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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2017 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Feb 9, 2017

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Three easy ways to play macros, load programs, type keystrokes, or use built-in WordPerfect features

Part 1- Customize your toolbars

See also Part 2:
Customize your keyboard -
Assigning a macro, feature, program, or string of keystrokes to a key or key combination
See also Part 3:
Customize your menu -
How to add, edit, rearrange, or remove menu items
How to create a toolbar button to play a macro, load a program or file (or folder), use a built-in WordPerfect feature, or play back keystrokes (plus related tips)

First, please note:

¤  To be able to see toolbars you must have enabled them with Tools, Settings, Customize, Toolbars tab or from the View, Toolbars dialog.

¤  If you need to create a brand new custom toolbar to host one or more toolbar buttons, see "How to create a new, custom toolbar".

¤  To add a button on one of WordPerfect's context-sensitive property bars, see "Adding buttons to the context-sensitive Property Bars".

¤  To modify, delete, move, copy, reposition, or restore toolbar buttons see the Tips section below.

Step 1 of 3. Open the Toolbar Editor using either of these 2 methods.

□  Method A: If you want to customize the displayed toolbar -

•  Right-click on the displayed toolbar to choose it.

Note 1: The toolbar is (typically) just below the program's menu as shown here. By default it is the main WordPerfect toolbar, labeled as shown in the images below.

Note 2: Context-sensitive property bars (located between toolbars and the ruler) can also be edited to add buttons to them: see here.

•  Click on Edit from the drop-down context menu that appears (example from WPX8 Standard edition):

Toolbar context menu

•  The Toolbar Editor will open:

Toolbar Editor

•  Go to Step 2.

□  Method B:  If you want to customize a different toolbar -

•  Click Tools, Settings, Customize on the main program menu. The Customize Settings dialog (shown below) opens to let you choose any available toolbar. (There's a scroll bar on the right side to show other toolbars.)

•  On the Toolbars tab, choose the toolbar from the list by clicking on the name in the list. This sets the name in reverse text (e.g., white on blue) indicating it is the one you choose to edit.

Customize Settings - Toolbars

•  Click on the Edit button to open the Toolbar Editor (shown in Step 2).

Note: The checkbox next to the name will cause the program to display that toolbar if it is not already displayed. You can uncheck it if you don't need it displayed.

Step 2 of 3.  Use one of the following 4 procedures, depending on what you want the toolbar button to do.

□  To have the new button play a MACRO:

•  Click on the Macros tab on the Toolbar Editor then click the Add Macro button (shown below):

Toolbar Editor - Macros tab

•  From the Select Macro window that opens (usually, into your Default or Supplemental macro folder set in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro tab), choose (click on) the desired macro file name from the file list, then click Select.
Important points:

1.  Usually, when you select a macro you can answer the "Save macro with full path?" question that pops up with "No" -- unless you deliberately want to store the macro in a folder other than the Default or Supplemental folders shown in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro. Those two folders are where the program looks for macros when no path to another folder is specified, so for most users who keep macros in either (or both) of them, there is no need to specify the path to them. (This helps many users when upgrading the program with customized toolbars imported from their earlier version. By default the new program will look for assigned macros on the custom toolbars in those two factory defined folders.)

However, if you chose a macro from the Select Macro window that is in a folder other than the Default or Supplemental folders shown in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro, then answer "Yes" so that the program will look in that other folder. If so, see point #2.

2.  Be aware that copying/moving assigned macros (i.e., those located in a specific drive/folder) to a different computer or a newer version of WordPerfect can sometimes "break" the assigned path to the macro (e.g., if "Yes" was originally answered above before the macros were copied/moved) and causes some users to ask, Why won't my macros play anymore?

This happens if the new path to the macros is different from the path that is embedded in each of the toolbar button's Properties.

Edit the "broken" toolbar button to give it updated information: Right click on the toolbar and choose Edit. The Toolbar Editor appears. While it is on screen, right click directly on the broken toolbar button, click Customize, then Properties. Modify the field there to include both the new path (drive and folder) and the macro's name.

For some more information and tips on this, and the general topic of transferring macros to another system or WordPerfect version, see here.
•  Finally, a small gray "cassette" button audio cassette image audio cassette image appears on your toolbar. Right-click on it an choose Customize. Give the icon a Button Text name of your choice (also see the second tip below about using an ampersand) and a Quick tip name of your choice.

Tip: If you want to customize the button's graphic icon, see here for some more tips to make the button unique.

•  Go to Step 3.

□  To have the new button start a WordPerfect FEATURE (if the feature is not already on the toolbar):

•  Click on the Features tab. You will need to make 2 choices there:
[1] Scroll down in the "Feature categories" drop list to choose the appropriate category, such as File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, etc.

[2] In the lower Features drop list, choose one or more features (one at a time) you want to assign to the new button(s).

Toolbar Editor - Features tab

Tip: There are some features in each category that are not found on standard toolbars. You might want to explore the categories and feature lists and assign some of them to buttons to see if they are useful to you. See the Tips section below for how to delete them later, etc.
•  Click on the Add Button for the feature you chose in [2] above. A new toolbar button with a pre-defined icon image on it will appear on your toolbar for the feature chosen. (By default it is placed at the end of existing icons, but you can relocate it: See Step 3.)

•  Go to Step 3.

□  To have the new button START an external program, or LOAD a specific folder or file:

•  Method 1 (for programs):

Click the Programs tab on the Toolbar Editor, then the Add Program button (shown below):

Toolbar Editor - Programs tab

Locate and choose the exectuable (*.exe) program's name in the Open File - Programs window that opens, then click Open.

go to Step 3.

•  Method 2 (for programs or macros that play programs):

Drag-and-drop a program or macro shortcut from your Windows deskop to the WordPerfect toolbar or property bar. Be sure it's a shortcut (it will have a small arrow on the icon), left-click on it, and drag it to the WordPerfect toolbar or property bar (note that the latter may be a context-sensitive bar, so it may not always be visible). To reposition it, just hold down the <Alt> key and drag the icon to a new location. To remove it later, just hold down the <Alt> key and drag the icon from the toolbar or property bar.

•  Method 3 (for folders):

To have a button open a specific folder, open Windows Explorer [from the keyboard you can press and hold the Windows key (the key with a Windows icon on it) and simultaneously press the E key], or use (My) Computer or similar file manager. Drag-and-drop the folder name onto the WordPerfect toolbar.

Note: The Toolbar Editor (see Step 1 above) does not need to be open for this to work.

•  Method 4 (for existing files):

To have a button open a specific existing file (such as a list of telephone numbers) from your disc, drag the file from its directory/folder in Windows Explorer or My Computer onto the WordPerfect toolbar.

•  Method 5 (for instructions on loading a new document based on a custom template):

See "Load a letterhead - or any other document based on a custom template - with a mouseclick or keystroke" here. [Also see "Automating WordPerfect Templates" here.]

•  Alternative method (for programs, folders, or files):

Create a vertical toolbar to load favorite documents, open favorite folders, etc. See the PDF file, How To Create a Vertical Toolbar...".

□  To have the new button automatically TYPE pre-assigned text into the document:

•  Click the Keystrokes tab -- the same procedure shown in "Assigning a macro...to a key... (Step 3)" -- but here you would assign the keystrokes to the toolbar button. Once the keystrokes are assigned to the button, you can click the button and it will stream the keystrokes into the document at the cursor location.

Note: This probably is only useful for relatively small blocks of ordinary text. For large blocks of text, which might contain formatting or graphics, see the page on using boilerplate.

•  Go to Step 3.
Step 3 of 3. Finish up.
•  You can click-and-drag the new button into another position on the toolbar while the Toolbar Editor is still on screen.


¤  You can drag it from the toolbar to delete it. (If the Toolbar Editor is closed, you can press and hold the <Alt> key while you drag the button.)

¤  You can also copy or move it onto another toolbar or property bar visible on your screen, as explained in the Tips section below.

¤  Made a mistake?  Standard toolbars -- such as the main (default) toolbar -- can be reset to their factory installed state. Right-click on the toolbar and choose Settings; select the bar in the list if it isn't already selected; click Reset. (Note that custom toolbars you created from scratch cannot be reset this way.)

•  When done, click OK all the way back to the document window.


  • To modify a macro button's default icon -- the gray audiocasette image --
    audio cassette image  see here. [You can also use the technique with other buttons.]

  • You can add separations between buttons from the Toolbar Editor by dragging the Separator icon from to the Toolbar Editor (see Editor above) and dropping it at the desired location on the toolbar.

  • Add a hot key (a/k/a keyboard shortcut) to activate the button: If you put an ampersand ("&") in the Button Text, the letter that follows the ampersand can be used with the <Alt> key to play the macro, in addition to clicking the toolbar button itself. This is sometimes referred to as a mnemonic key. On menus and dialogs it shows up as an underlined letter or number.

    • For example, if the Button Text is something like "Fax this document," and you change it to "&Fax this document," then <Alt+F> will play the macro, the same as if you click the button with your mouse. Note that, in this example, <Alt+F> would normally bring up the WP File menu; now it will not. So, to bring up the File menu, simply press and release the <Alt> key, then press the <F> key. [Thanks to P. Wolfgang Deiminger for the ampersand tip.]

    • Note: Some recent versions of Windows might have hidden the underlined letters or numbers by default. See "Windows underlined <Alt> key shortcuts - How to display hidden underlines on menus and dialogs" here.

  • To delete a button from a toolbar (or property bar) when you are back in the document window, simply hold down the <Alt> key and drag the button off the bar.

  • To restore any non-custom (i.e., standard) toolbar to the factory settings:
    • Right-click on the toolbar and choose Settings. Select the bar in the list if it isn't already selected. Click Reset. (Custom toolbars you created from scratch can only be modified or deleted.)

  • You can move or copy an existing button from one toolbar to another, or between a toolbar and a property bar (assuming both are visible).

    • To move it, hold down the <Alt> key while you drag the button to the other toolbar.

    • To copy it, hold down the <Ctrl> and <Alt> keys while you drag it. [Most people probably will want to copy the button, not move it, so that the source toolbar remains the same.]

    • For macros, you might have to edit the moved/copied button with the Toolbar Editor to specify the path to the related macro's disk location on the current system.

    • For property bars, see here.

  • Toolbars are stored in your default template file. They can be migrated into another WordPerfect installation, either the same program version or a newer program version. For more information see "Updating, upgrading, or reinstalling WordPerfect" here.

  • To re-position a toolbar on your screen:

    • You can use the quick and easy way: Place your mouse cursor on an empty area or border (not on a button) on the toolbar and left-click-and-drag the toolbar to a new location: left, right, top, bottom, or palette ("floating"). When its border changes from a thick to a thin line -- a "ghost" outline of the bar's shape (except for the palette, which will always be a rectangle with a thick border) -- release your mouse button and the toolbar should snap into that location. Later, you can drag it back to the main toolbar area to relocate it back in its default position. (If this proves difficult or tricky, use the dialog method below.)

      - or -

    • Use the dialog method: Click Tools, Settings, Customize -- or simply right-click on the toolbar and choose Settings.

    • In the Customize Settings dialog that appears, click on the Toolbars tab and then use your mouse to choose (i.e., reverse highlight the name of) the toolbar.

    • Click the Options button. Make your choice of location, etc., on the Toolbar Options dialog. [As in the quick method above, "Palette" creates a floating toolbar that you can drag to a different position. If you drag it back over its typical location -- the border will change from a thick to a thin line when it can be docked -- and then release your mouse button, it should snap into that location.]

    • Click OK to close the Toolbar Options dialog, then Close to return to the document.

    • To position it back in its original location, repeat the above steps and choose the newly desired location on that Options dialog. [Tip: For the Palette (floating) toolbar you can double click on its title bar and it should snap back into its original location. (Thanks to Roy "lemoto" Lewis for this tip.)]

  • You cannot permanently change the items on Microsoft Word toolbars as you can with WordPerfect toolbars; they will be reset to their defaults on a program reboot. But you can make both Word toolbars and your customized WordPerfect toolbars visible at the same time using the Tools, Settings, Customize check boxes.