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The vDosWP System for WPDOS under 64-bit Windows

How to install it | Windows 10 or 11: enable short (8.3) filenames on non-C: drives | How to use it | Shell emulation | Exchange with the Windows clipboard | Access network shares | Macros | How to customize vDosWP | Printing | Use your old printer driver | Convert current document to Microsoft Word | High-resolution graphics | Graphics, color, italics, etc. | Euro support | Codepage settings | PlanPerfect | WordPerfect Office Shell and EditorInstall a fresh copy of WPDOS | Add-on software for WPDOS | Technical details | Home page

The vDosWP system runs WordPerfect for DOS 5.1, 6.0b, 6.0c, 6.1, or 6.2 (and optionally PlanPerfect, the WP Office Shell, and the WP Editor) under Windows 8, 10, and 11. If you recently bought a new Windows computer, it almost certainly uses 64-bit Windows 11, and it requires a system like this one to run WordPerfect for DOS. This system is useful only under 64-bit Windows 10, or 11. (If you are one of the extremely few people with 32-bit Windows 10, then you don't need this system, although you are welcome to use it if you insist.)

This page describes a new version of the vDosWP system (May 2024, updated June 2024; a minor upgrade from the 2023 version). The 2023 version is still available. A different and earlier 2021 version is still available,  and versions from 2020 and earlier are available from the page for the 2021 version.

Important: Your anti-virus software may quarantine the installer and other files used in this system, and Windows 10 or 11 may simply delete the vDosWP applications without telling you that it has done so. If you don't trust my software, don't use my software! Use something else instead! The following paragraphs apply to you only if you do trust my software and want to use it.
   If Windows 10 or 11 seems to have removed the vDosWP applications, then follow Microsoft's instructions on this page, create an exclusion for the "vDosWP" folder in your user folder, and reinstall the vDosWP system.
   If your third-party antivirus software is blocking vDosWP, then go the settings of your antivirus software and set up an "exclusion" for the folder "vDosWP" in your user folder, and restore any other of this system's files that your antivirus software may have quarantined.
   Do not waste your extremely valuable time sending me an e-mail - and do not waste other people's time by posting a message in the forums at wpuniverse.com - asking if the software is safe or not! If you don't trust it, don't use it! I do not want you to use this software if you feel even the slightest anxiety about it! Again, please do not waste your time or anyone else's asking if it is safe.

The vDosWP system is based on vDos, by Jos Schaars, a Windows program that runs DOS applications in a window on the Windows desktop or in full-screen mode. The vDos application creates a DOS “environment” that acts like a “virtual” computer inside your real one. The vDosWP system uses the same drive letters and paths that exist on the “host” Windows computer.

Note: This system may not work reliably with WPDOS 6.0 and 6.0a. It should work correctly with 6.0b and later versions.

Note: If you downloaded the installer between 4 October and 5 November 2022, you have a version with a minor bug that prevents the VCOPY macro from copying text from WPDOS to the macOS clipboard. Versions posted before 18 December 2022 had a bug that prevented WPDOS from starting in full-screen mode through the WINDOWS=100 directive in the config.txt file. These faults are corrected in later versions.

Recent versions include these new features:

An older version of this system designed to be installed on a USB key ("thumb drive") is described on another page.

A version of this system that runs on a Macintosh computer may be found on another page.

You may choose between two different methods for running WPDOS under modern Windows: either the vDosWP system described here or the DOSBoxWP system described on another page. Both work well. However, vDosWP uses your existing WPDOS setup and preserves all your existing settings without change; these include format and language settings, environment settings, custom spelling dictionaries, custom paper definitions, macros, keyboard definitions, etc. For that reason alone, I strongly recommend vDosWP and use it for my daily work.

I can think of only two reasons to use DOSBoxWP instead of vDosWP.

You should feel free to use both systems on the same machine, as they do not conflict with each other. Each system includes macros that will close the current document in one system and open it in the other.

If you are installing vDosWP in a multi-user environment, you may want to consult the technical details below.

If you find this system useful, please visit this page.

How to install the vDosWP method

1. You will need a copy of your WPDOS folder (or folders) from your old computer. If you use WPDOS 5.1, copy the entire WP51 folder from your old computer to a USB drive or some other disk, or copy the whole folder to your new computer. If you have WPDOS 6.x, copy your entire COREL folder, if you have one, or your entire WP61 or WP62 and WPC61DOS or WPC62DOS folders) to a USB device and copy the folder(s) to your new computer, and put them in the same locations where they were in your old computer. If you had a C:\WP51 folder on your old computer, create the identical folder on your new one. (You can also e-mail the folders to yourself or use any other method of transferring them, of course.) 

Note: If you have WPDOS 6.0, follow the instructions for WPDOS 6.1, but replace "61" with "60" in names like WPC61DOS. The resulting program will have "61" in its name, but will launch WPDOS 6.0. As stated above, the system may not work reliably with 6.0 or 6.0a.

If you don't have the files from your old computer, and you need to install WPDOS from its installation disks, see the section "How to install a fresh copy of WPDOS" below! If you are not absolutely certain that you have the software on your disk, don't enable support for it! If you don't have ed.exe (the WP text and macro editor, which is NOT WordPerfect itself), don't enable support for it!

Don’t be clueless! If you do not have either WordPerfect for DOS 5.1 or WordPerfect for DOS 6.x on your old computer, you will not find the folder for that version on your old computer. Clueless Visitor No. 43 asked how to find those files on his old computer even though he had no reason to believe that he had ever had them. Please do not follow the example of Clueless Visitor No. 43. (One of a series of “Don’t be clueless!” messages provided by this site as a public service.)

If you are reinstalling vDosWP: You do not need to uninstall an existing vDosWP system if you are installing a new one. If the installer offers you the chance of keeping or replacing your existing configuration files, feel free to keep your existing files; only replace them if problems occur when you launch the new version. (Your old settings files will be backed up by the installer.) Warning: If your existing version dates from 2017 or earlier, some of your existing settings will be incompatible with the current version, and you should probably let the installer replace your existing setting files.

2. Download and run the vDosWP-Setup installer program. This is what will happen when you run the installer:

Mouse driver message in vDosWP61 or vDosWP62: When you first launch vDosWP61 or vDosWP62, a message may appear saying that the WP mouse driver is incompatible with vDos. Close the message and the do the following (which is what the message tells you to do):

The installer optionally creates on your desktop a shortcut to your vDosWP folder. You can use that shortcut to find any of the configuration folders described below.

The installer automatically adds a "vDosWP[version-number]" entry to the "Send to" submenu on the Windows context (right-click pop-up) menu, so that you can open a file in vDosWP by right-clicking on the file and choosing Send to / vDosWP  [version number] from the pop-up menu. Any command-line switches that you specify in your AUTOEXEC.TXT file (see below) will be used, just as if you had dropped the file on the vDosWP desktop icon. In Windows 11, after right-clicking on a file, click Show More Options... to find the "Send To" menu.

Note: As described above, the installer runs a setup program that asks where your WPDOS folders are located and then very briefly runs and closes WPDOS under vDos. This setup program does the following: (1) it copies some macros into your WPDOS macros directory (WINLIST, WINOPEN, WINSAVE, WINEDIT, PDFMAKER, PDFVIEWR, PAGEVIEW, WPTOWORD, CNV2DOCX, CNV2WORD, WPDTOODT, NEWDRIVE, EURO, VPASTE, FASTPAST, VCOPY, VDOSMORE, VDOSLESS, GETCLIPW, and possibly others, and for WPDOS51 only, RESETCLR) (see the Macros section below for details); (2) it copies some printer drivers into your WPDOS printer directory; (3) it copies some codepage files (used for displaying the euro, importing from the clipboard, etc.) into your WPDOS directory; (4) it runs WPDOS to install two printer drivers (with vDos in their names) - but it does not select either of these new drivers as your default WP printer driver. The new drivers exist to be used by the PDFMAKER and  PDFVIEWR macros and in case you find them useful for printing. The installer makes no changes to your existing WPDOS settings! None! If you think it made any changes in your settings, you are absolutely mistaken! You made the changes yourself at some earlier time and you have forgotten about them! Yes, you! Please do not waste your valuable time (as Clueless Visitors 33 and 54 both did) by sending me an angry e-mail insisting that my installer made those changes.

Troubleshooting: If you see a WPDOS message that reports Error in driver installation, or if the installer tells you to follow the instructions in order to copy some files, then here is what to do: After the installation is finished, run vDosWP, then use Shift+F1/Location of Files, and change the listed locations so that they match the locations on your current system. The error in driver installation typically occurs because you copied your WP files from another system in which you used different file locations from the ones on your new system. After changing all the locations of files, then run the vDosWP installer again.

If the error message persists, and the installer tells you that you may need to copy some files, then run vDosWP. Then use Shift+F1/Location of Files to find out whether you keep your Keyboard/Macro files and Printer files in different folders from the main WP folder. Then do the following.

3. Double-click on a vDosWP desktop shortcut. If you allowed the installer to create one or more desktop shortcuts, you will find those shortcuts on your desktop, named vDosWP51, vDosWP61, vDosWP62. (If you installed support for the WordPerfect Shell, you will also find a shortcut named vDosWPShell; if you installed Editor support, vDosWPEditor; if you installed PlanPerfect support, vDosPlanPerfect.) Double-click on one to launch vDosWP. You may rename these shortcuts, but don't try to modify them in any other way (except to add startup switches as described below)! You will only be asking for trouble!

When the program opens, you may press Alt+Enter to switch to full-screen mode (and back again). You may press Win+F11 to reduce the size of the window (or run the supplied VDOSLESS macro), or Win+F12 to enlarge the window (or run the supplied VDOSMORE macro).

Troubleshooting: If you see an message that says something like "Error launching vDos.exe", then possibly your user folder has a space in its name. (It really shouldn't have a space, because you're asking for trouble if it does; but Windows allows it.) You can solve the problem by applying the method described by Jeffrey P. Long in this post at wpuniverse.com.

If the installer tells you that has found an .ENV file (created when WPDOS is installed for network use): You almost certainly do not need to use WPDOS's networking features, which were designed for 1980s systems in which multiple users accessed the same copy of WP.EXE. On modern systems, all users have separate copies of WP.EXE. To avoid being prompted to enter your initials when you start vDosWP, do the following:

In Windows 10 or 11, enable short (8.3) filenames on drives other than your C: drive

I am indebted to Mike Hoff for bringing this issue to my attention and pointing to the solution.

Read these clarifications first!

If your new Windows 10 or 11 system has drive letters other than the C: drive (or whatever drive contains your Windows system), then WPDOS will not be able to find any file on those non-C: drives that has a long filename (not a DOS-style 8.3 filename) and will not be able to find any file in a directory that has a long directory name (not a DOS-style 8.3 name). By default, when Windows 10 or 11 formats drives other than the C: drive, it disables "short filename creation."

Note: I have seen a report of a Windows system where, on drive letters other than the C: drive, the WPDOS List Files screen in vDosWP displays only the first letter of files with long filenames, so a file named "This is a long name.DOCX" is listed only as "T", or, in some cases, an arbitrary letter or number. I have not actually seen a system that works like this, but I have been shown a screen shot of a directory listing that acts this way.

You can test whether your system has this problem by opening a Windows command prompt (not a vDos window!), navigating to a drive that is not your Windows drive, and then to a folder containing files or directories that have long filenames. Enter the command DIR /X which will display separate columns with long filenames and (if they exist) short filenames. If you do not see short filenames next to files with long names, then the problem exists on your system.

You can fix the problem by doing the following.

1. Click on the Start button, type cmd and wait for "Command Prompt" to pop up. Right-click on "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator."

2. In the command prompt window, enter this command:

fsutil 8dot3name set 0

This tells Windows to create short filenames on all drives. (For details of the syntax see this Microsoft page.)

3. Restart your computer.

4. New files or directories that you create on all drives will now have short filenames. However, existing files that did not already have short filenames will not receive short filenames automatically.

5. To create short filenames for existing longname-only files or directories, the easiest method is to copy the existing file to a new filename (or the existing directory to a new directory) and delete the original. The copy will have a short filename. You can then copy the files back to the original directory if you prefer.

6. Renaming a file or directory by copying it may be impractical in some cases. In that case, perform step 1 again to open an administrative command prompt, and enter a command like this for each file or directory that you want to rename:

 fsutil file setshortname d:\path\to\longfilename.file short83.fil

The last two parameters are these: first, the full path to the file or directory for which you want to create a short filename, and, second, the short (8.3) filename that you want to see in WPDOS or any other DOS application. You can create any short filename you like; you do not need to use Windows' default method that uses a tilde and a number. And do not use the filename in the example above! It's only an example!

How to use vDosWP

A help page is available from the vDos system menu (the icon at the upper-left of the window), and may be found here. You may also use Ctrl+F1, DOS Command, and enter VDOSHELP. Please at least glance over this page for details of vDosWP features.

You may use F5 as usual to find your files. Remember that you will only see DOS-style 8.3 filenames, and you won't easily find exactly the file you are looking for if it has a Windows long filename (you will only see it listed with a name that looks like FILENA~1.EXT), or if it is in a folder with a Windows long name in its path. You may either (a) open and edit any WP file that has a Windows-style long name by dropping it on a vDosWP shortcut, or (b) press Alt+F10 and run the WINOPEN macro installed by the program. If you want to use the WPDOS List Files screen to view a list of the files in any Windows folder, press Alt+F10 and run the WINLIST macro.

Default drive assignments in vDosWP: As supplied, vDosWP uses the same drive letters used in your Windows system, except that it reserves drive B: for its own use with this line in the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in its configuration folders:

B: = <your userfolder>\vDosWP

Warning: Don’t be clever! Don’t be ingenious! Don’t change the names of the files or folders in this system! The system will not work if you change its filenames and folder names! If you absolutely insist on ignoring this advice, be prepared to change the system back to its original state! Don’t ask me for help putting everything back together, because I warned you very clearly about the consequences of your actions. Read the frequently-asked questions on this page before you start changing things! Don’t waste your valuable time specifying some other version of Windows in a shortcut's “compatibility” tab! If I don’t explicitly tell you to do something, don’t do it! If you are foolish, clueless, or self-defeating enough to insist on doing it anyway, do not ask me to help you figure out why it didn’t work.

Second warning: Don't move this system after you install it! If you need to put it into a different folder, first either delete the entire vDosWP folder (or, preferably, run the Uninstall vDosWP program from the Start Menu or Control Panel), then run the installer again, specifying a different folder in the Select Destination Location screen.

A note for network users: This system can access files across a network if you assign a drive letter to your networked drives. However, do not expect it work as it did in a system where WordPerfect was installed specifically to be networked - in other words, when WordPerfect was installed in such a way that every user must enter his or her initials when WordPerfect starts, and the user’s settings are then picked up from a central storage directory somewhere on the network. If you want to use settings that are now stored in a settings file in a networked location, you will need to recreate those settings by hand in the copy of WordPerfect that you use in this system.

If you see a pop-up "About" screen with information about vDos: I strongly recommend that you register the vDos program on which vDosWP is based. If you access a network drive or if you use vDosWP on a network domain, you may see a "nag screen" prompt reminding you to register vDos. You may ignore the nag screen when it pops up, but the only way to eliminate it is to visit vdos.info and register the program, following instructions on the "Register?" page. You will receive a license.txt file from Jos Schaars; copy it into the vDosWP\Programs folder, and the prompt will no longer appear.

Convenient ways to access files and folders: This system lets you access files in multiple ways, in addition to the List Files screen in WP itself:

Open vDosWP in a specific screen location or a specific monitor: If you want vDosWP to open at a specific location on screen, or on a specific monitor in a multi-monitor setup, do the following. Run vDosWP and move the window to where you want it to be. Then run the vDosSetScreenPosition.exe program in the vDosWP folder and follow the prompts. If you don't like the results, run the program again. (After you have used the program at least once, it will include an option to restore the default window location the next time you run it.)

Alternatively, you can adjust the size and position of the vDosWP window by changing a setting in the configuration file. To do this, go to the vDosWP folder, open either the 51Config, 61Config, 62Config folder; edit the CONFIG.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the WP Editor, in your EdConfig folder; for PlanPerfect, in the PlanCfg folder); find the line that reads WINDOW = 50 (or some other number) and change the number to something larger or smaller. To set the window position, add a comma, then two numbers, the first indicating the horizontal position of the upper-left corner (as a percentage of your total monitor width), then a colon, then the vertical position of the upper-left corner (as a percentage of your total monitor height), like this: WINDOW = 50,10:5 then save the file and restart vDosWP.

Change the window size while running vDosWP : You can increase the windows size by pressing Win+F12 or decrease it by pressing Win+F11. You may also use either of two macros, VDOSMORE and VDOSLESS. Warning: if you have two vDosWP windows open and run these macros from one window, the macro may increase or decrease the size of the other window. There isn't much that I can do about this, unfortunately.

Open vDosWP in full-screen mode: With vDosWP, “full-screen” almost always means “a blue WP screen surrounded by an empty black border on two sides or all sides, but without anything else visible on screen (or on the vDosWP monitor in a two-monitor system).” If you start vDosWP in its default windowed mode, you can press Alt+Enter to switch to full-screen mode. If you always want to start vDosWP in full-screen mode, go to the vDosWP folder, open either the 51Config, 61Config, 62Config folder; edit the CONFIG.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the WP Editor, in your EdConfig folder; for PlanPerfect, in the PlanCfg folder); find the line that reads WINDOW = 50 (or some other number) and change the number to 100 ; then save the file and restart vDosWP. If you want the smallest possible border in full-screen mode, experiment with different TEXT= settings in the same CONFIG.TXT file. On my 1280x1024 (not wide-screen) monitor, for example, TEXT=42x97 and TEXT=56x124 produce reasonably good results.

Frequently asked question about full-screen mode:

Q. But I want WP to look exactly the way it did under Windows XP, so that it fills the screen! Why are you so selfish and inconsiderate that you won't you let me do that?
    A. If you want WPDOS to look exactly as it did under XP, then install 32-bit Windows 7 on your computer, and follow the procedure described on this site's Windows 7 page. There is no guarantee that this method will work with your hardware, and it's possible that it won't work at all. And, of course, Microsoft no longer offers security updates for Windows 7, so you are probably risking your livelihood by installing it.

If text and menus have lines broken in the wrong places, or if you see only 25 lines of text on screen: In WPDOS 5.1, use Shift+F1, 2 - Display, 3 - Text Screen Type, 2 - Auto-Select. In WPDOS 6.x, use Shift+F1, 2 - Display, 2 -Text Mode Screen Type/Colors, 1 - Screen Type, 2 - Auto Select.  

Keyboard help: For a list of special keystrokes used  by this system, click the C: icon at the upper left of the DOSBox window (this is called the System Icon) and select Keyboard Help... If you are running vDosWP full-screen, this list is not visible, so make a note of the following:

Keyboard problems: With normal vDosWP, in WPDOS 5.1 only, you cannot access the top-line menu (if you use it) simply by tapping the Alt key; you must press Alt+= (Alt+Equals) to access the top-line menu. This problem does not occur in WPDOS 6.x, only in WPDOS 5.1.

Additional commands: If (for example) you want to open a PDF or DOCX file in their default applications, but launch them from inside WPDOS, via a macro or the Ctrl+F1 DOS Command feature, you may use the command START, like this:


This command will cause the PDF file to open in your default Windows PDF viewer. It is the equivalent of the START command in the Windows command prompt.

The VRUN command: vDosWP includes a VRUN command that launches another instance of vDosWP so that you can run other 16-bit programs (like the WP Font Installer) while running WPDOS. You may enter the command VRUN from the Ctrl+F1, DOS Command menu item to open the second copy of vDos. Or you may add a command-line parameter with the full path of the program that you want to run (for example: VRUN c:\windows\notepad.exe). The most effective way to use this feature is to create a batch file that runs a program and ends with an EXIT line; place this batch file in the vDosWP\Programs folder, and run it by using the DOS command: VRUN filename.bat

512-character font support: vDosWP supports the 512-character font option in WPDOS, but only when WPDOS runs in 25-line mode. This is enabled by editing the CONFIG.TXT file in either the 51CONFIG, 61CONFIG, or 62CONFIG folder, and changing the TEXT = setting to TEXT=43x25 (or adding REM at the start of the TEXT line so that vDos uses its default 25-line setting. Then, in WPDOS, under Shift+F1, Display, choose (or, under WPDOS 6.x, create) the 512-character text display.

This support works with the default 512-character font, and also with the 512-character fonts installed by the WPDOS Greek and Russian language modules. It does not work with Arabic or Hebrew WordPerfect, but if you use Arabic or Hebrew WPDOS, and want or need this support in vDosWP, please contact me. You may also create a custom VGA512.CHM file listing the characters that you want to display by using the WP Screen Font Editor, available from another page on this site.

Find the 8.3 short filename of a directory or file: A convenient way to find the 8.3 short filename of a folder or file is to run the Get Short Filename.exe installed by this system in the vDosWP folder. You may drop a folder or file on it, or run it and select a folder or file. The 8.3 filename will be displayed in a message box and copied to the clipboard.


Frequently-asked questions:

Q. Your installation program changed all my settings! None of my WordPerfect settings are what they were before! I will never forgive you for doing this! Also, I don't understand how your wicked, cruel installer knew all the names of the folders that it wrote into my Location of Files settings when it changed all my settings without my asking! Why and how did your installer do this terrible thing? It has ruined my life!
    A. Take a deep breath, and read the following sentences very slowly. My installer did not change your Location of Files or any other WordPerfect setting. You seem to have forgotten that you - and only you - changed those settings yourself, perhaps when you were running WPDOS under DOSBox or under an earlier version of the vDosWP system. I don't know the names of any folders on your disk; you typed in those folder names yourself. I have not changed your Location of Files settings, nor, I hope, have I ruined your life.

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, being extremely clever and shrewd, I cleverly performed those steps and shrewdly made the changes that you clearly implied but never explicitly stated, and now my vDosWP setup 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! Everything that you said I should type into text files and configuration screens is wrong! Nothing works! Your system is worthless and this page is a total waste of time! I want my money back!
    A. Please check your typing and make sure that you typed exactly what this page tells you type. Also, you haven’t sent me any money yet, although I hope you will feel free to do so here.

Q. I rely on an old DOS program called CheesMkr which I use for making cheese. Could you please test this program with the vDosWP system and tell me if it works?
    A. Is anything stopping you from taking the radical step of trying it yourself?

vDos Shell emulation

An optional setting (which can be enabled during installation or at any other time) makes WPDOS 5.x and WPDOS 6.x act somewhat as if they were running under the old WordPerfect Shell program. (You do not need to choose Support for WordPerfect Shell when you install vDosWP; Shell emulation does not require the actual Shell program.) This means that when you press Ctrl+F1 in WPDOS, you will not see the usual choices: "1 - Go to DOS, 2 - DOS Command". Instead you will see (in WPDOS 6.x; 5.1+ has a similar menu):

  1. Go to Shell
  2. Save to Clipboard
  3. Append to Clipboard
  4. Retrieve Clipboard
  5. DOS Command

By default 1 - Go to Shell opens a Windows Explorer window in the current directory; however, if you set an option in CONFIG.TXT to "GoToCmd =  ON" then, Go to Shell will open a Windows CMD prompt instead of Windows Explorer. 2 - Save to Clipboard saves to the Windows clipboard the entire contents of the current document (or blocked text if block is on). 3 - Append to Clipboard adds to the existing contents of the Windows clipboard the entire contents of the document (or blocked text if block is on). 4 - Retrieve Clipboard pastes the contents of the Windows clipboard into the current document. 5 - DOS Command runs a command; you may need to enter a full path. See further notes on the VRUN command above.

When you choose Retrieve Clipboard, vDos will import the contents of the Windows clipboard into WPDOS, and will convert Unicode characters (mathematical symbols, Greek or Cyrillic text, etc.) into WordPerfect characters. This feature is enormously useful when working with complex text. (However, you can also use the GETCLIPW macro to import Unicode text, but that macro requires that WordPerfect for Windows is also installed on your system.)

The supplied SPASTE macro (which can be attached to a keystroke in the Keyboard Layout menu) performs the same function as Ctrl+F1, 4 - Retrieve Clipboard, but it includes an option to replace blocked text in WPDOS when pasting. To turn on this option, open the SPASTE macro in the Ctrl+F10 Macro Editor and follow the instructions for changing the variable.

vDos Shell emulation has some disadvantages. Under WPDOS 5.1+, you will not be able to import WPDOS 6.x files transparently; instead, you will need to use the CV.exe program supplied with WPDOS 5.1+ or temporarily disable vDos Shell Emulation using the supplied vDosWP Shell Emulation Option program. Under WPDOS 6.x, you will not be able to use the WordPerfect Font Installer from menus in WP itself (you can run it separately with the VRUN command described below); Grammatik will not be available; and large files in other formats may not import successfully. Again, you can restore normal WPDOS behavior temporarily by running the vDosWP Shell Emulation Option program.

vDos Shell emulation is enabled by default for WPDOS 5.x versions earlier than 5.1+ The vDosWP Shell Emulation Option program has no effect on these versions. To disable Shell Emulation in these versions, go to the 51Config folder, edit the CONFIG.TXT file, changing WP = 5 to WP = #5 (add the # mark before the 5).

Note: With Shell Emulation enabled, the Ctrl+F1, Go to Shell menu item opens a separate window with a command prompt that works with the host Windows system, like the CMD window in the host system. You can run traditional DOS commands from WPDOS by using Ctrl+F1, DOS Command, and the results will appear in the same window where WPDOS appears.

How to exchange text with the Windows clipboard

vDosWP offers multiple methods for exchanging data with the Windows clipboard.

The Ctrl+V keystroke and the Windows clipboard: WPDOS 6.x, by default, has always used the Ctrl+V key combination to paste text into the editing screen from WordPerfect's own clipboard. (See the paragraph immediately below for notes on WPDOS 5.1.) If you want Ctrl+V to paste the contents of the Windows clipboard, then go to the vDosWP folder, open either the 51Config, 61Config, 62Config folder; edit the CONFIG.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the WP Editor, in your EdConfig folder; for PlanPerfect, in the PlanCfg folder); find the line that reads CTRL+V=OFF and add the word rem at the very start of the line, so that it reads: rem CTRL+V=OFF   Note that if you assign a macro to Ctrl+V in WPDOS, you absolutely must have the setting CTRL+V=OFF (without the rem ) in this file. Note also that Ctrl+Alt+V is a built-in command that pastes from the Windows clipboard.

The vDos COPYCLIP option: vDos has an option that makes it possible to exchange text with the Windows clipboard using the mouse. To enable this option, go to the vDosWP folder, open either the 51Config, 61Config, 62Config folder; edit the CONFIG.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the WP Editor, in your EdConfig folder; for PlanPerfect, in the PlanCfg folder); and if you find a line that reads MOUSE = ON then change it to read MOUSE = OFF (this turns off WPDOS's native mouse handling); and then find the line that reads rem COPYCLIP = LPT9 and remove the "rem" from the start of the line. Save the file and restart vDosWP.

With this option enabled, you can paste text from the Windows clipboard into vDos by right-clicking the mouse, and you can select text by dragging with the mouse and clicking; a menu will appear with four options; the only one you probably want to use is "Copy", which copies the text tot he Windows clipboard. The other options are explained in the vDos documentation as follows.

COPYCLIP = LPTx/COMx ["Copy" "Copy/Proceed" "Append" "Append/Proceed"]

With this directive set, releasing the mouse button vDos will display a selection box of the defined actions (default descriptions shown above). An action can be omitted by using "".

Copy: Put the selected text on the Windows clipboard.
: Add the selected text to that already gathered in vDos, then put all on the Windows clipboard.
: Handle the gathered text as if it was printed to LPTx/COMx, and set the Windows VDOS environment variable to the first/top line.

Example: COPYCLIP = LPT7 "Copy text" "" "Add text" ""
(With LPT7=DUMMY, just get the extra Append option to collect text).

Example: COPYCLIP = C0M6 "" "Edit" "" ""
(With COM6="%windir%\system32\notepad.exe" #com6.txt, start Notepad with the selected text. No selection box is shown since there’s only one action).

Example: COPYCLIP = LPT5 "" "" "" ""
(Disable copy to clipboard, no action is enabled).

CopyClip also enables a double click action. If used at a non-space, the characters to the left and right will be selected up to the first space. If the selected text is more than two characters, Copy/Proceed will be executed (even if it is disabled by "")

Note on WPDOS 5.1 and Ctrl+V: WPDOS 5.1 uses Ctrl+V as one of two "Compose" keys" (the other is Ctrl+2, which has slightly different features). If you want to use the feature described in the preceding paragraph, in which Ctrl+V pastes the Windows clipboard, you should assign a different key (perhaps Ctrl+W) as a replacement for the existing Ctrl+V key. Before changing the CONFIG.TXT file as described above, start WPDOS 5.1, use Shift+F1, Keyboard Layout, and either create a new keyboard layout or edit the one that you already use. Create a definition for Ctrl+W, and in the editing window, delete the {UP} code (or any other code that may appear there), and press Ctrl+V twice to insert the {^V} code. Press F7, select this keyboard definition; exit WPDOS; then edit the CONFIG.TXT file as described above, and restart WPDOS 5.1. Note also that Win+Ctrl+Alt+V is a built-in command that pastes from the Windows clipboard.

How to access network shares

If you want to open files on a network share, you can assign a vDos drive letter to the shared folder.

Go to the vDosWP folder, open either the 51Config, 61Config, 62Config folder; edit the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor. Find the four lines (around 28 lines down) that start with "rem To use custom drive letters [etc.]". Read those four lines. Then, below those lines add a line that looks like the following (with NO "rem" at the start!). Choose a drive letter that is not already used on your system, and make sure to use the correct servername and sharename. Remember to use two backslashes before the servername.

USE G: \\servername\sharedfolder

Restart vDosWP, and open files on drive G: in vDosWP.

Macros supplied with vDosWP

This is a more complete list than the one that can be opened from the vDosWP "system menu" (the icon at the upper left of the window; also accessible by typing Alt+Space).

See also separate lists of copy-paste macros, below.

Copy-paste macros with vDos Shell Emulation:

Copy-paste macros without Shell emulation:

How to customize the vDosWP system

Add startup switches to the WPDOS command line: Many WPDOS users rely on startup switches when launching WPDOS. These switches typically include network IDs, startup macros, etc. You can add these switches to vDosWP by following either of these two procedures.

(a) You may add WPDOS startup switches to the vDosWP desktop shortcut, or you can make one or more copies of the desktop shortcut, adding different startup switches to each. To do this, right-click on the vDosWP desktop shortcut, choose Properties, then the Shortcut tab, and in the Target field, scroll all the way to the end, add a space and then the startup switches that you want to use (for example, /m-macroname).

(b) Alternatively, you can modify the command line that launches WPDOS in vDos itself:

Assign drive letters in vDos to Windows folders: To assign a drive letter in vDosWP to any folder in your Windows system, open the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in the 51VDMConfig, 61VDMConfig, or 62VDMConfig folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellVDMConfig folder; for the WP Editor, in your EditorVDMConfig folder.) By default, vDosWP uses the same drive letters used by your Windows system, but you can add line that begins "USE" which will assign the drive letter that you want to use for any specific folder, as described here:

Follow this example, and remember that it is only an example!

USE H: C:\The Path\To\Some folder or other

This assigns drive H: to whatever Windows folder you choose. Do not use quotation marks for folder names with spaces. Be prepared to experiment until you get this right. And do not try to map B:, which is reserved for the system.

For the best possible display: As supplied, vDosWP opens in a window with 43 lines and 80 columns. However, the vDosWP window can display almost any usable number of lines and columns. If you work full-screen, and have a traditional 4:3 VGA-style monitor, vDos in full-screen mode will fill the screen if you use settings such as 35 lines and 90 columns, or 60 lines and 142 columns. You may want to experiment.

Lines and columns: Open the CONFIG.TXT file in the 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig folder.) Find the line that begin TEXT= near the top of the file. TEXT=43x80 means that the window will be 43 lines long by 80 columns wide. You can change the numbers as you wish, but the product of lines times columns must be less than 16,835.

Window size and position: You may fine-tune the starting position and size of the vDosWP window. Open the CONFIG.TXT file and find the block of lines that begins “REM Window ” Below that line, find the line that reads something like WINDOW = 50. If the line begins with the word "rem", remove "rem". Then edit the line: if you want a larger or smaller window, change 50 to a larger or smaller number; then, if you want to specify the position of the window on the screen, add a comma, a number, a colon, and a second number, like this:  WINDOW = 50,40:30 These last two numbers specify the horizontal position (in pixels, from the left) and the vertical position (in pixels, from the top) of the upper-left corner of the vDos window. Adjust these numbers until you find a setting you like. You will need to experiment to get the exact results you want.

Resize the window with macros: The macros VDOSMORE and VDOSLESS will increase or decrease the size of the vDosWP window; they may be assigned to keystrokes using the WPDOS keyboard feature. These macros run a program in the background that sends the Win+F12 or Win+F11 keystrokes to the vDos window in order to resize the window.

Display font: vDos includes a built-in TrueType font for displaying text on screen; however, the vDosWP system is setup to use an alternate font, the Consolas supplied with all versions of Windows since Vista, and all versions of Microsoft Office (so you already have a legal copy). Remember that these fonts are not used for printing, only for displaying text while you edit in ordinary text mode!

You may use almost any monospaced TrueType font instead of Consolas or the built-in font, although most fonts will produce unsatisfactory results. Copy the font into the Programs folder inside the vDosWP folder. Then edit CONFIG.TXT (in the 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder, for the WP Editor, in your EdConfig folder), and change the line that reads FONT = CONSOLA - you can add REM at the start of the line if you want to use the build-in font. Note that the FONT = FONTNAME line uses the filename of the font, not the fontname, so you must use CONSOLA with no “s” at the end.

To change the point size of the displayed font, experiment with the WINDOW = setting until you find the size you prefer.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

You might want to use the freeware Nouveau_IBM.TTF font (by Arto Hatanpää) also supplied with this system. This imitates the hardware-based font from your old system. If you use this font (by adding the line FONT = NOUVEAU_IBM in CONFIG.TXT (and removing any other FONT line), you will find that it looks right only at small sizes. Experiment by pressing Win+F11 to reduce the vDosWP window, and then experiment with the WINDOW and TEXT settings in CONFIG.TXT until the window starts at the size you prefer.

You might also want to try Flexi IBM VGA Font, by a programmer who calls himself VileR. It is described (with a download link) on this page. I have not tried it.

Remember that the display font has absolutely nothing to do with the font that prints from WordPerfect! It only affects the font that displays on screen! You will not change the font on the printed page by changing this setting. If you don’t understand any of this, please ignore this whole paragraph! 

Note: Do not waste your valuable time trying to use Tame to change the way this system looks on screen; Tame has absolutely no effect on vDosWP or any program that runs inside it - it won’t hurt, but it also won’t help, because it does absolutely nothing that affects vDosWP in any way whatever.

To restore non-working function keys, read the advice on the relevant page for your Windows version, for example the pages for Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 10.

Use the mouse in WPDOS 6.x: By default, vDosWP enables mouse support in WPDOS 6.x only (under vDos, the mouse cannot be used in WPDOS 5.1). Your existing mouse driver may not work well with vDos, and you will be prompted to change it when vDosWP starts up. If you continue to have problems, try running the MOUSEON macro that switches to a more-compatible mouse driver. Or simply run the MOUSEOFF macro to disable mouse support.

Note on mouse support: The MOUSEON macro does the equivalent of using Shift+F1, Mouse, and selecting Mouse Driver (Absolute/Pen;  you may want to experiment with Mouse Driver (Absolute/Pen 2) if you have trouble, but it probably won't work well. Do not use Auto-Select and do not try to select a name that matches the hardware mouse that you move around on your desk! It won't work! WP may lock up if you try. Don't be clueless! Don't waste your time trying!

Use the mouse in WPDOS 5.1: By default, vDosWP enables the mouse in WPDOS 5.1. If your mouse does not work correctly, then, in WPDOS, use Shift+F1, Mouse, and select Mouse Driver (MOUSE.COM). You can disable WordPerfect's mouse support by editing CONFIG.TXT (as described elsewhere on this page): find the that reads MOUSE = ON ; change ON to OFF. When selecting the mouse driver in WPDOS, do not use Auto-Select and do not try to select a name that matches the hardware mouse that you move around on your desk! It won't work! WP may lock up if you try. Don't be clueless! Don't waste your time trying! (And see the paragraph that begins "Remember" below.)

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and  AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

Printing from vDosWP

To print from vDosWP, you absolutely, positively must already have installed a printer in Windows! Before you begin, try to print from a Windows application, such as this web browser. If you cannot print from a Windows application, you will not be able to print from vDosWP! (Please do not ask if I can make an exception to this rule for your benefit; it is physically impossible to do so.) After you have set up a printer under Windows, then launch vDosWP and start printing as you did in WPDOS.

Remember: this system does not change your existing WPDOS printer driver! Before you do anything else, try printing from your existing WPDOS printer driver! I really mean it! Don't try to be clever! Don't change anything! Don't get the idea that you must choose a new printer driver! Don't decide that the WPDOS driver should bear the name of your actual printer! Just try printing with the printer driver you were already using in your old system, even if you no longer have your old printer!

I really mean what I said in the preceding paragraph. It applies to you, no matter how smart, special, clever, and wonderful you are, no matter how many years you have been working expertly with computers! Don't even think of touching the Select Printer menu in WordPerfect! Just try to print something! If all goes well, the document will print on your default Windows printer, whatever printer you may have. If nothing prints, then, and only if nothing prints, read on:

If your existing printer driver doesn't let you print from vDosWP, then do the following in WPDOS. First, try this:

If that does not solve the problem, then do this:

vDosWP will now print to your default Windows printer.

Technical note: Behind the scenes, when you print to LPT1 (the default setting) vDosWP creates a PDF file and relies on a Windows application to print that PDF file to your printer. I describe other printing methods below, including two that print directly to a PCL- or PostScript-capable printer.

Once you have printed successfully from vDosWP, then - and only then - you can experiment with different methods of printing and different printer drivers. Feel free either to read or ignore the following section.

Note that by far the fastest printing will occur if you print to LPT2 as described below, but this method absolutely requires a PCL- or PostScript-compatible printer. Printing to LPT1 is slower because vDosWP first creates a PDF file and then calls on an included third-party application (PDFXChange.exe) to print it. And see the note below about printing to LPT2 under Windows 11.

The easiest way to control printing from vDosWP is to change the Port settings in WordPerfect's Print/Select/Edit menu. These settings are the easiest ones to use:

If nothing prints on an HP LaserJet when you try to print to LPT2 under Windows 11: If you install a PCL5-compatible HP LaserJet under Windows 11, Windows may not allow you to print PCL5 data directly from vDosWP. To solve this problem, install HP's last PCL5 Windows printer driver, no longer available from HP's website, but downloadable from this link. After installing it, set it as your default Windows printer.

To create a PDF file from WPDOS, either print to LPT3 from a PCL or PostScript driver; an arbitrarily-named file will appear on the Windows desktop (but see below). Alternatively, use the PDFMAKER macro. This creates a PDF file in the same folder with the original file, with the file's original name and the extension .PDF. If the document has no name, then an arbitrary name will be used and the PDF will be written to your Windows desktop. By default, the PDF file will open in your default Windows PDF reader; to prevent this from happening, open the macro in WPDOS (with Ctrl+F10, PDFMAKER, Edit), and change the PDFopen variable near the top from 1 to 0 (zero). A similar PDFPAGE macro creates a PDF of the current page only.

Specify PDF output location (added June 2024): By default, this system writes arbitrarily-named PDF to the Windows desktop. However, a vDosWPPDFFolder.exe program, which runs during installation or from the Start menu, allows you to specify a different folder. The folder you specify will also be used for output from the DOSBoxWP system if you have that system installed.

To print to a specific Windows printer that is not your default printer: By default, when you print to LPT1 or LPT2 from vDosWP, you print to the default Windows printer. If you want to print to a different Windows printer, and you do not want to select it every time you print (as you must do if you print to LPT5 or LPT6), you must perform the following steps with great care.

A note on the PDFMAKER and PDFVIEWR macros: Instead of manually changing the printer driver to print to LPT3 or LPT4, as described above, you can run the PDFMAKER or PDFVIEWR macros supplied with this system. Both macros will set the ports correctly (and reset them when finished), and will create a PDF file in the same folder as the original document with the name of the current document and a PDF extension (if the current document already has a name). The PDFVIEWR macro works in exactly the same way as the PDFMAKER macro, but also opens the PDF file for viewing in your default PDF viewer application. If the current document does not have a name, a PDF will be written to the Windows desktop, with an arbitrary name based on the current date and time. Serious warning: When using either of these macros, don’t be clever, don’t be ingenious! Don’t change any settings that you foolishly believe you are required to change before or after running the macro - which is what Clueless Visitor No. 131 tried to do, with predictably bad results. Just run the macro! Remember: You absolutely should not change any settings before or after running the macro. Just run it! Look into your heart: if you find an uncontrollable impulse to change settings before or after you run either the PDFMAKER or PDFVIEWR macro, just don't run it!

Print to specific printer trays: If you were able to print to specific trays on your printer when running WPDOS from Windows XP (or similar systems), you should be able to do so again under vDosWP. Make sure that your printer is the default Windows printer, then in WPDOS, choose the same printer driver that you used earlier, but specify LPT2 as the port instead of whatever it was earlier.

Print to your ancient parallel-port printer (Epson FX, IBM ProPrinter, HP DeskJet, etc.): You can still use your ancient parallel-port dot-matrix or DeskJet printer with WPDOS. If your computer does not have a parallel port, buy a parallel-port add-in card, or use a USB-to-parallel adapter cable. (Search the web for details.) Attach your printer to the add-in card or adapter cable and install in Windows as a Generic/Text Only Printer. (Search the web for instructions if you need them, or be prepared to pay me an enormous consulting fee for guiding you through the process.) These instructions also apply to any ancient parallel-port printer that supports PCL or PostScript.

When your printer has been installed in Windows, take careful note of the printer's name as it appears in Windows' print dialogs and settings. It may be something like "Epson FX/80" or something longer. If your printer is attached to a physical parallel port (which is probably named either LPT1 or LPT3), then repeat after me: "I will forget the name of the physical parallel port to which my printer is connected! I will not try to use that name (LPT1 or LPT3 or whatever it might be) when following the instructions below! I will keep in mind that the name of the physical port does not matter and will only get in my way if I even think about it." Before proceeding, you absolutely must agree to forget the name of the actual physical port!

Now, if your ancient printer is your default Windows printer, then start vDosWP, install or select a WPDOS printer driver that works with your printer, and edit the driver so that you print to LPT2. Remember, do not use the name of the actual physical port to which your printer is connected! You have agreed to forget that name! If your ancient printer is your default Windows printer, then tell WPDOS to print to LPT2, no matter what the name of the physical port to which your printer is connected.

If, however, your ancient printer is not your default Windows printer, then follow these instructions:

To install soft fonts into WPDOS 6.x: Install soft fonts into WPDOS 6.x exactly as you do in any WPDOS 6.x system. This applies to PostScript Type 1 soft fonts as well as fonts used as "graphic fonts" in WPDOS.

Troubleshooting: If your documents contain embedded graphics, and only part of a document prints, or if vDosWP seems to think that you are printing two documents instead of one, do this. Open either the 51Config, 61Config, 62Config folder; edit the CONFIG.TXT file in Windows Notepad or some other text editor (if you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder); add a line anywhere in the file, reading TIMEOUT = OFF and save the file. Then restart vDosWP.

Use any existing PCL or PostScript printer driver

If you customized a printer driver in your existing WPDOS system (perhaps by creating paper definitions), you can almost certainly continue to use that driver in the vDosWP system if your printer is a PCL or PostScript-capable printer. Your existing printer driver will still be selected as the default driver in vDosWP. If you want to choose another driver, simply select it in Select Printer menu in WPDOS, and print. You may need to experiment with setting the printer port to LPT1 or LPT2 or other options as described in the note on printer settings above.

Convert the current document to Microsoft Word

This system includes a WPTOWORD macro that converts the document currently open in WPDOS to Microsoft Word format. It requires that Microsoft Word be installed on your system. To use it, open a document and run the macro. The macro launches a Windows program, created by this site, named WPtoWord.exe, which uses a combination of programs, including Microsoft Word, to convert the document, By default, the resulting Word document will have the same name as the WPDOS file with an additional ".docx" extension, will be written to the same folder that contains the WPDOS document, and will open in Word when the conversion is complete.

If you find that you often need to apply the same formatting or other changes to converted documents that open in Word, record a Word macro that applies those changes, and name it WPtoWordMacro. The WPtoWord.exe program will automatically run that macro when the converted document opens in Word.

Note: The system also includes two macros named CNV2DOCX and CNV2WORD that use earlier methods of converting the current document to Word format, but the new WPTOWORD macro is likely to provide superior results.

The system also includes a SAVEDOCX macro that uses WordPerfect for Windows to save the current document in Word format. It requires that WordPerfect for Windows be installed on your system. It works best with WPWin 2020 or later, but can work with WPWin X9 and earlier if and only if you have already saved a WP document from WPWin to Word 2007-16 format and have allowed WPWin to download a converter that is required for X9 and earlier versions.

 Note: When this macro launches WordPerfect for Windows, WPWin may warn you that the document you are opening is read-only (etc.). Click OK, and, if you plan to use this macro often, select the box that offers not to display this message again.

Do not expect perfection from these macros! Their limitations are those of the programs involved, and I can do nothing to fix them!

High-resolution graphics

For WPDOS 6.0c, 6.1, or 6.2 - vDosWP by itself provides high-resolution graphics. Do not select any graphics driver other than the standard VGA 640x480 driver. vDosWP will display its graphics mode in a window with the same size as the text window.

For WPDOS 5.1 - vDosWP51 only supports standard VGA-resolution graphics (640x480). However, starting with the 2024 version, you can scale VGA graphics up or down in 10-percent intervals by pressing Win+F11 and Win+12. This will not change the level of detail in the graphic image, but only make it larger or smaller.

If you need high-resolution graphics in WPDOS 5.1, the less convenient and less reliable DOSBoxWP system can display VESA graphics at resolutions up to 1280x1024. If you are editing a WP 5.1 document in vDosWP, and want to view or edit it in a high-resolution graphic mode, then run the DBOXOPEN macro. The current document will close, and, if you have DOSBoxWP installed, the document will open in DOSBoxWP. You can then, in DOSBoxWP, run a VDOSOPEN macro to open the macro again in vDosWP. (Of course, both systems must be installed correctly for this to happen.)

Graphics, color, and other visual settings

Screen colors: You may modify the default screen colors from the system menu (the icon at the left of the title bar) by choosing the menu item "Next Color Theme." You may also set the default colors by changing a setting in CONFIG.TXT. The system, as supplied, uses the same colors used by Tame with WPDOS under Windows XP. If you want to change this setting, close vDosWP, and, using a text editor like Notepad.exe, edit the CONFIG.TXT file in the 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same file in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig folder.) Notice the instructions near the bottom of the file; you can choose one of nine "THEME" settings; the default (theme 0) uses the Tame default colors, but you may prefer the darker Theme 1.

Monochrome mode: You can set COLORS = MONO and make vDosWP imitate an old Monochrome Display Adapter (or Hercules Graphics Card, though without the graphics). Make sure that only one line (or none) begins COLORS = or you may not get the results you want.

Underline and other text settings: vDosWP displays underlined text when your CONFIG.TXT file (in either the 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder) includes the line WP = 5 or WP = 6 (use 5 if you have 5.1, 6 if you have 6.x). If you do not want underlined text, add a minus sign before the number, like this: WP = -5 or WP = -6. Underlined text displays correctly only if you use the default color settings in WPDOS itself (the settings accessible under Shift+F1, Display), and not a custom color scheme; however, you may modify the vDosWP color settings in CONFIG.TXT as described above. There is one exception: in the display settings for WPDOS 5.1, the Shadow attribute must be set to A H instead of the WP default setting B H . If you have changed these color settings but decide that you prefer the original WPDOS 5.1 color settings, you may restore them by running the RESETCLR macro supplied with this system. (Remember that this macro and its instructions are for WPDOS 5.1 only.)

WPDOS 5.1 top-line menu: If you enable the top-line menu in WPDOS 5.1 under vDosWP, the menu looks unappealing, with unneeded underlines. To set a better-looking set of menu colors, run the MENUCLR macro supplied with this system. You can restore the default menu colors with the RESETCLR macro. (Remember than this applies to WPDOS 5.1 only.)

Other customizable settings: For many other customizable settings in the vDosWP system, see the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folders inside the vDosWP folder. (If you installed support for the WP Office Shell, also find the same files in your ShellCfg folder; for the Editor, in your EdConfig folder.) Use these settings at your own risk, and be prepared to change them back if you don’t like the results.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

View and print the euro symbol

In the printer drivers supplied with vDosWP, the euro symbol is mapped to WP character 4,72 (as it is in WordPerfect for Windows). A EURO macro is provided to type that symbol easily. However, if you want the euro to be visible on the WordPerfect text screen, you must change the some settings in this system.

If you are using WP in Europe, and you typically use a DOS system with codepage 850 or 858, then do the following: Open the AUTOEXEC.TXT file in the 51Config, 61Config, or 62Config folder inside the vDosWP folder, then find the lines near the foot that reads "rem Euro support". A few lines below that, remove "rem" before chcp 858 and, a few lines below that, at the end of the line that begins %WPDRV%WP add (after a space) the startup switch (replacing any existing /cp- switch):  /cp-858

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

Then restart vDosWP. In print preview and other graphics modes, when you use the euro, the correct symbol should display in WPDOS 6.x (because this system uses a modified graphic font) but under WPDOS 5.1, and in all menus in WPDOS 6.x, you will probably see a different character (probably circle-u). The euro symbol will print correctly if you use the supplied printer drivers. 

See also the separate section below on codepage support.

Codepage and other national language settings

If the wrong characters appear in European systems: It is possible that some European-language characters will appear incorrectly when this system is used outside North America. If and only if you find that the wrong characters appear on your system, and you are using this system on a Windows computer acquired outside North America, then edit the AUTOEXEC.TXT file as described elsewhere on this page, find the section headed “rem CodePage” and follow the instructions for using the CHCP command. (Search the internet if you do not know how to use this command.) In experimenting, you may want to try codepage 850 or 858 or any other standard codepage.

To display Cyrillic characters in WPDOS, add CHCP 866 to AUTOEXEC.TXT as described above. The full Russian alphabet is supported, but not the full alphabet of other languages that use Cyrillic. (This technique will not work with Greek or Hebrew.)

You may use the ASCII application in B:\UTIL to see the effect of different codepage settings.

See also the section on euro support elsewhere on this page; you will need to use one of the settings specified for the AUTOEXEC.TXT file to assign the euro symbol to WP character 4,72.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

For further information on euro and other national-language support, see another page on this site.

PlanPerfect 5.1

The installer gives you an option to install support for PlanPerfect; it has been tested with version 5.1. If you encounter difficulties during the installation, and the PlanPerfect window opened by the installer has stalled or shows an error message, press F1 and F7 until you exit PlanPerfect, then let the installation continue. Then, launch the vDosPlanPerfect desktop shortcut, and do the following:

More or less everything described above about printing in WPDOS 5.1 applies to PlanPerfect. If you want to print to your default Windows printer, set the printer driver in PlanPerfect to print to LPT1. If you want to create a PDF (which will appear on your desktop with an arbitrary name), print to LPT3. The installer should set up appropriate printer drivers for both these options.

The PDFMAKER macro should create a PDF from the current worksheet in the same folder with the worksheet itself. You must use Ctrl+F10 to edit the macro and (as described at the top of the macro) enter the name of the printer driver that you normally use when printing from PlanPerfect.

WordPerfect Office Shell and Editor

The installer gives you options to install support for the WordPerfect Office Shell and WordPerfect Editor (ED.EXE). You can use the Shell-support option to run any version of the Shell, and you can run any of the WordPerfect Office programs from the Shell itself.

Note that Shell 3.1 will always display a menu with 25 lines, even in a larger window, but programs launched from Shell 3.1 (such as the Editor, Notebook, or WordPerfect) will open in the window size that you specify in CONFIG.TXT.

Exchange data between the Shell and the Windows clipboard: The installer adds a WINCOPY shell macro to your Shell folder. You may use this macro to copy the current document (or blocked text in a document) to the Windows clipboard. To paste from the Windows clipboard into the current document under the Shell, run the DOS command VCPASTE from the Ctrl+F1 Shell menu.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellCfg folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored!

Note: In order to use Shell (.SHM) macros with Shell 4.0, the MC.EXE utility must be running in the background; to enable this, go to the vDosWP\ShellCfg folder, edit the AUTOEXEC.TXT file and follow the instructions near the bottom of the file. This applies to Shell 4.0 only, not to Shell 3.1!

Use Plain DOS with other DOS software

You can use the Plain DOS  shortcut to run other DOS software. If you want my help setting up any specific software, be prepared to pay me an enormous consultation fee, or ask for free no-cost help at the vDos forum at http://vdos.proboards.com/.

To create PDF files, or print PCL output directly to a printer, from the Plain DOS  folder add commands like these to the config.txt file in the PlainDOS folder. Note that you can replace LPT1 with LPT2, LPT4, or LTP5, but make sure to replace both instances in each line. Also note that if your DOS program can produce PCL output, the output must be PCL5 output; the intermediate PDF noted below will not be created from PCL3 or PCL4 output.

Note: PCL or PDF output to LPT3 will always create a PDF file on the desktop!

To print raw data to the default Windows printer:


For PostScript or PCL-capable printers, send raw data to a printer selected from the standard Windows Print menu:


For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript output, this creates a PDF file and prints it to the default Windows printer (which need not be a PCL or PostScript printer):

LPT1 = "PDFXCview.exe" HIDE /print #LPT1.PDF

For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript out, this creates an arbitrarily-named PDF file and opens it in your default PDF reader for viewing, printing, saving, etc., do not include any setting for LPT1, or rem out the existing setting like this:

rem LPT1

For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript output, this creates a PDF file and prints it to a printer selected from a menu (which need not be a PCL or PostScript printer):

LPT1 = "vDosSelPtr.exe" HIDE #LPT1.PDF

For programs that produce PCL 5 or PostScript output, this creates an arbitrarily-named PDF file on the desktop; this works with LPT3 only:

LPT3 = "vDosSelPtr.exe" HIDE #LPT3 .PDF

How to install a fresh copy of WPDOS

If you no longer have your WPDOS folders from your old computer, you may need to install a fresh copy of WPDOS on your new computer. To accomplish this, follow these steps (note that this procedure requires a copy of the vDosWP-Setup installer dated 2 July 2016 or later):

Add-on software for WPDOS under vDosWP

Add-on software such as abbreviation expanders and font software such as FaceLift may or may not work with vDosWP. Among abbreviation-expanders, only SmartType works well under vDosWP; feel free to ask me for help getting started. Among font add-ons, I know that FaceLift for WordPerfect works, but needs some default settings to be changed; feel free to ask me for details. (TrueType for WordPerfect will not run under vDosWP; use this site's DOSBoxWP system instead.)

Setup instructions: If you need to use an abbreviation expander such as Smartype with WPDOS 5.1, first set up the vDosWP system so that WPDOS 5.1 works correctly. Next, be certain that you have a copy of all the files in the abbreviation expander setup that you formerly used under Windows XP or DOS, as described on this site’s medical transcriptionist page; remember that some programs require a batch file that launches your expander software and WPDOS, as described on that page. (Do not save these files by burning them to a CD or DVD! They will not work correctly! Use a USB drive to copy the files, or e-mail them to yourself. Do not burn them to a CD or DVD!)

In your new computer, create a folder for your expander files with exactly the same name and exactly the same location as the folder on your old system. The folder will typically be named ST or some similar name. Copy all the files from your old expander setup into that folder.

Take the next step slowly and carefully. Go to the vDosWP folder (typically inside your user folder) and double-click vDosPlainDOS.exe. This command will open a 25-line version of vDos at the C:\ prompt. At the prompt; enter CD ST or whatever CD (Change Directory) command takes you into your expander directory; then enter the name of the batch file that you created that starts your expander and then starts WP (the batch file may be named something like STWP.BAT). You should be able to use your expander as you normally do. When you have it working, write down all the various commands that you entered in order to run WPDOS with your expander.

Take the next step slowly and carefully. In your vDosWP\51Config folder you will find files named CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT. Using an editor like Windows notepad, edit CONFIG.TXT, find the line that reads TEXTS=43x80 and change 43 to 25 then save the file. Then edit AUTOEXEC.TXT and find the line that reads something like this (be careful to choose the line that begins %WPDRV%WP, and not any line that starts with rem or REM):


Now put the word REM at the start of the line so it looks like this:


Immediately below that line, add the line or lines that you use to launch the batch file that starts your abbreviation expander, something like the following (but remember it is only an example and almost certainly will not work on your system!). If you don't understand the concept of an "example," stop now, and do not attempt this procedure!


Now restart vDosWP51, and your expander software should function as it always did.

Remember: If you use the WP Shell, vDos will only use the settings that you make in the CONFIG.TXT and AUTOEXEC.TXT files in the ShellConfig folder. If you run WPDOS under the Shell, any settings that you specify in the 51Config folder or any other folder will be completely ignored! This means that the changes described above should be made in the ShellConfig folder!

If keyboard shortcuts don't work correctly in your abbreviation-expander software: Some abbreviation-expander software does not work perfectly with the normal version of vDos, but requires a special alternate version prepared (for use with the XyWrite word processor) by a programmer who calls himself "catastrophicanomaly." For example, the <Ctrl>,<Ctrl> sequence used by PRD+ to bring up the menu does not work in vDos, but does work in the alternate version. The alternate version also works with Flash Forward and the Stedman's Plus Spellchecker. (All of these are described on this site's medical transcriptionist page.)

If you really, really need the special alternate version, first install the normal version of vDosWP, then download and run this installer for vDosWPKbd, the special-keyboard-support version of vDos. Launch the vDosWPKbd shortcut that you will find on your desktop, and follow the instructions that appear in the vDos window about adding to the AUTOEXEC.TXT file the commands that run your expander software and WPDOS.

Technical details

System administrators and consultants who want to set up vDosWP in multiuser systems may find these technical details useful.

(Revised 19 May 2024) In a multi-user system, each user should install vDosWP separately. If the WPDOS software is on a folder shared by all users (e.g. C:\WP51) and, under DOS, each user launched WP with a user ID (/U=xyz), then add a space and the appropriate /U=xyz switch to the end of the line in AUTOEXEC.TXT that begins %WPDRV%%WPPROGS%\WP.

The vDosWP installer creates two or more entries in the Windows registry, in the key HKCU\Software\WPDOS.org . The vDosDir key contains the path to the vDosWP folder, and the keys named VDM51, VDM62, etc., contain the path to the WPDOS folders.

The launcher program (e.g. vDosWP51.exe, vDosWP62.exe, etc.) reads these keys from the registry and constructs strings to send to vDos.exe as environment variables. These and other variables are then processed in AUTOEXEC.TXT. These are the variables sent by the launcher (some of these are also used by programs launched from vDosWP):

If a document is specified on the launcher's command line (or is dropped on the launcher or its shortcut), then these environment variables are also used:

You can see the values of these variables in vDosWP by using the WPDOS Go to Dos feature (Ctrl+F1, 1) and entering SET.

David Ruchman at powersolution.com offers these useful suggestions. In a multiuser system, create a batch file that uses "reg add" to write the registry keys described above into the current user's profile, and run this batch file on the user's login. In an Active Directory environment, follow this basic procedure to create a Group Policy object that adds the required keys to the registry:

Please let me know of any other issues that might be relevant in multiuser systems.

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