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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2016 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Aug 6, 2017

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Creating comment lines on document printouts (underlines to margin)


WordPerfect menu choices on this site refer to the <WordPerfect> menu (right-click on the top menu bar for a choice of menus). If you use a <Microsoft Word> menu, the choices might be absent from your menu (but not from the program), or they might be found under another menu selection. See here for more.


Some users need to create temporary printouts of a document with text on one side of the page and "comment lines" on the other side, like this:

Sample document with underlines to the margin

[Note the formatting continues through the document -- unless you discontinue the watermark at some point (see the watermark page here if you need help) and reset page margins.]

The idea is to reformat a copy of a WordPerfect document
into a single column on the left side of the page with a column of underlines on the right side. (Using a copy is a better idea so that no changes are made to the original document.)

The copy should c
ontain just text with standard 1" left/right page margins, with no complex formatting like tables or columns -- although double spacing, bold, italics, etc., should be okay.

The underlines can be used by editors or proofreaders as a place to add written comments for the author (or editor) of the document, who can then more easily re-edit the original document by referencing the commented printout.

How to create the underlines

Below is a macro (in plain text format) that can produce the underlines in a watermark so they appear on all pages.

The manual steps are shown in Footnote 1 for those who are interested in a more readable version of the technique.

Instructions for using the macro

1. Copy the macro code below into your WordPerfect program to create a working macro: see http://wptoolbox.com/tips/CopyCode.html.

2. Then (as noted above) make a copy of the original document. The copy should contain just text with standard 1" left/right page margins, with no complex formatting like tables or columns (although double spacing, bold, italics, etc., should be okay).

3. In the body text area of the copied document -- generally at the top of the document -- manually set a new right page margin.
(It can be helpful to open Reveal Codes first with View, Reveal Codes so that you can see the actual reformatting process.)

At the top of the document where you want the column of lines to begin, set the right margin to 4.25" (see Format, Margins, Right: 4.25", OK).

(The macro will take care of setting the left margin for the indented, underlined area.)

All document text should now flow in a single narrow "column" on the left side of all pages (see image above).

4. On that same page, manually create a watermark with Insert, Watermark, (either A or B -- your choice).

5. While the cursor is inside the new watermark editing window, play the macro.

Note that the macro uses a 4.5" left page margin setting, but you can use whatever value you wish in the vLeftMargin command.

6. Print the document.

The macro

// Macro code begins here:
// Creates a "column" of underlines from the left margin to
// the right margin, from the page top to the page bottom.

// Set the left margin where the "column" of lines should begin:

MessageBox(vAns;"Make a column of underlines up to the right margin";
    "This macro should be played inside a" +NToC(0F90Ah)+
    "WATERMARK (A or B) for best effect." +NToC(0F90Ah)+NToC(0F90Ah)+
    "Do you wish to continue?";YesNo!|IconQuestion!)
    If(vAns=2 or vAns=7) Quit Endif  // 'Cancel' or 'No'
If(?CurrentSubDoc<>{7;8}) // (i.e., Not in a watermark structure)
    Messagebox(vAns;;"You are not inside a watermark."+NToC(0F90Ah)+
    "Do you still want to continue?";YesNo!|IconQuestion!)
    If(vAns=2 or vAns=7) Quit Endif  // 'Cancel' or 'No'

// Determine the current Format, Font, Underline choices; "remember" them
// with flags; then turn ON the settings to underline tabs and spaces -
If (?UnderlineTabs = True)  vUndTabsFlag:=1
Else  vUndTabsFlag:=0  UnderlineTabs (Yes!)  Endif
If (?UnderlineSpaces = True)  vUndSpacesFlag:=1
Else  vUndSpacesFlag:=0  UnderlineSpaces (Yes!)  Endif

// Start at the top:
// Insert separate lines up to the right margin:
    // Turn underlining ON, add a flush right code:
    AttributeAppearanceOn (Underline!)
    // Skip past the last [Und] code, enter a hard return
    // If cursor is on the next page, go back a page:

// Reset user's default Format> Font> Underline choices -
If (vUndTabsFlag = 0)  UnderlineTabs (No!)  Endif
If (vUndSpacesFlag = 0)  UnderlineSpaces (No!)  Endif
// Exit macro here:

    "You can Close the Watermark now from the"+NToC(0F90Ah)+
    "property bar -or- with File> Close.";IconInformation!)
// Macro code ends here


☼  You can discontinue the watermark further into the document to stop the lines with Insert, Watermark, (choose the watermark you used), Discontinue. You might also want to reset the left/right page margins.

☼  You can adjust the width of the column of underlines by editing the watermark and dragging the margin guidelines leftward or rightward.

☼  To undo the changes to this working document, simply use Edit, Undo (or Ctrl+Z). Or, just delete both the new page margin codes and the new watermark code in the document's Reveal Codes window.

Footnote 1

[...Continued from above:]

[This manual method was developed for a user on WordPerfect Universe here.]


Assumptions: [A] Left/right page margins are set to 1.0" throughout the document where this procedure is used. (They can be adjusted as noted below, but you should try the procedure as described at least once so you can see the effects.) [B] Fonts and line height (line spacing) are the same for the documents described in this procedure.

First, open Reveal Codes (View> Reveal Codes). Then ...

Step 1. At the top of the document where you want the column of lines, set the right margin to 4.25" (see Format> Margins> Right: 4.25"> OK). All document text should now be in a single narrow "column" on the left side of all pages.

Now create the column of lines in a new, temporary document:

Step 2. Open a new blank document and set the left margin to 4.75". (This will leave a 0.5" space between the two "columns". If you want a narrower space, set it to 4.5".)

Step 3. At the top of this new document, set up this formatting for individual lines:
• Use Format> Font> Underline (tab)> All> OK. This inserts an [Undrln Tab] code in Reveal Codes.

• Use Format> Font> Font (tab) (tick the Underline checkbox), OK [...or just use Ctrl+U)]. This inserts a paired [Und][Und] code in Reveal Codes.

• Use Format> Line> Flush Right. This inserts a [Hd Flush Right] code in Reveal Codes, between the paired underline codes, which creates the first horizontal line from the left margin to the right margin.

Step 4. Now, replicate the lines.
• Move the cursor in Reveal Codes past the second [Und] code, and then press Enter to end the line (a [HRt] code will appear in Reveal Codes).

• In Reveal Codes, select just the last 4 codes -- [Und][Hd Flush Right][Und][HRt] -- and copy them to the clipboard with Ctrl+C. (Selection of codes in Reveal Codes is easiest with Shit+Arrow.)

• Click in the document below the selected line to de-select it. Then use Ctrl+V (paste) as many times as required to fill the second "column" to the bottom of the page (i.e., bottom page margin).

NOTE: If you should go past that bottom margin, simply use Backspace to erase just enough codes until your cursor is back at the very bottom of page 1.

• Finally, use Edit> Select> All to select the entire page containing all the lines. Copy this selection to the clipboard with Ctrl+C.

Now apply the column of underlines to the original document:

Step 5. Go to the very top of the original document that has the text in the narrow left "column" (see Step 1 above).
• Use Insert> Watermark> [choose A or B]> Create. This opens a full screen watermark editing window.

• Use Ctrl+V to paste the clipboard contents (i.e., the column of lines) into the watermark window.

Step 6. Close the watermark window with either the Close icon on the watermark propery bar, or with File, Close (the program treats the watermark window like a separate structure, which is why File, Close works). Note: You might need to reset the Underline option with Format> Font> Underline (tab) to your preferred default. (For example, I prefer Text & Spaces, but Step 3 in the above procedure uses All.)