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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2023 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Nov 2, 2022

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

Part 1- Customize your toolbars

See also -

Part 2:
Customize your keyboard -
Assigning a macro, feature, program, or string of keystrokes to a key or key combination
Part 3:
Customize your menu -
How to add, edit, rearrange, or remove menu items

How to create a toolbar button to play a macro, load a program or file (or folder), use a built-in WordPerfect feature, or play back keystrokes (plus related tips)

Please note -

¤  Toolbars differ from Property Bars. See here for more information.

To see toolbars on screen you must have enabled them with Tools, Settings, Customize, Toolbars (tab) -or- from the View, Toolbars dialog. [The standard default toolbar for your WordPerfect version is simply labeled "WordPerfect" with no number after it.]

¤  To create a new custom toolbar to host one or more toolbar buttons see "How to create a new, custom toolbar".

¤  To modify (button icons) or delete, restore, move, copy, reposition, or restore toolbar buttons see the Tips section below.

Related topic -  

To add, delete, copy, or move buttons on one of WordPerfect's context-sensitive property bars see the Custom Property Bars page.

Step 1 of 3. First, choose the toolbar you want to customize.

  To customize the current toolbar -

•  Right-click on the currently displayed toolbar to choose it.

Note 1: The toolbar is (typically) just below the program's menu as shown here. By default it is the main WordPerfect toolbar, labeled as shown in the images below.

Note 2: Context-sensitive property bars (located between toolbars and the ruler) can also be edited to add buttons to them: see here.

•  Click on Edit from the drop-down context menu that appears (example from WordPerfect X8 Standard edition):

Toolbar context menu

•  The Toolbar Editor for the chosen toolbar will open -- e.g., the main WordPerfect toolbar for your version of the program:

Toolbar Editor

•  Go to Step 2.

  To customize a different toolbar -

•  Click Tools, Settings, Customize on the program's main menu. The Customize Settings dialog (shown below) opens to let you choose any available toolbar. (There's a scroll bar on the right side to show other toolbars. You might have to scroll down to locate your desired toolbar.)

•  On the Toolbars tab, choose the toolbar from the list by clicking on the name in the list. This sets the name in reverse text (e.g., white on blue) indicating it is the one you choose to edit.

Customize Settings - Toolbars

•  Click on the Edit button to open the Toolbar Editor (shown in Step 2).

Note: The checkbox next to the name will cause the program to display that toolbar if it is not already displayed. You can uncheck it if you don't need it displayed.

Tip: Some people prefer to create a copy of a factory-shipped (or previously customized) toolbar. Therefore, instead of using the Edit button they use the Copy button on the Customize Settings dialog. [A similar procedure is often done to create customized keyboard definitions.] But you can always reset a factory-shipped toolbar if needed.

Step 2 of 3. Create and assign a function to a new toolbar button. 

Use 1 of these 4 procedures, depending on what you want the button to do on the toolbar you chose to customize in Step 1.
  To create a new button to play a MACRO -

•  Click on the Macros tab on the Toolbar Editor, then click the Add Macro button (shown below):

Toolbar Editor - Macros tab

•  From the Select Macro window that opens (usually, into your Default or Supplemental macro folder set in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro tab), choose (click on) the desired macro file name from the file list; then click Select.
Important points:

1.  Usually, when you select a macro you can answer the "Save macro with full path?" question that pops up with "No" -- unless you deliberately want to store the macro in a folder other than the Default or Supplemental folders shown in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro. Those two folders are where the program looks for macros when no path to another folder is specified, so for most users who keep macros in either (or both) of them, there is no need to specify the path to them. (This helps many users when upgrading the program with customized toolbars imported from their earlier version. By default the new program will look for assigned macros on the custom toolbars in those two factory defined folders.)

However, if you chose a macro from the Select Macro window that is in a folder other than the Default or Supplemental folders shown in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro, then answer "Yes" so that the program will look in that other folder. If so, see point #2.

2.  Be aware that copying/moving assigned macros (i.e., those located in a specific drive/folder) to a different computer or a newer version of WordPerfect can sometimes "break" the assigned path to the macro (e.g., if "Yes" was originally answered above before the macros were copied/moved) and causes some users to ask, Why won't my macros play anymore?

This happens if the new path to the macros is different from the path that is embedded in each of the toolbar button's Properties.

Edit the "broken" toolbar button to give it updated information: Right click on the toolbar and choose Edit. The Toolbar Editor appears. While it is on screen, right click directly on the broken toolbar button, click Customize, then Properties. Modify the field there to include both the new path (drive and folder) and the macro's name.

For some more information and tips on this, and the general topic of transferring macros to another system or WordPerfect version, see here.
•  Finally, a small gray "cassette" button audio cassette image appears on your toolbar: audio cassette image

Right-click on it and choose Customize.

Give the icon a Button Text name of your choice (also see the second tip below about using an ampersand) and a Quick tip name of your choice.

Tip: If you want to customize the button's graphic icon, see here for some more tips to make the button unique.

•  Go to Step 3 below.

  To create a new button to start ("launch") a WordPerfect FEATURE -

•  Click on the Features tab. You will need to make 2 choices there:
[1] Scroll down in the "Feature categories" drop list to choose the appropriate category, such as File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, etc.

[2] In the lower Features drop list, choose one or more features (one at a time) you want to assign to the new button(s).

Toolbar Editor - Features tab

Tip: There are some features in each category that are not found on standard toolbars. You might want to explore the categories and feature lists and assign some of them to buttons to see if they are useful to you. See the Tips section below for how to delete them later, etc.
•  Click on the Add Button (shown above but not yet active) for the feature you chose in [2] above. A new toolbar button with a pre-defined icon image on it will appear on your toolbar for the feature chosen.

(By default it is placed at the end of existing icons, but you can relocate it: See Step 3.)

•  Go to Step 3 below.

  To create a new button to start an EXTERNAL PROGRAM or load a SPECIFIC FOLDER or file -

Method 1 (for programs):

•  Click the Programs tab on the Toolbar Editor, then click the Add Program button (shown below):

Toolbar Editor - Programs tab

•  Locate and choose the exectuable (*.exe) program's name in the Open File - Programs window that opens, then click Open.

•  Go to Step 3 below.

Method 2 (for programs or macros that play programs):

•  Drag-and-drop a program or macro shortcut from your Windows deskop to the WordPerfect toolbar or property bar.

Be sure it's a shortcut (it will have a small arrow on the icon), left-click on it, and drag it to the WordPerfect toolbar or property bar (note that the latter may be a context-sensitive bar, so it may not always be visible).

•  Go to Step 3 below.

Method 3 (for folders):

•  To have a button open a specific folder, open Windows Explorer or File Explorer [from the keyboard you can press and hold the Windows key (the key with a Windows icon on it) and simultaneously press the E key], or use (My) Computer or similar file manager.

Drag-and-drop the folder name onto the WordPerfect toolbar.

Note: The Toolbar Editor (see Step 1 above) does not need to be open for this to work.

•  Go to Step 3 below.

Method 4 (for existing files):

•  To have a button open a specific existing file (such as a list of phone numbers) from your Copyright 1996-2023 by Barry MacDonnell, drag the file from its directory/folder in Windows Explorer, File Explorer, or My Computer onto the WordPerfect toolbar.

•  Go to Step 3 below.


Alternative method 1 (for instructions on loading a new document based on a custom template):

See "Load a letterhead - or any other document based on a custom template - with a mouseclick or keystroke" here. [Also see "Automating WordPerfect Templates" here.]

Alternative method 2 (for loading programs, folders, or files):

Create a vertical toolbar with text labels on the buttons (rather than graphic icons) to load favorite documents, open favorite folders, play macros, etc. See the PDF file, How To Create a Vertical Toolbar...".

  To create a new button to automatically TYPE pre-assigned text into the document -

•  Click the Keystrokes tab -- the same procedure shown in "Assigning a macro...to a key... (Step 3)" -- but here you would assign the keystrokes to the toolbar button. Once the keystrokes are assigned to the button, you can click the button and it will stream the keystrokes into the document at the cursor location.

Note: This probably is only useful for relatively small blocks of ordinary text. For large blocks of text, which might contain formatting or graphics, see the page on using boilerplate.

•  Go to Step 3 below.
Step 3 of 3. Finish up. Optionally reposition, delete, copy, move, or reset the toolbar to its default state.

•  You can click-and-drag the new button into another position on the toolbar while the Toolbar Editor is still on screen.


¤  You can drag it from the toolbar to delete it. (If the Toolbar Editor is closed, you can press and hold the <Alt> key while you drag the button.)

¤  You can also copy or move it onto another toolbar or property bar visible on your screen, as explained in the Tips section below.

¤  Made a mistake?  Standard toolbars -- such as the main (default) toolbar -- can be reset to their factory installed state. Right-click on the toolbar and choose Settings; select the bar in the list if it isn't already selected; click Reset. (Note that custom toolbars you created from scratch cannot be reset this way.)

•  When done, click OK all the way back to the document window.


☼  To modify a macro button's default icon (the gray audiocasette image ) see here.

Tip: You can also use the technique with other buttons.

Tip: You can use text labels instead of graphic icons on toolbar buttons. This can only be done for all buttons on a given toolbar, not for individual buttons, and probably is best done on a toolbar positioned vertically in the WordPerfect window. See the PDF file, How To Create a Vertical Toolbar...".

☼  You can add separations between buttons by click-dragging on the Separator iconon the Toolbar Editor (see an image of the Editor above) and dropping a separator bar at the desired location on the toolbar.

Or you can double-click on that icon to add a separator bar on the toolbar (at the end of other buttons).

Either way you probably will want to relocate the separator by dragging it elsewhere while the Toolbar Editor is still open on screen.

Note that the program accepts just one separator at a given location. If you add more to the same location the program will delete the extra separators at that location when you press OK to close the Editor.

(When you close the Editor, the separator will shrink in width and might not be easy to see [example images], but it can still be dragged elsewhere by holding down the Alt key while click-dragging it.)

☼  Add a hot key (i.e., keyboard shortcut) to activate the toolbar button:

If you put an ampersand ("&") in the Button Text, the letter that follows the ampersand can be used with the <Alt> key to play the macro, in addition to clicking the toolbar button itself. This is sometimes referred to as a mnemonic key. On menus and dialogs it shows up as an underlined letter or number.

For example, if the Button Text is something like "Fax this document," and you change it to "&Fax this document," then <Alt+F> will play the macro, the same as if you click the button with your mouse. Note that, in this example, <Alt+F> would normally bring up the WP File menu; now it will not. So, to bring up the File menu, simply press and release the <Alt> key, then press the <F> key. [Thanks to P. Wolfgang Deiminger for the ampersand tip.]

Note: Some recent versions of Windows might have hidden the underlined letters or numbers by default. See "Windows underlined <Alt> key shortcuts - How to display hidden underlines on menus and dialogs" here.

☼  To delete a button from a toolbar (or property bar) when you are back in the document window, simply hold down the <Alt> key and drag the button off the bar.

☼  To restore (reset) any non-custom (i.e., standard, factory-shipped) toolbar to its original settings:

Right-click on the toolbar and choose Settings. Select the bar in the list if it isn't already selected. Click Reset. (Custom toolbars you created from scratch can only be modified or deleted.)

You can move or copy an existing button from one toolbar to another, or between a toolbar and a property bar (assuming both are visible).

- To move it, hold down the <Alt> key while you drag the button to the other toolbar.

- To copy it, hold down the <Ctrl> and <Alt> keys while you drag it. [Most people probably will want to copy the button, not move it, so that the source toolbar remains the same.]

- For macros, you might have to edit the moved/copied button with the Toolbar Editor to specify the path to the related macro's disk location on the current system.

- For property bars, see here.

☼  Toolbars are stored in your default template file.

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

☼  To re-position a toolbar on your screen:

You can use the quick and easy way:

Place your mouse cursor on an empty area or border (not on a button) on the toolbar and left-click-and-drag the toolbar to a new location: left, right, top, bottom, or palette ("floating"). When its border changes from a thick to a thin line -- a "ghost" outline of the bar's shape (except for the palette, which will always be a rectangle with a thick border) -- release your mouse button and the toolbar should snap into that location.

Later, you can drag it back to the main toolbar area to relocate it back in its default position. (If this proves difficult or tricky, use the dialog method below.)

- or -

Use the dialog method:

Click Tools, Settings, Customize -- or simply right-click on the toolbar and choose Settings.

In the Customize Settings dialog that appears, click on the Toolbars tab and then use your mouse to choose (i.e., reverse highlight the name of) the toolbar.

Click the Options button. Make your choice of location, etc., on the Toolbar Options dialog. [As in the quick method above, "Palette" creates a floating toolbar that you can drag to a different position. If you drag it back over its typical location -- the border will change from a thick to a thin line when it can be docked -- and then release your mouse button, it should snap into that location.]

Click OK to close the Toolbar Options dialog, then Close to return to the document.

To position it back in its original location, repeat the above steps and choose the newly desired location on that Options dialog. [Tip: For the Palette (floating) toolbar you can double click on its title bar and it should snap back into its original location. (Thanks to Roy "lemoto" Lewis for this tip.)]

☼  You cannot permanently change the items on Microsoft Word toolbars as you can with WordPerfect toolbars. 

They will be reset to their defaults on a program reboot. But you can make both Word toolbars and your customized WordPerfect toolbars visible at the same time using the Tools, Settings, Customize check boxes.