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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 Mar 23, 2017

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

Part 3 - Customize your menu

See also Part 1:
Customize your toolbars -
How to create a toolbar button to play a macro, load a program or file, or use a built-in WordPerfect feature
See also Part 2:
Customize your keyboard -
Assigning a macro, feature, program, or string of keystrokes to a key or key combination

Customize your menu - How to add, edit, rearrange, or remove menu items


Do you need more WordPerfect features or macros available from the top menu?

Do you want to organize the menu items you already have there?

This page will show you how.

Notes

Main menu

¤  "Menu" as used here refers to the row of labels that you see at the top of your screen, such as File, Edit, View ... Help. [Some users call it a "toolbar" but in WordPerfect a toolbar is different from a menu (see here for more on toolbars and property bars).]

¤  "Menu selection" generally refers to an individual label on that menu (as in "click the File menu selection then click Open...").

¤  "Menu item" generally means a sub-menu choice available under a menu selection -- but it can also refer to a single item (menu selection) on the top menu bar. The meaning should be clear from the context of the sentence in which it appears.

¤  Menus, like toolbars and keyboard definitions, are normally stored in the user's default template, which is a special file on your disk. If you customize your menu (as described below) the template file is updated with the changes.

¤  Note that there are several available menus that ship with WordPerfect. The normal (default) menu is shown in the image above and also listed as <WordPerfect Menu> (shown in the graphic in Step 1 below). [Note that Microsoft Word users might have deliberately chosen one of the MS Word menus -- and if so, some items might be missing from the menu or sub-menus. See here for why this happens and what you can do about it.]

Quick Links

Step 1: How to create a NEW MENU SELECTION on the top menu.

Step 2: How to ADD CHOICES (i.e., menu items) to the new menu (or an existing menu).

Step 3: (Optional) How to MOVE MENU ITEMS from one menu selection to another.

Step 4: (Optional) How to EDIT MENU ITEMS.

Step 5: (Optional) How to REMOVE MENU ITEMS.

Tips  (Creating sub-menus; backing up and restoring menus; migrating a menu from another WordPerfect version; etc.)


Step 1: How to create a NEW MENU SELECTION on the top menu.

Notes

¤  This method explains how to modify an existing WordPerfect menu by editing it. You can also create a completely new custom menu with the Create button on the Customize Settings dialog shown below, and Add menu selections to it. (Or use the Copy button to make a new copy; then edit the copy.) Then skip down to Step 2 if you want to add items under the selections, etc.

¤  To add a new menu item under an existing menu selection or to the top menu bar itself, see Step 2 below. The material here in Step 1 explains how to create a new menu selection (e.g., "Letterheads" to the top level menu) and then add items under it.

In this step you will first create a new menu selection — a label like the existing ones (File, View, etc.) — on the top menu. Then you can add menu items under it or relocate it under an existing menu selection. Here's how to do it.

  • Either -

    Click Tools, Settings, Customize; then click on the Menus tab;

    or
    -

    Right-click on the top menu bar (the one with File, Edit, View, etc.); from the drop list that appears, click on "Settings....".

  • In the Customize Settings dialog that pops up, click on the menu you want to customize under the Menus tab. Generally this is the <WordPerfect Menu> or the <WordPerfect N Menu> (where "N" is your version number, unless you have previously created a customized menu — in which case, click on that one). Then click Edit to bring up the Menu Editor. (The Menu Editor is shown in the second screen shot below; you can drag the dialog to reposition it.)

    Menu editor #1

  • Note: If you are editing an existing menu, skip down to Step 2.

  • Next, in the Menu Editor window you'll see an indented box on the right side labeled Menu, just above the box labeled Separator. Hold down your left mouse button and drag the Menu icon from this box (it's a small white rectangle with a right arrowhead inside it) up and to the (empty) right side of WordPerfect's top menu bar. Release the mouse button to drop the icon on this empty area of the menu bar.

    Menu editor #2

  • Next, on the top menu bar, move your cursor over this new menu selection (which is temporarily labeled "Menu" by default), and when it turns blue (assuming you use default Windows' colors) to indicate it is selected, double click it.

    Menu editor #3

  • The Edit Menu Text dialog appears. This lets you change the menus name in the Menu Item field (e.g., "Letterheads," "Stationery," "My Macros," or something familiar), and also add a floating description (called a "Quick Tip").

    Menu editor #3a

    • Note:

      If you prefer using the keyboard to the mouse to access this menu later, you can type an ampersand (&) immediately before any letter in the name that you want to use as a mnemonic; this will select (open) the menu if you use the keyboard's [Alt+<letter>] key combination.

      For example, if the menu is labeled "Letterheads" you would type this in the Menu Item field (without quotes):

         &Letterheads

      This produces a label on the menu with an underlined letter (the mnemonic):

         Letterheads

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

      When the cursor is in a document (not a dialog), pressing <Alt+L> will open the Letterheads menu (assuming <Alt+L> is not already assigned to some other feature, program, keystrokes, or macro).

      If the menu items (the "choices" in Step 2 below) listed on the Letterheads menu also have mnemonics in their names, just type a mnemonic letter immediately (i.e., without pressing <Alt>) to choose that menu item.


      See the Tips section below about using multiple mnemonics on sub-menus.

  • Click OK when you are done editing the menu name and Quick Tip.

  • To add choices to the new menu leave the Menu Editor open on your screen (or you can reopen it later) and continue with the instructions in Step 2 below.

Step 2: How to ADD CHOICES (i.e., menu items) to the new menu (or an existing menu).

  • Open the Menu Editor dialog if it is not open [as with Step 1 above]:  Right-click in the empty area on the right side of the menu bar and choose Settings, then choose the desired menu (e.g., the <WordPerfect Menu>) and click Edit.

  • Click on either the Features, Keystrokes, Programs, or Macros tab at the top of the dialog. (The Features tab is selected by default.)

    • Example: To add a WordPerfect feature: Click in the drop list, "Feature categories," then scroll down in the Features list and left-click on one of the existing categories. (A brief description will appear below the feature list.) Click the Add Menu Item button.

    • Example: To add a choice to play a macro: Click the Macros tab, then click the Add Macros button. Select the macro that you previously created. Click Select to close the Select Macro window. A dialog will pop up and ask if you want to save the macro with its full path; answer either Yes or No. ("No" will use the default macros folder when playing the macro, and may be the preferred answer for most users; "Yes" will point to the exact location of the macro on your system.)
      • Note: When you get back to the Menu Editor you may have to click in a blank area of the Menu Editor window to make the window active again. [This does not seem to be required in WordPerfect 9 and later versions.]

    • Example: To load a WordPerfect document or a PDF document: Click the Programs tab, then the Add Program button. The Open File dialog appears. Choose the WordPerfect document (.wpd) or template (.wpt), or a PDF file (.pdf) and click Open.
      • Tip: As an alternative to using the top menu, you may be interested in how to create a vertical toolbar with a similar purpose. See "How to Create a Vertical Toolbar with Text Buttons to Access Your Favorite Folders, Templates and Files" here. However, a menu, along with various submenus, can accommodate more choices and with longer text labels than a  toolbar.

    • Example: To launch an external Windows program or a PDF file: Click the Programs tab, then the Add Program button. The Open File dialog appears. Choose the program's executable file (.exe) or the Adobe (.pdf) file and click Open.

  • You'll notice the item -- e.g., the feature name, or the macro's filename (without extension) -- was placed on the top menu, just to the right of the new menu selection created in Step 1 above. You'll probably want to move it underneath the new menu selection to make it a menu item. [Or, you can move it under an existing menu or leave it on the top menu bar if you wish; if you do that, skip to the next bullet section on renaming the item.] Here's the trick to moving the new item:

    • Carefully place your cursor over the new item (e.g., the feature or macro's name; in this example it's labeled "Letterheads") on the top menu bar until it turns reverse color (i.e., it's now "selected"); then -
      • hold down the left mouse button and drag the name (here, "Letterheads") leftward over to the new menu selection;
        then - 
      • drag it downward to the empty menu area that pops up just under the new menu selection's name (here, "Stationery"); then -
      • drop it there.
        Menu editor #4
        Essentially this is a sort of "go left, then go down" action with your mouse, done while holding down the left mouse button.

    • For additional menu items you can drag-and-drop the feature name or macro name either below or above any existing menu items. A heavy horizontal line will appear to guide your placement. You also can add a separator line between menu items by dragging and dropping a separator from the Menu Editor window (see just under the indented Menu box on the Editor).

    • For sub-menus, you can click the Menu icon on the Menu Editor dialog (see Step 1) and drag it to a location under a menu selection, at the proper position among the other menu items. You will want to rename it (see next paragraph below), then add (drag) items to the sub-menu.

  • With the Menu Editor still open, you can rename the menu item or sub-menu by carefully positioning your mouse over it. When the item's name turns reverse color, double click it and rename it in the pop up box. In the same way that you can add an Alt-key mnemonic to the menu selection, you can type an ampersand (&) immediately before any letter in the menu item's name. Click OK to exit the dialog box.

    • See the Tips section below about using multiple mnemonics on sub-menus.

  • Click OK when you are done to close the Menu Editor, then click Close in the Customize Settings window.

Step 3: (Optional) How to MOVE MENU ITEMS from one menu selection to another.

  • Open the Menu Editor as in Step 1 above.

  • Drag-and-drop the desired menu item either below or above any existing menu items. A heavy horizontal line will appear to guide your placement. You also can add a separator line between menu items by dragging and dropping a separator from the Menu Editor dialog.

  • You can also drag-and-drop a menu item or a a sub-menu to an adjacent menu. With the Menu Editor on screen, left-click the menu item, drag it upward and then across to the adjacent selection, then downward to the appropriate location. Drop it there.

Step 4: (Optional) How to EDIT MENU ITEMS.

  • Open the Menu Editor as in Step 1 above. While it is open -

  • Use the mouse to find the menu item you wish to edit; then double-click that item. The Edit Menu Text dialog appears to let you change the name and Quick Tip for that item. If the item is a macro or program, the Properties button will let you change the path and/or filename. Click OK when finished.

Step 5: (Optional) How to REMOVE MENU ITEMS.

If you later decide to delete a menu selection or one of its (sub-)menu items, simply bring up the Menu Editor and drag the selection from the top menu bar (which will remove all its items, too), or just drag the desired item from under the menu selection.

To restore the menu to the factory default: Right-click on the menu and choose Settings. Select the menu in the list if it isn't already selected. Click Reset.

Notes

¤  Removing menu items does not delete macros from your disk.

Normally, leaving your macro files (*.wcm files) on your disk is a good thing, since you might need them later.

However, if you really want to delete the menu's macros too, you can right-click a macro's filename from the Play Macro dialog (click Tools, Macro, Play) or from any Windows file dialog, and choose Delete from the context menu.

¤  Getting a warning message?

In recent versions of WordPerfect if you delete default menu selections from the template you might see a notice pop up: "This template is missing default menu commands. To add these commands, user the Merge feature at the following location...".

You are then given a choice: "Do not perform this check (this option can be reset in Tools | Settings | Files | Template)."

Enable the choice on the message -or- go to the Tools
| Settings | Files | Template tab and disable the "Check template menus for missing default commands on open" check box.

Tips

  • You can create sub-menus on the new custom menu, perhaps to group items alphabetically with mnemonic letters (e.g., &A-B, &C-D, etc.). Then you could use the same mnemonic numbers or letters on more than one sub-menu for various menu choices. There won't be any conflict since mnemonics are only operative for the currently open menu or sub-menu. For example -

      • Your new custom menu on the top level:
        • Vendor &letters
      • Sub-menus under this new top menu:
          • &A-B
            &C-D
            &E-F
            ... etc.
      • Item selections on a sub-menu:
            • &1 Central Plumbing
              &2 Jane Dole Construction
              &3 ... etc.

    • You can use numbers (0-9) and letters (a-z) on the same menu or sub-menu to have up to 36 items. This is not an absolute limit. If you use the same mnemonic two or more times on the same menu, you will simply cycle through these choices with each use of the mnemonic while that menu is open, which effectively (if less than optimally) increases the number of mnemonics you can have on the same menu.

    • Note that while you must use <Alt+letter> or <Alt+number> to open a top-level menu if it has a mnemonic assignment, you don't need the <Alt> key to choose an item on that menu or a sub-menu (which is also tagged with a mnemonic). Just immediately press the appropriate mnemonic number or letter for your choice. In fact, using the <Alt> key to select a mnemonically tagged item on a menu or sub-menu might cause some other feature or macro to start. So, in the above example, to load Jane Dole's letter just press <Alt+L>,C,2.

  • Be sure to periodically back up your default template, which is where normal menus are stored (back up any custom templates, too), in case you upgrade or reinstall the program. See the Tips page here for tips and links on this topic.

  • To restore any factory provided menu to its factory settings: Right-click on the menu and choose Settings. Select the menu in the list if it isn't already selected. Click Reset.

  • To migrate customizations from a menu in another version of WordPerfect, it is best to re-create them in the current version. See here for some tips.

  • Create a "macro menu" to play other macros with the click of a toolbar button. See Mike Koenecke's MacroMenu.zip at http://www.macros.koenecke.us/. It displays a set of push-buttons to make it easy to play any of your macros.

  • Create a vertical text toolbar "menu" with the method explained in this PDF file.

  • A more advanced macro can be used to play other macros -- and also insert words, paragraphs, symbols, disk files, QuickWords, etc.. See PickList in the Library.