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WordPerfect for DOS under OS/2 Warp

Setting up WPDOS under OS/2 | Print to any OS/2 printer | Long filenames under OS/2 | Additional notes and links | Home page

Note: If you have been using OS/2 (or its updated version eComStation) as a platform for WordPerfect because you want to avoid using software written by Microsoft, you have been making a serious mistake, or perhaps a ridiculous one. The entire DOS subsystem in OS/2 was written at Microsoft, and only at Microsoft, by a group headed by Ben Slivka, during the period when OS/2 was a joint project of Microsoft and IBM. Every time you run WordPerfect for DOS in OS/2, you are using software that was written by Microsoft. Don't be clueless! Don't use OS/2 because you imagine that you are spiting Microsoft by doing so!

How to set up WordPerfect for DOS under OS/2

The simplest and most reliable way to run WordPerfect for DOS under OS/2 Warp may be to let the Migrate Programs utility (in the OS/2 system folder) create a program object for WPDOS with the default settings. Those settings are fairly certain to work successfully.

Michael DeBusk contributed the following suggestions for customizing WordPerfect for DOS under OS/2 Warp (revised on 9 June 2001); these settings may cause memory problems in some systems.

Drag a New Program object template to the desktop.

On the "Program" page of the Properties dialog, fill in the path and filename of WP.EXE (in my case, D:\COREL\WP62\WP.EXE) and put in the parameters box the startup switch /RX to load the overlays into memory. The /RX switch is optional but speeds things up. You may also consider adding the /NH switch, which prevents WPDOS from checking your hardware ports on startup.

On the "Session" page, select either DOS full screen or DOS window. (If you want to run WPDOS in WYSIWYG mode, you must choose the full screen mode.) Then click the "DOS properties" button, select "All DOS settings," then hit "OK."

Make sure these properties have the following values:

Hit the "Save" button and switch to the "Association" tab. Here, you'll want to include at least the following in the "Current Names" section:


Then switch to the "Icon" tab. Here, you'll want to type the appropriate title for the object (mine's "WordPerfect 6.2 for DOS") and change the icon. You can find WP_OS2.ICO in the working directory and just drag it into position. Change the settings in the "Window" tab if you wish. I leave mine at default.

Close the Settings dialog and move the new object to the appropriate folder.

For further suggestions, provided by user "Alastair" at the WPDOS forum at WordPerfect Universe, see this message thread.

Printing to any printer supported by OS/2

This site's method of printing to any printer from WPDOS under 32-bit Windows may easily be adapted for use with OS/2. After studying the basic principles of this method (including the method for choosing a Ghostscript devicename), return to this page, and follow these OS/2-specific instructions, which are based entirely on the details devised by the late Philip G. A. Griffin-Allwood for use with WordStar. The method combines AFPL Ghostscript with the Kai Uwe Rommel's freeware utility Printmon, wich redirects output from an LPT port to another program or port, and allows you to print from WPDOS, using a PostScript printer driver, so that the PostScript output can be redirected to Ghostscript and printed to your non-PostScript printer.

First, download and install the OS/2 version of Ghostscript; the installation process installs the 35 basic PostScript Type 1 fonts, which are supported by all WPDOS PostScript drivers. You will need to select a devicename, as described in step (1) of this site's Win32 method of printing to Ghostscript. Open a command prompt, go to your Ghostscript directory, and enter GSOS2 -h for a full list of available devicenames, and study the Ghostscript help file, Device.html.

Next, add the following lines to Config.sys (replace gs#.## with the path of your Ghostscript version):

set GS_LIB=c:\gs\gs#.##\lib;

Next, download and install Printmon in its own directory, and create a program object for it. In the Parameters field, insert this line (replace gs#.## with the path of your Ghostscript version):

lpt3 "c:\gs\gs#.##\bin\gsos2.exe -q -sDEVICE=stcolor -r360 -dMicroweave -sOutputFile=LPT1 -"

In this string, the parameter -sDEVICE= defines the printer to be used, in this example an Epson Stylus Color 200 (stcolor). Use only a devicename suitable to your specific printer! The parameters -r360 and -dMicroweave are specific settings for use with the Epson Stylus Color printer. The parameter -sOutputFile=LPT1 defines the actual physical port to which the printer is attached.

Note: An alternative set of parameters uses Ghostscript's uniprint device. If a device driver exits for your printer insert the following for parameters (again, this example refers to the Epson Stylus Color 200 printer; replace gs#.## with the path of your Ghostscript version):

lpt3 "j:\gs\gs#.##\bin\gsos2.exe @stc200_H.upp -sOutputFile=LPT1 -"

In the Session Settings for the Object, select OS/2 Window, Start Minimized, and Close on Exit. Place the Object or a shadow in the Startup folder.

Run WordPerfect for DOS, and select a PostScript printer driver (you may want to use one of this site's special Ghostscript drivers), and specify the printer port as LPT3. Restart your computer.

With Printmon running on startup, simply print from WPDOS to LPT3 using the PostScript driver you selected. Printmon captures the output and sends it to Ghostscript, which converts it into suitable output for your printer, and sends the output to the printer itself.

Note: Printmon will only monitor output to LPT1 through LPT3. If you are already using all three LPT ports (for example, for a printer, ZIP drive, and fax software), you will need an additional port to which to reassign your fax software in order to free LPT3 for use with WPDOS and Printmon. This can be accomplished with the Keller Group's LPT49 device driver utility, which creates additional LPT ports numbered from LPT4 through LPT9.

Long filenames under OS/2

WPDOS and other DOS and Windows applications can use OS/2 long file names with the help of the LFN-Calls utility by Thomas Bohn. This renames a long filename file to an 8.3 name, then call a DOS or Windows 3.1 program, then restores the original long filename when the program closes. The utility can be found on the Hobbes file archive. (Thanks to Thomas HellsÚn for this suggestion.)

Additional notes and links

A further suggestion worth trying is to configure your printer to print to the port named LPT1.OS2 or LPT2.OS2 instead of to LPT1 or LPT2. In WPDOS 5.1, use the "Other" setting for the printer port; in WPDOS 6.x, use LPT1.OS2 or LTP2.OS2 in the Filename field for the printer port.

Well-informed discussions of WPDOS under OS/2 may be found in the message boards of Yahoo discussion group devoted to OS/2 Word Processing, a group that seems to have fallen into disuse in 2011. A set of DOS properties files for WPDOS 6.0/6.1 and for 6.2 by Kris Steenhaut may be downloaded from the group's file library (you must join the group before downloading).

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