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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 May 2, 2020

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How to create a new, custom toolbar

Tips -

Create a vertical toolbar

Move or copy buttons from another toolbar

Make a custom toolbar  or keyboard automatically appear when you load a document 

Modify a toolbar button's icon image; delete a button; restore a modified toolbar to factory settings; re-position a toolbar

Related pages -

To just modify a standard toolbar, see:
How to create a toolbar button to play a macro, load a program, or use a built-in WordPerfect feature

To modify just a property bar:
Adding buttons to the context-sensitive Property Bars

To edit the icon on a toolbar or property bar button:
How to change those default "audiocassette" icons on toolbar buttons


¤  To be able to see toolbars you must have enabled them with View, Toolbars.

¤  Toolbars are stored inside the template file. Typically this is the default template but it can also be a custom template or the additional objects template.

Here's how

•  Click on Tools, Settings or Alt+F12 (Windows keyboard) or Shift+F1 (DOS keyboard). The Settings dialog appears:

Settings dialog

•  Click Customize. This brings up the Customize Settings dialog:

Customize Settings dialog

Next, on the Toolbars tab (see above) click on Create to bring up the Create Toolbar dialog:

Create Toolbar dialog

Side note: Some people prefer to create a copy of a standard factory-shipped (or previously customized) toolbar. Therefore, instead of using the Create button they use the Copy button on the Customize Settings dialog (see above). [A similar procedure is often done to create customized keyboard definitions.] But you can always reset a modified factory-shipped toolbar back to its original state if needed.

•  Give the new toolbar a name in the dialog (e.g., My Macros). 

Optional: While in that dialog, you can click the Location button to specify the location -- typically, the current template or the default template (which may be the same item); some users, particularly in a multi-user networked environment, might want to use the Additional Objects template.

•  Click OK to close the Create Toolbar dialog.

•  The Toolbar Editor dialog should now be on screen with the name of your new toolbar at the top of the dialog:

Toolbar Editor dialog

•  Use the Toolbar Editor to add buttons to the new toolbar to activate favorite WordPerfect features, play macros, etc.:

To add a feature to the toolbar:

The Features tab at the top should be active (if it is not, click it). You will find several "Feature categories" in the top drop list (File, Edit, View ... etc.). Underneath this list you will see the actual "Features:" drop list, which displays the features available for the chosen Feature category.

Clicking on a feature will activate the Add Button button on the dialog and also display an icon and brief description just above the OK button. (These button icons are also useful as models for your own custom buttons to play macros from a toolbar. See http://wptoolbox.com/tips/EditIcon.html.)

Practice a bit:

Select a feature and click the Add Button button. You will see a new button appear on the new toolbar. If you do not want the button, simply drag it form the toolbar. (You can also remove it later by holding down the <Alt> button while you drag it from the toolbar. Similarly, you can reposition it later on the toolbar with the <Alt>+drag method.)

You can add macros or even external programs to the toolbar:

This is done by first selecting the appropriate tab (Macros or Programs) on the Toolbar Editor. Then choose the macro or external program and click the Add button to add it.

For the current task see the instructions on that page here.

For more comprehensive information see "How to create a toolbar button to play a macro, load a program, or use a built-in WordPerfect feature". 

•  When finished adding buttons to the new toolbar, click OK. If you want to enable the toolbar, the box next to its name must be ticked (i.e., checked).

•  Click Close to get back to the document screen. 

☼  You can always modify the new toolbar later by choosing Tools, Settings, Customize, Toolbars (tab); then click once on the toolbar name to select (highlight) it; then click Edit. -Or- click Options set Button appearance, Font size, Toolbar location (left/right/top/bottom/(floating)palette), etc. 

☼  For more on modifying a toolbar, see this section on the Toolbars and Property Bars page.

☼  See more tips below.


  You can create a vertical toolbar with text labels (instead of graphic icons) to quickly access your favorite folders, templates, and files. See How to Create a Vertical Toolbar with Text Buttons to Access Your Favorite Folders, Templates and Files (click to download PDF document, 8 pages).

  You can copy or move buttons from one toolbar to another toolbar -- or even copy a complete customized toolbar from an earlier version of WordPerfect or from a version located on another system.

First ... what do you want to do?

¤  The procedure below in Step 1 can be used to first copy the toolbar into your current version of WordPerfect. (This is done while the toolbar exists on another WordPerfect installation or was previously saved and is still available.) Then you can optionally move or copy the button(s) to another toolbar using the procedure in Step 2 below.

¤  If you just want to copy buttons from one toolbar to another in the same program on the same computer, see Step 2.

¤  Advanced users can accomplish the steps under Step 1 below with a simple macro containing two commands:

(1) the TemplateCopyObject() command [to specify the path and name of the source template to copy the toolbar from; the ButtonBar! as the object type; and the name given to the source toolbar]; and

(2) the ButtonBarShow() command [to display the copied toolbar].

Note that TemplateCopyObject() can also be used to copy template macros from one template into another.

Step 1. Copying toolbars from another version of WordPerfect or from another computer with WordPerfect installed on it.

Note: For toolbar buttons that play macros located on your disk you might have to edit the newly copied toolbar's relevant button with the Toolbar Editor to specify the path to the related macro on the current system.

From "Moving customizations from old default template to new" at http://www.wpuniverse.com/vb/showthread.php?threadid=12507 -

"... In WordPerfect when you edit some user settings, like a keyboard or a menu (there are others), the customizations are saved in the default template. If you want to keep your customizations when you install a new version or when for troubleshooting you are asked to exit WordPerfect and rename the default template (a new fresh one is created when you restart WP), you need to copy the customizations (if any) from the old template to the new default template."

How to do it:

"Transferring keyboards, toolbars, menus etc. from old version" -- a WordPerfect Universe FAQ mirrored (and annotated) on this site's Migrating Customizations page.

Step 2. Moving or copying buttons between toolbars on the same installation of the WordPerfect program

•  You can move or copy an existing button from one toolbar to another toolbar (assuming both bars are visible; if not, use Tools, Settings, Customize, Toolbars tab to enable their display on screen). [Tip: You can even copy a button to a property bar; see here.]

▸  To move it, hold down the <Alt> key while you drag the button to the desired location on other toolbar.

▸  To copy it, hold down the <Ctrl> and <Alt> keys while you drag it.

Note: Most people probably will want to copy the button, not move it, so that the source toolbar remains the same.

  You can make a custom toolbar (or keyboard) appear whenever you load a new document based on a custom template (e.g., a letterhead or invoice template). [You can also make them appear immediately; see Tips below.]

[The following information is valid for WordPerfect X3+ (but should also work in other versions).]

You will need to create the toolbar inside the custom template as described above (or copy it into the template) and then create a small template macro that is triggered by the Post New trigger. (N.B.: This and other detailed aspects of automating templates can be found in the author's Automating WordPerfect Templates.) 

The macro would consist of these two ButtonBar... commands [where "My Toolbar" should be replaced by the actual custom toolbar name (retain the quote marks), and each command is on its own line -- but note that you might not need both commands to load the new toolbar]:

ButtonBarSelect(ButtonBarName:"My Toolbar"; LoadedFromDefaultTemplate:No!)

ButtonBarShow(State:On!; ButtonBarName:"My Toolbar"; LoadedFromDefaultTemplate:No!)


The parameter LoadedFromDefaultTemplate should be set to No! if the item is to be loaded from the custom template, and set to Yes! if it is to be loaded from the default template. Since we are talking here about using a custom template to store (and trigger) the macros, the examples above use No!.


•  You can also use the one-line KeyboardSelect... command in a template macro to load a custom keyboard definition.

For example (N.B.: be sure to replace "<My custom toolbar>" with the name of your custom keyboard definition, and retain the < > brackets and quote marks):

KeyboardSelect (Keyboard:"<My custom keyboard>"; LoadedFromDefaultTemplate:No!)

•  You can also use these Buttonbar and Keyboard commands immediately and directly -- you don't need to trigger a template macro to use them. Just create them in a regular macro and assign the macro to a toolbar button, menu, or keyboard shortcut (see here), or automatically play the macro at program launch with a "startup switch" (see here).

•  If you need a menu or a keyboard to appear when you are using a feature such as a WordPerfect Comment, Footnote, Outline, Table, et al.,you can associate the menu and/or keyboard with that feature. (See here.) (This is similar to the function a property bar performs to display toolbar buttons related to the current task at hand.)

Related Tips

☼  You can add separations between buttons by click-dragging on the Separator icon on the Toolbar Editor (see an image of the Toolbar 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.)

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

☼  If you put an ampersand ("&") in the Button Text, the letter that folllows the ampersand can be used with the <Alt> key to play the macro in addition to clicking the toolbar button itself.

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.]

☼  To delete a button from the toolbar (or a 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) a modified factory toolbar to the factory settings:

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 created from scratch can only be modified or deleted: They cannot be reset since there is no previous "factory-shipped" state.

☼  If you want to create a button on one of WordPerfect's context-sensitive property bars and it seems to disappear whenever you need it, see "Adding buttons to the context-sensitive Property Bars".

☼  To re-position a toolbar:

•  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 -

•  You can 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.)]

☼  To reorder the way multiple toolbars appear on screen (but not property bars):

Open Tools, Settings, Customize and de-select all toolbars.

Then re-select them in the order in which you want them to appear.