Home | Tips | Library | Other Authors | Other WP Sites | Writer's Links | Contact | Site Map | Donate

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 18, 2016

WordPerfect Tips
Main tips page | Browse more tips

Loading new documents based on custom templates

[This page was taken from "Loading custom template documents" in the author's Automating WordPerfect Templates (a PDF document).]

Related pages on this site:


To create, find, modify, or fix your own custom templates, see "Custom Templates." The following material assumes that one or more such user-created custom templates has already been created and exists on your computer. It explains how to more easily load a new document based on one of these custom templates.

Loading new documents
based on custom templates

The standard method of loading a new document based on a custom template is to use File, New from Project (or File, New in WordPerfect 8), then select the category and name of the Project, then click Create.

However, there are easier and faster ways, especially if you frequently use the same template-generated custom documents. One method uses a new toolbar button, and the other uses a macro (which you can record yourself).

Method A:
Use a toolbar button that points to the template

This method uses a toolbar button on your default or custom toolbar that directly "points" to a template. (See Footnote 1.) You need only click the toolbar button and the document loads.

Note, however, that this works best with only one version of WordPerfect installed on your system. The method uses the most recently associated WordPerfect filename extension for templates in Windows Explorer. Therefore, the method loads that version of WordPerfect (e.g., WordPerfect 12) along with the document — even if you start from an earlier version (e.g., WordPerfect 8). This might be confusing, and can also take up system resources on some systems.

But if you have only one version of WordPerfect installed, the following procedure is easy to use and the result is an icon that loads a document in a jiffy:

Step 1.

Right click on the Toolbar you want to use to hold the new button, and select Edit from the context menu that appears.

Step 2.

Click on the Programs tab (not the Macros tab), and click the Add Program button.

Step 3.

In the Open File window, change the File type (in the lower left corner) to "WP Templates (.wpt)."

Step 4.

In the browse window, locate the desired template on your hard drive, select it, and click Open. A new icon will appear on your toolbar.

Step 5.

Right-click the icon, and select Customize. Change the Button text, Quick Tip, and Image, as desired. (To change a button's icon image, see here.)

Step 6.

Click OK to save your changes, and click OK to back out of all dialogs and close the Toolbar Editor.


For an alternative to adding toolbar buttons to a standard or custom toolbar, see How to Create a Vertical Toolbar with Text Buttons to Access Your Favorite Folders, Templates and Files (a PDF document, 150Kb).

Method B:
Use a macro to load a new template document

Another method is to use a very simple "loader" macro that can be played from the toolbar or a menu item. The macro selects the template and loads a new document based on it. (There are no differences in terms of usage or speed of execution between this method and the preceding one.)

If you need access to only one or two frequently used templates, you might want to create just one or two buttons on a Toolbar to play these loader macros. On the other hand, if you have several templates — such as letters, envelopes, and invoice forms — it may be better to create a drop-down menu on the top menu bar, and populate it with items that play the various macros. Both techniques are discussed below.

Note: This method to record the macro worked for several versions of WordPerfect, but might not work in some earlier versions (e.g., WordPerfect 8) or even in some newer versions. The solution is to write the macro using a single command in it, TemplateSelect ("[path and filename of selected template]") as indicated in Footnote 2 below).

Create the macro first —

Step 1.

In WordPerfect 9 and some later versions:
Open a blank document with File, New.

Step 2.

Click Tools, Macro, Record.
Give the macro a name (e.g., Load my letterhead), then click Record. The Macro Property Bar appears just above the main document area.

Step 3.

Click File, New from Project.
Select the template or Project you want to use, then click the Create button. The document will load on screen. (If a Template Information dialog appears, you would normally fill in its fields; but for the procedure here, click Cancel to remove it from the screen. At this point you only want to load a new document based on the template and not do anything else that might get recorded.)

Step 4.

Stop the macro recording by clicking the far left button () on the Macro Property Bar (its Tool Tip says "Stop macro play or record").

Step 5.

Close the document on screen with File, Close (i.e, don't save it).

Step 6.

Test the macro with Tools, Macro, Play. The macro should immediately load the document in the usual manner.

Step 7.

Repeat the previous steps to create a differently named macro for each template that you want to access this way.

— then play it with a mouse click:

As mentioned above, at this point you can either create a toolbar button to play each macro, or you can create a drop down menu on the top menu bar with selections that play your macros. Either or both of these methods -- discussed next -- can be used to automate daily tasks by playing macros.

Method B1:
Create a toolbar button to play the macro

Step 1.

Right-click anywhere on the toolbar, then click Edit. The Toolbar Editor appears.

Step 2.

Click the Macros tab, then click the Add Macro button. From the Select Macro window, choose the loader macro you created above, then click Select. Usually, you can answer the "Save macro with full path?" question with "No" since WordPerfect will automatically look for the macro in one of the two folders specified in Tools, Environment, Files, Merge/Macro.

Step 3.

A small gray "cassette" icon appears on your toolbar. Right-click on it an choose Customize. Give the button a name in the Button Text field and a Quick tip to display when you pass your mouse over it. Click on the Image Edit button, then click Clear to remove the default icon image. Then use the tools to create your own custom icon (see Footnote 3). Click OK all the way back to the document window. Note that whenever the Toolbar Editor is on screen you can move a button by dragging it, or delete it by dragging it from the toolbar.

Method B2:
Create a drop down menu to play macros

Alternatively, you can create a drop down menu with selections that play your loader macros. This method can be use to play any macro on your disk.

This is a similar method to the previous one, since it also uses a loader macro to load the template document. However, instead of toolbar buttons, you create a menu. Each item on the menu plays a different loader macro.

Step 1.

Right-click on the top menu (the one with File, Edit, View, etc.). Click on Settings from the context menu. In the Customize Settings window that pops up, click on the Menus tab and choose menu you want to use in the Available menus list.

Generally this is the <WordPerfect X Menu> (where "X" is the WordPerfect program version number that is loaded), unless you have previously created a customized menu — in which case, click on that one. Click Edit to bring up the Menu Editor.

Step 2.

In the Menu Editor window you'll see an indented box on the right labeled "Menu" with an icon inside it.

Drag the Menu icon from this box up to WordPerfect's top menu, to the right side of other menu items.

Step 3.

Put your cursor over this new menu item (which is simply labeled "Menu"), and when it is selected—it turns dark blue—double click it. This will allow you to change the name in the Menu Item field to "Letterheads," "Stationery," or something equally useful, and add a floating description (Quick Tip). You can type an ampersand (&) immediately before any letter in the name that you want to use as a mnemonic, which will select the macro if you use the Alt+<letter> key combination. Click OK when you are done entering the name.

Step 4.

While the Menu Editor window is still open, click on the Macros tab at the top, and then click the Add Macros button. Select the macro that loads your letterhead or other desired template. Click Select to close the Select Macro window, and click anywhere in a blank area of the Menu Editor window to make it active again. You'll notice the macro's name was placed on the top menu line, but next to your new menu item. You'll want to put it under the new item, and change its name:

Step 5.

Place your cursor over the new macro's name on the top menu until it turns blue (i.e., it's now selected), then drag it with your left mouse button over to the Letterhead menu item — then drag it down to the blank (gray) area that pops up just under the new menu item and drop it there. (Sort of "go west, then go south" with your mouse, while holding down the left button.) This is where the first menu selection will appear.


For additional items you can drop the name either below or above any existing menu items. A heavy horizontal line will appear to guide your placement. You also can add a separator line between menu items by dragging and dropping it from the Menu Editor window.

Step 6.

Rename the menu selection by highlighting it with your mouse. Double click the macro's name and rename it in the pop up box. You can type an ampersand (&) immediately before any letter in the name that you want to use as a mnemonic and that will select the macro if you use the Alt+<letter> combination.

Step 7.

Click OK when you are done to close the Menu Editor.

Step 8.

Click Close in the Customize Settings window. Done!


For an alternative to using a menu, see How to Create a Vertical Toolbar with Text Buttons to Access Your Favorite Folders, Templates and Files (a PDF document, 150Kb).

Footnote 1

[Continued from above:]

You can create a custom toolbar for just such purposes: Click Tools, Settings, then double-click Customize. Under the Toolbars tab, click Create. (When created, be sure to toggle it "on" back in the Available toolbars window of the Customize Settings dialog.) The new toolbar will be saved as part of your default template, but it can be copied to other templates using the Copy/Remove... button on the target template's Template Property Bar.

Note that you can also create a desktop shortcut to "point" to the template file (.WPT). Clicking the desktop shortcut will open WordPerfect and load a new document based on that template. However, unlike in WordPerfect 9 and earlier versions, in WordPerfect 10, 11, and 12 (at least) any startup template macros (i.e., a template macro associated with the Post New trigger) will not automatically play unless WordPerfect is already open.

Finally, you can create a vertical toolbar. It can even load macros and open favorite folders. See How to Create a Vertical Toolbar with Text Buttons to Access Your Favorite Folders, Templates and Files (a PDF document, 150Kb).

Footnote 2

[Continued from above:]

IMPORTANT: In some early versions of WordPerfect (e.g., version 8) and perhaps in some later versions, the macro recording method (above) of creating a "loader" macro might not work to produce a macro. If that happens — or you simply want a faster method of creating such macros — you can write a simple one-line macro containing the TemplateSelect() command. Be sure to use the full drive\path\<template name>, and enclose everything in double quotes.

For example:

TemplateSelect ("C:\Users\{YourUserName}\Documents\My Letterhead.wpt")

Footnote 3

[Continued from above:]

If you are "artistically challenged" and want to have something more than a picture of an audiocassette on the toolbar button that plays your macros (i.e., the default icon that appears whenever you add any new macro), here's one way to do it.

[UPDATE: See this page about how to do it in modern versions of Windows and WordPerfect.]

Since WordPerfect is full of features you can add to a toolbar with the Toolbar Editor's Features tab, these already have pre-drawn icons associated with them. You can copy any of their icon images to your new macro's toolbar button and modify it if desired.

Here's how:

Scroll through the features, select one of them and add it (temporarily) to the toolbar, then edit this temporary icon (right-click it, then click Customize, Edit) and click Copy to copy the image. Click OK back to the Toolbar Editor, and edit your new macro's icon. Clear the gray audiocassette image, and paste the new image into it, making any desired changes, then click OK to get back to the Toolbar Editor. Finally, with the Toolbar Editor on screen, right-click the temporary icon and select Delete.