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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 May 4, 2015

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Startup switches - How to make WordPerfect play a macro or set other options each time it loads

Startup switches

In WordPerfect's Help [F1 key, Index tab] under "startup switches":

"Startup switches are commands that allow you to control what happens when WordPerfect starts. Some of these commands are for your convenience, but others may be necessary to run WordPerfect on your particular system. For example, you can ensure that WordPerfect always starts with the same startup switches by setting up a permanent startup switch."

Here is a list of startup switches. See the next section below for how to use them. Be sure to note how and where quote marks are used in some of the switches.

Startup switch
: [I.e., a single colon.] Starts WordPerfect without displaying the startup screen.
/d-path Redirects the overflow files and temporary buffer files to the specified folder (for example, wpwin15.exe /d-x:\temp).
[Not included in some early versions]

Reduces the size of the text displayed on screen to 90% of true WYSIWYG. This can fix some display problems, such as normal text appearing bolded or words appearing as if they run together.

[For example:] "C:\Program Files\Corel\WordPerfect Office X5\Programs\wpwin15.exe" /dm=90

[Most users set this value between 90 and 95 to achieve optimal results. See also the Footnote below for a Windows setting (ClearType) that might help with display problems.]

“file extension” and "filename" Opens the specified file from the documents folder that is specified in File Settings (for example, wpwin15.exe “x:\my documents\my letters\business.ltr”). You must include quotation marks around the file extension and filename.
filename/bk-bookmark name Opens the specified file and moves to the specified bookmark (for example, wpwin15.exe business.ltr/bk-opening).
[Not included in some early versions]
Tells WordPerfect to send text directly to the screen. This startup option corrects some display problems and may be required for using screen readers. It also prevents General Protection Faults and Invalid Page Faults that occur when opening or editing documents in WordPerfect with a 256-color graphics card driver. However, it may increase screen flickering.
/l-language code Identifies which entry in the Language Resource File (wp.lrs) and which language .dll WordPerfect uses (for example, wpwin15.exe /l-DK).

Starts the specified macro when WordPerfect opens.

For example,

wpwin15.exe /m-"x:\program files\Corel\WordPerfect Office X5\Languages\EN\macros\wpwin\heading1.wcm".

[If you need to use the full paths:]

"C:\Program Files\Corel\WordPerfect Office X5\Programs\wpwin15.exe" /m-"x:\program files\Corel\WordPerfect Office X5\Languages\EN\macros\wpwin\heading1.wcm".

/nb Turns off original document backup option for the current session.
/recover Rebuilds [WordPerfect] table information in the prefix of the document upon retrieval. [That is, it might fix some problems with tables. See also here for other document and template repair techniques.]
[Not included in some early versions]
Opens a specified .wpt (WordPerfect template) file for the purpose of editing the template. (for example,
wpwin15.exe /t-“x:\program files\Corel\WordPerfect Office X5\Languages\EN\Template\fax.wpt”).
/u-name Identifies the user initials for use on your network (for example, wpwin15 /u-GRB). This lets multiple users run WordPerfect on a network, although this option is not necessary for correct network operation.
Tip: If you use more than one startup switch, add a space between each command. [Copyrighted 2010 Corel Corporation.]

How to use them


Are underscores or underlines disappearing on your screen in WordPerfect -- yet they print? Do the descenders (i.e., the lower part) on some letters (g, y, q, etc.) appear "cut off" on screen? What probably is happening is that, in effect, the underlines and/or descending characters are being placed between the pixels of the display screen.

Try changing the zoom with View, Zoom or by rotating your mouse wheel while holding down the <Ctrl> key.

To more permanently solve the problem, you could also create a new, modified Windows shortcut to WordPerfect on your desktop containing a special WordPerfect startup switch.


This method is for WordPerfect 10 and later versions. Users of earlier versions may be able to simply modify the "Target" field (not the "Start in" field) of their existing WordPerfect desktop or Start group shortcut, using a command such as the one in
dark red below.

Reason for the new method:
If you used the standard installation for WP10 and later versions, the Microsoft Installer (MSI) will have created a shortcut in your Start>Programs group. The Target field in this shortcut will be grayed (greyed) out and inaccessible in the shortcut's Properties dialog. It is the Target field (not the "Start in" field) that you need to edit to add startup switches to WP10+. So don't try to modify the standard WordPerfect shortcut's Target field. You will need to create a brand new shortcut that can be modified.

Here's how to do it:

  • Right-click on your Windows desktop. From the context menu that pops up, select New, then Shortcut.
  • When prompted to "Type the location of the item:" copy and the paste the following command, including the quote marks, into the field (this will become the Target in the shortcut).
  • "C:\Program Files\Corel\WordPerfect Office X4\Programs\wpwin14.exe" : /dm=90
    • This example path and filename (everything in quotes) is to the WordPerfect X4 executable program file on most Windows XP systems. If you use a different version of WordPerfect, a different setup, or a different version of Windows you will need to modify the path. Just use the Browse button to find the wpwinxx.exe file. (The "xx" in that filename represents a number that corresponds to your version of WordPerfect.)
    • Using /dm=90 should fix the underscore problem, and other similar issues. /dm-90 sets the displayed character size on screen to 90% of standard. Its effect is to increase the spacing slightly between characters on your screen. It has no effect on formatting or pagination, or your printouts.
    • The colon (:) removes the splash screen (which is optional; see WordPerfect's Help <F1>, Index tab, "startup switches"). Some users find that adding the /fl switch (which causes WordPerfect to write directly to the screen, but which might cause some flicker) solves some display problems.
    • Use spaces between each startup switch.

This tip may also solve the problem where some characters appear bunched up or bolded on screen at some screen settings, yet the document prints correctly.


If you open documents from Windows Explorer, or My Computer, or Open With, or by any means whereby you double-click the file's name to load the file in WordPerfect, the shortcut discussed above will not be activated since you will have bypassed it. 

You can, however, use an alternative which involves adding the WordPerfect startup switch(es) to the file's association in Windows via My Computer or the Windows Control Panel (or Registry, if you are comfortable with Registry edits). 

See this thread on WordPerfect Universe -- scroll down there for the simple, step-by-step instructions. These are repeated here for your convenience:

[The following works in Windows XP. Other operating systems should be similar; however, Windows Vista and Windows 7 do not have an Advanced button as described below, so you might need a third party program to do the job or use a Registry edit as explained on this thread at WordPerfect Universe.]

  • For example, if you want to remove the WordPerfect splash screen and also add the /dm=90 startup switch, as in the example above:
    • Open My Computer; then
    • click Tools, Folder Options, File Types tab; then 
    • scroll down to WPD and select it; then 
    • click the Advanced button, then (with "Open" selected in the Actions pane) click the Edit button. 
    • You can add the startup switches to the very end of the command in the "Application used..." field. (Be sure to leave spaces between the command and any switches, as well as between the switches you have added.)

Footnote 1

Some display problems (blurry text, bolded letters, etc.) on LCD (flat screen) monitors can be solved with a built-in Windows feature called ClearType.

Use the Search function in Windows for more information on this Windows setting. It is available on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. (In Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is turned on by default.) On a Windows 7 system, for example, it will automatically check to see if the monitor is set to its native resolution, then it will show you some sample text. You can then use you mouse to choose the best samples, which should improve overall readability.

Note that while older CRT (picture tube) monitors can have several useful screen resolutions (the number of pixels in length and width, such as 1026x768, 1920x1080, et al.), LCD monitors use a fixed raster and cannot change to match the signal coming from your Windows display setting if it is different from the native resolution setting. For a good (and not too technical) overview of this topic, see "Native resolution" on Wikipedia.