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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 Nov 4, 2020

WordPerfect Tips
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How to create
WordPerfect Lists

How to create a List

Some tips

How to create custom styles to help automate creating Lists (and solve a few problems, too!)

Related pages -

To create a Table of Contents see here.

To create an Index or a Glossary see here.

To create a Table of Authorities see Corel's support database article #3524 here and also this post at WordPerfect Universe (which references CiteLink and FullAuthority). [Update: See Corel's Perfect Authority for sale at http://www.corel.com (also included in the Legal Edition). There is a tutorial on using Perfect Authority here.]



Note: This very useful (and easy to use) feature is available in most versions of WordPerfect (see Tools, Reference, List) but since the word "list" can mean several things in WordPerfect my guess that it is no longer documented in the User Guides and help modules of modern WP versions — even though it has existed for many years.

WordPerfect Lists
are similar to a Table of Contents (TOC), since their items are also associated with page numbers in the document.


Apples . . . . . .5
Bananas . . . . 7
Oranges . . . . 12


To create automatically numbered lists at the current cursor location like this -

1. Apples
2. Bananas
3. Oranges

- or to create bullet lists, see the Automatic Numbering and Bullet feature, which is different from the List feature described below.

List items

•  Single words, phrases, or paragraphs
•  Captions in graphic images or photos
•  Beginning locations of several pages of text

General method

•  The items are first marked with special format codes as explained below (a simple select-and-click operation), then you
•  generate the List to update page numbers in the List.


•  You can place the List wherever you want in the document.
•  More than one List can exist in the document. Each List can be different from other Lists, and can be easily updated as needed.
•  A Table of Contents in a document can reference one or more Lists -- they are not mutually exclusive.

How to create a List

Here are the basic steps to create and generate a List. Please read them before using them.

Step 1.

Select the text you wish to include in the List as an entry on the list.

Notes and tips

•  Unlike creating a Table of Contents automatically by using WordPerfect's factory shipped Heading styles, you must manually select text to include in the List. There are no special, internally marked styles included with the program for a List as there are for a TOC (i.e., the Heading styles).

•  Generally, the selected text should be in the body text area of the document or in the Caption area of a graphic image or photo, and not in a "substructure" such as a header, footer, footnote, endnote, etc.

•  Be careful not to include format codes (Bold, Italic, etc.) in your selection unless you want the formatting to appear in the List. You can check Reveal Codes while you select text. (Shift+arrow makes it easier to be precise when selecting items in Reveal Codes.)


•  For image or photo captions, where you want to include both the Figure number and the caption's text in the List: Carefully select both the [Open Style: FigureNum] style code and the caption's text (i.e., both in the same selection). This is most easily done using Shift+arrow in the Reveal Codes window.

•  You can also select just the text in a graphic's Caption. The caption will then show up as an entry in the List along with the page number where the graphic is located.

•  Alternatively you can select just the [FigureNum] code in the caption if you want just the Figure number to appear in the List.
    Step 2.

    Choose Tools, Reference, List. This opens the List tab on the Reference Tools dialog.

    Name the List to use:

    If the List has not yet been created,
    you can give it a name directly in the List: field.

    If you have already created and named a list: Choose the desired List's name in the List: with the down arrow button.

    Alternatively, you can click the Define button on the Reference Tools dialog, then click Create in the Define List dialog that apepars. In the Create List dialog give a name to the new List, click OK, then Close.


    •  See the tip below on formatting page numbering in a List using the Define, Create or Define, Edit buttons.

    •  You can also Retrieve an existing List definition from a document that has the definition you want by using the Define, Retrieve button.
    Step 3.

    Mark the List's entries: With the List dialog still on screen -- click on the [Mark] button. This puts a paired code around the previously selected text in Reveal Codes, like this:

    [Mrk Txt List}Cost estimates for the project{Mrk Txt List]

    Repeat this step as needed: Select other text to include in the List, clicking the Mark button for each selection.


    •  This step can also be done later, after the List has been created — but be sure to re-Generate the List (Step 4(d)) whenever you add or delete marked items (or the marking codes).

    •  Reminder: If you have multiple Lists in the document (see tip below), be sure to choose the desired list in the List field before you mark text in the document.
    Step 4.

    When you are done marking items (N.B.: You can mark more items later, then return to Step 4(d)) -

    (a) Place your cursor where you want the List to appear in the document.

    (b) Define the List with the [Define] button on the Tools, Reference, List dialog.

    When the Define List dialog appears -

    (c) Insert the code that will create the List with the [Insert] button. This places format codes ([Def Mark][Gen Txt]) and a text placeholder
    (<<List will generate here>>) in the document, like this:

    [Def Mark][Gen Txt]<<List will generate here>>[Gen Txt]

    Tip: You can use [Edit] to change the style of List entries in a similar manner to a Table of Contents (see here and the tips below).

    When the Define List dialog closes -

    (d) Generate the List with the [Generate] button on the bottom of the Reference Tools dialog.

    Be sure to enable the "Build hyperlinks" choice on the small Generate dialog that appears if you want the page numbers in the List to be hyperlinked.

    Then click OK, then Close to return to the document.

    The List should now display all items you marked for that List in Step 3.
    (In Reveal Codes you will also see a special [Bookmark] code next to each
    [Mrk Txt List} code in the text areas of the document.)


    ☼  Re-Generate! If you add or remove marked text (or the marking codes), or you add or remove other material from the document that might cause changes in pagination, be sure to generate the document again [see Step 4(d) above]. You can also use the Tools, Reference menu to generate the document. See also the caveats about the "Auto generate" option below. (See also "Sorting the List" below.)

    ☼  Multiple different (or same) Lists? 

    - You can create several differently named lists in the List field (see Step 2), choosing different ones for different groups of document items to Mark for inclusion in those Lists.

    - You can also insert copies of the same-named list (using Step 4) in multiple locations in the document. (Be sure to re-generate the list in case pagination changes.)

    ☼  Delete the List? Just select it and press Delete. In Reveal Codes, delete the [Def Mark] and [Gen Txt] codes at that location, too, or the List will re-appear if you generate the document again (see tip above).

    ☼  Change the format? A List, like a Table of Contents or an Index, can be edited after it is generated -- e.g., to format it further. Be aware that if you re-generate the List, any edits between the [Def Mark] and the ending [Gen Txt] codes will be lost, so such editing is best done on the final draft.


    Document text and format codes that are located outside the boundaries of the List's codes will not be affected by re-generation. For example, you could start two-column format just before a [Def Mark] code and then change it back to normal formatting by Discontinuing the columns after the ending [Gen Txt] code.

    Once the List is generated you should be careful not to create (i.e., start) a header, footer, or watermark inside it -- i.e., between the pair of [Gen Txt] codes -- or these items will be deleted when the List is re-generated.

    ☼  Sorting the List (with Tools, Sort)For a sort to work with Lists, which contain paragraph style format codes in the List entries, the best method is to temporarily convert the List to a 1-column table, sort the table, then remove the table structure (but not the now-sorted contents). This process is quick and easy to do. Here's how.

    [1] Select the enite List with mouse or keyboard.
    [2] Use Table, Convert, and in the Convert dialog that appears, set the Columns to 1 and the Text Delimiters to Paragraphs. Click OK. The selected List should now be inside a table where each row is a List entry.
    [3] Place the cursor inside the table and use Tools, Sort, "First cell in a table row". Click Sort. The List should now be sorted alphabetically inside the table.
    [4] Finally, remove the table structure with Table, Convert, Convert tables to text (the top, main radio button). Click OK.

    Related tips

    - For more on sorting see "How to use the Sort feature - some tips and examples" here.

    - Also, if you update the document with more List entries, you will need to first re-generate the document -- and then sort the list again, as explained above.

    Hyperlinks: When WordPerfect generates a List it creates hyperlinks around the page numbers in the List. [This assumes you have enabled the "Build hyperlinks" option (screen shot) when generating the List (in Step 4(d) above).]


    Hyperlinks become "active" when you enable Tools, Settings, Environment, Activate Hyperlinks. This setting is stored with the document when it is saved.

    For more on hyperlinks see this page. See also "Why some hyperlinks can fail to work while inside WordPerfect documents (.WPD, .WPT)".

    ☼  Page number format for the List: When the Define List dialog is on screen [Step 4(b), or when double-clicking on the [Def Mark] code of a generated List] you can use the Edit button to change the Numbering format. For example, you might not want dot leaders preceding the page numbers, so you can choose "Text #" instead of "Text....#".

    Note: At the bottom of the Edit List dialog is an option to "List box captions automatically". The drop list lets you choose the type of box: [None], Figure, Table, Text, User, or Equation. This might be useful if you have not already marked captions in the chosen box type.

    ☼  "Auto generate" option. Note that the "Auto generate" option at the bottom of the Reference Tools dialog is enabled by default when you first install the program. [The link shows it disabled -- the author's preference.]

    However, some users have found that if it is left enabled one or more irritations or problems can occur, such as:

    (1) a reminder message will pop up each time the document is saved or printed and has not been re-generated; and/or

    (2) the cursor can unexpectantly move to the bottom of the screen; and/or

    (3) selected text might not be printed (WP11 and later versions); and/or

    (4) printing can sometimes be slowed.

    The remedy is the same: Disable the option — but remember to re-generate the document whenever changes are made to it that might affect any reference tools you have used.

    How to create custom styles to help automate creating Lists (and solve a few problems, too!)


    Meanwhile, see this post on WordPerfect Universe ... and this one in the same thread.

    Tip: The small .WPD document attached to that second
    WordPerfect Universe post — How to Use Styles to Create WordPerfect Lists — can also be downloaded from the Toolbox site here in an archive file, WPLists.zip. As a bonus, the styles referenced in that document are also included (stored) in that document, and thus they can be copied to any other document or template.