WordPerfect for DOS Updated | Site Map | Search | Troubleshooting Guide | Feedback | Voluntary Contributions | FAQ

WPDOS: A Chronology of Versions

Chronology | Version identification | Features added to WPDOS 5.1+ and 6.2 | Novell vs. Corel WPDOS 6.1 on CD | Notes on WPDOS 6.x versions | Notes on WPDOS 4.x and 5.x versions | WPDOS 3.0 keyboard commands | A note on Corel WordPerfect Suite 7Home page

A chronology of WordPerfect versions

This is a brief chronology of WordPerfect (through the last of the 16-bit DOS and Windows versions) compiled from various sources. Dates are shipping dates for the U.S. English version, not "introduction" dates when the software was first announced; versions in other countries or languages typically appeared during the first six months after the release of the U.S. version.  Corrections and additions will be welcome. Please let me know of dead links so that I can try to find the site at archive.org.

The symbol --> is a link to a later or derivative version of the same program; these links are supplied for some programs but not all.

For a brief history of the WordPerfect macro language, with much other fascinating inside information on the history of WordPerfect, see J. Dan Broadhead's Birth and History of PerfectScript; macro programmers should study the rest of his PerfectScript site.

A collection of WordPerfect splash screens is available on a site devoted to user interfaces.

Notes:  A history of WordPerfect Corporation, Almost Perfect, by W. E. "Pete" Peterson, was published in book form in 1993. A history of the WordPerfect Office family (and its successor, GroupWise) was formerly found on the Novell web site; the link leads to an archived version. Some early products have not been dated below, among them SSI*Legal (a legal time and billing system).
    For glimpses of the later history of WordPerfect see this fascinating thread at WordPerfect Universe.
    For interesting perspectives on the history of WordPerfect from Microsoft's perspective, see some fascinating postings on various Microsoft-based blog sites, especially one by Chris Pratley on the history of Microsoft Word, one by Rich Schaut on the effect of WP on the development of Word for the Mac, and one by Jeremy Mazner on the fate of Word-WP converters.


September 1979: Satellite Software International incorporated in Utah


March 1980: SSI*WP for Data General minicomputers (price: US$5,500 per copy)


[month?] 1982:  SSI*WP 2.0 for Data General minicomputers (later WordPerfect versions were also released for Data General, but the dates are unknown)

October 1982: P-Edit for DOS (programmer's editor; later evolved into the Editor program in WordPerfect Library and WordPerfect Office)

26 November 1982: WordPerfect 2.20 for the IBM PC; followed by mid-1983 by versions 2.21, 2.23, and 2.24 (apparently changed only by the addition of new printer drivers?) and by late 1983 by version 2.30A --> -->


Early 1983: SSI*Forth for DOS (a version of the Forth programming language)

June 1983: Personal WordPerfect for DOS (reduced version of WordPerfect 2.2x)

October 1983: WordPerfect 3.0 for DOS --> -->

Note: When running WPDOS 3.0 for the first time, enter  "wp/s" (no space; not "wp /s") for a setup menu. Inside the program, Alt-+ or Alt-= brings up the Exit menu, Alt-1 (not Alt-F1) is the Cancel key, and Shift-F3 provides help for the next key you press, but does not provide a keyboard map. See the separate list of WPDOS 3.0 keyboard commands below.

November 1983: WordPerfect for the DEC Rainbow 100


c. March 1984: WordPerfect Jr. for DOS and the IBM PCJr. (replaces Personal WordPerfect for DOS; reduced version of WordPerfect for DOS 3.0) -->

c. March 1984: WordPerfect for DOS Limited Edition (reduced version sold through bookstores and mass merchandisers)

c. July 1984: SSI*Data for DOS (originally announced under the name DataPath; later evolved into DataPerfect) -->

c July 1984: MathPlan Jr. for DOS (preceded full version of MathPlan) -->

November 1984: WordPerfect 4.0 for DOS (followed by at least one interim release dated 8 March 1985)  --> -->

Note: When running WPDOS 4.0 for the first time, enter  "wp/s" or  "wp /s" for a setup menu.


? 1985: WordPerfect 1.0 for Apple IIe/IIc (followed by version 1.1 in October 1986 and interim release dated 21 January 1988; now freely downloadable) -->

c. June 1985: WordPerfect Sorter (apparently an add-on for WPDOS 4.0, used for selective merges and other functions; I have no further information)

July 1985: MathPlan 2.1 for DOS (at some point evolved into PlanPerfect 2.11 for Data General, with one release dated 23 September 1987) -->

October 1985: WordPerfect 4.1 for DOS; reduced version released as Personal WordPerfect 4.1, with an interim release dated 23 April 1987 --> -->

Note: When running WPDOS 4.1 for the first time, enter  "wp/s" or  "wp /s" for a setup menu.


23 April 1986: Jr. WordPerfect 4.0 (also called "WordPerfect Jr." and "Junior WordPerfect"; reduced version of WordPerfect 4.0)

May 1986:  Satellite Software International changes its name to WordPerfect Corporation

9 July 1986: WordPerfect Library 1.0 for DOS (Shell and other utility programs, with a game called The Beast); followed (?May 1987) by version 1.1

23 July 1986: Student WordPerfect 4.1 for DOS (reduced version of WordPerfect 4.1)

26 October 1986: WordPerfect 4.2 for DOS (originally intended as an upgrade of 4.1 for the legal market, but released as a replacement product); followed by at least two interim releases dated 1 May 1987 and 10 July 1987; a faster version with the same version number was dated 8 September 1987; final interim release 15 December 1988 -->

Note: When running WPDOS 4.2 for the first time, enter  "wp/s" or  "wp /s" for a setup menu.

December 1986: WordPerfect 2.0 for Apple IIgs (followed by version 2.1, dated perhaps 26 April 1989; final version was 2.1e; now freely downloadable)


February 1987: WordPerfect Library 1.0 for Data General minicomputers (Shell and other utility programs)

February 1987: WordPerfect 4.1(?) for DEC VAX/VMS (first version for VAX)

March 1987: MathPlan 3.0 for DOS; later renamed PlanPerfect 3.0, with an interim release 14 July 1988 -->

June 1987: WordPerfect Executive for DOS (subset of WordPerfect 4.2, MathPlan, and WordPerfect Library); interim releases 16 September 1987, 5 June 1990, perhaps others; version for the Poqet PC shipped 21 December 1990

July 1987:  WordPerfect 4.1 for the Amiga; followed by versions 4.1.8 (?15 April 1988), 4.1.9 (10 August 1988), 4.1.11 (29 September 1989), and 4.1.12 (?January 1991); a 5.0 version was alpha-tested but not released

October 1987: WordPerfect 4.1 for the Atari ST; followed by interim releases dated 25 March 1988, 15 April 1988,  early 1989, ? October 1989, ? July 1990, 1 November 1990, 18 April 1991; development on a 5.0 version was dropped in 1991 when Atari Germany canceled an order for a large number of copies; a detailed review may be of interest.


January 1988: WordPerfect 4.2 for DEC VAX/VMS

January 1988: WordPerfect 4.2 for Data General minicomputers; final release was 4.2.19 in mid-1990

February 1988: DataPerfect 2.0 for DOS; followed by an interim release dated 8 February 1989 -->

March 1988: WordPerfect 4.2 for AT&T 3B2 Unix and for NCR Tower 32 Unix (a total of 13 ports had been released by January 1989)

April 1988: WordPerfect 1.0 for the Macintosh (originally announced for May 1987); copies dated 5 April 1988 were recalled after release, and replaced by copies dated 26 April 1988; followed by version 1.0.1 in August 1988, 1.0.2 on 17 February 1989, 1.0.3 on 24 October 1989, possibly 1.0.4, 1.0.5 on 14 May 1990, and reportedly 1.0.6 and 1.0.7

May 1988: WordPerfect ALL-IN-1 integration package for VAX (a version of WordPerfect that integrates with the Dec's ALL-IN-1 software); followed by an update in December 1988

May 1988: WordPerfect Office for the VAX

May 1988: WordPerfect Library 1.0 for the Amiga (includes Amiga version of P-Edit text editor); interim release dated 10 August 1988; followed by version 1.1

5 May 1988: WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS; first maintenance release included printer disks dated 1 July 1988 and program and some other disks dated 11 July 1988 (network version ships 8 July 1988) -->

Note: WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS version dates (US): 5 May 1988, 1 July 1988, 7 July 1988, 11 July 1988, 16 September 1988, 23 September 1988, 7 October 1988, 15 November 1988, 3 January 1989, 29 April 1989, 12 June 1989, 19 December 1989, 30 January 1990, 22 February 1990, 30 May 1990

28 June 1988: WordPerfect Library 2.0 for DOS (WordPerfect Library Shell was also packaged separately but perhaps only included in other packages and not separately sold; one separate Shell package reportedly has the version number 2.1); interim releases included one dated 17 February 1989; the full Library package continued to be sold separately after evolving into the networked version WordPerfect Office 2.0 -->

Summer 1988: WordPerfect 4.2 for SCO Xenix and Microport Unix

8 August 1988: WordPerfect Office 2.0 for DOS LANs (based on WordPerfect Library, but with e-mail and group scheduling); updated by interim releases 11 July 1989, 14 August 1989 -->

September 1988: WordPerfect 4.2 for DEC Ultrix, Pyramid Technology Unix, and for Sun 3

November 1988: WordPerfect 4.2 for IBM 370 Systems; later maintenance releases enhanced printing capabilities

December 1988: WordPerfect 4.2 for AIX, Motorola 8000 Unix, and HP 9000 (eventually around thirty 4.2 versions for Unix become available; the IBM 370 version was released November 1989)


early 1989: PlanPerfect 3.0 for DEC VAX/VMS

early 1989: WordPerfect Office for Data General

30 March 1989: WordPerfect 5.0 for OS/2; interim release 7 February 1990

21 June 1989: WordPerfect Office for Unix systems (also for Xenix 386; same as Office 2.0 for DOS but without scheduler)

August 1989: PlanPerfect 5.0 for DOS; interim releases include 20 August 1990 (no version 4.x was released) -->

November 1989: WordPerfect 5.0 for DEC VAX/VMS; for Data General, around February 1991

November 1989: WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS (also released by late 1991 for Data General)--> -->

Note: WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS version dates (US): 6 November 1989, 19 January 1990, (possibly 7 February 1990?), 30 March 1990, 29 June 1990, (possibly 29 June 1990?), 20 August 1990, 31 December 1990, 31 May 1991, (possibly 25 July 1991?), 25 September 1991, 19 February 1992, 9 March 1992. An English-Hebrew version (with optional right-to-left keyboard entry) was issued 31 July 1992 and updated, with apparently the final version dated 22 September 1993. Separately-available Hebrew and Arabic language modules also added the ability to enter right-to-left text; the Hebrew module was first released in March 1992; interim release 31 July 1992. A version of 5.1 for the Poquet PC was released around January 1991


16 January 1990: DataPerfect 2.1 for DOS -->

7 February 1990: DrawPerfect 1.0 for DOS; followed in June by version 1.1, with interim releases of 1.1 in October 1990 and 18 January 1991-->

around March 1990: WordPerfect Office 2.0 for UNIX (SCO Xenix, AT&T 3B2, NCR Tower 32)

30 March 1990: WordPerfect 5.0 for Unix (SCO Unix and Xenix 386; SPARC Unix version released November 1990; eventually around 15 5.0 versions for Unix are available; some updated versions are dated 17 May 1991; a version for UNIX NCR Tower was released around July 1991.

14 June 1990: WordPerfect Office 3.0 for LANs (utility suite with networking, group scheduling, and e-mail in LAN versions, with multi-server support; first released for DOS, including Shell and other DOS utilities, with interim release 3.01, dated 19 April 1991; then for UNIX [April 1991, followed by 3.02 in December 1991], Macintosh [as 3.01, 18 July 1991, 3.0.3, 6 May 1992], and Data General), interim releases 16 July 1991 and others; Shell 3.01 and Editor 3.01 were released separately around June 1991 (minor interim release of both, 31 January 1992) -->

28 June 1990: PlanPerfect 5.1 for DOS (interim releases, 27 July 1990 [possibly the UK version of the initial US release], 21 February 1991, possibly 3 April 1991, 7 October 1991, and possibly others; no further versions; spreadsheet functions added instead to WordPerfect 6.0)

16 July 1990: LetterPerfect 1.0 for DOS (reduced version of WordPerfect 5.1 for laptops); followed by interim releases dated 1 November 1990, 29 March 1991, and 18 June 1991, and with updated printer disk 12 February 1993; repackaged (with the same program code) in the WordPerfect Main Street series, April 1994

26 July 1990: WordPerfect Rhymer 1.0 for DOS (memory-resident rhyme-finding software)

October 1990: WordPerfect 4.2 for IBM System 370

8 October 1990: Screen Font Editor


January 1991: WordPerfect 1.0 for NeXT Computers (for Motorola-based machines; roughly equivalent to a graphics-based WPDOS 5.0); followed by version 1.0.1 (June 1991), and by interim releases dated 16 September 1991, 23 March 1992 (as evidenced by this screen image), 25 September 1992, 25 March 1993 (adds support for Intel processors and NeXT 3.0-based features such as drag-and-drop graphics and text and integrated help), 10 June 1993 (shipped 17 June 1993), January 1994 (reportedly; after announcing an end to further development), and 18 March 1994 (apparently shipped 25 May 1994). A screen shot of a beta version of the program shows a date of 11 October 1990 and a version number 1.0β (1.0 beta). For a description, see this review in InfoWorld magazine. For a VMware virtual machine that runs OpenStep (the successor to the NeXTSTEP operating system) and includes a copy of WordPerfect for NeXTSTEP, download this 300MB archive.

Note: The January 1991 release date is attested by an article in the Deseret News, 17 January 1991. Otherwise, the earliest descriptions in the press seem to be those about version 1.0.1.

around January 1991: DataPerfect 2.2; interim releases include 25 July 1991, 25 November 1991

14 January 1991: WordPerfect 2.0 for the Macintosh; followed by versions 2.0.1 (15 March 1991), 2.0.2, and 2.0.3 (23 August 1991)

4 November 1991: WordPerfect 5.1 for Windows (perhaps not shipped until January 1992?); followed by interim release dated 30 April 1992); also a Japanese version 5.1J for Windows 3.1J -->


27 January 1992: WordPerfect 2.1 for the Macintosh; followed by versions 2.1.1, 2.1.2 (7 July 1992), and 2.1.3 (2 March 1993, includes Grammatik 5); also a Japanese-localized version 2.2J (25 November 1992); and, apparently, a version called WordPerfect 2.2 Chinese (Simplified).

January 1992: WordPerfect Office 3.1 for LANs (adds support for VMS; Windows e-mail client support added through WordPerfect Mail for Windows, March 1992) -->

March 1992: ConvertPerfect 1.0 (DOS-based program for converting documents to and from WPDOS 5.1 format); interim release, late 1992

March 1992: WordPerfect Works 1.0 for DOS (disks dated 20 March 1992; replacement for WordPerfect Executive; includes LetterPerfect); repackaged (apparently with the same program code) in the WordPerfect Main Street series, April 1994

March 1992: WordPerfect Mail for Windows (e-mail to coordinate with non-Windows versions of Office, while WP considers a full Windows version of Office)

19 March 1992: WordPerfect 5.1J, a Japanese version supporting two-byte characters; first released for the NEC PC-9800; for Toshiba J-3100, 5 August 1992; DOS/V, 10 August 1992; and IBM Japan PS/55 (a front-end processor translates phonetically-entered text into Japanese characters; support for existing front-end processors also included; an Attached Text feature attaches phonetic readings to Japanese characters; supports horizontal and vertical printing)

June 1992: LetterPerfect 2.1 for the Macintosh (reduced version of WordPerfect 2.1 for the Macintosh; either updated or originally issued as 2.1.2?

4 July 1992: WordPerfect 5.1 for UNIX (graphics-based; by December 1992 released for SPARC, HP 9000, DG AViiON, SCO Unix, SCO Xenix, IBM AIX RS/6000, and Ultrix, with updates through at least 1993)

18 November 1992: WordPerfect Presentations 2.0 for DOS (upgrade of DrawPerfect); disks dated 12 November 1992, quickly replaced by disks dated 14 November 1992; followed by interim release dated 9 April 1993 -->

30 November 1992: WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows (includes Grammatik 5 grammar-checker); followed by interim releases dated 23 April 1993 and 30 May 1993 (revised shared code); also a localized Japanese version 5.2J for Windows 3.1J, perhaps in February 1994 --> -->


6 January 1993: WordPerfect Works 1.2 for the Macintosh (based on the BeagleWorks integrated software suite, acquired by WordPerfect Corporation in October 1992; apparently does not read WordPerfect files); followed by an interim release 1.2.1 dated 29 June 1993, and apparently a version 1.3 (and possibly version 2.0?); repackaged (?with the same program code) in the WordPerfect Main Street series, April 1994

Note: 6 January 1993: WordPerfect acquires Reference Software International, author of the Grammatik 5 grammar-checking software already included in some WordPerfect versions.

February 1993: DataPerfect 2.3 for DOS; followed by version 2.3a, dated 1 September 1993; version 2.3b dated 19 August 1994 (final packaged Novell release); followed by online updates to version 2.3c, with interim releases on 28 August 1996, 24 November 1996

March 1993: WordPerfect IntelliTag 1.0 for Unix (for Sun OS; converts WP 5.1 documents into SGML; first announced as WordPerfect MarkUp); followed by version 1.2 in March 1994

11 May 1993: Borland Office for Windows (includes WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows, Quattro Pro 1.0 for Windows and Paradox 1.0 for Windows) -->

1 June 1993: WordPerfect 6.0 for DOS (quickly followed by releases dated 2 and 3 June 1993) -->

4 June 1993: WordPerfect Office 4.0 for LANs (includes Windows and, later, OS/2 support); interim release version 4.0a dated 15 October 1993; WordPerfect Office Remote add-on module for mobile users released February 1994 (Windows version first?); full package renamed GroupWise 4.1 when a new version is released by Novell on 30 August 1994

20 July 1993: WordPerfect InForms 1.0 for Windows (form-filling software); followed by version 1.0a dated 14 February 1994, and version 1.0b, mid-1994; version 1.1 was later released by Novell (InForms was conceived as a tablet-based application to replace PenPerfect, demonstrated October 1991, which had been designed for the GO Corp. PenPoint operating system, but was never released).

16 July 1993: WordPerfect Presentations 2.0 for Windows (first Windows version)

26 July 1993: WordPerfect 5.2 for OS/2, followed by an interim release dated 13 December 1993

26 July 1993: WordPerfect IntelliTag 1.0 for DOS; followed by version 1.2 in March 1994

October 1993: WordPerfect 3.0 for the Power Macintosh, followed by version 3.0a; also a Japanese-localized version 3.0J (2 August 1994)

13 September 1993: WordPerfect 6.0a for DOS -->

1 October 1993: WordPerfect 6.0 for Windows, followed by a localized Japanese version 6.0J -->

December 1993: WordPerfect Corporation drops plans for WP 6.0 for OS/2


January 1994: Borland Office 2.0 for Windows (includes WordPerfect 6.0 for Windows, Paradox 4.5 for Windows, and Quattro Pro 5.0 for Windows) -->

23 February 1994: WordPerfect 6.0b for DOS (includes Shell 4.0); files dated 14 and 15 February 1994, followed by an interim release dated 6 October 1994 -->

21 March 1994: WordPerfect 5.1+ for DOS (5.1 Plus; followed a rerelease by Corel, 15 May 1996) (see the note on versions below)

25 March 1994: ConvertPerfect 2.0 (this is the date of 2.0b; later releases include 2.0d)

March 1994: WordPerfect Envoy for Windows (portable document format; licensed from Tumbleweed Software)

21 March 1994: Novell buys WordPerfect Corporation and acquires Quattro Pro and Paradox from Borland

25 April 1994: WordPerfect 6.0a for Windows (English-Canada release dated 5 May 1994) -->

11 April 1994: WordPerfect InfoCentral 1.0 for Windows (PIM); followed by version 1.1 and later versions; first of the "Main Street" line of home products (which also includes Grammatik 6, ExpressFax+, various children's programs and clip art disks, and repackaged editions of LetterPerfect 1.0, WordPerfect Works, WordPerfect Works for Macintosh, etc.)

13 June 1994: WordPerfect 6.0 for Unix (graphic-based version for SunOS, Solaris, and X Window System platforms; versions for SCO Unix, IBM RS/6000, and HP 9000 ship on 4 October 1994; UnixWare and AT&T Unix versions ship c. May 1995; SGI IRIX and SNI SINIX versions ship 14 June 1995; NCR 3000, MIPS ABI versions also announced); later graphic-based versions include WordPerfect 7 (1996 and 1997) and further versions not noted here

September 1994: WordPerfect 3.1 for the Macintosh, followed by a localized Japanese version 3.1J, probably in June 1995

5 October 1994: WordPerfect Works 2.0 for Windows (first Windows version of this product, ported from the Macintosh version)

3 October 1994: WordPerfect 5.2+ for Windows (minor enhancements to 5.2, can read 6.x files)

December 1994: WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows; followed by interim releases, the last of which was dated 25 March 1996 (and was included with Corel WordPerfect Suite for DOS); possibly (but not definitely) also a localized Japanese version 6.1J -->

15 December 1994: PerfectOffice 3.0 for Windows (replaces Borland Office; includes WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows, Quattro Pro 6.0 for Windows, Presentations 3.0 for Windows, Rhymer for Windows; Professional version includes Paradox 5.0 for Windows; updated as Corel WordPerfect Suite for Windows 3.1x on 8 May 1996 and as Corel Office Professional for Windows 3.1x in June 1996) -->

Note: Rhymer for Windows was later acquired by WriteExpress, and was eventually issued in a 32-bit version for Windows 95 and later as WriteExpress Rhymer


10 February 1995: WordPerfect 6.0c for DOS (files dated 5 December 1994; first WPDOS 6.x version in a Novell box) -->

June 1995: PerfectWorks 2.1 for Windows (renamed upgrade of WordPerfect Works 2.0 for Windows)

August 1995: WordPerfect 3.5 for the Macintosh; followed by version 3.5.1 (the last Novell version), and bug-fixes from Corel numbered 3.5.2, 3.5.3, and 3.5.4

September 1995: WordPerfect 6.1 for DOS; first release with files dated 8 August 1995, followed by an update patch released on 5 February 1996, and an interim release from Corel, 17 July 1996 -->

September 1995: WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows SGML Edition (includes Windows version of IntelliTag)

20 July 1995: WordPerfect 5.2+ for Unix (character-based version for eight Unix versions; ships on same CD with 6.0 graphic version); followed by later versions, including 1996 and 1997 releases of Corel WordPerfect 7C (character-based version based on the WPDOS 5.x code base)

13 November 1995: Novell PerfectWorks for Kids for Windows 95 (a graphics and writing program for children aged 4-10)


31 January 1996: Corel acquires WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, Paradox, and the PerfectOffice application suite from Novell (but Novell retains PerfectWorks and GroupWise)

April 1996: PerfectWorks 3.0 for Windows 95 (sold to Arkose Software in 1999 and renamed ArkoseWorks 3.0 before Arkose went out of business around 2001)

29 April 1996: WordPerfect 6.0 for Linux (ported by Caldera)

29 May 1996: Corel WordPerfect 7 Suite for Windows 95 (first 32-bit version, followed on 13 August 1996 by Corel Office Professional 7, with additional components; a mostly unrelated 16-bit product misleadingly named Corel WordPerfect 7 Suite for Windows 3.1x, which shipped in the following year, was a slightly modified version of PerfectOffice 3.0 which included a slightly updated WordPerfect for Windows 6.1)


February 1997:  Corel WordPerfect Suite for DOS (includes WordPerfect 6.2 for DOS, Presentations 2.1 for DOS, and WordPerfect 6.1 for Windows) Note: A detailed description of the suite may be found on Daniel's Legacy Computer Collections web site.

17 June 1997: Corel WordPerfect Suite 8 (32-bit version for Windows 95, followed by Corel WordPerfect Suite 8 Professional, with additional components)

25 August 1997: Corel WordPerfect 7 Suite for Windows 3.1x (slightly modified version of PerfectOffice 3.0; released more than a year after a different 32-bit package with a misleadingly similar name, Corel WordPerfect 7 Suite for Windows 95)

14 October 1997: Corel WordPerfect 3.5 for the Macintosh Enhancement Pack, also known as WordPerfect 3.5e for the Macintosh (or 3.5 Enhanced); this was originally intended to be version 4.0, but was sold on a CD as a replacement for 3.5.x; Corel released an updater patch in March 1998; this patch was incorporated in the freely downloadable version 3.5 Enhanced posted on Corel's web site in August 1999 and withdrawn in 2001 (and available through this site). An unofficial patch to improve compatibility with OS 8 and 9 (prepared privately by one of the developers) was made available in 2000.

Version identification from the document file header

You can identify the WP version that created a WP document by opening the document in a hex viewer. The identifying bytes (counting from 1 as the first byte in the file) are byte 10 (File Type), byte 11 (Major Version number), and byte 12 (Minor Version number).

WPDOS versions before 5.0 and WPMac versions before 2.0 do not have file headers that can be used for identifying the product version.

Byte 10 (File Type)

Byte 11 (Major Version)

Byte 12 (Minor Version) is 00 for the first release of WPMac 2.x and 3.x and for WPDOS 5.0 and 6.0. It is 01 for later releases of each of these versions, including WPDOS 6.2 and all versions of WordPerfect for Windows.

Features introduced in WPDOS 5.1+ and 6.2

Many visitors to this site ask if they should upgrade their copy of WordPerfect for DOS 5.1 to the final 5.1+ version (still legally available for sale) or if they should upgrade version 6.1 to the final 6.2 version (also legally available for sale). A list of the features added in each may help in your decision:

Features introduced in WPDOS 5.1+ (not in earlier versions of 5.1):

Features introduced in WPDOS 6.2 (not in 6.1):

If you already have a copy of WPDOS 6.2, consider applying the final 6.2 patch available elsewhere on this site (the patch does not convert 6.1 into 6.2; version 6.2 must be purchased separately).

Detailed information on the differences among various releases of WPDOS 5.1 and 6.x may be found in the enhancement lists issued by WordPerfect Corp. and in documents prepared by Richard Wood; links may be found elsewhere on this site.

Novell WPDOS 6.1 on CD and Corel WPDOS 6.1 on CD: a comparison

Richard Wood has prepared a list of the differences between the Novell release of WordPerfect for DOS 6.1 on CD and the Corel release of WordPerfect for DOS 6.1 on CD (do not confuse this with the Corel CD that contains the "Corel WordPerfect Suite" version 6.1, which contains WordPerfect for Windows only, not WPDOS). Both the Novell and Corel versions are to be found on eBay, but the Novell version appears far more often. Most of the files on the Novell disk are dated 8 August 1995, most of those on the Corel disk are dated 17 July 1996. The Corel version of WPDOS includes minor improvements and bug-fixes, many (perhaps all) of which can be applied to earlier versions by applying the WPDOS 6.1 update patch available from Corel's web site (this patch should not be applied to the Corel version of the program). Other significant differences include these:

If you already have the Corel version, the Novell disk may be worth having for the sake of the on-line Folio Infobase version of the manual.

Some notes on WPDOS 6.x versions

Richard Wood has prepared detailed notes on the differences among all versions of WordPerfect for DOS 6.0, 6.0a, 6.0b, 6.0c, 6.1, and 6.2. These notes may be found in this PDF document WP6XCHMN.pdf. (An updated and greatly enlarged version of this document was updated on 30 October 2004.)

Some notes on WPDOS 4.x and 5.x versions

The WordPefect 5.1 manual seems to have gone through at least three different editions; the last has the date 3/94 on the back cover and ends (with the last page of the index) on p. 1029. Earlier editions have fewer pages. Corel reissued this last version (in two volumes) in its 1996 boxed version of Corel WordPefect 5.1+, but the Corel manual makes no refernence to features added or changed in the 5.1+ version that were not in the 5.1 version.

Richard Wood has prepared detailed notes on the differences between WordPerfect for DOS 5.0 and 5.1, and on the differences among the WordPerfect Corp, full Corel, and academic Corel versions of WordPerfect for DOS 5.1+. These notes may be found in two PDF documents:  WP50vs51.pdf and WP51PLUS.pdf (both revised 11 July 2004).

Differences among the interim updates of WordPerfect for DOS 5.1 (not the Plus) version are documented in a WordPerfect Corporation file contained within this self-extracting archive that may be downloaded from Corel's web site. Alternatively, you may read PDF files prepared from the contents of the archive in these three files: WP51ENHA.pdf, WP51DOCU.pdf, and WP51WKBK.pdf.

Richard Wood has also prepared notes on the differences among WPDOS 4.x versions; see this WP4X.PDF PDF file (Adobe Reader required).

Keyboard commands in WPDOS 3.0

This list was generously provided by Brett Matthews; documentation for older WPDOS versions is extremely hard to find. The Alt-number and Ctrl-alphanumeric commands also work in WPDOS 4.x and 5.x.

A note on Corel WordPerfect Suite 7

This section has been moved to a separate page about older WordPerfect for Windows versions.

Home Page At Columbia Site Map