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DOS WordPerfect

The goal of this document is to teach you how to get started using WordPerfect on a DOS microcomputer and to help you learn some of the features of WordPerfect.

How to Get Help

The Feature (or Function) Keys

There are four functions for each feature key. To access the various features of each key, one of three HELPER keys is held down while the feature key is tapped or the feature key is tapped alone without a helper key. The helper keys are the A key, the S key, and the C key. The keys are color coded to help you find the correct combination of keys to press. Listed below are the helper keys.

The Numerical Keypad Keys

Some keys to be aware of and their location on the numerical keypad.

The Middle Keypad Keys

Other Keys

Toggle Keys

Several of the keyboard keys are used as toggle keys. This means that the keys switch between on and off or between two functions. The following keys switch between on and off <BOLD>, <UNDERLINE>, <REVEAL CODES>, <BLOCK>. The <INSERT> key toggles between insert and typeover mode. When you are in typeover mode, the text that you type types over the existing text. In insert mode the text is typed between the characters where the cursor is located when the text is typed.


There is a template on every keyboard which lists the feature keys and the color of the helper keys which must be used. The helper keys have color dots on them. If your keyboard doesn't have color dots, please contact the ICS HelpLine and ask to have the WordPerfect color dots put on your keyboard.

WordPerfect Menu System

WordPerfect has a menu system structure. When you press a feature key, there may be a menu of options for you to choose. It is helpful to look at all the features, the menus and sub-menus, and become familiar with all the WordPerfect features and options.

The HELP key

The best way to learn a word processor is to press the <HELP> key and, one at a time, gradually press each WordPerfect feature key, getting help for everything there is to do with WordPerfect. This way you will learn about the power of WordPerfect. Using the <HELP> key is also useful when you need help as you are working. There is no way to remember every single feature. The <HELP> key will refresh your memory. The instructions for using the <HELP> key follow:

Press the <HELP> key 3

The HELP screen will appear. At this point there are two ways to get help:

Press an individual key for help information on that particular key.

Type a letter of the alphabet and get a list of the features which begin with the range of the alphabet beginning with that letter. Then press the keys of the feature for which you want information.

Sometimes there are submenus (more choices) to the feature keys. Follow the instructions for getting further information on those keys. To exit HELP and return to editing your text, press the s or the R key.

How to Start WordPerfect

Start WordPerfect by typing WP at the C:\> prompt.

How to Type Text

Status Line

When WordPerfect first starts, the cursor is positioned at the top of an almost blank screen. At the bottom of the screen are several words on a line which is called the STATUS LINE.


Usually you will see the number one (1) next to DOC. This means the first document. It is possible to work on more than one document at a time transferring portions of one document to another. This is a more advanced feature of WordPerfect.


This is the page number of your document.


This is the number of inches down from the top of the page on which the cursor is located.


This is the number of inches over from the left side of the page on which the cursor is located.

The page and number are very useful when working on longer documents. Sometimes it is helpful to know how many pages have been typed or how far down on the page the cursor is located. The page length is set for 9 inches per page without pagination and 8 1/2 inches with pagination.

You are now ready to start typing your paper. Don't worry about errors. Corrections will be made at a later time. Just start typing and keep going until you have run out of thoughts or you are tired. Get at least a few paragraphs typed into the computer.

How to Move the Cursor Through the Text

Now that you have typed two or three paragraphs, you will want to know how to make corrections. Before doing this you must learn how to move the cursor around the screen. There are several ways to move the cursor.

To Move One Character at a Time

To move the cursor one character at a time press the arrow keys on the middle keypad; for instance, pressing the <right arrow> key will move the cursor to the right one character.

To Move One Word at a Time

To move the cursor one word at a time press C and an arrow key r or l .

To Move to the Beginning or End of a Line

If you want to move the cursor all the way to the LEFT of the screen skipping many words, just press h l . Pressing h r moves the cursor all the way to the RIGHT of the screen.

To Move Up or Down One Screen at a Time

The cursor can be moved forward or backward a whole screen at a time (24 lines). In a longer document this is a much faster way of moving the cursor. h t will move the cursor 24 lines toward the beginning of the text; h b will move the cursor 24 lines toward the end of the text.

To Move a Page at a Time

If you write a document which is several pages long, you can move the cursor one page at a time through the document by pressing the d key or the u key on the keypad.

To Move to the Beginning or End of Text

To move quickly all the way to the beginning of the document, press the h h t keys. Press the h h b keys to move quickly to the end of your document.

WordPerfect Cursor Movements


Go To C h

Word Left C l

Word Right C r

Screen Left h l

Screen Right h r

Screen Up - (on num keypad) or

h t

Screen Down + (on num keypad) or

h b

Page Up u

Page Down d

Beginning of Text and Codes h h h t

Beginning of Text h h t

End of Text h h b

Beginning of Line (text) h h l

Beginning of Line (codes) h h h l

End of Line e or h r

When more than one key is indicated, tap the keys sequentially; one key, the next key, the next key .

How to Make Corrections

Correction Methods

Corrections can be made in several ways. One letter or one word at a time may be deleted. Several words or even several pages at a time may be deleted. Words or sentences or paragraphs may be moved around on your paper. There are two ways to delete one character at a time. A different key is used with each method.

The Back Space Key

The BACK SPACE key Y is at the top right side of the main keyboard above the R key. Pressing this key deletes the character to the LEFT of the cursor.

The Delete Key

The D key on the num keypad OR the D key on the middle keypad will delete the character on which the cursor is located. C D will delete a word, and C e will delete to the end of the line.

How to Save a File

In order to work on the same text more than once, you must SAVE your text. Saving a text (or file) means writing it onto the large system disk so that you may work on it again. There are two ways of saving text.

The Save Key

One method of saving text is to press the <SAVE> 0 key. If this is the first time that you have saved your file, you will be asked for a name for your file. There should be no spaces in the name of a file. There are two parts to a name for a computer file; the "Name" and the "Type." These two parts are divided by a period.

The first part of the name must begin with a letter of the alphabet and must be no longer than eight characters.

The second part of the name should be a descriptive abbreviation about the type of file. TXT or PAP or DOC would be good type names for a filename. Some examples of filenames are CHAP1.WP5, CHAUCER.WPDOC, MACBETH.WP5. The second part of the name must be no longer than 3 characters.

The Exit Key

The other way of saving a file is to press the <EXIT> key 7 . This give you a chance to save your file on the disk as you exit your document.

Working on an Existing File

To work on an existing file, press the RETRIEVE key ( <GREEN> 0 ) and type in the name of the document or press the <LIST FILES> ( 5 ) key, press R , and see a list of your documents. Use the arrow keys to highlight the document you want to retrieve and then choose the SELECT or Retrieve option (1) from the menu (a selection of choices) at the bottom of the screen. Always clear the screen by exiting your document before retrieving another file.

Note:There are options other than SELECT on the List Files menu which you may want to use. These are:

DELETE Delete a document

MOVE/RENAME Rename a document

PRINT Print a document

DISPLAY OPTIONS Different ways of displaying List Files

LOOK Look document to see if it is the correct document to retrieve

OTHER DIRECTORYChange the directory on which you are working. Create a new directory by typing a new directory name.

COPY Copy a file to a file with another name. This will allow you to have two copies of the same file.

WORD SEARCH Display all the files in which a particular word appears

PURGE Purge the files in your directory

NAME SEARCH Search for the name of a file

How to Print a File

To Print

The big moment has arrived and you are ready to print your document. To do this press the PRINT key ( <GREEN> 7 ). A menu of options will be displayed on the screen. Following are explanations of these options.

Full DocumentNormally this is the option you will choose. The entire paper will be printed. Press 1 to print your entire paper.

Page Print the page on which the cursor presently resides. Sometimes after printing the entire paper, a few changes are made and only one or two pages need to be printed. Type 2 to print the page on which the cursor is located.

Multiple PagesIf you wish to print several pages select this option. You will be prompted for page numbers. To print from page 3 to the end of the paper type 3- . To print from the beginning of the paper TO page 3 type -3 . To print pages 3,5, 7-9, type 3,5,7-9

Options Read about these options in the manual.

View DocumentYou can see on the screen what the file will look like on paper.

How to Exit WordPerfect

To Exit

When you are finished working on your document, exit WordPerfect by pressing the EXIT key ( 7 ), type Y to save your document, andthen type Y to exit WordPerfect. After you save your file more than once, you will be asked if you want to "replace" your file. This means, "do you want to keep the changes that you have just made?" Respond by typing Y for Yes.

Feature Keys

The important thing to remember when you are using the feature keys is that the settings which you make take effect from the point at which the cursor is located to the end of the paper or until another similar change is made. For instance, if you want to make changes for margins, spacing, fonts, etc. for the entire paper, be sure to return to the beginning of the paper before you use the feature keys and make these changes. If you make margin changes on page three of your text, that is where the margin changes will begin to take effect.

Line Spacing

To change spacing distance between lines (i.e., single space or double space), press the <GREEN> <FORMAT> key and then 1 for Line. Next type 6 to choose the spacing feature. If you want your paper to be double spaced, type in the number 2; for a line and a half spacing type, 1.5, etc. (Not every printer will print half spaces). Pressing R or <EXIT> will return you to your document.


The <GREEN> <FORMAT> key is also used to change the margins. Select L on the <FORMAT> menu and then 7 to select Left/Right margins. The default margins are 1" on both sides of your document. Type in a number in inches for the left margin, press R and then type in a number in inches for the right margin. You may type in a portion of an inch. For instance, if you want to have a narrower margin, type .75 for the left margin and it will be 3/4 of an inch. If you type in 0 for your margin size, WP will default to the smallest size possible.

To change the top and bottom margins, select P for Page on the Format menu and then 5 to select Top/Bottom margins.


Another useful feature is the <UNDERLINE> feature. If you have not typed in the text which you wish to have underlined, just press the <UNDERLINE> key, type in the text which you wish to be underlined, and then press the <UNDERLINE> key again. The first time you press the <UNDERLINE> key the underline feature is turned ON; the second time you press the <UNDERLINE> key, the underline feature is turned OFF.


The <BOLD> key works in the same manner. Just press the <BOLD> key which is the <BOLD> key once, type in the text which you want to be in bold type, and then press the <BOLD> key a second time.

Note:it is possible to use the BOLD and UNDERLINE keys at the same time by pressing both keys before you start to type the text which you want bold and underlined. Be sure to press both when you are finished.


If you have already typed in the text which you wish to become bold or underlined (or both), then you must use a third feature, the <BLOCK> feature which highlights the text you are going to bold or underline. Move the cursor to the beginning or end of the text which you wish to become bold or underlined, press the <SELECT> key or the <BLOCK> key. Notice the phrase " Block On " on the left side of the status line. Move the cursor to the other end of the desired area (you will notice that the text is now highlighted) and then press <BOLD> or <UNDERLINE>.

Note:the BLOCK feature may be used in the same way as in the previous paragraph with the following commands:

As you can see the BLOCK feature is very useful. Select the text first and then press the feature key. With some features the " Block On " message will remain on the status line after completing the block operation. Press <CANCEL> ( 1 ) to turn off the BLOCK feature.

If you change your mind and don't want to block anything, to turn off the block feature, press the <BLOCK> key again. Press it once to turn it on and press it again to turn it off.


The MOVE feature allows you to move a section of text to a different location in your file. Press the <RED> <MOVE> key and the MOVE MENU will be displayed across the bottom of the screen. You can move a sentence, paragraph, or page by selecting the appropriate number.

Next, you will see at the lower left of the screen another menu which gives you the choice of CUT or COPY. If you choose CUT, the portion will be removed from the screen and the file will be saved temporarily. The COPY selection temporarily saves the portion of text but leaves the text on the screen.

Next, move the cursor to where you wish to retrieve your cut or copied text and press R . Your text will be restored.

If you wish to MOVE a section of text OTHER than a sentence, paragraph, or page, you must BLOCK the text first (it will be highlighted) and then press the <RED> <MOVE> key. Choose 1 to move your block. Next, move the cursor to the location in your document where you want to retrieve the block of text. Press R and your text will be restored.


To CENTER a title or other text press the <CENTER> key, the cursor will jump to the middle of the screen, and then type in the title or text which you wish to be centered. Press R to end the centering. If you want to center text which is already typed in, BLOCK the text first and then press the <CENTER> key.

Flush Right

The <FLUSH RIGHT> key works the same as the <CENTER> key. FLUSH RIGHT means the text will be printed at the far right of the screen. Press <BLUE> <FLUSH RIGHT> and type in the text which you wish to be placed at the right side of the line. If th text is already typed in, position the cursor on the first letter of the text and press <BLUE> <FLUSH RIGHT> .


The <DATE/OUTLINE> key is useful for dating letters and papers. It prints the date automatically for you. Press the <GREEN> <DATE/OUTLINE> key, select option 1 and the date appears on the screen! You have the option of changing the format of the date by choosing option Date Format on the Date Menu.

Reveal Codes

The <REVEAL CODES> key allows you to see the control codes which determine how your text will look on the printed page. It is especially helpful with solving print formatting problems. Press the <REVEAL CODES> key and see all of the hidden feature codes. Use the CURSOR MOVEMENT keys and D key to edit the Reveal Codes screen as you would on the normal screen. To exit Reveal Codes and return to the normal screen without reveal codes, press the <EXIT> key.

Footnotes and Endnotes

All of the features for footnotes and endnotes are enacted from the footnote menu. The menu choices are Footnote, Endnote, Endnote Placement. There are submenus further explaining the functions of the top three options.

To Create a Footnote

Footnotes are created by pressing the <RED> <FOOTNOTE> key to get the footnote menu and then choosing option Footnote. Type in the text of your footnote. A footnote may be up to 16,000 lines! The lines are split, beginning on the page the footnote starts and continuing on subsequent pages if necessary. You may choose the number of lines you want on each page by selecting the Option Menu. When you are finished creating your footnote, press <EXIT> to return to the regular text. You may see the first 50 characters of your footnotes by pressing the <REVEAL CODES> key and placing the cursor ON the footnote number.

To Edit a Footnote

You may change or EDIT a footnote by choosing option Edit after pressing the <RED> <FOOTNOTE> key. The number of the next footnote will appear on the lower left corner of the screen. If this is the footnote which you wish to edit, then press <ENTER>. If you wish to edit a footnote with a number other than that which is on the screen, then type in the number of the desired footnote. The word processor will take you to this footnote (This is a good way to travel around a long document!).

To Change the Number of a Footnote

The purpose of option 3 in the FOOTNOTE MENU is to allow you to start the footnotes in the document at a number other than 1 or you could change the number to 1 at the beginning of a new chapter. This is useful when beginning a new chapter of a manuscript.

Footnote Options

It is possible to design a specific style for your footnotes. There are approximately one dozen options which you may select, ranging from the number of lines a footnote should contain to changing the symbol which precedes the footnote. More about this option may be read in the WordPerfect manual.


Press <RED> <FOOTNOTE> and choose the Endnote option. Then choose Create. An endnote may be up to 16,000 lines. The procedure for creating and editing endnotes is basically the same as those for creating and editing footnotes.

To Delete a Note

You may delete an endnote or footnote by using the <BACKSPACE> key when it is positioned right after the footnote number which is located in the document (not the number in the actual note).

To Change Margins in Notes

If you change the margins after you have typed in footnotes or endnotes, the margins of the footnotes do not automatically change. To set the margins for the entire document, the initial codes in the <GREEN> <FORMAT> , Document , menu. Press <GREEN> <FORMAT> , Line , Margins , and type in the width of the margins you wish to have.

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