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| Startup switches -
How to make WordPerfect play a macro or set other options each time it loads
WordPerfect's startup switches
From WordPerfect's Help [F1 key, Index tab] under "startup switches":
"Startup switches are commands that allow you to control what happens when WordPerfect starts. Some of these commands are for your convenience, but others may be necessary to run WordPerfect on your particular system. For example, you can ensure that WordPerfect always starts with the same startup switches by setting up a permanent startup switch." [© Copyright Corel Corporation]
Below is an annotated table of the startup switches in WordPerfect, based on the WordPerfect Help file (and first published here in 2010). It was updated in May 2018.
These items are subject to change so use the above F1 key in your WordPerfect program to view the latest list of switches and any related information.
• Take note of exactly how and where quote marks are used in some of the switch examples in the Function column below.
• Some examples in the Function column describe different versions of WordPerfect, as indicated by their major version number (e.g., X6=16, X8=18, X9=19, etc.) in the program's filename (wpwin??.exe). If you have a different WordPerfect version you should substitute your own program's version number in the examples.
• Be sure to also read the "How to use them" section below. It contains information about modifying the program's desktop shortcut to automatically use the startup switch.
How to use them
Example: Using the /DM switch
Are underscores or underlines
disappearing on your screen in WordPerfect — yet they print? Do the descenders
(i.e., the lower part) on some letters (g, y, q, etc.) appear "cut off"
Try changing the zoom with View, Zoom or by
rotating your mouse wheel while holding down the <Ctrl> key.
Or use the method for temporary use below, which employs the /DM startup switch.
To more permanently solve the problem, you could create a new, modified Windows shortcut to the WordPerfect program on your system's desktop containing the special WordPerfect startup switch, /DM.
Here's how to do it (using the /DM switch as an example)
• A TEMPORARY way to set a startup switch
This method lasts only for the CURRENT WordPerfect session. When you close WordPerfect and reload it, it will use the standard startup command — i.e., whatever was in effect before you used this method.
This method is mentioned in WordPerfect Help (F1). However, you might also consider the next section below
about using a relatively permanent method of adding a startup switch
via a new Windows shortcut. It might be easier and less problematic
than the temporary method, and it can be easily revised or removed any
1. On the Windows taskbar, click the Start icon to open the Start menu.
In some versions of Windows if the program does not start or takes you to a list of items found on your computer, you might need to add the path to the beginning of the startup command, such as in the examples in the next section below. If the path (everything up to and including the wpwinXX.exe startup command) contains spaces, enclose that command line in double quote marks.
However ... startup switches are always placed outside any quotation marks in the startup command line. (Some switches might require quotation marks inside the string of characters that are part of the switch, such as those switches requiring a path and filename. See examples in the startup switch table above.)
You can use more than one startup switch by adding a space between each switch.
3. Press Enter. This should start WordPerfect using the new switch.
you want to try out different switches and/or settings for a switch,
this temporary method is an easy way to do it. You could also modify
the new "permanent" startup switch below very easily by editing the
modified desktop shortcut's Target field.
Further, deleting a Windows shortcut does not delete or otherwise affect the program that it is linked to, so no "permanent" damage is done.
Hence this might be the easiest/quickest way to set up, test, and use a startup switch with the program. Here's how to create it:
1. Right-click on an empty area of your Windows desktop. From the context menu that pops up, select New, then Shortcut.
2. When prompted to "Type the location of the item:" you can either -
[A] browse to the program folder and click on the WordPerfect executable file to insert its path and filename into the location field, then add a space followed by the desired startup switch;
- or -
[B] copy and the paste the following command, including the quote marks, into the field (this will become the Target in the shortcut). With this method BE SURE to change the program version to your version number where indicated (in blue) and retain the quote marks. Note that the command is actually a 1-line command (i.e., no wrapping).
"C:\Program Files\Corel\WordPerfect Office X4\
For some versions of Windows the path to the program's executable file (wpwinXX.exe) might differ.
Here's one for Windows 10 and WordPerfect X8 taken from the author's own system:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Corel\WordPerfect Office X8\
Thus, if you use a different version of WordPerfect, a different setup, or a different version of Windows you will need to modify the path (everything between the double quote marks). You can just use the Browse button to find the wpwinXX.exe file and make adjustments to the path and filename as in the examples. (Again, the "XX" in that filename represents a number that corresponds to your version of WordPerfect.)
Be sure to use a space following the program's filename, as well as spaces between any additional startup switches.
What it does:
Using /DM=90 or similar should fix the underscore problem and other similar issues. /DM=90 sets the displayed character size on screen to 90% of standard. Its effect is to change the spacing slightly between characters on your screen. It has no effect on formatting or pagination, or your printouts.
3. Click Apply, then Close to return to the Windows desktop.
The /DM= switch used in the above example might solve the problem where some characters appear bunched up or bolded on screen at some screen settings, yet the document prints correctly.
• Why the startup switch might NOT work when you open WordPerfect
If you open a document from Windows Explorer, File Explorer, My Computer, or Open With (on a content menu), or by any means whereby you double-click the file's name to load the file in WordPerfect, the Windows desktop shortcut containing the startup switch(es) discussed above will NOT be activated since you will have bypassed it.
• Alternative to a Windows shortcut
You can use an alternative method to set startup switch(es) by editing the Registry, assuming you are comfortable with Registry edits.
See this 2008 post on WordPerfect Universe by Corel C_Tech, Charles Rossiter. While it deals with WordPerfect 12 it should still work in more modern versions of Windows and WordPerfect. (Not tested by this author. Always back up or export the Registry before editing it. Also create a Windows restore point before editing it. Reboot the computer after making the change.)
From a following post on WordPerfect Universe by Kenneth Hobson:
"The advantage to a registry modification is that for any wp file type associated in Windows like WPD, DAT, FRM, or others, this command is what will be executed. This goes for clicking the file in Explorer and using Open With." [Emphasis added]
Here is the Registry key for WordPerfect X8's files on my Windows 10 system:
Note a folder named WP18Doc in the key (you might have expected something like WPD, but it's not the case). The value for this command would be edited and the startup switch(es) added to the end, like this:
"c:\Program Files (x86)\Corel\WordPerfect Office X8\Programs\wpwin18.exe" "%1" /dm=95
Note the use of double quotes to enclose two strings and the use of spaces between the main command and the two items that follow it.
Some display problems (blurry text, bolded letters, etc.) on LCD (flat screen) monitors can be solved with a built-in Windows feature called ClearType.
Use the Search function in Windows for more information on this Windows setting. It is available on Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10. [In Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is turned on by default. For later Windows versions such as Windows 10 see (e.g.) this tutorial (or search the internet for ClearType).] In Windows 7 and later versions, for example, it will automatically check to see if the monitor is set to its native resolution, then it will show you some sample text. You can then use you mouse to choose the best samples, which should improve overall readability.
Note that while older CRT (picture tube) monitors had several useful screen resolutions (the number of pixels in length and width, such as 1026x768, 1920x1080, et al.), LCD monitors use a fixed raster and cannot change to match the signal coming from your Windows display setting if it is different from the native resolution setting. For a good (and not too technical) overview of this topic, see "Native resolution" on Wikipedia.