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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 Jun 6, 2019
[Reformatted Oct 20, 2020]

WordPerfect Tips
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Publishing to PDF* with WordPerfect 9 and later versions

Here are some tips to get the best from this feature (which was introduced in WordPerfect version 9). It is not a comprehensive list: suggestions are welcome.

* Portable Document Format


General Tips
(in no particular order)

[For WordPerfect 10 and later versions;
see below for WordPerfect version 9 (c.1999)]

"Publish to PDF"
is a menu choice that can be found on the File menu on most standard top menus that are shipped with WordPerfect.

(In some older WordPerfect versions it appears under File, Publish To.)

If it  does not appear there, right-click on the top menu bar and choose the <WordPerfect Menu>.

Note that menus can be manually changed by users -- and also (automatically) if they employ the Workspace Manager (available in WP12 and later versions;
see Corel's article here and a further discussion here).

"Publish to PDF" has a Settings button on the dialog that appears when you use this feature.

This button brings up another dialog that lets you choose (on the General tab) between Full Document, Current Page, a Selection of text, or a particular group of pages.

It is important to note that the choices you make on the "Publish to PDF Settings" dialog are "sticky" between sessions. This sometimes becomes a problem if you have chosen something other than (e.g.) Full Document. Generally, your new choice becomes the default for future sessions, and can cause concern if you might be expecting the standard default of Full Document.

[In WordPerfect X6 and perhaps earlier versions:] Be aware that if you choose to publish just a Selection of text, the program might mysteriously change the default choice to Current Page when you exit the program and reopen it. This bug exists in versions through at least version X6 (, and has been reported to Corel. [UPDATE: This bug appears to be fixed in WordPerfect X7, at least in the fully patched version.]

Explore the other options in that dialog, some of which might apply to your needs.

For example, if you are creating a PDF to send to a printer/publisher, you might want to use a high-quality output PDF style on the General tab. This is variously named (depending on the WordPerfect version) "Commercial Printing," "Highest Quality," or "PDF for Editing."

If nothing else, the printout from the PDF should then be exactly the same as a printout from your printer. (See this solution as it was reported in a thread on WordPerfect Universe here.)

See also -

▸ Corel Tutorial:
Using the Publish to PDF feature in Corel WordPerfect

▸ (An old) FAQ about PDFs on WordPerfect Universe:
How to use WordPerfect's Publish to PDF feature

And to automate creating a PDF with macros see -

▸ Corel Tutorial (2-part series; WordPerfect X7 and later):
Automate PDF File Creation in WordPerfect and
Going Further with PDF Document Automation

•  When Publishing a document in PDF format, do you need to set smaller page margins (even to zero) than your physical printer supports?

[For example, here's why a colored background fill might not extend ("bleed") to the very edges of the printed page. (See also the BackgroundFill macro in the Library.]

Since WordPerfect uses the currently selected printer (in File, Print) to determine the printable areas on the page, and since those printers won't let you reduce page margins (Format, Margins) beyond a certain amount (i.e., they can't print in the non-printable areas), you could set the document to print to a separate PDF "printer" such as the free CutePDF (or in Windows 10, the included Microsoft Print to PDF in the Win10 Control Panel's Devices and Printers).

You can then set the document's margins to as little as 0.0" and optionally reduce the page size (Page Setup) to match your publisher's requirements. Then you can either print the document directly to PDF with that PDF selection (i.e., create a PDF from the WPD document) or use WordPerfect's own Publish to PDF.

(You don't need to actually print to paper right away. Just select the PDF printer in WordPerfect's File, Print, close that dialog, and adjust the page margins, etc. Later, you can open the PDF file and print from it to your physical printer.)


None of these separate PDF "virtual printers" needs to be set as your default printer (in Windows) since the choice you make in WordPerfect's File, Print dialog applies to just the current document (and that choice is saved with the document).

However, be aware your printer choice might change in that WordPerfect document when you re-open it if you have enabled "Reformat documents for the WP default printer on open" in Tools, Settings, Environment (see here for more on this setting). This setting tells WordPerfect to use the capabilities in the default printer driver upon opening the document -- including where it can print on paper.

Also, using WordPerfect's Publish to PDF, or printing directly to an alternative virtual PDF printer, to allow the background to "bleed" to the actual edges of the document (on screen) might not work for all page setup sizes (i.e., page definitions), printer types, or with some system configuations. You can simply try it and see if it works for you.

How to add a hyperlink in a document to open a PDF file from WordPerfect.

To create a hyperlink in a WordPerfect document (.WPD) to an existing PDF document (e.g., on your desktop or network) so that clicking the link opens the PDF in your PDF program (e.g., Adobe or Adobe Reader) see Footnote 1.

To add hyperlinks in a WordPerfect document to other parts of that same document, and which will carry over to a PDF when you use File, Publish to PDF, see How to create hyperlinks (hypertext links) in WordPerfect here.]

•  Why some hyperlinks can fail to work while inside WordPerfect documents (.WPD, .WPT).

Here is a separate page with some reasons why they might fail (or appear to fail) -- that is, the mouse cursor does not turn into a finger-pointing cursor when directly on a hyperlink -- when you are navigating in a hyperlinked WordPerfect document (not while in a PDF document).

•  You can use a macro to publish the current (.WPD) document directly, using WordPerfect's Publish to PDF feature.

See Footnote 2.

Important: When publishing to the Web or to a PDF, WordPerfect uses absolute URLs rather than relative URLs, meaning that you need to enter the full location path to the link, not just the filename. If you are linking to a document, you must have the full path to the document. If not, you will get "file not found" errors when clicking on the link.

•  When you add highlighting to hyperlinked text, why does the underline disappear in the final PDF document?

This is a known bug (in at least WPX4 through WPX8) -- although the hyperlink should still be active. Still, many users find it useful. See Footnote 3 for the general method to add highlighting to the current document's Hypertext style.

•  Need to create Bookmarks in a PDF (the "table of contents" that displays) when viewing the PDF in Adobe Reader (or similar)?

The Bookmarks column in a PDf viewer can be created automatically (in WordPerfect X3 and later) by simply marking the items in your WordPerfect document for inclusion in a Table of Contents, as explained here. (This is done automatically for you if you use Heading styles for various headings in the document; however, you can create custom styles as noted here. Note that you do not have to generate a Table of Contents: marking the items is sufficient to produce bookmarks in the resulting PDF.) [Thanks to 'Robin' on WordPerfect Universe here.]

No menu choice?

When using the Publish to PDF feature do you get a "grayed-out" (i.e., inoperative) menu choice? Make sure your have a document open first. The program needs something to publish! (This is a common mistake.)

•  Missing the .PDF filename extension when you Publish to PDF?

One reason -- in WordPerct X4 ( at least -- is extra periods (i.e., full stops) in the filename itself, such as "My.file.wpd".

•  Need to email a large PDF file created in WordPerfect?

You may be able to considerably reduce the file size of the PDF document.

▸  A simple trick (especially when the PDF has been edited): Load the resulting PDF file in your PDF editor and save it again with File, Save As.

[From an article here:]

"PDF files have something that is called incremental updates, where any changes that you make to a document is appended to the end of the file without doing a complete rewrite. This is why the Save feature is much faster than a Save As, and also why PDF files saved this way can be large. The Save As feature will rewrite the entire file and provide you with a smaller file size."

If you haven't made any changes to the PDF (e.g., with a PDF editor such as Adobe Acrobat), see the next trick.

▸  Some PDF editors (such as Adobe Acrobat) have an option to Reduce File Size, or Optimize File, or similar. Using this option can reduce the PDF's size a bit more than with the previous Save As trick.

▸  Search the Internet for software that can reduce the size of PDF files. (Note there are some free upload services that can do this for you, but you will have to decide how much to trust them with your document's information.

▸  In WordPerfect 10 and later versions:

In the Publish to PDF feature the related option [cf. "Publish text as graphics," above] seems to be under the Objects tab, "Export all text as curves," which eliminates font variances on different computers. (However, there may not be as much of a difference in the resulting file size when you check this box as there can be in WP9's Publish to PDF.)

Also:  From Corel's support database (support.corel.com), Article ID 201544: "Publish to pdf increases file size" -

Details: "When publishing a document to pdf format the file increases in size instead of compressing (this includes both files containing graphics and those which do not)."
Answer: "Deselecting the following options solves the problem:

1) Go to File | Publish to pdf
2) Click the Details tab
3) Deselect the options to "Include Fonts in the document", "Include base 14 fonts" and "Convert True Type to Type 1".

▸  In WordPerfect 9 (c.1999):

Click the Details tab in the Publish to PDF dialog, then checking (in WP9) the box "Publish text as graphics." This is not a "sticky" setting in WP9, so you'll need to check the box each time you publish to PDF.

Publishing a large document to PDF in WP9 can take several minutes, even though the process may appear to have been completed by WordPerfect. If you get an error message when trying to view the PDF file immediately after publishing to PDF with WordPerfect, try waiting a few minutes before viewing the PDF file with Adobe Reader.

•  Using a PostScript printer driver as the default print device [when using Publish to PDF] can help in creating cleaner and consistent PDF output in some earlier WordPerfect versions.

Newer versions of WordPerfect, such as WordPerfect X4, are much more likely to produce great PDF output with your default, up-to-date printer driver.

See this post on WordPerfect Universe, which shows (1) how to install and use a standard PostScript printer driver (even if you do not have the physical printer); and (2) how to use it when publishing to PDF in WP.

•  Here are some alternatives to WordPerfect's built-in Publish to PDF feature.

All have free or trial downloads.

pdf995 (US $9.95) has been reported to maintain hyperlinks better than some early versions of WordPerfect.

pdfFactory is made by the same company that publishes the excellent FinePrint "save paper and ink" program.

PDF-XChange Lite is free for non-commercial use.

CutePDF is free and often recommended on WordPerfect Universe. Requires a free Ghostscript converter (link on the CutePDF site).

WordPerfect 9 (only)
[Not to be confused with WordPerfect X9,
released two decades later in 2018]


More recent versions of WordPerfect such as WPX3 -- and especially WP X6/X7/X8/X9 -- do a very good job of converting a WPD document to a PDF document. The feature has improved considerably since it was introduced in WP9.

Getting "Publish to PDF" to work in WP9
(released in 1999)

Here are some tips from Doug Collins of West Hills, CA (reprinted with permission):
Many users have reported difficulties getting WPWin9's "Publish to PDF" function to work properly [in WP9]. Here are a few tips for creating good PDF versions of your documents.

1. Download and install Service Pack 3. Several problems were fixed in Service Pack 1 (which is incorporated in SP3), including the improper alignment of fully justified text, the display of extended characters ("curly" quotation marks and apostrophes, em and en dashes, etc.).

2. When saving the file in PDF format, click on the "details" tab of the PDF dialogue box. Change the options as follow:
a. Uncheck "include fonts in the document." This greatly reduces the size of the PDF file but it may cause font substitutions if you document uses a font that's not on the computer used to print the file. That can affect alignment of text, line breaks, pagination, etc.

b. Check "publish text as graphics." This improves the appearance of the PDF file.

c. Check "compress text streams." This also helps reduce the size of the PDF file.
3. If the printed version the PDF file has problems with spacing between words, try one of the following:
a. Change your printer's settings. Go to My Computer, double click on the printers icon, right click on your printer, choose properties, click on the print quality tab, and set graphics mode to raster and text mode to truetype as bitmaps.

b. Change the options on the Adobe Acrobat Reader's print menu. Check the box labeled "print as image" and uncheck the box labeled "fit to page." Note that the print quality will not be as high with this setting.

c. If the problem persists, try switching to left-justified text (this problem should be fixed by Service Pack 1 and later). If available, try a different font. Adobe Type 1 fonts may give better results on some computers (such fonts require that an additional program called Adobe Type Manager or "ATM" be used with Windows 95/98).
4. If you're having problems displaying graphics in your PDF file, use graphic files in the JPEG or BMP format instead of the WPG format when creating your WP file. WPWin9 will convert the JPEG or BMP files to WPG format when they are inserted in your WP document. They will then translate properly to your PDF file (don't ask why no one knows just try it). However, be aware that large graphics may continue to cause problems.

5. Be prepared to accept some problems the translation from WP format to PDF isn't perfect, but it's pretty close, at least for straight text. However, dashed lines created with WP may display as solid lines in the PDF file, and large graphics and equations reportedly cause problems for many users.

Footnote 1  
[Continued from above...]

A WordPerfect user asked:

"Is there a way to get the WP hyperlinks to open the selected document in the application in which it is formatted?"

Answer (see also the alternative below):

Note that you can create a hyperlink (Tools, Hyperlink) to another document (.WPD, .DOC, etc.) or to a macro (.WCM).

If you first create a simple macro using the AppExecute() command, you can then create a hyperlink to that particular macro. (See "How to create hyperlinks (hypertext links) in WordPerfect" and particularly Footnote 1 there.) When the link is clicked the macro will play, opening the file in the program that is associated (in Windows) with the file type (e.g., a file with a .PDF extension will open with Adobe Reader or whichever program normally opens a PDF on your system).


Create a one-line macro (you can simply copy the code below into WordPerfect), something like this (the entire command should be on one line):

AppExecute("C:\Documents and Settings\Barry\Desktop\Test document.pdf")

Obviously you will need to change the above path and filename to match the location and name of the .PDF (or other type of document) you wish to open.

Then Save & Compile the macro (see here).

Then create the hyperlink to the macro (see the footnote #1 in the above-linked Hyperlinks page here) wherever you wish the link to appear in your document.

Tip:  Macros can also be assigned to toolbars, menus, and keystrokes: see here for more on this. You could set up a special toolbar or menu with your library of documents conveniently available on the toolbar or menu.


For those who wish to use hyperlinks in a document instead of macros on a toolbar to load the file:

You can create or modify a hyperlink that points to the document, adding the characters "file://" in front of the path and filename, as in this example:

file://C:\Documents and Settings\Barry\Desktop\Test document.pdf

or this -

file://C:/Documents and Settings/Barry/Desktop/Test document.pdf
...i.e., all forward slashes, no backslashes (as typically used in Windows)

Footnote 2
[Continued from above...]

Publish your current WPD document to PDF using a macro.

[Important: The macros below are for WordPerfect X6 and later versions only.]

that the PDF dialog does not normally display when the macro is played, so you will want to ensure that all your Publish to PDF dialog options have been previously set to your preferences.

The code shown in blue are the operative lines. Other lines provide messages and feedback to the user, but they can be removed.

To copy either macro into your WordPerfect program, see here. Macros can also be assigned to toolbars, menus, and keystrokes: see here for more on this.

Example 1.  Creates the PDF in the same folder as the currently open file. (This is the program default method. To save it in another drive and folder see Example 2.)

// Macro code begins

// This macro is based on one posted by Roy ("lemoto") Lewis at
// http://www.wpuniverse.com/vb/showthread.php?postid=165850#post165850

vFilename = ?Path+?Name
vFilename = StrLeft (vFilename; StrScan (vFilename; -1;; ".") - 1)
pdfName = vFileName + ".pdf"


// Label (Confirm@) // <= Optional label; see under GetString below
Messagebox (vAns;"Verify path and filename for the PDF file:";
"The path and filename for the PDF file will be -"+HRt+HRt+
" "+pdfName+HRt+HRt+
"Continue? (Yes = Publish to PDF, No = Rename the file first, Cancel = Quit now)";
YesNoCancel! | IconQuestion!)
If (vAns=2) Go (QuitNow@) Endif
If (vAns=6) Go (Yes@) Endif
If (vAns=7) Go (No@) Endif

Label (No@)
OnCancel (QuitNow@)
GetString (pdfName;
"The new path+filename will be as shown below."+HRt+HRt+
"Press OK to accept the new name."+HRt+
"Be sure to retain the '.pdf' filename extension!"+HRt+HRt+
"(Press Cancel to quit now.)"+HRt;
"Rename the PDF file?")
If (pdfName="") Messagebox(;"Ooops!";"You must enter something!")
  Go (No@)

// Go Confirm@) // <= Optional: Loops back for re-confirmation

Label (Yes@)
PdfDlg(pdfname)  // (<== creates the PDF)

Label (QuitNow@)
// End of macro

Example 2Similar to Example 1, but allows saving the PDF to a different drive and folder (in this example, a folder on drive D). (Added March 2019)

// Macro code begins

// *** BE SURE to set the next command to point to the desired target folder
// (drive and path) for the new PDF:
vPDFLocation = "D:\ClientFiles\Jones\"  // (<== note ending backslash ("\") )

// Store current document's path and filename (without extension):
vFullName = ?Path + ?Name
vFIlename = ?Name
vFilename = StrLeft (vFilename; StrScan (vFilename; -1;; ".") - 1)
// Store the new drive, path, and filename of the target PDF file:

vPDFName = vPDFLocation + vFilename + ".pdf"

HRt:=NToC(0F90Ah) // (used in Messageboxes)

// Label (Confirm@) // (<== Optional label; see under GetString segment)
Messagebox (vAns;"Verify path and filename for the PDF file:";
"The path and filename of the current document is -"+HRt+vFullname +HRt+HRt+
"The path and filename for the PDF file will be -"+HRt+vPDFName+HRt+HRt+
"Continue? (Yes = Publish to PDF, No = Rename the file first, Cancel = Quit now)";  YesNoCancel! | IconQuestion!)
If (vAns=2) Quit Endif
If (vAns=6) Go (Yes@) Endif
If (vAns=7) Go (No@) Endif

Label (No@)
OnCancel (QuitNow@)
GetString (vPDFName;
"The new path+filename will be as shown below."+HRt+HRt+
"Press OK to accept the new name."+HRt+
"Be sure to retain the '.pdf' filename extension!"+HRt+HRt+
"(Press Cancel to quit now.)"+HRt;
"Rename the PDF file?")
If (vPDFName="") Messagebox(;"Ooops!";"You must enter something!")
   Go (No@)

// Go (Confirm@) // (<= Optional: Loops back for re-confirmation)
Label (Yes@)
PdfDlg (vPDFName)  // (<== creates the PDF)

Label (QuitNow@)
// End of macro 

Example 3. See this macro: SaveAsPDF - A macro to automate saving the current document as a PDF file to any drive or folder.

Footnote 3

[Continued from above...]

You can add highlighting to all hyperlinked text (hypertext) in the WordPerfect document and, as a result, in a PDF document created from that document.

But be aware that this hides the underline in the PDF file (a known bug since WPX4 and still present in WPX8), However the hyperlinks will still be active and since they will be highlighted they should be obvious links, depending on the color scheme you use for the hypertext text and the hypertext highlighting.

Highlighting might also be useful in PDF documents, especially where the highlighting is subdued — perhaps a light or pastel color — and the highlighted text is a complementary color.

* * *

Here's how to modify the current document's Hypertext style to automatically add highlighting and/or change the color of all hyperlinked text.

[The Hypertext style is a built-in WordPerfect style. When you create hyperlinks (with Tools, Hyperlink) the Hypertext style's formatting is applied to the linked items. The Hypertext style is then listed in the Styles list (Format, Styles) for that document.]

Note that this modification applies to just the current document and to all hypertext in it, including links in a Table of Contents or Index. (If the latter effect is not wanted, you will have to manually add highlighting to the hyperlinked text on an item-by-item basis, the same way you would add italics, etc. If you want to do that, skip the rest of these instructions.)


To apply highlighting just to the Hypertext style wherever it appears in the document:
First you have to add the Highlight On/Off button tool  Highlight on-off button to the regular "Selected Text" property bar so that it also shows up on the Styles Editor's own toolbar/property bar. Then you can use it to modify the Hypertext style for that document.

1. Ensure the Highlight On/Off button is visible on the main toolbar so that you can use a copy of it in step 3. (If it's not on your main toolbar you can add it there: see Customize your toolbars here.)

2. Place the cursor in the main document and select some text (any text will do). This should display the Selected Text property bar (if it's not visible, see here).

3. Copy the Highlight On/Off button from the main toolbar onto the Selected Text property bar:
Hold down both the <Alt> and <Ctrl> keys while you (left-click) drag the button onto the property bar. Release the mouse button to drop it there. (Once there, you can relocate it on that property bar by holding down just the <Alt> key when you drag the button to a new position.)

Note: The button will stay on that property bar for future use, until to drag it from that property bar to remove it.

Tip: See here for more on customizing property bars by adding or copying an existing toolbar button to it.

Then, in a document with at least one hyperlink:

4. On the main <WordPerfect> menu (Tools, Highlight, Color), choose a highlight color (e.g., gray) and shading (e.g., 50%) with Tools, Highlight, Color.

5. On the main menu, click Format, Styles and click on the Hypertext style in the left pane.

6. Click Edit to open the Styles Editor. Be sure the box at the bottom of the Editor ("Show 'off codes'") is ticked.

7. Select all the codes in the Editor's Contents pane (use Edit, Select, All on the Editor's menu). While they are selected click on the (newly added) Highlight button on the Styles Editor's property bar to add the current highlight color. [Note that you can select a different color with the tiny drop arrow on the Highlight button; then click that button to apply the color.] A pair of [Highlight] codes should appear, bracketing (surrounding) the other codes. 

Optional: If you want to also change the text color (or font or size) for all hyperlinked text, select all the codes again in the Contents pane and then click Format, Font from the Editor's menu (not the main WordPerfect menu). Choose a new color and shade (if desired), and/or a new font or size.

8. Close the Styles Editor with OK, then Close. All the hypertext links in the current document should be changed to the new scheme.

Tip: For this document and other documents you might want to use step 1 above to return the highlight color to your preferred color.