| Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect
Macros, tips, and
templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
| Page updated May 27, 2020|
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| Updating, upgrading, or reinstalling WordPerfect
Other parts in this series
[Part 1] Overview: Some things to keep in mind about WordPerfect documents and program files
[Part 2] Updating your current copy of WordPerfect - i.e., bringing your program up to date with a Corel Service Pack or "patch"
[Part 3] Upgrading to a newer version of WordPerfect
[Part 4] Uninstalling and/or reinstalling your current WordPerfect program (and how to completely remove it)
[Part 5] Migrating customizations
[Part 7] Transferring macros from one system to another, or from an earlier version of WordPerfect to a newer version
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Can you install more than one version of WordPerfect on the same computer?
Yes. I have had as many as seven versions of the program (WP8-WPX4) installed on the same Windows XP system at the same time for testing and peer support purposes. More recently I have had four versions installed simultaneously on both a Windows 7 and a Windows 10 system.
[Being a cautious person I always installed new versions in separate folders from earlier versions that I wanted to keep on my system (see the Tips below). Recent versions will choose a new folder location by default, but this can be changed at installation time.]
As noted earlier in this series of articles, disk space taken up by a typical installation should not be an issue for most users. The size of the installation depends on the edition you purchased, of course, but WordPerfect X6 Standard Edition (released in 2016) took only about 1.5GB on my 256GB system.
All versions played — and still play — well together. Note that all versions were/are fully patched.
Some users simply like the idea of having an older version available while they get used to a newer one. Moreover, they can use either version to open their documents, which had (prior to WPX6) the nice side effect of being able to open more than 9 documents at one time (see the note below about WordPerfect X6, which can open multiple instances of itself — with each instance allowing up to 9 documents).
An advantage to retaining (at least for a short time) multiple installations is that it makes migrating some customizations and preferred program settings easier.
However ... be aware that newer versions can contain new formatting schemes, such as the Redaction Tool in WordPerfect X4, which obviously will not be available in older versions. [Note that the Redaction Tool uses a type of highlighting which would show up as simple (gray) highlighting in a document that was created (and redacted) in WPX4 or later and then viewed in WPX3 or earlier.]
Hence, for important work the final editing of complex or highly formatted documents might be better done in the most recent WordPerfect version — especially if you plan to submit the document to others who might use an earlier version. [As noted in Part 1, the file structure in WordPerfect documents and templates has remained the same since WordPerfect 6 (c.1993), so other users should not have problems opening and editing a document from a newer version. But newer formatting, such as the Redaction Tool mentioned above, can cause some (mostly minor) issues for those users.]
☼ Be sure to see the "Migrating..." section here about backing up certain files before installing another WordPerfect program. Even if you think you might not need those files, it's a good idea to retain them in case you need to recover customizations that are stored in them.
☼ Some personal recommendations on where to install the newer program:
Yes, you have a choice of location. But even though many users opt to use all of the automated installation's default choices (options) when presented with them, you might want to consider a few of those options more closely.
For example, in recent versions you should see an installation screen ("Disk Clean-up") with options to remove earlier WordPerfect versions.
I suggest retaining all previous versions, at least temporarily. You can always easily and quickly uninstall an older version once you no longer need it.
The next installation screen (at least in recent versions) has other options where you can choose the desired components to install — including a field entitled "Install to the following folder".
For example, when installing WordPerfect X9 that field automatically defaults to C:\Program Files (x86)\Corel\WordPerfect Office X9\ — a folder location specifically designated for the new version being installed.
This installation location can be changed to any other preferred folder with the Browse button there — but I have not seen a good reason to do so.
[In some earlier versions of WordPerfect (but probably only in Upgrade editions), during installation you might see a button marked "Advanced" or "Change" or similar to allow you to manually specify a folder for the program's installation. This option is now more clearly evident with the "Install to..." choice — but unless you have a good reason to specify a different location I recommend sticking with the installation routine's default.]
Whichever version you are now installing, these choices should be considered carefully in light of (optionally) having more than one version of WordPerfect on your computer.
Further, accepting (or choosing) a separate program folder for the new installation than the one used for a prior version has at least two advantages:
 There should not be any unwanted interaction between installed versions, as might occur if you "upgrade" by installing one program "on top of" an existing program. (Such issues have been occasionally reported in various WordPerfect support groups, mostly with earlier versions of the programs.)
 Migrating your customizations (e.g., toolbars, shortcut keys, etc.) and some preferred program settings should be easier when you have the earlier version to reference.
Following an installation to a separate program folder from a previously installed version(s), you will see separate entries for each WordPerfect Office version in your Windows Start menu as well as separate program folders on the boot drive's C:\Program Files (x86)\Corel folder, several other program folders, and in the Windows Registry.
Also be sure to see the "Transferring macros..." section for additional information regarding macros with multiple versions installed.
A note about WordPerfect X6 and later versions
In WordPerfect X5 and earlier, users found they could open more than 9 documents by using more than one installed version at a time (e.g., WPX4 and WPX5). This works, albeit with an occasional information message when you open a second version alongside the current version.
Starting with WordPerfect X6 you can simultaneously open more than one copy ("instance") of the same program version, which means you can have more than 9 documents open at a time with just one version of WordPerfect — as well as make better use of multiple monitors.
(There's also a new menu choice: Window, Separate. Also see Tools, Settings, Files, which has a new checkbox option: "Outside WordPerfect, open documents in new application window." Some uses might want to un-check this option since it opens a new instance for every document you open directly from the Windows desktop or with Windows Explorer.)
Will multiple installed versions of WordPerfect interfere with each other?
☼ Not generally, if installed in numerical order (see below for a specific issue with out-of-order installations).
But you might want to note that the newest installed version will take over the Windows file association for .WPD files, so that if you open a WordPerfect document from Windows Explorer, My Computer, or the Windows desktop it will open in the newest installed version of WordPerfect.
You can always reset such filename associations in Windows or (even easier) simply open your preferred version of WordPerfect and -
(1) delete the three-character filename extension (WPD) in the "Use default extension on open and save" field in WordPerfect's Tools, Settings, Files; then -
(2) re-type the same extension (WPD) back into the field. (No need to close WordPerfect when deleting and re-typing these characters.)
This method simply resets the Windows Registry for the default filename association.
Related tip: You can use a WordPerfect macro to reset any or all WordPerfect file associations. See Klaus Pfeiffer's FileAssociations.zip on WordPerfect Universe here.
☼ Note that all files with a .WPD extension will be opened in the preferred version of WordPerfect in the future, even if they were created in another version of WordPerfect.
Normally this is not a problem since (unlike competing products) WordPerfect files are both downwardly and upwardly compatible without any need to convert them first — something that has been true since at least WPWin6.
However, if the file was created or updated using a different default printer there may be slight differences in formatting due to the printer driver in use at the time, or due to slight variations in fonts on the two systems (even those they appear to have the same font name).
This can happen if you have "Reformat douments for the WordPerfect default printer on open" checked in Tools, Settings, Environment. See here for more on this issue.
☼ Also see the "Transferring macros..." section for additional information when using multiple installation of WordPerfect.
☼ You can delete a newer WordPerfect version, but the older version on your computer probably will need to be repaired. See "Repairing 'bad' or damaged WordPerfect program files" here.
☼ Conversely, you should be able to delete an older version without having an adverse impact on the newer version(s).
☼ "Out-of-numerical-order" installations. [Applies to WordPerfect X5 and later versions]
For example, if you choose to install or reinstall (e.g.) WordPerfect X5 on a system with WordPerfect X6 or later version already installed, you might run into a small issue with a file known as IFilter — a WordPerfect "plugin" used with third party search tools to display WordPerfect and QuattroPro files in those search tools.
During installation of the earlier version (here, WPX5) you might get an error message to the effect that another version of that file is already installed, and the WordPerfect X5 installation procedure will then stop.
The solution (from Corel here) is to remove the existing version(s) of IFilter via your Windows Control Panel. You should find it/them as a separate entry(-tries) in the Add or Remove Programs module, listed as WordPerfect IFilter 32bit and/or WordPerfect Filter 64bit. Then install (e.g.) WordPerfect X5. Later, you can download the newest IFilter from Corel.com from the Patches & Updates page here, and re-install the appropriate IFilter version for your system separately. (On a 64-bit computer system you can install both the 32- and 64-bit versions for increased search engine compatibility.)
Apparently these extra steps only apply to out-of-order installations of WordPerfect.
See the iFilter Release Notes (particularly the installation instructions, etc.) on the Corel Support site here.
For a general description of iFilter (first released in January 2013) and its uses with Windows Desktop Search, etc., see WordPerfect's iFilter.
☼ Multiple installed versions of WordPerfect on the same computer can display multiple "Create a blank document" choices displayed in File, New from Project.