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WPDOS on a Portable USB Drive


IntroductionHow to install | How to use | How to print or create PDF files | Customization | Use the WP Shell | Home page


What this system is and what it does

This page provides a system that can run WPDOS from a portable USB drive, so you can use it on any Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 or 8 computer that has a USB port. It is set up to work with either WPDOS 6.2 or WPDOS 5.1 (or both), but you must provide the essential files for WPDOS itself, as described below. The system allows you to print to any printer installed in Windows, and it also makes it possible to create PDF files directly from WPDOS.

Don't use this system on your own desktop or laptop computer! It's far too slow and inefficient. Instead, if you have a 32-bit version of Windows, install WPDOS directly on to your system; if you can't figure out how to print from WPDOS, install this site's method of printing to any Windows printer. If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, install this site's WPDOSBox64 system. Don't be clueless! Don't use this USB-based system on your own computer, only on other computers where you cannot install WPDOS directly.

When you use this system on a computer running 32-bit Windows, WPDOS opens in a window, and you can use it in more or less the same way you use it on any other 32-bit Windows system. You can use WPDOS graphics mode in any way that the Windows system makes possible. Under 32-bit Windows XP, this may or may not include VESA graphics, but it will almost certainly include standard VGA graphics; under 32-bit Vista or 32-bit Windows 7, no graphics modes are available for WPDOS. 

When you use this system on a computer running 64-bit Windows, WPDOS opens in an "emulated" DOS computer created by the open-source application called DOSBox. You will need to understand some basic concepts about emulated software; these concepts are explained on another page on this site. WPDOS running under DOSBox can use standard VGA or high-resolution VESA graphics.

Note: This system was completely revised on 4 March 2011, and further updated versions were posted at various dates, including 9 December 2012.


How to install WordPerfect on a portable USB drive

This site supplies a ZIP archive that contains all the files required to use WPDOS on a portable USB drive except for the actual WordPerfect program files, which you must supply from your own system. To use the system, follow the instructions exactly.

Warning: Don't be clever! Don't be ingenious! Don't change the names of the files or the folders in this system! Don't change the name of the printer drivers! Don't edit the printer driver files! The system will not work if you change some of its filenames and folder names, and it won't print if you change anything in its printing system! If you absolutely insist on ignoring this advice, and you change any filename or folder name or anything else, be prepared to change it back to its original state!

Second warning: Don't even think of making any changes in this system until you have followed all the instructions to the letter and the system works correctly! If you do something different from what the instructions tell you to do, the system will almost certainly not work! Don't be tempted to change the instructions, no matter how convinced you are that this or that detail does not apply to you! Read the frequently-asked questions on this page before you start changing things!

Third warning: If you install this system, and then make changes in it, and it stops working as you think it should, do not complain about the problem in the WPDOS forum at WPUniverse.com until you have reversed all the changes that you made and identified exactly what caused the problem.

1. Download this WP-USB.ZIP archive file

2. Open the archive file and copy all the files and folders to the root directory of your portable USB drive.

3. If you plan to use WordPerfect 6.2, find the following two files in your existing WordPerfect 6.2 directory on your hard disk:

WP.EXE
WP.FIL

and copy both these files into both of the two folders on your portable USB disk listed below:

\WP62
\WPfor64bit\VirtualHD\WP62

If you used the patched version of WordPerfect 6.2 then you must also copy the following file into both the two folders listed above (rewriting the existing file):

WP_WP_US.TRS

If you use a non-US version of WordPerfect 6.x, or if you use any version of WPDOS 6.1, then you must also find all the files that have names in the format WP_WP_XX.* and WP_FI_XX.* and any other files with the specification WP_??_XX.* (where XX is your country code) in your WordPerfect folder (typically C:\WP62) and in your Writing Tools folder (typically C:\WPC62DOS), and copy all those files into both folders listed above. You should probably also copy all files that match these file specifications: *.LEX, *.THS, *.DTL, *.ICR, and *.SUP. If, when you launch WPDOS, you see an error message telling you a file is missing or incorrect, then copy that file also (and please tell me about it).

The instructions above may work if you use WordPerfect 6.1 instead of 6.2, but I have not tested this system with WPDOS 6.1.

4. If you plan to use WordPerfect 5.1, find the following files in the WordPerfect 5.1 directory on your hard disk; note that WP.COM will exist only if you have WordPerfect 5.1+ (5.1 Plus); if you have the original non-Plus version of WordPerfect 5.1, ignore all references to WP.COM, because you don't have it and you don't need it!

WP.EXE
WP.FIL
WP.COM <-- REMEMBER: THIS FILE EXISTS ONLY WITH WPDOS 5.1 PLUS! (overwrite the file already on the system if prompted to do so)

Copy all these files to both of these two directories on your portable USB disk listed below:

\WP51
\WPfor64bit\VirtualHD\WP51

5. Read the instructions again, and make certain that you have followed them exactly. The system will not work unless you follow the instructions exactly and in every detail!

6. If you do not plan to use WordPerfect 6.2, then you may (if you want) delete from your USB drive the entire contents of the two directories listed below:

\WP62
\WPfor64bit\VirtualHD\WP62

And, if you delete those two directories, then you should also delete this file from the root directory of the USB drive:

WP62 for USB .cmd

7. If you do not plan to use WordPerfect 5.1, then you may (if you want) delete from your USB drive the entire contents of the two directories listed below:

\WP51
\WPfor64bit\VirtualHD\WP51

And, if you delete those two directories, then you should also delete this file from the root directory of the USB drive:

WP51 for USB .cmd

Troubleshooting: If you see an error message reports that "msvcp100.dll" is missing, download and install the latest version of the system, which corrects the error. Or, if you prefer to keep the system you already have, download and install this file from Microsoft's web site.


How to use this system to create, edit, or view files

Open your portable USB drive in Windows Explorer, and, in the root directory, double-click on either

WP62 for USB .cmd

or

WP51 for USB .cmd

You probably don't need me to tell you that the first will launch WPDOS 6.2 and the second will launch WPDOS 5.1.

After the system starts up, you will see a "WP" icon in your Windows system tray. This icon indicates the presence of a background program that makes it possible to print and create PDF files from this system. When you exit WPDOS, the background program will close and the icon will disappear.

Exactly what happens after the system starts up depends on whether you are running 32-bit Windows or 64-bit Windows:

Under 32-bit Windows, WPDOS will open in a window on your desktop. Under Windows XP (or under any version of Windows if Tame is running), you can press Alt-Enter to switch from windowed to full-screen mode. By default, this copy of WPDOS will save files in the \DOCS directory in the root directory of your portable USB drive, but you can open or save files from any directory accessible to the Windows system.

Note: If you have 32-bit Windows, but want to use the DOSBox-based system described immediately below (the system that designed for use with 64-bit Windows), then go to the \WPfor64bit folder and run either WP51 for USB force 64bit.cmd or WP62 for USB force 64bit.cmd. You may want to use this DOSBox-based system because it uses a quasi-fullscreen operation and graphics mode under 32-bit Vista and Windows 7.

Under 64-bit Windows, the open-source DOS emulator called DOSBox will open and launch a copy of WordPerfect. By default this copy of WPDOS will save files n in the \DOCS directory in the root directory of your portable USB drive. From within WPDOS under DOSBox, you can only access files or folders that are accessible from the WPDOS List Files screen, which will only allow you to access files on your portable USB drive, and no files anywhere else on your system. You absolutely must read and understand (and I mean really understand) the very important points in the next paragraph.

If you use this system on 64-bit Windows, or if you run the DOSBox system under 32-bit Windows, you must understand these very important points:

You will probably need to experiment with files and folders before you fully understand these very important points. But if, after experimenting, you do not and absolutely cannot understand these points, do not use this system! You will only make yourself unhappy when it doesn't work. Again, if you cannot understand these instructions, do not try to use this system!

To run your own WPDOS commands when WPDOS starts up: This system uses special startup macros that you should not try to change. However, the startup macro also launches a second macro named OPTIONS, which (by default) contains no commands. If you want to perform specific WPDOS commands when WPDOS starts up, edit the OPTIONS macro and add whatever commands you prefer.

Advanced users only! For further details on ways to customize the command files (batch files) that launch this system, see the appendix of command-line parameters on the page that describes the parts of this system that operate under 64-bit Windows.

If you want to force the system to use the 64-bit version, which runs WPDOS inside DOSBox instead of running WPDOS inside a DOS window under Windows, don't use this version of the system at all. Instead, download this site's DOSBox-based WP-64 system, and install it to the root directory of your USB drive. It works perfectly well under either 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. (Alternatively, if you are expert enough, edit the WP51 for USB.cmd file, or the equivalent for WPDOS 6.2, and force the system to use the 64-bit version on any version of Windows. Experts will understand how to do this; beginners should not attempt it.)

Frequently-asked questions:

Q. I'm a lot smarter than most people who visit your site, and I have a lot of experience with computers, so I was able to figure out that your instructions imply that I should perform certain steps that you never explicitly mention, and they imply that I should make changes to the instructions that you never explicitly call for. Anyway, I performed those steps and made those changes that you clearly implied but never explicitly stated, and now the WordPerfect setup that I installed on my USB drive doesn't work at all. Why did you do this to me? Why did you imply that I should do those things that caused so many problems? How dare you imply such dangerous things?
    A. You, and you alone, caused the problems, because you insisted on performing steps and making changes that I never told you to perform. My instructions don't imply anything. They tell you exactly what you need to do - no more, no less. Next time, please follow the instructions exactly.

Q. Your instructions are all wrong! Your software is incompatible with my system! You're careless and incompetent! You've wasted hours of my time! Please stop whatever you are doing and sort out all the problems that I am having with this system. All these problems are your fault and your fault alone! - [An hour later.] Uh, wait: I just realized that I mistyped a command. But please tell me how to solve all the problems that I am still having, because those problems are clearly your fault entirely. - [Another hour later.] Um, wait again: I seem to have misread one of your instructions. But please tell me how to solve the one major problem that I still have, because that is obviously your fault. - [Yet another hour later.] Er, yes, wait again: I neglected to perform a step that you said was essential. Everything is working perfectly now. Never mind!
    A. Thank you for writing.


How to print and create PDF files

To print from WPDOS, simply print as you normally do from WordPerfect. When you print from WordPerfect, simply print as you normally do. Windows will display a dialog box asking which printer you want to use; if you want to print to a different printer from the Windows default printer, select it, and your document will print. You can only print to the default page size; you cannot print envelopes or other sizes than the default page size. (Important: If you have a non-US system, see the section on customization below!)

Really serious warning: Do not change the default printer selection in this system.. Do not look for the name of the printer that you actually use! Don't be clueless! Leave the WPDOS printer driver exactly as it is! A few seconds after you give the Print command in WPDOS, Windows will display a Windows-style printer selection dialog, with your actual Windows default printer selected; in this Windows-style menu, you may select another printer or accept the default.

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

If you use this system on a computer that you are not familiar with, you may use the WHICHPTR macro to find the name of the default Windows printer.

To create a PDF file from this system, run the PDFMAKER macro in WPDOS. The PDF output is written to the \DOCS folder on your portable USB drive. The PDF file will have the same name as the original WPDOS document, with .pdf appended to the file name. If you create a PDF from a document that you have not yet named, the PDF file will have a numerical name that looks something like 20101009141746.pdf; this name represents the time the PDF file was created, and the numbers record the year, month, day, hour, minute, and seconds. You will of course want to change this name to something more useful.


Use a LaserJet printer driver, but print to any Windows printer

If you normally use an HP LaserJet that supports the PCL printer language, and your files are formatted to use HP LaserJet fonts, you may prefer to use this system's optional feature that uses a WordPerfect LaserJet printer driver, but prints to any Windows printer. This method allows you to use PCL "printer commands," but it does not let you use any custom fonts or printer "macros" stored in the printer itself. This optional feature uses the GhostPCL software system, which is an offshoot of the Ghostscript system used by default in this method.

To use this option, use Windows Notepad or some other text editor to edit the batch file named WP51 for USB.cmd or WP62 for USB.cmd (choose the one that you actually use). Find the line that ends "select"; at the end of that line, immediately after "select", add a space and then the word "ghostpcl" (without quotation marks). Save the file.

To print from WPDOS, press Shift-F7 as print as your normally do. Absolutely do not change the default printer selection! Do not try to install a printer with any other name! Do not change anything in the Print menu. After a few seconds, a Windows print menu will appear; select your printer and click OK. You may use any Windows printer; it need not be a LaserJet.

To create a PDF file when using this option, use the PCLTOPDF macro.  This creates a PDF file in the \DOCS folder. If the original document has a filename, then the name of the PDF file will begin with the original filename; otherwise an arbitrary name will be used. If you create multiple PDFs from the same document, the filenames will include sequential numbering.


The Clip macro system

These systems have special versions of the CLIP macros installed; these are described elsewhere on this site. The COPY macro sends the currently selected block to the Windows clipboard. The PASTE macro inserts the contents of the Windows clipboard into the current WordPerfect document.

When this system runs under 64-bit Windows, and the WPDOS window has "DOSBox" in its title bar, you can paste the contents of the Windows clipboard into WPDOS by pressing the Pause key on your keyboard. WPDOS must be the active (frontmost) window, and this method works only if you see "DOSBox" in the title of the WPDOS window! Don't be clueless; don't be confused; don't expect the Pause key to paste into WPDOS under 32-bit Windows!


How to customize this system

Note for users outside the USA or Canada: Do the following before you print for the first time. On your portable USB drive, go to the \GSWP directory and run GSViewPortable.exe. Click OK on the Registration dialog. Go to the Media menu, and click A4 so that a check mark appears next to it. Close the program. Do not do this if you are in the USA or Canada!

Warning: In WPDOS, do not change the printer drivers or locations of files! You will almost certainly prevent the system from working correctly. If you are foolish enough to make such changes, then copy the entire system again from the original .ZIP archive to your portable USB drive. Don't ignore this warning!

If you do not want to be prompted to select a printer whenever you print from WPDOS, use Notepad or some other text editor and open either WP62 for USB .cmd or WP51 for USB .cmd in the root folder of your portable USB drive. Find the instructions to "remove 'select'" and remove the word "select" where the instructions tell you that you may remove it. You will need to remove the word in two places.

If you want to modify the way WPDOS looks when running under DOSBox under 64-bit Windows, then open the \WPfor64bit\dosbox folder in your portable USB drive and edit one or more of the WPDOS##.prof files that you find there. For details, see this site's page about a separate version of this system that works under 64-bit Windows. Warning: I can't help you with these settings unless you are willing to pay me an absurdly high consulting fee. You will need to study online documentation for DOSBox.


How to use the WordPerfect Shell with this system

The WordPerfect Shell is included in this system, but is not started by default. If you want to start the Shell and WPDOS from the Shell, instead of starting WPDOS directly, do the following.

If you use WPDOS 5.1: Edit the file named WP51 for USB .cmd in the root folder of your USB drive and find the line that looks like this:

Start \GSWP\RunWP-USB.exe 32bit wp51 select

Edit the line by adding the two words "gscript shell" at the end of the line (without quotation marks), so that the line looks like this:

Start \GSWP\RunWP-USB.exe 32bit wp51 select gscript shell

Similarly, find the line a few lines farther down in the file that has the string "64 bit", and edit it so that it reads:

Start \GSWP\RunWP-USB.exe 64bit wp51 select gscript shell

Shell version 3.0 will start instead of WPDOS 5.1. You will need to edit the Shell menu to replace the menus provided. If you prefer to use Shell version 4, you will need to copy the Shell files from your own system into the same directories into which you copied WP.EXE and WP.FIL in an earlier stage of the installation.

If you use WPDOS 6.2: Edit the file named WP62 for USB .cmd in the root folder of your USB drive and find the line that looks like this:

Start \GSWP\RunWP-USB.exe 32bit wp62 select

Edit the line by adding the two words "gscript shell" at the end of the line (without quotation marks), so that the line looks like this:

Start \GSWP\RunWP-USB.exe 32bit wp62 select gscript shell

Similarly, find the line a few lines farther down in the file that has the string "64 bit", and edit it so that it reads:

Start \GSWP\RunWP-USB.exe 64bit wp62 select gscript shell

Under 32-bit Windows, Shell version 4.0 will start instead of WPDOS 6.2. Under 64-bit Windows, Shell version 3 will start, because version 4 cannot run under DOSBox. You will need to edit the Shell menu to replace the menus provided. If you prefer to use a different Shell version, you will need to copy the Shell files from your own system into the same directories into which you copied WP.EXE and WP.FIL in an earlier stage of the installation.


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