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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
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Page updated Nov 16, 2016

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Publishing to PDF (Adobe's Portable Document Format) with WordPerfect 9 and later versions

Here are some tips to get the best from this feature (which was new with WP9). It is not a comprehensive list, so suggestions are welcome.



General Tips (all WordPerfect versions)

  • "Publish to PDF" is a menu choice that can be found under File on most standard top menus that are shipped with WordPerfect. (In some older WordPerfect versions it appears under File, Publish To.) If it  does not appear there, right-click on the top menu bar and choose the <WordPerfect Menu>. Note that menus can be manually changed by users -- and also (automatically) if they employ the Workspace Manager (available in WP12 and later versions; see Corel's article here and a further discussion here).

  • "Publish to PDF" has a Settings button on the dialog that appears when you use this feature. This button brings up another dialog that lets you choose (on the General tab) between Full Document, Current Page, a Selection of text, or a particular group of pages. 
    • It is important to note that the choices you make on the "Publish to PDF Settings" dialog are "sticky" between sessions. This sometimes becomes a problem if you have chosen something other than Full Document. Generally, your new choice becomes the default for future sessions, and can cause concern if you might be expecting the standard default of Full document. 
    • Be especially aware that if you choose to publish just a Selection of text, the program might mysteriously change the default choice to Current Page when you exit the program and reopen it. This bug exists in recent versions through at least version X6 (, and has been reported to Corel. [UPDATE: This bug appears to be fixed in WordPerfect X7, (at least in the fully patched version).]
    • Explore the other options in that dialog, some of which might apply to your needs.
      • For example, if you are creating a PDF to send to a printer/publisher, you might want to use a high-quality output PDF style on the General tab. This is variously named (depending on the WordPerfect version) "Commercial Printing," "Highest Quality," or "PDF for Editing." If nothing else, the printout from the PDF should then be exactly the same as a printout from your printer. (See this solution as it was reported in a thread on WordPerfect Universe here.)
    • See also the FAQ about PDFs on WordPerfect Universe, "How to use WordPerfect's Publish to PDF feature".

  • Publishing a document in PDF format and need to set smaller page margins (even to zero) than your physical printer supports?
    • [For example, here's why a colored background fill might not extend ("bleed") to the very edges of the printed page. (See also the BackgroundFill macro in the Library.]
    • Since WordPerfect uses the currently selected printer (in File, Print) to determine the printable areas on the page, and since those printers won't let you reduce page margins (Format, Margins) beyond a certain amount (i.e., they can't print in the non-printable areas), you could set the document to print to a separate PDF "printer" such as the free CutePDF (or in Windows 10, the included Microsoft Print to PDF in the Win10 Control Panel's Devices and Printers).

      You can then set the document's margins to as little as 0.0" and optionally reduce the page size (Page Setup) to match your publisher's requirements. Then you can either print the document directly to PDF with that PDF selection
      (i.e., create a PDF from the WPD document) or use WordPerfect's own Publish to PDF.

      (You don't need to actually print to paper right away. Just select the PDF printer in WordPerfect's File, Print, close that dialog, and adjust the page margins, etc. Later, you can open the PDF file and print from it to your physical printer.)


      None of these separate PDF "virtual printers" needs to be set as your default printer (in Windows) since the choice you make in WordPerfect's File, Print dialog applies to just the current document (and that choice is saved with the document).

      However, be aware your printer choice might change in that WordPerfect document when you re-open it if you have enabled "Reformat documents for the WP default printer on open" in Tools, Settings, Environment (see here for more on this setting). This setting tells WordPerfect to use the capabilities in the default printer driver upon opening the document -- including where it can print on paper.

      Also, using WordPerfect's Publish to PDF, or printing directly to an alternative virtual PDF printer, to allow the background to "bleed" to the actual edges of the document (on screen) might not work for all page setup sizes (i.e., page definitions), printer types, or with some system configuations. You can simply try it and see if it works for you.

  • "How do I add a hyperlink to a PDF file from WordPerfect?" [Here, this means add a hyperlink inside a PDF document to either another part of that PDF document or to another document. To create a hyperlink in a WordPerfect document (.WPD) to an existing PDF document (e.g., on your desktop or network) so that clicking the link opens the PDF in your PDF program (e.g., Adobe or Adobe Reader) see Footnote 1.]
    • From Corel's support database Article 754077:
    • ... "WordPerfect lets you publish documents [.WPD] to PDF [see the File menu in WordPerfect]. Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to print, view, and share PDF files. You can publish the active document or a document to which you have access. You can include hyperlinks and bookmarks in a PDF file. Hyperlinks are useful for adding jumps to other Web pages or to Internet URLs. Bookmarks allow you to link to specific areas in a PDF file. When the PDF file is first opened in Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, you can specify whether bookmarks are displayed."
    • ... "When you publish a file to PDF that includes hyperlinks, the links will automaticaly be added to the PDF. When you publish a table of contents, index, list, or table of authorities to PDF, WordPerfect numbers each marked heading or subheading sequentially. The entries display in the PDF as numbered bookmarks in the document...."
    • First, create a hyperlink in the WordPerfect document (.WPD):
      • [Make sure hyperlinks are active if you wish to use them while in the WordPerfect document to navigate to other locations: Enable the box, "Activate Hyperlinks," in Tools, Settings, Environment. Note that, even with this setting disabled (un-ticked), you can still create hyperlinks in the document and they will be active in the final PDF. Note also that active links in a .WPD document can appear to fail under certain conditions when attempting to navigate inside that document; see the paragraph below for more.]
      • Step 1. Select the text or graphic.
      • Step 2. Click on the Tools menu and select Hyperlink.
      • Step 3. To link to the current document, leave the field set to its default of <current document>. To link to another document, type the fill path and filename in the Document/Macro box. To link to a macro (so the macro will play when the link is clicked), type the name of the macro (or use the small button at the end of the field to brows to it and select it).
        • Notes:
        • You can also create a hyperlink to a Web address by typing a URL in the Document/Macro box. If you want to browse for the URL, click Browse Web.
        • Because browsers cannot play WordPerfect macros, hyperlinks to macros are not recommended in documents that will be published to the Web.
      • Step 4. If you want to link to a bookmark in the document, choose an existing bookmark from the Bookmark list box.
      • Step 5. To create a hyperlink that opens in a separate frame, type the name of the frame in the Target frame box. Otherwise, leave this field blank.
      • Optional: You can add highlighting to hyperlinked text in a PDF document to help make the links more distinctive. But be aware that this hides the underline in the PDF file (a known bug since WPX4 and still present in WPX8). However the hyperlinks will still be active -- assuming they were active in the first place. See the tip in Footnote 3 about how to modify the current document's hypertext style to automatically add highlighting and/or change the color or font of all hyperlinked text.
    • When you have finished creating or editing the document, publish the document to PDF. (See the File menu.)
    • Important: When publishing to the Web or to a PDF, WordPerfect uses absolute URLs rather than relative URLs, meaning that you need to enter the full location path to the link, not just the filename. If you are linking to a document, you must have the full path to the document. If not, you will get "file not found" errors when clicking on the link."

  • When you add highlighting to hyperlinked text, why does the underline disappear in the final PDF file? This is a known bug (in at least WPX4 through WPX6) -- although the hyperlink should still be active. But there's a workaround: see Footnote 3.

  • Need to create Bookmarks in a PDF (the "table of contents" that displays) when viewing the PDF in Adobe Reader (or similar)? The Bookmarks column in a PDf viewer can be created automatically (in WordPerfect X3 and later) by simply marking the items in your WordPerfect document for inclusion in a Table of Contents, as explained here. (This is done automatically for you if you use Heading styles for various headings in the document; however, you can create custom styles as noted here. Note that you do not have to generate a Table of Contents: marking the items is sufficient to produce bookmarks in the resulting PDF.) [Thanks to 'Robin' on WordPerfect Universe here.]

  • No menu choice? Trying to use the Publish to PDF feature and getting a grayed-out (i.e., inoperative) menu choice? Make sure your have a document open first. (This seems to be a common "problem.")

  • Missing the .PDF filename extension when you Publish to PDF? One reason -- in WordPerct X4 ( at least -- is extra periods (full stops) in the filename itself, such as "My.file.wpd".

  • Need to e-mail a large PDF file created in WordPerfect? You may be able to considerably reduce the file size of the PDF document.
    • A simple trick (especially when the PDF has been edited): Load the resulting PDF file in your PDF editor and save it again with File, Save As. [From an article here:]
      • "PDF files have something that is called incremental updates, where any changes that you make to a document is appended to the end of the file without doing a complete rewrite. This is why the Save feature is much faster than a Save As, and also why PDF files saved this way can be large. The Save As feature will rewrite the entire file and provide you with a smaller file size."
      • If you haven't made any changes to the PDF (e.g., with a PDF editor such as Adobe Acrobat), see the next trick.
    • Some PDF editors (such as Adobe Acrobat) have an option to Reduce File Size, or Optimize File, or similar. Using this option can reduce the PDF's size a bit more than with the previous Save As trick.
    • Search the Internet for software that can reduce the size of PDF files. (Note there are some free upload services that can do this for you, but you will have to decide how much to trust them with your document's information.)
    • In WP9: Click the Details tab in the Publish to PDF dialog, then checking (in WP9) the box "Publish text as graphics." This is not a "sticky" setting in WP9, so you'll need to check the box each time you publish to PDF.
      • Publishing a large document to PDF in WP9 can take several minutes, even though the process may appear to have been completed by WordPerfect. If you get an error message when trying to view the PDF file immediately after publishing to PDF with WordPerfect, try waiting a few minutes before viewing the PDF file with Adobe Reader.
    • In WordPerfect 10 and later: In the Publish to PDF feature the related option [cf. "Publish text as graphics," above] seems to be under the Objects tab, "Export all text as curves," which eliminates font variances on different computers. (However, there may not be as much of a difference in the resulting file size when you check this box as there can be in WP9's Publish to PDF.)
      • Also: From Corel's support database (support.corel.com), Article ID 201544: "Publish to pdf increases file size"
        • Details: "When publishing a document to pdf format the file increases in size instead of compressing (this includes both files containing graphics and those which do not)."
        • Answer: "Deselecting the following options solves the problem:
        • 1) Go to File | Publish to pdf
          2) Click the Details tab
          3) Deselect the options to "Include Fonts in the document", "Include base 14 fonts" and "Convert True Type to Type 1".

  • Using a PostScript printer driver as the default print device [when using Publish to PDF] helps in creating cleaner/consistent PDF output. [Ed.: Newer versions of WordPerfect, such as WPX4, are much more likely to produce great PDF output with your default, up-to-date printer driver.] See this post on WordPerfect Universe, which shows (1) how to install and use a standard PostScript printer driver (even if you do not have the physical printer); and (2) how to use it when publishing to PDF in WP.

  • Here are alternatives WordPerfect's built-in Publish to PDF feature, as well as to Adobe Acrobat: pdf995, pdfFactory, Win2PDF. and PDFtypewriter (the latter bills itself as an alternative to Adobe Acrobat at a fraction of the cost). All have free trial downloads. pdf995 (US$9.95) has been reported to maintain hyperlinks better than some versions of WordPerfect. pdfFactory is made by the same company that publishes the excellent FinePrint "save paper and ink" program.

  • Why some hyperlinks can fail to work while inside WordPerfect documents (.WPD, .WPT)

Here are some reasons why they might fail (or appear to fail) -- that is, the mouse cursor does not turn into a finger-pointing cursor when directly on a hyperlink -- when you are navigating in a hyperlinked WordPerfect document (not in a PDF document):

    • The activation state (on or off) for hyperlinks is stored with the document when it is saved to disk. The stored state will take precedence over the current state of the Tools, Settings, Environment, "Activate Hyperlinks" checkbox. Therefore, even if you have enabled that checkbox option, the document settings might be over-riding it. (See next item.)
    • If you have edited a hyperlink by right-clicking it and choosing Edit Hyperlink, the Hyperlink Property Bar will (or might) have appeared. (It might also appear if the Shadow Cursor is enabled; see next item.) The finger-pointing icon on that property bar is a Hyperlink Toggle. If you click it it will turn activation on or off -- and this state will be stored with the document when it is saved, regardless of the current state of the Tools, Settings, Environment, "Activate Hyperlinks" checkbox. (The latter is a global, user-preference setting.)
    • If you use the Shadow Cursor and have set Tools, Settings, Display to anything other than Active in White Space, the Shadow Cursor will only operate the hyperlink at the end of the hyperlink, not at any point before the end of the hyperlink.
    • If the location of the bookmark to which the hyperlink points is on the same screen (perhaps just a few sentences away), the cursor might move there but the screen might not move, giving the illusion that nothing has happened. (Check Reveal Codes to see if the cursor has moved.)

WordPerfect 9 (only)


More recent versions of WordPerfect such as WPX3 -- and especially WPX6 -- do a very good job of converting a WPD document to a PDF document. The feature has improved considerably since it was introduced in WP9.

Getting "Publish to PDF" to work in WP9

Here are some tips from Doug Collins of West Hills, CA (reprinted with permission):

Many users have reported difficulties getting WPWin9's "Publish to PDF" function to work properly [in WP9]. Here are a few tips for creating good PDF versions of your documents.

1. Download and install Service Pack 3. Several problems were fixed in Service Pack 1 (which is incorporated in SP3), including the improper alignment of fully justified text, the display of extended characters ("curly" quotation marks and apostrophes, em and en dashes, etc.).

2. When saving the file in PDF format, click on the "details" tab of the PDF dialogue box. Change the options as follow:

a. Uncheck "include fonts in the document." This greatly reduces the size of the PDF file but it may cause font substitutions if you document uses a font that's not on the computer used to print the file. That can affect alignment of text, line breaks, pagination, etc.

b. Check "publish text as graphics." This improves the appearance of the PDF file.

c. Check "compress text streams." This also helps reduce the size of the PDF file.

3. If the printed version the PDF file has problems with spacing between words, try one of the following:

a. Change your printer's settings. Go to My Computer, double click on the printers icon, right click on your printer, choose properties, click on the print quality tab, and set graphics mode to raster and text mode to truetype as bitmaps.

b. Change the options on the Adobe Acrobat Reader's print menu. Check the box labeled "print as image" and uncheck the box labeled "fit to page." Note that the print quality will not be as high with this setting.

c. If the problem persists, try switching to left-justified text (this problem should be fixed by Service Pack 1 and later). If available, try a different font. Adobe Type 1 fonts may give better results on some computers (such fonts require that an additional program called Adobe Type Manager or "ATM" be used with Windows 95/98).

4. If you're having problems displaying graphics in your PDF file, use graphic files in the JPEG or BMP format instead of the WPG format when creating your WP file. WPWin9 will convert the JPEG or BMP files to WPG format when they are inserted in your WP document. They will then translate properly to your PDF file (don't ask why no one knows just try it). However, be aware that large graphics may continue to cause problems.

5. Be prepared to accept some problems the translation from WP format to PDF isn't perfect, but it's pretty close, at least for straight text. However, dashed lines created with WP may display as solid lines in the PDF file, and large graphics and equations reportedly cause problems for many users.

Footnote 1

[Continued from above...]

A WordPerfect user asked, "Is there a way to get the WP hyperlinks to open the selected document in the application in which it is formatted?"

Answer (see also the alternative below):

Note that you can create a hyperlink (Tools, Hyperlink) to another document (.WPD, .DOC, etc.) or to a macro (.WCM).

If you first create a one-line macro using the AppExecute() command, you can then create a hyperlink to that particular macro. When the link is clicked, the macro will play, opening the file in the program that is associated with the file type (e.g., .PDF will open with Adobe Reader or whichever program normally opens a PDF on your system).

For example, create a macro (you can simply copy the code below into WordPerfect), something like this:

AppExecute("C:\Documents and Settings\Barry\Desktop\Test document.pdf")

Obviously, you will need to change the path and filename to match the .PDF (or other type of document) you wish to open. Then Save & Compile the macro and create the hyperlink to the macro wherever you wish the link to appear.

Tip: Macros can also be assigned to toolbars, menus, and keystrokes: see here for more on this. You could set up a special toolbar or menu with your library of documents conveniently available on the toolbar or menu.

Alternative: For those who wish to use hyperlinks in a document instead of macros on a toolbar to load the file: You can create or modify a hyperlink that points to the document, adding the characters "file://" in front of the path and filename, as in this example:

file://C:\Documents and Settings\Barry\Desktop\Test document.pdf

or this -

file://C:/Documents and Settings/Barry/Desktop/Test document.pdf
...i.e., all forward slashes, no backslashes (which works in Windows)

Footnote 2

[Continued from above...]

Publish your current WPD document to PDF using a macro. [N.B.: The macro below is for WordPerfect and later versions only.]

Note that the PDF dialog does not normally display when the macro is played, so you will want to ensure that all your PDF dialog options have been previously set to your preferences.

The code shown in blue are the operative lines. Other lines provide messages and feedback to the user, but they can be removed.

Tip: To copy this macro into your WordPerfect program, see here. Macros can also be assigned to toolbars, menus, and keystrokes: see here for more on this.

// Macro code begins

// This macro is based on one posted by Roy ("lemoto") Lewis at
// http://www.wpuniverse.com/vb/showthread.php?postid=165850#post165850

vFilename = ?Path+?Name
vFilename = StrLeft(vFilename;StrScan(vFilename;-1;;".")-1)
pdfName=vFileName + ".pdf"


//Label(Confirm@) // <= Optional; see under GetString below
Messagebox (vAns;"Verify Path+Filename for the PDF file:";
"The path and filename for the PDF file will be -"+HRt+HRt+
" "+pdfName+HRt+HRt+
"Continue? (Yes = Publish to PDF, No = Rename the file first, Cancel = Quit now)";
YesNoCancel! | IconQuestion!)
If(vAns=2) Quit Endif
If(vAns=6) Go(Yes@) Endif
If(vAns=7) Go(No@) Endif

GetString (pdfName;
"The new path+filename will be as shown below."+HRt+HRt+
"Press OK to accept the new name."+HRt+
"Be sure to retain the '.pdf' filename extension!"+HRt+HRt+
"(Press Cancel to quit now.)"+HRt;
"Rename the PDF file?")
If(pdfName="") Messagebox(;"Ooops!";"You must enter something!") Go(No@) Endif

//Go(Confirm@) // <= Optional: Loops back for re-confirmation


// End of macro

Footnote 3

[Continued from above...]

You can add highlighting to all hyperlinked text in a PDF document. But be aware that this hides the underline in the PDF file (a known bug since WPX4 and still present in WPX8), However the hyperlinks will still be active (assuming they were active in the first place).

Here's how to modify the current document's Hypertext style to automatically add highlighting and/or change the color of all hyperlinked text.

Note that this applies to just the current document and will apply to all hypertext, including links in a Table of Contents or Index. (If the latter effect is not wanted, you will have to manually add highlighting to the hyperlinked text on an item by item basis, the same way you would add italics, etc. If so, ignore the rest of this footnote.)


If you want to apply highlighting to the Hypertext style, you will first have to add the Highlight On/Off button tool to the regular "Selected Text" property bar so that it also shows on the Styles Editor's toolbar. [See here for more on customizing property bars.]

Then, in a document with at least one hyperlink:

1. On the main <WordPerfect> menu, choose a highlight color (e.g., gray) and shading (e.g., 50%) with Tools, Highlight, Color.

2. On the main menu, click Format, Styles and click on the Hypertext style in the left pane.

3. Click Edit to open the Styles Editor. Be sure the box at the bottom of the Editor ("Show 'off codes'") is ticked.

4. Select all the codes in the Editor's Contents pane. While they are selected, click on the (newly added) Highlight button on the Editor's property bar to add the current highlight color. A pair of [Highlight] codes should appear, bracketing the other codes.

Optional: If you want to also change the text color (or font or size) for all hyperlinked text, select all the codes again in the Contents pane and then click Format, Font from the Editor's menu (not the main WordPerfect menu). Choose a new color and shade (if desired), and/or a new font or size.

5. Close the Styles Editor with OK, Close. All the hypertext links in the current document should be changed to the new scheme.