

Elsewhere on this page, you may download desktop shortcuts that let you edit Config.nt or Autoexec.nt in Windows Notepad, merely by clicking on the shortcuts.


Restore non-working function keys (including F7, Ctrl-F4, Alt-F5, Alt-F10, or many others) for use in WPDOS

If your function keys do not perform their correct functions in WPDOS, any of a number of programs and settings could be the cause.

If almost all function keys produce unexpected results (for example, F5 types "^0"), you have probably pressed the "F Lock" key (found on some modern desktop keyboards and, on some laptop computers, next to the F12 key or some other location); press the "F Lock" key again to restore the normal function-key functions.

If Ctrl-F4 and other Ctrl-function key combinations do not perform correctly, you almost certainly have InterVideo WinCinema Manager or other InterVideo software running in the background, with an InterVideo icon in the Windows system tray (the panel at the far right of the taskbar at the foot of the screen). To regain the use of the function keys, use the Windows Start Menu, then Run..., then enter MSCONFIG, go to the Startup tab, and disable the InterVideo program by removing the checkbox to the left of its name. Restart your computer. You will still be able to use the InterVideo software, but you will not be able to run it by clicking an icon in the system tray.

If, in a similar way, if Alt-F5 or Alt-F10 does not perform its correct function, you probably have an ATI video card with software that interferes with Alt-F5 or an Acer computer with a backup program that takes over Alt-F10. Use the procedure described in the preceding paragraph to regain Alt-F5 by disabling the program called ATIPTAXX.exe, or to regain Alt-F10 by disabling the program CHECK.exe, and restart your computer to regain these function keys for WPDOS. If you have ATI video hardware and can't use Alt-F5, but you don't find ATIPTAXX.exe or some similar program name, go to the Control Panel, then Display; go to Settings, then Advanced, then Options, disable "Enable ATI taskbar icon application," click OK, and restart your computer.

Other programs may also seize control of function keys that you wish to use with WordPerfect. I have no way of knowing exactly which programs are at fault. The only way to find out is to run the MSCONFIG program as described above, and test each program that is listed on the startup tab by removing its checkbox (one at a time!) and restarting Windows to see if the function key you want has been restored. If you still cannot use the function key you want, run MSCONFIG again, restore the checkbox next to the program you tested, and clear the checkbox next to the program that follows it on the list; restart Windows. Continue until you find the program that has seized control of the function key. When you find such a program, please leave feedback so that others can avoid the same problem.


Adjust language settings for non-English versions of WordPerfect for DOS

If you use a non-English-language version of WordPerfect for DOS, you may need to adjust the language settings in Windows 2000 or XP in order to make the keyboard work correctly with WPDOS.

From the Start Menu, go to the Control Panel (and, if necessary, Date, Time, Language, and Regional Options), and open the Regional and Language Options dialog. On the Advanced tab, under Language for Non-Unicode Programs, choose the language of your version of WPDOS. (For example, if you use a Norwegian version of WPDOS, choose Norwegian.)

This step is not necessary for English-language versions of WordPerfect.


How to create a desktop shortcut under Windows XP

Note: If you are trying to create a shortcut to launch a batch file under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, see the separate instructions below.

(Help! What's a shortcut?) In earlier versions of Windows, you were able to create a desktop shortcut for an application simply by dragging the application from its own directory to the Windows desktop. This method does not work under Windows XP, because dragging a file to the desktop now copies the file to the desktop instead of creating a shortcut. To create a desktop shortcut for WPDOS or any other program under Windows XP, do one or the other of the following:

(a) Right-click on the application in an Explorer window, and, still holding down the right mouse button, drag the application to the desktop, and release the right mouse button. Choose Create shortcut here... from the pop-up menu.

(b) Right-click on an empty area of the desktop. Select New..., then Shortcut. A dialog box will open with a blank field labeled "Type the location of the item" or something similar; either enter the full path of the application (Help! What does a "full path" mean?) or use the Browse button to find the application through Windows Explorer. Then click Next, and you will be prompted to enter a descriptive name for your shortcut; choose any suitable name you like. Click Finish, and the new shortcut will appear on your desktop.

Modify your shortcut according to the instructions on this page and on this site's main Windows page. Note that Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 ignore at least one option on the Properties sheet of any desktop shortcut for a DOS application: on the Program tab, the Batch File field is ignored. On some systems, you may find that on the Misc tab, you cannot prevent Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7 from detecting the Alt-Esc key, although you can prevent it from detecting Alt-Tab and other keys.

To control the size of the text font in windowed WPDOS, use the Fonts tab on the shortcut. I recommend the 8x12 bitmap font.


Fix printing problems

Under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, you will not be able to print from WPDOS if, in WPDOS 5.1, under Shift-F7/Select/Edit, you have Print to Hardware Port marked as Yes, or, in WPDOS 6.x, under Shift-F7/Select/Edit/Port, you have a checkmark next to Print to Hardware Port. Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 do not allow programs direct access to printer or communication ports. You will be able to print from WPDOS only if you turn off the option to Print to Hardware Port.

If you need to print to a USB-connected printer under Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, see the method of printing to USB printers on this site's Windows printing page.

For any other printing problems, see this site's list of troubleshooting techniques for printing from WPDOS under Windows.


Installation problems solved

In Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, if you get error messages about "insufficient file handles" when installing or running WPDOS 6.x on an NTFS partition, add the following line to Config.nt (or modify an existing line if you find one with the number 40 or any other number that is lower than 60): 

   
Files=60

(If you want to put a space before and after the equals sign, feel free to do so; the result is the same with and without the spaces.) The Config.nt file is located in the %SystemRoot%\System32 subdirectory (typically C:\WinNT\System32; or, under Windows XP, C:\Windows\System32). (Help! I can't find my Config.nt file!) If the error message persists, try a larger number than 60 (80 should be adequate, but you may need 100).

If WPDOS still does not run, or if it runs extremely slowly, see the section on sound card conflicts on this site's main Windows page.


Set memory and other options for batch files

Note: Read this section only if you run WPDOS from a batch file (that is, from a file that runs WPDOS together with other programs), instead of simply by clicking on a shortcut icon for WPDOS itself or some other method of running WPDOS directly. If you do not know what a batch file is, you may ignore this section.

The problem: Under Windows NT, 2000, XP, or Windows 7, you cannot assign expanded (EMS) and extended (XMS) memory options for use by a batch file simply by right-clicking on the batch file in Windows Explorer and opening the file's Properties sheet (which is the way these options could be set for batch files under Windows 95, 98 and Me). This means that if you run WPDOS from a batch file, you must find an alternate method for assigning WPDOS the memory it needs for the smoothest possible operations. If you run WPDOS from a batch file under these versions of Windows, you should use any one of the following workarounds for this limitation in Windows NT, 2000, and XP.

(a) The simplest and best workaround (provided by a user who identifies him- or herself as "notanumber" at WordPerfect Universe) is to assign separate EMS and XMS memory options separately for each of the separate programs that are listed in your batch files. For example, if you are a medical transcriptionist, and you want to use a batch file that runs Smartype or PRD and then WP, you should study your batch file carefully and write down the names and paths of all the programs that the batch file runs. Then use Windows Explorer to find each of the programs in their own folders, and modify the program's memory options, as follows:

Before you begin, make absolutely certain that you have set Windows Explorer to display full filenames. Then, in Windows Explorer, start with the first program listed in your batch file (for example, ST.EXE or PRD.COM), and find it in its own directory (for example, C:\st or C:\pplus2). You can do this by using Start, then Run... and entering the directory name in the box. When you have found the program name, right-click on it, choose Properties, go to the Memory tab, and assign the largest possible amount of Expanded (EMS) Memory available. Click OK and close the Properties sheet. Proceed to the next program on the list, making certain to perform this step for WP.COM or WP.EXE (it doesn't matter which). If and only if you use WPDOS 6.x (not 5.1), make sure to assign the largest possible amount of Expanded (EMS) Memory and the largest possible amount of Extended (XMS) Memory.

When you are finished, run your batch file and make sure that everything is working correctly. One advantage of this method is that when you create a desktop shortcut icon for your batch file, you can right-click on the shortcut and use the Properties dialog to assign a "hotkey" (shortcut key) that will launch the batch file with one keystroke, and also switch back to WP with the same keystroke when you are using another program in Windows.

Note that this method may not work with all programs that can be run in batch files. If you encounter problems, use any of the remaining methods.

(b) Use Windows Explorer to find the folder with your batch file. Select (highlight) the name of the batch file, hold down the right mouse button, and drag the file to the Windows desktop. When you release the right mouse button, a menu will appear; choose "Create shortcut here...". You will see a new icon on your desktop, with a picture of a gear inside a window. Right-click on the icon, choose Properties, go to the Program tab and place the cursor inside the Target field. Click in the field so that the filename is not highlighted, and move the cursor to the very start of the field, at the extreme left. (If the filename disappears, click on Cancel, and start over from the point where you right-click on the new icon.) With the cursor at the extreme left of the target field, type in the following before the existing filename: command.com /c and then a space, so the whole line looks something like this:

command.com /c filename.bat

where "filename.bat" is the name that was already in the field (for example, STWP.BAT, or whatever was the name of your batch file). Click OK. Wait a few seconds until the desktop icon displays the intertwined letters "MS-DOS" instead of the gear-inside-a-window symbol. Right-click on the icon; choose Properties; go to the Memory tab; select the highest available number for Expanded (EMS) memory and (if you are using WPDOS 6.x only) for Extended (XMS) memory. On this and the remaining tabs, set memory and other options as described elsewhere on this site. Use this shortcut to launch the batch file.

(c) Create a desktop shortcut for Command.com by right-clicking on the desktop, choosing New..., then Shortcut; a "Create shortcut" dialog will appear with a blank field where you can enter a command line or file name; enter command.com in this blank field, and then follow the prompts until a new shortcut appears on the desktop. (Help! What's a shortcut?) Right-click on the new shortcut, choose Rename, and give the shortcut a name that describes your batch file. From the same right-click menu, choose Properties. On the Program tab, under Cmd line (or a similar name; definitely not under Batch file!) enter the full path of your batch file. (Help! What does a "full path" mean?) On this and the remaining tabs, set memory and other options as described elsewhere on this site. Use this shortcut to launch the batch file.

(d) An alternative method (for advanced users only!) is to convert your batch file into a .COM file, then create and modify a shortcut for the .COM file. To make the conversion, first download this freeware utility Bat2exec.exe, by Doug Boling (you probably will not need the documentation in Bat2exec.txt, but here it is if you want it). Place the program in any directory you choose. When you want to convert a batch file into a .COM file, copy the batch file to the same directory as Bat2exec.com (it probably will not work unless the Bat2exec.com program and your batch file are in the same directory), and run this command:

bat2exec filename.bat

(Replace filename.bat with the name of your batch file.) This will create a new program named Filename.com that performs exactly the same steps as the original batch file. Place this new .COM file in the same directory where the original batch file was located; for safety, rename the original batch file. Now create and modify the shortcut for the new .COM file, specifying any memory that may be required, as described elsewhere on this site.

Read this important note: If you run WPDOS from a batch file or by entering "WP" at a DOS prompt, it is not enough to enable expanded memory only in your shortcut for WPDOS itself. You must also create a desktop shortcut for the DOS prompt or for your batch file; and you must enable EMS memory for DOS prompts; and you must enable expanded memory in each shortcut that you create. If you need help, read this site's instructions for creating and modifying a DOS prompt and for creating and modifying desktop shortcuts.


Prevent WPDOS from making other programs run slowly by grabbing CPU resources

When WPDOS is run under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, it may take over most or all of your system's CPU resources, and cause Windows applications to run slowly. By far the most effective way to prevent this problem is to install and use the Tame utility described elsewhere on this site. However, if for some reason you prefer not to use Tame, then you can reduce the effects of the problem by modifying your WPDOS shortcut in the following way:

Right-click on the WP shortcut icon (or on the program itself in Windows Explorer if you do not have a shortcut icon); select Properties; go to the Misc tab; and move the Idle sensitivity slider all the way to (or near) High (on the right end of the slider). This change may affect the performance of WPDOS itself, so experiment before choosing a semi-permanent setting.

Full details on customizing the WPDOS shortcut may be found elsewhere on this site.


Launch a WPDOS shortcut or other DOS shortcut with a hotkey

Under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, a desktop shortcut for a DOS program cannot be launched from the hotkey assigned to the shortcut, although the assigned hotkey can be used to switch to a DOS program that is already running. (A hotkey is a combination of keys that launch or switch to a program, and may be specified in the properties sheet of a shortcut, on the Program tab.) (Help! What's a shortcut?) Two methods are available for working around this problem; if the first does not work well for you, use the second. (No such workarounds are needed under Windows 95, 98, or Me, because DOS programs can be launched from hotkeys under those versions.)

(a) Before you begin, make absolutely certain that you have set Windows Explorer to display full filenames.

Then, use Windows Explorer to find your DOS program in its own folder (not any desktop icon or other shortcut that you may have created for it); right-click on the program (for example WP.EXE or WP.COM; it makes no difference which one you choose), choose Properties, and make all the necessary changes to its memory and other settings as described elsewhere on this site. Remember that you are making these changes to the program found in its own directory (for example, C:\wp51), not to a shortcut icon on the Windows desktop.

Then, create a one-line batch file that launches your DOS program, and create a desktop shortcut for it. (Help! How do I create a batch file?) Right-click on the shortcut, choose Properties, and assign a hotkey on the Program tab. (This workaround was provided by Martin Veldhuis at WordPerfect Universe.)

(b) If for any reason this method does work with your application or batch file, use a third-party program that allows you to assign hotkeys to DOS shortcuts that will work in the same way hotkeys work with Windows programs under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

First, right-click on the DOS shortcut that you want to launch with a hotkey. Choose Rename, and assign a descriptive name like "WordPerfect for DOS" (no quotation marks) that will not match the name of any other shortcut on your desktop. Press Enter to apply the name.

Now, once again, right-click on the same shortcut. Choose Properties. The name that you assigned to the shortcut will appear in a field near the top of the General tab. Copy it, or make sure you know exactly what it says. Go to the Program tab, and in the top field, type (or paste) exactly the same name that you assigned to the shortcut and that appears in the General tab, for example, "WordPerfect for DOS" (no quotation marks). On the same Program tab, make sure that the Shortcut key field is blank. Click OK.

Next, download, install, and buy (US$25) MJMSoft Design's KeyText utility. This is by far the best of all available keyboard automation programs.

While KeyText is running, bring up KeyText's main (right-click) menu and choose Organizer. Choose any unused entry (you may prefer to use one that comes after the entries labeled A through Z), and press Edit. On the top-line menu of the editor, choose Item/Insert Field Wizard. In the "What sort of field would like to insert?" dialog, find the "Macro only" section and select "Activate a window [etc.]", then press Next.

In the "Window Activate [etc.]" dialog, choose "Activate (bring to the front) an existing window" and add a checkmark next to "If not found, run a program instead." In the field under "Enter any part of the title", type exactly the same unique name that you gave to your shortcut, such as "WordPerfect for DOS" (no quotation marks). It is extremely important that this name exactly match the name in the Program tab of the shortcut. Make absolutely certain that you have typed exactly the same name. Press Next.

In the "Run program" dialog, enter the full path of the desktop shortcut that you want to launch, which may have a name like "C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\Desktop\WordPerfect for DOS.PIF". (Help! What does a "full path" mean?) To make certain that the path is entered correctly, you can use the Browse button on the dialog box to navigate to the correct folder; the button opens a dialog titled "Select file to run"; at the bottom of the dialog, go to the "Files of type" field and use the down arrow to switch from Executable Files to All Files; then navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\[YourName]\Desktop" and highlight the name of the shortcut, and click Open. The correct pathname, complete with the ".pif" at the end, should appear in the KeyText dialog box. Press Finish.

Back in the KeyText editing window, select Item/Hotkey. The cursor will be in KeyText's hotkey field. Press the hotkey you want to use (perhaps something like Ctrl-Alt-W). KeyText may display a message; click OK on the message, then click OK in the KeyText editor, then click Close in the Organizer. You may now use your chosen hotkey both to launch and to switch to the program specified in your shortcut. (If WPDOS is running in full-screen mode, but you have temporarily returned to the Windows desktop, the hotkey will not return you to WPDOS, but you can return to WPDOS by pressing Alt-Tab until WPDOS reappears.)

Note: If your version of WPDOS includes dropdown menus, the WP menu bar may appear when you use a hotkey to switch to WP from another program. To prevent the menu bar from appearing in WPDOS 5.1, use Shift-F1, Display, Menu Options, and, next to Alt Key Selects Pull-Down Menus, enter No; to prevent the menu bar from appearing in WPDOS 6.x, use Ctrl-F3, Shift-F1, and, under Screen Options, remove the checkmarks (if any) next to Pull-Down Menus and Alt Key Activates Menus.


A macro that partly restores the F5-F5 function for WPDOS 5.1

In WordPerfect for DOS, if you press F5-F5 (F5 twice), WP displays the List Files (F5) screen that you viewed most recently, with the highlight on the file that was highlighted when you last exited List files. Unfortunately, this feature does not work with the combination of WPDOS 5.1 or 5.1+ and Windows 2000 or XP. (The problem does not occur with WPDOS 6.x, and does not occur under Windows Vista or Windows 7.) A macro that partly restores the broken feature in WPDOS 5.1 may be found on this site's workarounds page.


Virtual Device Driver error messages

If you install WPDOS under Windows NT, 2000, or XP, and then, when you try to run WPDOS, you see this error message "System/CurrentControlSet/Virtual Device Drivers VDD. Virtual Device Driver Format in the Registry is Invalid. Choose Close to terminate the application", see the solution in a Microsoft document about Windows 2000 or this similar Microsoft document about Windows XP.


Force 25-line mode for full-screen WPDOS under Windows 2000 and XP

Instructions for forcing full-screen text-mode WPDOS to start in 25-line mode (instead of 50-line mode) under Windows 2000 and XP may be found on a separate page.


Control the size of the text-mode cursor and turn off the mouse cursor

Instructions for controlling the size of the cursor in WPDOS under Windows NT, 2000, and XP and for turning off the mouse cursor may be found on a separate page.


Solve text-mode display problems

Advice on solving problems like print menus that appear "behind" print preview, or that seem to "overlap" ordinary text, may be found on a separate page.


Fix Windows error messages "The system cannot open COM1 port requested by the application" or "Driver does not support selected baud rate"

When you start WPDOS under Windows XP, you may see a Windows error message, "The system cannot open COM1 port requested by the application" (or COM2 or other number instead of COM1), with buttons that let you Close the application or Ignore the error. If you choose Ignore, WPDOS opens and functions normally, but the error message is annoying. Alternately, you may see this error message when you go to DOS from WPDOS: "Driver does not support selected baud rate" (followed by a number).

The message indicates that WPDOS is trying to use a serial port on your computer, probably for the mouse, but possibly for a printer. If WPDOS is trying to use the serial port for your mouse, the solution is to use Shift-F1, 1 - Mouse, 1 - Type, 2 - Autoselect, then press Exit until you exit WordPerfect. Start WordPerfect again to see if the problem has been fixed.

If the problem continues, then go the Print menu, and Select and Edit each of your printer drivers; look at the Port setting for each driver. If any ports are set to use COM1 (or any other COM port), then change the Port. Exit and restart WordPerfect and try again.

If the problem persists, this suggests that at some time in the past you may have mistakenly set a printer port to COM1 or some other COM port. The only solution I know of is to delete or rename your WP{WP}.SET or WP{WPC}.SET file (depending on your WPDOS version) and recreate its settings after WordPerfect starts up and creates a new .SET file. Your WP{WP}.SET or WP{WPC}.SET file is normally in your WPDOS program directory. Be absolutely certain to make a backup copy of this file before deleting it. Before deleting or renaming the file, take careful note of all your settings (locations of files, printer driver PRS file, etc.) because you will need to re-enter these afterwards.


How to make Windows XP less annoying

Newsgroups and web sites offer advice on making Windows XP less annoying and intrusive. Among the best sites are Doug's Windows Tweaks and Tips (highly reliable, and the best choice for all problems covered by the site), Annoyances.org, and TweakXP.com.


Run WPDOS in monochrome mode under Windows NT, 2000, or XP

Instructions for running WPDOS in monochrome mode under Windows NT, 2000, or XP may be found on a separate page.


Maximize MS-DOS memory for WPDOS

Perform both of the following steps if you have Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

(a) For all Windows versions: See the section on the main Windows page with advice on maximizing memory for WPDOS

(b) Additional step for Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 only: See the section below on finding and editing your Config.nt and Autoexec.nt files, and follow the instructions there for editing your Autoexec.nt file. Read the "Warning" paragraph below; then edit the Autoexec.nt file and find the following lines (which will appear separate from each other, near the top of the file):

%SystemRoot%\system32\mscdexnt.exe
lh %SystemRoot%\system32\redir
lh %SystemRoot%\system32\dosx

Change the file by adding the word REM, followed by a space, at the very start of each line, so that the lines look like this instead:

REM %SystemRoot%\system32\mscdexnt.exe
REM lh %SystemRoot%\system32\redir
REM lh %SystemRoot%\system32\dosx

Close and save the file. Depending on your system, after making these changes, you may have as much as 600 to 620 KB of memory (or even more) available to DOS applications. You can test the exact number by entering MEM at the DOS prompt.

Warning: Applications written for Windows 3.x require DOSX; if you use such applications, do not add REM before the line that ends with dosx. If the other changes cause problems with other applications, then experiment with the Autoexec.nt file by removing one or more of the REM lines that you added earlier in this procedure until the problems go away.

Alternatively, you might consider creating a special Autoexec.nt file for use with WordPerfect only.


How to create a special Autoexec.nt or Config.nt file for use with WordPerfect only

Serious, crucial warning: In the following instructions, I use an example of a filename and its directory location (or "full path"). Before you start, you absolutely must understand that the full path used in these instructions is only an example! It will not work unless you actually create a file that has the correct contents and is in that location! If you are in even the slightest doubt over whether you can follow the following instructions, then stop right now, and get someone else to follow these instructions for you! Do not attempt to follow these instructions unless you really and truly understand what an "example" means!!

Instructions: If you want to create an Autoexec.nt or Config.nt file with special settings for use with WordPerfect only, follow the procedures shown below for editing those files, but do not save the file under the same name and in the same directory from which you opened it. Instead, follow these steps:

(1)  When you close the Autoexec.nt file that you have edited, use Save As... to save it to a different location and with a different name. For example, if you want to create a special Autoexec.nt file for use with WPDOS 5.1, save the file to your C:\WP51 directory with a name like AutoWP51.nt. The full path of that file is C:\wp51\AutoWP51.nt . (Remember that this is only an example; if you do not understand what an "example" means, stop now, and ask someone else to help you with these instructions!)

(2) Find the desktop shortcut from which you launch WordPerfect. Right-click on it; choose Properties from the pop-up menu, and go to the Program tab. Click "Advanced..."; then in the field "Autoexec filename" replace the existing text (typically %SystemRoot%\SYSTEM32\AUTOEXEC.NT) with the full path of the file that you saved in step (1), for example C:\wp51\AutoWP51.nt . Click OK, then click OK again until the Properties dialog closes.


Help! I can't find or edit my Config.nt or Autoexec.nt files!

Under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7: The easiest possible way to edit these two files is to use these two desktop shortcuts, EditConfig.nt and EditAutoexec.nt. Download the files to your Windows desktop (you may have to right-click on the links and select Save link as...). Double-click on either shortcut to edit the associated file in Windows Notepad; close the file when you are finished. Any changes you make will apply to the next DOS application you launch; you do not need to reboot your computer.

Under Windows Vista or Windows 7: The easiest possible way to edit these two files is to use these two desktop shortcuts, EditConfig.nt and EditAutoexec.nt - but you must right-click on them and choose "Run as Administrator" or "Open as Administrator" from the pop-up menu! Download the files to your Windows Vista or Windows 7 desktop (you may have to right-click on the links and select Save link as...). Right-click on either shortcut, and click "Run as Administrator" (or "Open as Administrator") to edit the associated file in Windows Notepad; close the file when you are finished. Any changes you make will apply to the next DOS application you launch; you do not need to reboot your computer.

Alternatively,under Vista or Windows 7, you can edit your Config.nt or Autoexec.nt files through this procedure: click on the Start Menu, then either Programs or All Programs, then Accessories. Find the item named Command Prompt, right-click on it, and choose "Run as Administrator". A command prompt should open in the directory C:\Windows\System32 or some similar name. Enter the command:

edit autoexec.nt

in order to edit the file. When you have finished editing, choose File | Exit, and when prompted to save the file, click Yes.

If you want to find your Config.nt or Autoexec.nt file by yourself, so that you can open it in Notepad or any other application, press Start, then Search (or Find, depending on your Windows version), then Files or Folders..., to open the Windows search/find menu. If you use Windows XP, click on "All files or folders" in the list of options on the left. In the fields on the left side of the menu, in which you specify your search, start at the top field, labeled "Named" or "All or part of filename" or some similar phrase; type Config.nt or Autoexec.nt in this field. Go to the third field, labeled "Look In" (or something similar) and type in the drive letter of your Windows drive and a colon, for example, C:. If you do not know the drive letter of your Windows system or you get unexpected results, use the drop-down menu in the "Look In" field to choose "My Computer" or "Local hard drives". Click Search or Find Now (or something similar), and wait until one more files named Config.nt appear in the list on the right.

If more than one file is listed with the name Config.nt or Autoexec.nt, select the one that appears in a folder named something like C:\Windows\System32 (you want the one with System32 in the folder name). Right-click on the name Config.nt or Autoexec.nt; select Open with... and choose Notepad from the list of applications. Edit the file in Windows Notepad, and save the file. Under Vista or Windows 7, see the instructions two paragraphs above.


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