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Customize the WPDOS Desktop Shortcut

About this page | The General tab | The Program tab | The Font tab | The Memory tab | The Screen tab | The Misc Tab | The Compatibility tab | Other tabs | Home page

About this page

The instructions on this page apply to 32-bit Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8 only. If you recently bought a Windows 7 or 8 computer, you almost certainly have 64-bit Windows, and should ignore this page entirely!

The key to all improvements in performance and compatibility for WPDOS under Windows is the desktop or start-menu shortcut from which you run WPDOS. (Help! What's a shortcut?) If you do not already have a desktop shortcut for WPDOS, follow the procedure for creating a WPDOS shortcut outlined elsewhere on this site.

Follow these steps to modify your WPDOS desktop shortcut. Right-click on the shortcut (Wait! What exactly does "right-click" mean?), and, from the pop-up menu, choose Properties. This brings up the Windows properties sheet for the program. (You can also modify the Properties sheet by selecting the shortcut and pressing Alt-Enter.) Modify the properties sheet as described in the following paragraphs.

Note that you can copy your shortcut and paste it elsewhere on the desktop, in case you want to create multiple shortcuts with different working directories, command-line switches, or other options.

Important explanation: When you modify a shortcut, you are modifying a Windows .PIF file (Program Information File). In Windows Explorer, the ".PIF" extension is never visible; you only see (for example) WP, not WP.PIF, which is the actual name of the file. The .PIF extension does appear when you open a command prompt ("DOS window") and type DIR in the folder that contains the file.

Important note: If you launch WPDOS from a batch file or by some other method, instead of using a desktop or start-menu shortcut, then you can apply the same customizations by doing this: (1) find WP.COM or WP.EXE in Windows Explorer; (2) right-click on WP.COM or WP.EXE and choose Properties; (3) follow exactly the same instructions that you find on the rest of this page.

See also the advice on maximizing memory in WPDOS on the main Windows page.

The General tab

The name shown in the field near the top of this tab is the name that appears in the title bar of the window that is launched by this shortcut. You can change this name to anything you choose; the name you choose is the same as the name of the shortcut on your desktop. If you change the name of the shortcut, the name shown here also changes.

Warning: If you change the name of the shortcut, and you use Tame, then any customization of Tame's display settings that you made while using this shortcut under its previous name will no longer be used, and you will need to create those customizations again.

Do not make any other changes on this tab.

The Program tab

Before using this tab, look in your WPDOS directory to see if you find a WP.EXE file (and no WP.COM file) or both a WP.COM and a WP.EXE file. If you are using a version version earlier than 5.1+ (in other words, plain 5.1, not 5.1 Plus), you will find only WP.EXE. If you find both WP.COM and WP.EXE, be sure to specify WP.COM (not WP.EXE) in the "Cmd" or "Cmd line" field as described below. If you have only WP.EXE, of course specify WP.EXE.

Technical note: WPDOS 5.1+ and later versions include a WP.COM file and a WP.EXE file. If you use WP.EXE, you will have very slightly more memory available for documents inside WP, but some WordPerfect features such as importing files and running certain macros may produce obscure error messages, and you will have much less memory available for DOS programs when you "Shell to DOS" or "Go to DOS" from WP. The use of WP.EXE may in some situations (I cannot predict which) make it impossible to run the WordPerfect Font Installer from inside WPDOS 6.x, although you can of course continue to use it as a separate program from the DOS prompt.

In the "Cmd" or "Cmd line" field, make sure to specify the full path of WP.COM, for example (and these are only examples; you must use the correct directory name on your system) C:\WP51\wp.com or C:\WP61\wp.com. (Help! What does a "full path" mean?) Do not use a network-style path that begins //servername/directoryname; only use a path with that begins with a drive letter and a colon.

Still in the "Cmd" or "Cmd line" field, add the /R switch after WP.COM. This loads the file WP.FIL into expanded (or for WPDOS6.x extended) memory, making the program run more quickly. (If, when you later launch WP, you see an error message that tells you that there is insufficient memory to use the /R switch, see the sections on other pages about creating expanded memory under Windows 95 or 98, or under Windows Me, or under Windows NT, 2000, or XP) (If you run WP from a batch file, and you are modifying a shortcut that runs the batch file, add the /R switch to the line in the batch file that runs WP, so that the line in the batch file reads something like  c:\wp61\wp /R  instead of simply c:\wp61\wp.)

Note: If you have a prehistorically ancient computer with only 2 MB or less of extended or expanded memory, you may want to experiment with the /R switch before using it permanently. The extended or expanded memory used by the /R switch is not available for storing large documents in RAM, printing graphics, previewing, spell-checking, hyphenation or for the Generate command. Large-scale merging reportedly is not speeded by use of the /R switch. (This note is adapted from material found elsewhere on the Internet; I have not tested these statements myself.)

For WPDOS 6.x, still in the "Cmd" field, add the /NS switch after WP.COM /R in order to turn off the sound capabilities of WPDOS, which will not work under Windows anyway; this switch avoids many obscure problems. (Again, if you run WP from a batch file, add the switch to the line in the batch file that runs WP.)

You may also add any other command-line switch that you use when running WordPerfect, as described on another page.

In the "Working" field, you must specify a directory, or else temporary files may appear on your Windows desktop; the WP document directory or the directory of WP itself are both good choices.

From the Run drop-down list, choose Maximized in order to make WP fill its window (without using scroll bars).

Choose "Close on exit" so that a DOS window will not be left open when you exit WP.

The "Batch file" field functions only under Windows 95, 98, or Me. If you are using Windows 95, 98, or Me, and you want to run TSRs or other programs (like CURSOR.COM or MODE MONO) before running WPDOS, create a batch file that lists these programs and enter its name in the "Batch file" field. You can run any program from this field, not only a batch file, so if you only want to run a single program (like CURSOR.COM) before running WPDOS, simply enter the program's name in the "Batch file" field. (Important note: the "Batch file" field has no effect under Windows NT, 2000, or XP; if you want to run a program before launching WPDOS under Windows NT, 2000, or XP, write a batch file and create a customized Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 32-bit Windows 7, or 32-bit Windows 8 shortcut for the batch file using the methods outlined elsewhere on this site.)

If your version of Windows has an Advanced button on the Program tab, click on it. If you find items labeled "Suggest MS-DOS mode as necessary" and "MS-DOS mode," clear any checkmarks that may be next to them. (These items only appear in some Windows versions; don't worry if you don't find them). Click OK to exit the Advanced Program Options dialog.

Note: Still in the Program tab, under Windows 95, 98, and Me only, is an option "Prevent MS-DOS-based programs from detecting Windows" (under an Advanced button in Windows 95 and 98, on the Program tab itself in Windows Me).You may want to experiment with adding a checkbox next to this item; a checkmark in the checkbox will prevent WPDOS from displaying the startup message, "LC: Windows Enhanced mode detected, Task Swap API disabled," but it may perhaps reduce stability and it prevents this site's Windows-clipboard macros from functioning.

You may want to click on the Change Icon button, if you have Windows 95, 98, or Me, enter the pathname C:\WINDOWS\MORICONS.DLL; if you have Windows NT, 2000, or XP, enter the pathname C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\MORICONS.DLL; and choose the WP icon; don't worry if Windows reports that it cannot find the Moricons.dll file; instead, you can use the WP icons available from this site, as described in the notes below:

Note 1: This site supplies some large-sized icons for use with Windows 7 or 8 later, as described on another page.

Note 2: WordPerfect Corporation created a set of custom Windows icons for WPDOS 6.x and related progams; these icons may or may not be available on your system. If you want to use them for your desktop WP icons, download this WPICON60.ICL file and store it in a convenient directory on your hard disk; the best choice is probably the same directory in which you store WP itself. To use these icons in a shortcut, follow the procedure described in the paragraph above, but navigate to WPICON60.ICL and select an icon from within that file.

The Font tab

Choose the font you find most legible. Your choice of font will apply only when WPDOS is run in a window; in full-screen mode WPDOS will use the font built into the hardware of your video card (unless you are using Tame, as you should be doing under Windows 2000 or XP).

The Memory tab

The defaults are usually adequate, but in Windows Me, you must change the Initial environment setting from "Auto" to any number (unless you are using the original, non-Plus, versions of WPDOS 5.1). Always leave "Auto" as the conventional memory setting; do not specify any number for conventional memory. Under extended and (if it is available on your system) expanded memory, if you specify "Auto" instead of a number, Windows will generally, but not always, allocate the maximum available amount; I recommend choosing the highest available number instead of using the "Auto" setting.

With WPDOS 5.1+ or 6.x, test the effect of various settings by starting WPDOS and using Alt-=/Help/WP Info in WordPerfect to see the amount of expanded and extended memory available to the program.

With the original WPDOS 5.1, press Ctrl-F1/Go to DOS, navigate to your WP51 directory, and run WPINFO.EXE; if you see one or more messages that look like "Not ready reading drive X", press F to make the message go away; and, when you exit the WPINFO program, enter Exit to return to WPDOS). 

WPDOS 5.1 and 5.1+ require expanded memory (EMS) to run efficiently; if the shortcut does not let you set expanded memory (EMS), see the instructions elsewhere on the main Windows page for enabling expanded memory under Windows 95 or 98, or under Windows Me, or under Windows NT, 2000, or XP. Windows 5.1 and 5.1+ do not need or use extended (XMS) memory.

If you are running WPDOS 6.x, you may be able to access as much as 64MB of extended (XMS) memory by specifying "Auto" for extended (XMS) memory and either specifying "None" for expanded (EMS) memory or using the /ne (no expanded memory) startup switch. (See a section on the main Windows page for details.) Note that WPDOS 6.x does not require expanded (EMS) memory, and will almost certainly run faster and more reliably if you use extended (XMS) memory instead.

Any settings on the Memory tab that are not discussed here should be left exactly as you find them. These other settings do not affect WPDOS.

The Screen tab

Under Windows NT, 2000 or XP, you may choose either Full-screen or Window mode, depending on which you prefer. and you may set the number of lines of text that you prefer to see in windowed mode. You can always switch between windowed and full-screen mode by pressing Alt-Enter while WordPerfect is running.

Under Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, you must choose Window mode, or Windows will prompt you every time you launch WordPerfect that full-screen mode is not supported.

Note: Under Windows 2000 or XP only, you can force full-screen text-mode WPDOS to start in 25-line mode  by following the instructions on this site's text mode survival guide.

The Misc tab

If the QuickEdit checkbox is accessible, add a checkmark if you want to be able to select text with the mouse (in window mode) and copy it to the Windows clipboard, or (in Win9x and Me only) choose Exclusive Mode if you want the mouse to move the WP mouse pointer when the WP window is active. (Although Win9x allows you to check both options, only Exclusive Mode will be active, and you will not be able to copy text from a WPDOS window to the Windows clipboard by dragging it with the mouse.) Note that in Windows NT, 2000, and XP, the WP mouse pointer and left mouse button are active only in full-screen mode, not in a command window (although the right mouse button works correctly in both full-screen mode and in a command window). The Exclusive Mode checkbox seems to have no effect on WPDOS in Windows NT, 2000, or XP.

The setting for the Idle Sensitivity slider depends on many factors. If you have installed Tame, then the Idle Sensitivity slider should already be at the far left, and should not be changed. If you do not use Tame, then you may need to experiment. Under Windows 95, 98, and Me, you should move the Idle Sensitivity slider all the way to the left; if you leave it at the center, complex macros may "stall." Under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7, the least bad setting for a system without Tame, and only for a system without Tame, will be somewhere in the center or the right, and you must experiment for best results. WP may consume excessive CPU resources if you leave the slider at the center or left, causing Windows applications to slow down; however, by moving the slider to the right, you may slow down WP itself. One very strong reason for using Tame is that Tame resolves such problems automatically, and should always be used under Windows NT, 2000, XP, Vista, or Windows 7.

Under "Background" add a checkmark next to Always Suspend, or the Idle Sensitivity slider setting will cause all other Windows applications to slow down when you use the mouse or the Alt-Tab key combination to switch away from WPDOS to the Windows desktop. (Note that the Always Suspend setting will cause WPDOS macros and other time-consuming actions to pause when you move the keyboard focus away from WPDOS to Windows.) Feel free to experiment with these settings.

Add a checkmark next to Fast Pasting to improve the speed at which text copied from Windows programs can be pasted into a WordPerfect window. (In the WordPerfect window, you can use Alt-Space, Edit, Paste to paste text from the Windows clipboard.)

Use the Windows shortcut keys checkboxes to prevent Windows from detecting certain keystrokes, so that your application can detect them instead. If you clear the checkbox next to the Alt-Enter keystroke, for example, you will not be able to use that keystroke to toggle your application between full-screen and windowed modes (you may want to do this if the WPDOS graphics mode is corrupted when you switch from full-screen to windowed mode). Under Windows NT, 2000, and XP, you may possibly get faster performance if you clear all the Windows shortcut key checkboxes except Alt-Tab (which you need in order to move between full-screen WPDOS and the Windows desktop) and Alt-Enter (which you need in order to toggle between full-screen and windowed WPDOS). (Remember that the traditional full-screen hardware-font-based view of WPDOS is not available under Vista or Windows 7.)

The Compatibility tab (Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7 only)

No settings on this tab have any effect on DOS programs such as WordPerfect for DOS. Do not waste your time changing any of these settings.

Other tabs (Vista and Windows 7 only)

Ignore all tabs labeled "Security", "Details", "Previous versions", or anything else that is not described above.

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