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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2021 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Sep 10, 2021

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

Part 2 - Customize your keyboard

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
Part 3:
Customize your menu -
How to add, edit, rearrange, or remove menu items

Assigning ("linking") a macro, feature, function, program, or string of keystrokes to a key or key combination — i.e., to a "shortcut" or "hot" key
[To assign these items to a toolbar or menu see the links in the ◄ left column.]

Yes, there's a lot here: It's intended to be a comprehensive reference.

But like a user guide or a cookbook, you might only need help with a few items (such as the illustrated 4-step "How To" method below that shows how to assign these things to available shortcut keys).

Still, if you prefer using the keyboard to a mouse it might be worth your time to browse the entire page before beginning. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes.

Let's start with a brief overview and some tips.

☼  You can customize your keyboard.

After you customize it (which is easy to do) pressing a specific <Alt>, <Ctrl>, or <Shift> key — or any combination of these — plus a number or a letter or a function key (e.g., <Ctrl+1>; <Alt+Shift+m>; <Alt+Ctrl+F5>), would -

•  play a WordPerfect macro
, or 
•  use a WordPerfect feature or function, or
•  start an external program, or
•  send a string of keystrokes to WordPerfect or your current document.

☼  Key combinations are often called "shortcut keys" or "hot keys."

•  Their assignments what the key does when pressed are stored in a keyboard definition inside the program's default template (or other template, if desired).

•  For a list of the default assignments for navigation and text selection,  see the downloadable PDF below.

•  For a printout of the list of all the items that are currently assigned to your shortcut keys, see Footnote 3.

•  Some shortcut keys (up to 72 of them) can play macros without first assigning them to a keyboard definition: They simply play macros that have special filenames called "control-key macros". This can be useful if customizing your keyboard is not an option. Since this topic is not the main focus of this page it is covered separately in the Tips section below.

•  In WordPerfect X7/X8/X9 there's also a feature called the "KeyStroke Menu".

"The Keystroke Menu is an easily searchable list of WordPerfect functions that lets you quickly find and perform a function. The list of functions filters in real time, so you can access and use WordPerfect tools, dialog box settings, menu commands, macros, and feature options in a few keystrokes." - See WordPerfect X9 Help <F1> for more.
Pressing the <Ctrl+\> key combination (Ctrl + Backslash) will pop up its interactive dialog. By default, when using a keyboard shortcut it is only available using the <WPWin Keyboard> (see the "keyboard definitions" section below).

You can also open the Keystroke Menu by clicking Help, Find feature.

☼  When you click on the Tools, Settings, Customize, Keyboards tab (see image)...

You can select (i.e., activate), create, edit, copy, or rename/reset/delete a desired keyboard definition. (More on this later.)

☼  You have several keyboard definitions included on your system.

WordPerfect typically ships with some standard definitions — <WPWin Keyboard>, <WPDOS 6.1 Keyboard>, <MSWord 2002 Keyboard>, etc.

The <WPWin Keyboard> is generally pre-selected as the default.
(This is the case unless the user chooses to use Microsoft Word mode or WordPerfect Classic mode using the Workspace Manager, included in WordPerfect 12 and later versions. See Corel's article here and a further discussion here.)

☼  You can select a different keyboard definition at any time.

You don't need to restart the program, but note that only one keyboard definition can be active at a time.  

As mentioned, these keyboards are selectable on the Tools, Settings, Customize, Keyboard (tab). Or — even easier — you can enable, then click on, an icon on the bottom of the WordPerfect window to bring up the list of keyboards for your selection, as explained in Footnote 1.  

☼  You can also create custom keyboard definitions or edit standard definitions.

This lets you more easily and quickly meet your everyday needs or use them for special purposes.

You can either [A] create a new custom keyboard based an existing one, or [B] you can copy an existing keyboard and modify it, or [C] you can simply edit an existing keyboard. See the steps below.

☼  Keyboard definitions are typically stored in your default template file.*

They can also be migrated (copied) into another WordPerfect installation, either the same program version or a newer program version. For more information see "Updating, upgrading, or reinstalling WordPerfect" here.

* They can also be stored in other templates.

☼  There are many things you can assign to shortcut keys.

For example, there are many WordPerfect features (e.g., inserting the current file's path and name) or WordPerfect functions (e.g., setting line spacing) that you may find useful candidates to assign to a key or key combination.

While many of these things are pre-assigned to your menus, toolbars or keys, many of them are not. (See Step 3 below for information on locating the list of these features and functions.)

You can also assign macros to shortcut keys — a quicker way to play them instead of first scrolling through a list of macros with <Alt+F10> keys or with Tools, Macro, Play. (See more about assigning macros in Footnote 2.)

☼  You can also assign these things to toolbars or a menu.

In fact, you may find that some WordPerfect features or functions are more useful when they are assigned to a toolbar since their button icons might make them easier to locate or make them less prone to accidental use when you are typing (since you have to use the mouse). [If this might be useful see Part 1 of this series.]

You can, however, assign them to a new or existing menu as explained in Part 3 of this series, which can make them easier to find (they can be grouped under a descriptive menu choice) if you don't use them often.

☼  Do WordPerfect's function key (F1-F12) shortcuts NOT work on your computer?

See Tips below.

☼  Default navigation keys and text selection keys.

For a list of some default navigation and text selection shortcut keys that are used in WordPerfect's Windows and DOS keyboard definitions see WP_shortcut_keys.pdf, a small PDF file. It is grouped according to WordPerfect's menu functions (File, Edit, etc.).

Normally, you will not want to assign other things to these default keys unless you really need to use them for a special purpose; if you do, it is always a good idea to do so with a copy of the keyboard definition, as explained below.

How to do it

Step 1.

•  Click on Tools, Settings, Customize to open the Customized Settings dialog.

•  Click on the Keyboards tab in the Customize Settings window.

You should see something like this (each WordPerfect version probably will differ slightly):

Customized settings dialog

•  In the Available keyboards list, choose (left-click once on) either the default keyboard definition for your version of WordPerfect (e.g., <WPWin Keyboard>) or another keyboard definition (e.g., <WPDOS 6.1 Keyboard>).

The selected keyboard should have a blue background
such as in the image example above. This will be the "base" definition for you to build on.

•  Then do one of the following things.

Either click Create to create a new keyboard (based on the definition you just selected);

or click Copy to make a copy of a factory-shipped or previously customized keyboard (choosing the desired keyboard in "Select keyboards to copy") and save it under a different name;

or click Edit to modify the existing keyboard.

    Important notes

    ¤  You might feel more comfortable with this process by customizing a new keyboard definition or a copy of a factory-shipped (or previously customized) keyboard definition — the first two alternatives above — and leave your existing default or customized keyboards alone.

    In fact, this is often recommended if you are not sure you want to modify the existing default or custom keyboard

    In any case it makes it easier to restore things if you don't like (or can't remember) the changes you made: just delete the new copy or leave it in place and simply switch back to the factory-shipped version.

    (On the other hand, a factory-shipped keyboard, such as the WPWin keyboard, can always be easily restored with the Reset button. See the button in the image above.)

    Finally, making a customized copy can help "isolate" your new custom assignments for various tasks or for other users on that particular computer.

    ¤  If you choose to create a new keyboard definition or copy an existing one, be sure to select it after you've modified it — assuming, of course, you want to start using it right away. You can do this by returning to the Customize Settings window with Tools, Settings, Customize. The keyboard definition you choose will remain in effect until you change it.


    •  If you right-click on the status bar
    — a.k.a the "Application Bar," located at the very bottom edge of the WordPerfect window — you can then click Settings and check (tick) the box, "Keyboards."

    This will put a small keyboard icon (Keyboard icon) on the status bar to let you use your mouse to quickly access the keyboard definition of your choice.

    For more, see "Quickly switching between keyboard definitions" in Footnote 1.

    Step 2.

    The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box will now be open. This is where you can make (or remove) an assignment:

    Keyboard shortcuts dialog

    •  Choose (i.e., click on) the shortcut key or key combination you want to change (enable or reassign) in the left-hand "Choose a shortcut key" drop list.

    ▸ You may have to scroll down a bit:

    Letter- and number-key combinations follow function key combinations (e.g., F12...) in the list. Non-alphanumeric keys are at the end of the list (e.g., PgDn; keyboard symbols such as the backslash "\"; etc.).

    You can also assign things to the separate numeric keypad (assuming your keyboard has this separate block of number keys). These combinations follow the ordinary number key (0-9) shortcuts in the list and begin with the label Num (e.g., Num 1+Ctrl). Note that these particular assigned shortcuts only work if the NumLock key on the keyboard is toggled ON.

    You can also assign things to single character keys (but: see next Tips below).

    ▸ You can go directly to a key combination:

    From a tip by "Jack K" on WordPerfect Universe here:

    "When I open the Keyboard Shortcuts window to edit a keyboard, the first key in the list (F1 Help Topics) is highlighted. If it isn't highlighted, just click on it to select that portion of the window. From that point, I just type [i.e., simultaneously depress] the key combination that I want to edit, i.e. Ctl-Shf-F, and the window displays the keystroke. No more scrolling."

    ▸ Some keys cannot be assigned since they are reserved by Windows (e.g., Enter; Home; Print Screen, etc.). If it's not on the list you can't assign a shortcut to it.

    •  Choose an available letter or number combination — e.g., Y+Alt or 3+Ctrl. [In this example, the assigned macro (or feature or keystrokes) will play when you press <Alt+Y> or <Ctrl+3>.]


    ☼  Make a note so you'll remember which keys are being reassigned. In WordPerfect 11 and later versions: You can click the Print Report... button to print a list of current shortcut key assignments.

    ☼  The checkbox at the bottom of the dialog, "Allow assignment of character keys," will bring up a list of ordinary character keys (A, B, C, a, b, c), punctuation marks, and extended characters. Normally, you will have little use for this list (except perhaps to assign a "quick save" macro to the period [full stop] key; see here for this trick), but certain infrequently used keys could be used to play a macro, such as the ` key (next to the 1 key). These might be best used to play a "two keypress" macro so that you still have use of the key for normal text entry. See the Advanced User section below.

    ☼  You might also want to enable the "Shortcut key appears on menu" checkbox so that you'll see that shortcut on WordPerfect's menu when that keyboard definition is active. Each assigned shortcut key's appearance on the menu can be individually enabled or disabled using that checkbox (but only one of the possible 6 or 8 shortcuts for each of the primary keys -- A-Z, F1-F12, etc. -- can be enabled for that item's appearance). Note that disabling the shortcut's appearance on the menu is not the same as removing the assignment from the key: see Step 3a below.
    Step 3.

    Step 3a.

    - If the shortcut key is available (i.e., the right-hand column immediately adjacent to the shortcut key is vacant), go to Step 3b.

    - If the shortcut key already has an assignment, first click on the Remove Assignment button to clear that assignment, then go to Step 3b.

    Step 3b.

    - Decide on the type of new assignment you will make from the right-hand side of the dialog box — the area that shows these four tabs: Features, Keystrokes, Programs, or Macros.

    Step 3c.

    - Then -

    •  For WordPerfect macros, click on the Macros tab (see image in Step 2).

    ▸ Click "Assign Macro to Key..." and select the desired macro from those listed in the Select Macro dialog that appears.

    Note that on most systems this Select Macro dialog displays the program's Default macro folder shown in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro — but you are free to navigate to a different folder where the macro might have been previously located (but see more on this below).

    Choose the desired macro's name and click the Select button.

    When you get the message, "Save macro with full path?" —

    Save macro dialog

    — you most likely will want to answer No. WordPerfect will then always (and automatically) look for the macro in the Default and Supplemental macros folders specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro.

    Why do this?

    If you answer Yes to that message (the default choice as shown in the image just above) the program will use the full Windows path to the specific folder that appears in the Select Macros dialog — which might, or might not, be your Default (or Supplemental) macros folder.

    Most of the time this will not present a problem.

    However, if you answer Yes this means the program will look only in the specifically designated folder (shown in the Search Macros dialog) for your macro. While this usually is one of the two folders specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro, this might not always be the case. The program will do as you instructed if you answer with Yes: It will search for the macro using the specific Windows folder displayed in the Select Macros dialog, bypassing the more typical (and automatic) search in the folders specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro.

    So, unless you have a reason to answer Yes (e.g., the macro currently resides in a different, user-defined folder and not in either of the two folders shown in the Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro dialog), typically it is better to answer No. (See next Notes.)

    Click OKThis will assign the selected macro to the shortcut key combination.


    Be aware that if you copy or move assigned macros later to a different computer or a newer version of WordPerfect, this can sometimes "break" the program's specifically assigned path to the macros (e.g., "Yes" was answered above). In such cases users often ask, Why won't my macros play anymore? 

    If so, choose the broken shortcut assignment and click Remove Assignment; then re-assign the macro to the shortcut and answer "Save macro with full path?" appropriately.

    For some information and tips on this, and the general topic of transferring macros to another system or WordPerfect version, see here.

    [For help creating your own macros see here.]

    •  For WordPerfect features, under the Features tab, scroll down in the desired Feature category drop list to choose the appropriate category, such as File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, etc. Then -

    •   In the lower "Assign a feature to the shortcut key" list, choose the feature you want to assign to the keystroke or combination, and click on Assign Feature to Key. [You might find some features you didn't know about by scrolling through the list and trying them out in a test document.]

    Note: Some features might be labeled slightly differently from the name you are used to. For example, Redline is listed as Attribute Redline. So, be sure to scroll through the feature list if you can't seem to find a feature. Clicking on a feature to select it (usually) shows an icon and a brief description in the dialog area below the feature list.

    •  When done, click the "Assign Feature to Key" button.

    •  For external programs, click the Programs tab, then the Assign Program to Key button. Locate and choose the exectuable program to play. Then click the "Assign Program to Key" button.

    •  For keystrokes, under the Keystrokes tab, I strongly recommend that you consider using alternative methods of inserting boilerplate or keystrokes, especially if you are using Windows Vista/7/8/10 and WordPerfect X3 and later versions. (See the Notes and caveats section below.) That said, the following information, while somewhat dated, might still be useful for some users.

    Click the Keystrokes tab, and in the "Type the text to be inserted..." pane, enter the keystrokes, characters, or symbols you need (but be sure to see the Notes and caveats section below):

    •  For keys such as <Alt>, use {Alt}. Other examples: {Ctrl}, {Shift}, {Space}, and {Tab}.

    •  For combinations such as <Alt+F>, use {Alt+F}.

    •  For text strings such as "the," enter them directly, or if this does not work, use {t}{h}{e}.

    •  For accented characters (diacritical marks), use the numeric keypad and enter the proper code found in the Windows Character Map (under Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Character Map -or- in newer versions of Windows, use the Windows search feature and look for Character Map).

    For example, to enter an é in the Keystroke tab's field put the cursor in that field and type <Alt+0233> on the numeric keypad. (The leading zero is required.)

    Charles Rossiter (Corel C_Tech) writes: "For example, I use Alt+e for e-acute, Ctrl+Shift+E for E-grave, Alt+a for a-umlaut, Alt+Shift+O for O-umlaut, Alt+Shift+C for C-cedilla, etc. There is no conflict with other Alt-key shortcuts (e.g., Alt+a for T_a_ble): Alt+a gives a-umlaut [i.e., press and hold the Alt key, then press a]; Alt,a gives T_a_ble (i.e., press and release the Alt key, then press a)."

    Caution: If you use Windows XP/Vista/7 with WordPerfect X3 or later version, see the Notes and caveats section below about limitations of what you can use in the field under the Keystrokes tab.

    •  For symbols, press <Ctrl+W>, select the symbol, then click Insert and Close on the Symbols dialog.

    •  When done, click the "Assign Keystrokes to Key" button.

    •  Tip: Alternative to using the Keystrokes tab: You can set up one or more "two-key" macros to insert accented characters. See (e.g.) Sample Macro #2 on the 2keys page here. Assign the macro to a key (e.g., Alt+z) and when it plays it will pop up a small dialog and get the second keystroke from you. Then the desired accented character is typed into the document. (Some other example macros on that page can also be used to type accented characters.)

    Notes and caveats relating to the Keystrokes tab

    ¤  There may be a limit to the number of characters (including the left and right braces) that you can enter into this dialog window. There are other ways to insert large blocks of boilerplate text, such as QuickWords.

    ¤  WordPerfect X3 and later versions, using Windows XP/Vista/7/8 means that what you can enter under the Keystrokes tab is limited:
    In Windows XP you can use only text strings and/or WordPerfect symbols in the Keystrokes pane. You cannot use script commands (i.e., {Alt}, {Space}, etc.).

    In Windows Vista/7/8 — and with up to WordPerfect X3 the Keystrokes tab is even more limited: You have to disable the User Access Control (UAC) in Windows Vista/7/8 to make such text/symbol keystrokes work. Even in later WordPerfect versions (e.g., WPX7) script commands still will not work, and in any case disabling the UAC is something that is not generally recommended.

    A small bit of good news: Text strings (including space characters) and WordPerfect symbols (<Ctrl+W>) still work in the Keystrokes tab in a fully patched WordPerfect X4 or later version.

    But see the Alternatives section (next).

    Alternatives to the Keystrokes tab

    Rather than using the Keystrokes tab in conjunction with shortcut keys, consider using other methods of inserting text — especially if using WPX3 and later versions. 

    For example:

    ☼  You can use QuickCorrect abbreviations to replace an abbreviation with an accented character as you type the abbreviation.

    ☼  WordPerfect's QuickWords can insert blocks of text (such as signature blocks) and other material (e.g., format codes, graphics, tables, etc.) using a simple text abbreviation.

    ☼  You can use the WordPerfect symbol feature (Insert|Symbol) to insert diacritical marks by first pressing Ctrl+W, then typing the base letter (e.g., the letter e), and then typing the accent mark (e.g., '). (Other "accent" marks you can use on the keyboard: `, ", ^, /, ~, etc.)

    ¤  See this post on WordPerfect Universe, where you can download a PDF file containing a table "... listing all the possible two-character combinations used with Ctrl+W as shortcuts for diacritical letters and various symbols. The combinations have been checked with WordPerfect X4, and there is a possibility that other combinations are available in later versions...."

    ☼ You can use various other methods to insert blocks of boilerplate text, such as using simple QuickMacros and regular macros, "two-key" macros, Insert|File, custom styles, and more. See "How to insert 'boilerplate' and/or repeating items".

      Step 4.

      Close all dialogs with Close or OK.

      Page Top

      Tips on using shortcut keys / hot keys

      For macros, features, programs, and keystrokes:

      ☼  You can use "reserved" keys such as <Alt+T> (which normally accesses the Tools menu). But if you do, the macro (or feature or program or keystrokes) will play instead of the Tools menu opening.

      However, you can still get at the reserved keys:

      For example: If you press Alt, release it, and then press T (i.e., press the keys in sequence, not simultaneously), the Tools menu will open.

      ☼  If you can't see underlines under the <Alt>-key letter or number on a menu or dialog, they might have been hidden in Windows. See here.

      ☼  Function key shortcuts / hotkeys (e.g., <Ctrl+F2> or <Alt+F3>) don't seem to work in WordPerfect?

      Function keys are sometimes call "F-keys" or "Fn-keys".

      Old issue: Some older keyboards (e.g., on Microsoft laptops) used a "F-Lock" key next to the F12 key. It's a toggle key: Press it to lock the F-key functions; press it again to switch to its unlocked state. Also, for Windows 7 systems see this WordPerfect Universe thread.

      Current issues: Some computers — particularly recent models with smaller keyboards — use function keys for dual purposes (e.g., F2/screen brightness or F10/volume adjustment) but the F-key priority is reversed (e.g., screen brightness/F2), putting F-keys in "second place".

      Hence to use the F-key for its original purpose you need to depress and hold the Fn (or FN) key, which is usually located at the bottom of the computer's keyboard layout, while simultaneously pressing the F-key.

      Problem for WordPerfect users: This can make using a WordPerfect shortcut key combination (i.e., those with a F-key as part of the shortcut) awkward at best, or impossible at worst, and is (usually) the reason for complaints such as "My function keys don't work!"

      Possible solution for newer systems when the F-key priority is reversed: Since all keyboard functions are designated in the computer's hardware setup (called the BIOS, or UEFI in newer systems) you should be able to reverse the new priority of the F-key assignments in the BIOS/UEFI with a simple setting (which you can change back the same way at any time), or with a small utility program some computers include with the system that does the same thing. For example, some HP computers use the Setup Utility inside the BIOS/UEFI (in the System Configuration area): Enabling or disabling the Action Keys Mode switches between the two Fn-key states.

      Search your computer's user guide or support site (e.g., their user Forums), or search the Internet for something like "change function keys F1-F12 to old settings," "reverse function keys," "change function keys," "invert function keys," etc. Be sure to look for your specific computer brand and perhaps the model, too. [If all else fails contact your computer manufacturer for help.]

      For MACROS only —  "Control-key" macros and "two-key" macros:

      ☼  "Control-key" macros are macros with special filenames.

      If customizing your keyboard (see above) is not an option you might be able to use an old WordPerfect trick to play a favorite macro:

      Give the macro a filename such as ctrlx.wcm or ctrlsftx.wcm, where "x" is a keyboard letter from A to Z or a number from 0 to 9.

      WordPerfect recognizes macro filen ames that use "Ctrl" and "CtrlSft" (notice there's no "hi" in the "shift" part of the filename) as special macro names.

      So, for example, if you press <Ctrl+9> or <Ctrl+Shft+9> the macro named Ctrl9.wcm or CtrlSft9.wcm will play.

      This give you 72 possible control-key macro filenames to use to launch a macro.

      Note: Control-key macros should usually be located in your default or supplemental macro folder, as discussed in step 3c above. These folders are where the program will automatically look for these macros.

      A small caveat:

      If the <Ctrl+(key)> combination you want to use as a macro filename has already been assigned in the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog then that existing keyboard assignment will take precedence over any macro on disk with the same filename as the key combination.

      For example (in WordPerfect 10 and later versions), <Ctrl+1> normally inserts single spacing and <Ctrl+2> inserts double spacing — neither of which might be obvious when you press these keys. In this case, a macro on disk named Ctrl1.wcm will not play automatically when you press <Ctrl+1>, since these keys have already been assigned.

      However ...

      You can check and verify if the key combination is already assigned by opening the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog (see Steps 1 & 2 above). You may be able to change the current control-key assignment or remove it altogether to allow the named Control-key macro to play.


      This trick assumes that the assigned Control-key macro exists in your default macros folder, which is specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro. This is where WordPerfect looks for such special macros.
      ☼  See also "Two-key" macros which can help organize related macros or tasks under a common keystroke combination.

      You then can use the same shortcut key combination (e.g., Alt+z) to play a macro, and then separately (i.e., sequentially) press any of several other alphanumeric keys (e.g., "1") or menu choices to perform some action.

      For example, you could use "<Alt+z>,1" for a specific task. You could then use "<Alt+z>,2" for another task, and so forth.

      Tip: A related type of macro is a "two-tap" or "double strike" macro, which uses the same key, pressed twice in sequence, to play a macro. See the Advanced section below.

      Page Top

      Examples of using a shortcut key

      Example #1 - Starting an Outline
      Suppose you want to bring up the Outline feature quickly, using the keyboard instead of clicking on Insert, Outline/Bullets, OK.

      In the old DOS keyboard, for example, "Outline Body Text" was assigned to <Ctrl+T>, but you can assign this feature to any unassigned keystroke combination. Here's how.
      •  Click on Tools, Settings, Customize, then the Keyboards tab.

      •  Select the keyboard you want to edit (e.g., <WPWin Keyboard>), then click on Edit to bring up the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog. [As mentioned above under step 1, some users may feel more comfortable with customizing a new keyboard or a copy of the current keyboard definition, and leave their default keyboard alone.]

      •  In the left pane, scroll down to an available key combo that you want to use (e.g., O+Alt) and select it with your mouse. [Don't be put off by the listing of the letter "O" before the "Alt" key. The conventional way to refer to this particular shortcut is the more familiar "Alt+O". It's the same key combination.]

      •  On the right side of the dialog, use Feature Categories to select the Insert category, then in the lower pane select Outline Body Text.

      •  Click on Assign Feature to Key, and also (optionally) enable the "Shortcut key appears on menu" checkbox so that you'll see in in WP's Insert menu.

      •  Click on OK, then Close (twice).
      Now, when you press <Alt+O> the outline should start.

      Press <Alt+O> again when you want it to stop.

      If you want to use a key combo to start an outline item with a new number (e.g., "1") you could assign "Outline Number Set..." to, say <Alt+Shift+O).
      Example #2 - Deleting words the way Microsoft Word deletes them
      Microsoft Word allows you to press <Ctrl+Backspace> to delete the previous word, even if there's a space after the word. In WordPerfect, this key combination works only if there is no space.

      As of 2016 the Backspace key assignments were reinstated in all keyboard definitions with WordPerfect. Currently this includes WordPerfect Office X7/X8/X9 (at least in the English language versions).

      Hence these backspace key-combinations are now available for re-assignment (except, curiously, for Alt+Ctrl+Bksp).

      The <Bksp+Ctrl> shortcut is, by default, assigned to "Delete Word" (deletes current word if selected; if not selected, deletes the following word). However, you may wish to use one of the methods below to give you more options, such as deleting words the way Microsoft Word does.

      [Historical notes: (Update 08/18/2009):
      Corel recently made an internal change to the Microsoft Word 2000 and 2002 keyboard definitions (see Step 1 above) to enable the same functionality of Ctrl+Backspace that you have if you use MS Word. You can choose one of those keyboards (Tools, Settings, Customize, Keyboards) or you can use one of the workarounds below with a WordPerfect keyboard. [The specific date of this change is not known to this author, but it might have been done with the release of WordPerfect 12, or perhaps earlier. You can simply try the MS Word keyboards to see if this functionality is present.]]
      Method 1 (for any WordPerfect version)

      Delete either the previous word or delete the next word:

      Here is a way to delete the previous word or delete the next word in WordPerfect [using a <WordPerfect> keyboard] — even if there are spaces adjacent to the word — with a shortcut key combination:
      •  Click on Tools, Settings, Customize. Select the keyboard to edit under the Keyboards tab, then click the Edit button. The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog appears.

      •  In the left pane, choose a shortcut key for the "delete the previous word" feature, such as <Left+Ctrl+Alt>, which will activate the feature when you hold down the <Ctrl> and <Alt> keys, then press the <Left Arrow> key.

      •  Under the Features tab on the right side of the dialog, in the Feature categories list, select the Edit category. Scroll down in the "Assign..." list to Delete Word Begin and select it. Then click on Assign Feature to Key.

      •  Repeat the process for the "delete the next word" feature, using <Right+Ctrl+Alt> and Delete Word. (Not Delete Word End, since that just deletes remaining letters in the current word.)

      •  Click OK when you are finished, then Close.
      When you press one of these key conbinations (e.g., <Ctrl+Alt+LeftArrow>) repeatedly, you can delete consecutive words at the cursor location (assuming there are no format or other codes present).

      [Thanks to Wolfgang Deiminger for posting this tip in the public Corel newsgroup.]

      Method 2
      (for any WordPerfect version — but since WordPerfect X7 you can now assign macros to the Backspace key)

      Delete to the beginning of the current word the cursor is on,
      or delete the previous word:

      A guru on WordPerfect Universe (Noal Mellott) posted a solution that uses a macro assigned to the <Shift+Delete> keys [or any available keyboard combination] to perform the same "Delete Word Begin" function above (note that it is a slightly different command in the macro language):
      [For WPX7 and earlier:] ...Since users cannot assign anything to Shift+Backspace, I made a macro and assigned it to Shift+Delete. As we know that key combination cuts what is selected to the clipboard (a standard Windows key assignment), but does nothing if nothing is selected. So I made the macro below, and assigned it to Shift+Delete. If a selection has been made, it is cut to the clipboard. If nothing is selected, it deletes to the start of the word or, if the cursor is at the start of the word, it deletes the previous word....

      // Macro begins:
      If(?BlockActive>0) EditCut()
      Else SelectMode(Off!) DeleteToBeginningOfWord () EndIf
      // Macro ends

      Update [2016]: as of WP17, users can assign macros to the Backspace key combinations [see above]. Here is what I suggest for Ctrl+Shift+Backspace:

      // Macro begins:
      SelectWordPrevious() SelectDelete()
      Else DeleteToBeginningOfWord()
      // Macro ends

      To copy either macro code snippet above into your WordPerfect program, see here. Then assign it to your desired (and available) shortcut key combination using the method described above.
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      Advanced users (and many beginners, too)

      "Two tap" (a.k.a. "double tap," "double strike," or "double press") macros are macros that are played by two consecutive presses of the same single alphanumeric key and can be constructed using the format in the examples below.

      [Note: This is not the same thing as a "Two key" macro (here), which is played by first pressing one assigned shortcut key (e.g., Alt+Z) to start the macro, then immediately pressing a second assigned key (e.g., 2) to perform a desired action. In other words it is played using two different keys in sequence: <Alt+Z>,2. This method has much greater flexibility because you can assign many similar activities to a common shortcut key; however, it requires writing the macro and assigning choices for the second keys. (But should not be very difficult for moderately experienced users.)]

      Two tap macros can be useful to quickly play a favorite macro or one that must be played multiple times to process some text.

      You should note, however, that most alphanumeric keys are not very good candidates to use to play a macro this way, since there are many letters and numbers that might appear twice in a particular word or number. You could use upper case (by pressing the <Shift> key), but some might find this awkward.

      The three best cadidates to use for two tap macros probably are the ` (back quote) and = (equals) keys on the top row of your keyboard and the \ (backslash) key

      These keys are normally not found twice in sequence in most user text. The backquote (`) key is used in the following examples.

      Example 1 - Change multiple spaces to a tab


      Suppose you want to use the backquote key (`) located to the left of the 1 key on most keyboards to play a macro that -

      (1) instantly deletes all multiple spaces at the cursor location, and
      (2) replaces them with a single tab (i.e., a [Left Tab] code).

      [This is sometimes useful when you copy material from another source and the paragraph indentations are made up of spaces, not tabs. Simply by running the cursor down along the left margin where the spaces are, and double-tapping the backquote key at each location, you can make quick work of the task.]

      Further suppose also that you still want to be able to use this key to type a backquote (`) character whenever the task might be needed.

      In other words, you do not want to lose the normal function of the ` key.


      Copy the code below and save it in your macros folder, then assign the macro to the ` key — just to the left of the "1" key on the top row of your keyboard — using the procedure described in the "How to do it" sections above. [When you get to the Keyboard Shortcuts list in Step 2 above, you must enable (i.e., tick) the "Allow assignment of character keys" checkbox to change the list to the alphanumeric key list. Scroll down in that list. The ` key item is located just above the left brace character ( { ) in the list.]

      How it works

      Note again that the macro uses — is assigned to — the ` key on your keyboard. Thereafter, pressing the ` key once will type a ` character, as usual. Pressing it twice consecutively will cause the first ` characer to be "seen" by the macro on the left of the cursor, whereupon it will delete it and play the "working" part of the macro (i.e., convert the spaces to a tab) instead of simply typing another ` character.

      // Macro begins here -

      If (?LeftChar="`")  // if a ` character is on the left -

         DeleteCharPrevious  // - delete the character

          // The "working" part of the macro begins here -
          vCount:=0 // - initialize a counter
          // While the left character is a space, move to the left -
          While (?LeftChar=" ")
          // Start selecting text -
          SelectMode (On!)
          // While the right character is a space, move right -
          While (?RightChar=" ")
               vCount:=vCount+1 // - increment counter
          // If there's more than one space, delete all of them - 
          If (vCount>1)
               Tab  // - then insert a Left Tab
               SelectMode (Off!) // - turn select mode off
          // The "working" part of the macro ends here

               Type ("`") // - type a ` character

      // Macro ends here


      ☼  You can directly download this macro as 2Key-S2T.zip. It also contains optional code to search for all multiple spaces and replace them with tabs; you can use this code as a standalone macro.

      ☼  You can create "three tap"or even "four tap" macros by having the macro (that is assigned to the alphanumeric key) check the number of instances of that character that appear to the left of the last instance. If (for a three tap macro) the character appears two times, then the third press of the key would cause the two characters to be deleted and the macro to execute other commands.

      This approach increases the number of ordinary alphanumeric keys that might make good candidates to use to play such a macro, since many of those keys are not likely to appear sequentially three (or four) times in most text. (Of course, sometimes they do: "Arrrgh!," said the pirate.) See "Make a key do 'double duty'..." for some examples.

      Example 2 - Center the current cursor location vertically on screen


      Suppose you wish to quickly center the cursor's current location vertically on the screen so that you can see the context at that location.

      First, to demonstrate the technique, here's a simple macro to do the job (and that could also be assigned to any single key combination as described above in the "How to do it" sections above).

      If (?Substructure or ?GraphicSelected) Quit Endif
      Display (On!)
      Display (Off!)
      BookmarkDelete ("QuickMark")

      However, if instead of assigning the macro to a single key or key combination you want to use this type of macro by pressing a particular alphanumeric key twice in succession (i.e., make it a "double-key" macro), then the modified version below can do it.


      As in Example 1 above, the modified macro below uses the ` key in such a way that it is also available to type the ` character whenever it might be needed. Here's how:

      Copy the code below and save it in your macros folder, then assign the macro to the ` key — just to the left of the "1" key on the top row of your keyboard — using the procedure described in the "How to do it" sections above. [When you get to the Keyboard Shortcuts list in Step 2 above, you must enable (i.e., tick) the "Allow assignment of character keys" checkbox to change the list to the alphanumeric key list. Scroll down in that list. The ` key item is located just above the left brace ( { ) in the list.]

      Note again that this macro uses — is assigned to — the ` key on your keyboard. Thereafter, pressing the ` key once will type a ` character, as usual. Pressing it twice consecutively will cause the typed character to be deleted and the screen to refresh itself, and place the cursor location (as far as it is possible to do so) in the center of the screen, vertically.

      If (?Substructure or ?GraphicSelected) Quit Endif
      If (?LeftChar="`") // If there's a ` character on the left
        DeleteCharPrevious // <- delete the ` character
        Display (On!)
        Display (Off!)
        BookmarkDelete ("QuickMark")
        Type ("`") // <- type a ` character

      Example 3 - Add highlighting to either the word under the cursor or add highlighting to selected text.


      ¤  WordPerfect has a manual highlight tool: Tools, Highlight, On. See the program's Help (F1) and search for "highlight".

      It's an On/Off toggle tool, which can also remove existing highlighting from selected text with Tools, Highlight, Off.

      ¤  Tools, Highlight, Print/Show must be enabled on that sub-menu to see or print highlighted text. You can turn it off temporarily if you want to print a document without the highlighting.


      First, be sure the program's highlight color is the one you want to use. The factory default is yellow.

      To change it: On the main menu, click Tools, Highlight, Color (or just use the down arrow selector on the main toolbar's highlighting button) and choose a different color (and optionally, a shade percentage).

      Any color you choose will be "sticky" and remain active between WordPerfect sessions.

      Then, assign the macro below to the key — e.g., the ` key to the left of the "1" key as explained in Example 1 above. Here's how:

      Copy the code below and save it in your macros folder, then assign the macro to the ` key — just to the left of the "1" key on the top row of your keyboard — using the procedure described in the "How to do it" sections above. [When you get to the Keyboard Shortcuts list in Step 2 above, you must enable (i.e., tick) the "Allow assignment of character keys" checkbox to change the list to the alphanumeric key list. Scroll down in that list. The ` key item is located just above the left brace ( { ) in the list.]

      // Macro begins here -
      If (?LeftChar="`")  // if there's a ` character is on the left -
         DeleteCharPrevious  // - delete the character

          // The "working" part of the macro begins here -

               Type ("`") // - type a ` character
      // Macro ends here

      Example 3a - An alternative to Example 3.

      If you are sure you never use the ` key for other purposes, you could simply assign this alternative macro to that key. The macro would then need just one press of that ` key.

      // Macro begins here -
      // Macro ends here

      Alternatively, you could assign the one-key macro to a new, custom keyboard (i.e., a copy of your normal keyboard definition as described in Step 1 above) — perhaps one that you use for "marking up" a draft document. See Footnote 1 about quickly switching between keyboard definitions.

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      Footnote 1

      Quickly switching between keyboard definitions:

      You can enable a keyboard icon (Keyboard icon) on the status bar (WordPerfect calls it the Application Bar) at the bottom of the WordPerfect window. [If you don't see the Application Bar, go to the main menu and enable the View, Application Bar menu option.]

      Right-click the Application Bar, 
      choose Settings, then 
      check the Keyboard option, then 
      click OK. 

      Thereafter you can click that icon and choose a different keyboard from the Customize Settings dialog list, then click Select.

      Tip: There are some instructions displayed on the Application Bar's Settings dialog about moving an item on the bar, etc.

      You can also switch keyboards by using a small recorded macro (Tools, Macro, Record) assigned to a key or toolbar. (Assigning such macros to a toolbar has the advantage of always being available no matter which keyboard you use. If you assign such macros in a particular keyboard definition, you may want to assign similar macros to the "target" definition's keys so as to be able to switch back to the original (or other) definition.)

      •  Custom keyboards can also be made to appear automatically when you load a new document based on a custom template, by means of -

      [A] a template macro that uses KeyboardSelect() when the template is used to load a new document. You will need to create the keyboard and then create a small template macro in the custom template that is triggered by the Post New trigger. (N.B.: Template macros and other aspects of automating templates can be found in the author's Automating WordPerfect Templates.);

      or -

      [B] associating the keyboard with any of eleven (11) predefined features (or options), such as when you are in a footnote, header, outline, table, or the main document, etc. See "Automatically associate a personalized keyboard or menu with a template."

      Footnote 2

      To directly play a specific macro using a desired combination of keys — in contrast to playing a macro by choosing one from a list with the standard <Alt+F10> keys or with Tools, Macro, Play — you should first ensure the macro exists on your system. (This might seem obvious, but sometimes macros are moved or removed by others.)

      If it does not exist you will need to create the macro first — either by recording it (with <Ctrl+F10 or Tools, Macro, Record), downloading it from a site such as this one, copying the code from somewhere, or by writing the code for it, or by a combination of these methods — and then save it in either your Default or Supplemental macros folder (which are specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro)

      These folders are where WordPerfect will look for the macro when you play them in the usual way with <Alt+F10> or with Tools, Macro, Play.

      Exception: Macros can be placed in a folder other than the ones specified in the Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro tab — but this should be done only if they are played with a toolbar button, keyboard shortcut, or menu item that contains the full Windows path to them (specified in Step 3c above).

      However, this makes them more difficult to maintain since you will need to remember to edit the buttons, shortcuts, or menus (with Tools, Settings, Customize) to change their paths if you upgrade or install WordPerfect on another system. [This situation is often responsible for users asking, Why won't my macros play anymore?]

      Footnote 3

      Need to see a list of currently assigned shortcut keys? In WordPerfect 11 and later:

      [Repeated from Step 1 and Step 2 above:]

      •  Click on Tools, Settings, Customize to open the Customized Settings dialog.

      •  Click on the "Keyboards" tab in the Customize Settings window, then select the keyboard definition you are using.

      •  Click Edit to edit the keyboard definition.

      •  The Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box will now be open. This is where you can make (or remove) an assignment.

      •  Click the Print Report button to print a list of current shortcut key assignments.

      •  Done.

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