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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 Apr 30, 2021

WordPerfect Tips
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WordPerfect Templates

Important note:

Menu choices (and related keyboard shortcuts) mentioned in the material on this and other pages on this site generally refer to the WordPerfect menu. (Several menus are available. You can quickly see which one is currently active by right-clicking on the top menu bar.)

Furthermore, if you are using a WordPerfect program that was set up with Microsoft Word compatible menus, toolbars and/or keyboards — called "Microsoft Word mode"you might find some program tips or advice on this site (or on other sites) puzzling if they refer to menu selections, toolbar buttons or keyboard shortcuts that seem to be absent from their referenced locations.

Rest assured, the underlying program features and functions activated by those "missing items" have not been removed from the program. They were merely hidden from view so that new users can operate in a more familiar environment.

See here for some tips and more information.


Things you need to know first

What are templates and what do they do? [More...]

The Default template - how to find it, modify it, or fix it

The default template's file name [More...]

Standard location on disk

Actual location on disk of the currently active default template

Using Windows Explorer, File Explorer, or My Computer to find your default template

Automatic generation of the factory-shipped default template

How to modify (personalize) your default template with new default settings

How to fix a damaged or corrupted default template

How to transfer (restore, or migrate) your default template's customizations to a newer WordPerfect version, or to a different computer, or from a backed-up copy of a template to a new template [More...]

The Additional Objects template - a second 'default template'

Custom templates - creating and using your own special-purpose templates

How to create a custom template [More...]

How to open ("load") a new document based on a custom template [More...]

How to modify a custom template [More...]

How to fix a damaged or corrupted custom template [More...]

How to move or delete a custom template [More...]

Template macros don't play? How to restore the program's message about disabling template macros so you can answer it again [More...]

Related pages and tips


Things you need to know first

What are templates and what do they do? 
(Seven important points - highly recommended for 'newbies')

[Point #1] 
Every WordPerfect document you create is based on a template.

Even new, blank documents are based on a template.

When you open WordPerfect the blank document you see is based on the default template, which sets up some basic formatting (see point #3).

From the program's File menu you can also open a new document based on a WordPerfect Project or other factory-included template. These include memos, newsletters, sample reports, and many other school, business, and creative items.

You (or your organization) can also create special purpose custom templates.

All these types of templates are explained in detail below.

[Point #2]
In WordPerfect, the word "template" has a very specific meaning.

A template is a WordPerfect document — a file on your disk — with a special filename extension, “.wpt,” where the “t” stands for “template”.

WordPerfect recognizes this special extension and "knows" it is a template and not an ordinary document (e.g., one with a .wpd extension, where "d" stands for "document"). It then uses it to create a mirror image of itself (among other things).

This is NOT the same thing as some common meanings of the word might imply.

It is important to understand that this is a very different type of file — in terms of its purpose and operation — compared to the one some people refer to when they use the word "template."

In the latter case, some people create and save an ordinary WordPerfect document (.wpd) to use as a so-called "template" or "model" by continually opening it, changing something in it, printing it, re-saving it, etc. — again and again. This is NOT a template as far as the program is concerned. And it is not what this article is about.

It is not a good idea to do it, anyway, since using an ordinary document (.wpd) this way invites document corruption. (But let's not get ahead of the story.)

[Point #3
Templates define formatting and program options for a document

These items include a default font, margin and tab settings, etc., as well as Heading styles, Outline styles, etc. 

They also enable various default and custom options for menus, toolbars, and shortcut/hot-key assignments (a.k.a. keyboard definitions). 

These items are stored inside the default template (or custom template, if used), though they can be changed or augmented in the resulting document (see next point below).

In essence, templates provide you with a "skeleton" structure or "shell" that you can use to start a new document.

[Point #4
Once created, a
template document is used to automatically create a copy of itself in a new WordPerfect document window.

Until it is deliberately saved, it exists only in your computer’s temporary memory. [Tip: There is a user option you can set to make a temporary timed backup of the current document to help protect against an abnormal termination of the program such as a power failure; see here.]

Until it is saved it will have a generic name such as Document1, which is visible at the very top of the program's window.

Major benefit: The template itself is out of harm’s way for the casual user, making it more difficult to accidentally modify or delete. The "spawned" document can then be edited, re-formatted, printed, and saved without impacting the template itself. This might be particularly beneficial in many office environments.

Another potential benefit: Templates can be automated: You can insert prompts, bookmarks, and template macros in them to save many keystrokes and reduce the chance of input error. (For more on automating templates see here.)

[Point #5
There are several types of WordPerfect template.

■   Default template: Even new, empty documents with names like Document1 (in the title bar at the top of the WordPerfect window) are based on a special, version-specific template, called the default template (discussed below). When you open WordPerfect for the first time, the blank document you see on screen awaiting your input was created ("spawned") by the default template, which sets the default margins, font, and so forth. (These can be changed to suit your needs, as explained below.)


¤  You can't avoid having a default template. When you install WordPerfect on a computer, it will create the default template automatically if it does not already exist — and even if you delete it (i.e., the currently active version of it) or otherwise make it unavailable, the program will automatically create a brand new, virgin copy of it the next time WordPerfect is loaded. Basically, each computer must have its own copy of this special file for WordPerfect to function.

¤  There can be only one currently active default template for your system. To locate it, see below.

¤  If you install another version of WordPerfect, it is NOT a good idea to simply copy the existing default template file into the other version of WordPerfect, and then rename it with the same name as the new version's template, in order to preserve any customizations stored in it. WordPerfect default templates are version-specific. (See the next note below about migrating customizations.) Exception: If the other version is exactly the same — i.e., the same default name and created by the same major version of WordPerfect — you probably can just make a copy of it, as discussed here.

¤  You can easily migrate any customizations you made in one WordPerfect program to another WordPerfect program, using the methods discussed on the main Tips page, Section 7, here.

■  Project templates: From the WordPerfect X9 User Guide -

"WordPerfect lets you create documents from project templates. [File, New from Project.] A project template is a shell, or skeleton structure, that can consist of elements such as margins, styles, and graphics objects. You fill in the details and provide data to complete the project. WordPerfect provides an easy way to access and browse the rich collection of templates installed with the application. When you find the template you need, you can start a new document.
[...] If you intend to use a specific template often, you can add it to the Favorites category."

These templates fall into two general sub-groups:

(1) predefined static templates, such as a simple, pre-formatted “To Do” list; and

(2) dynamic, automated Projects that you can use to create personalized letters, memos, faxes, résumés, and so forth, with little thought or effort. These are further grouped into categories, which are accessible from a drop list when you click File, New from Project (or File, New in WordPerfect 8). [Tip: While many of these predefined templates are installed during a typical WordPerfect installation, more might be available using a custom installation.]

Wait, there's more! Some newer versions and editions of WordPerfect (e.g., versions X8, X9) might have an additional menu option: File, New from Template. This template preview dialog displays over 150 additional factory-shipped templates (if they came with your program and if they were installed). These items are static templates: they are not automated in the same way as many Projects. They are simply Corel's formatted "model" templates with various text labels ("Your Name Here", "Company Name", etc.) to guide you where to type your own information on the pages.

■  Custom templates (discussed in a separate section below): Unlike the typical default template, these user-created templates usually also include text, such as the “From:” and “To:” headings in a memo, or the logo and company name in a letter. They can be based on another template such as the default template, or they can be created from scratch, or they can even be based on a normal (.wpd) document. Custom templates can be created any time you need a specially formatted document that you might want to use again. They can also be automated with prompts, bookmarks, and macros to get information, insert it, modify it, and so on.

■   Additional Objects template (discussed in a separate section below): This template can be specified in the program as a repository of additional customized menus, toolbars, styles, and the like. It is a sort of "secondary default template" which mostly is used on networks to provide a common source of such default "objects" (e.g., a customized toolbar) for all users on the network so their own WordPerfect default templates can be updated easily by an administrator.

■   QuickWords template (discussed on a separate page): QuickWords are abbreviations of words or strings of text that you insert into a document. When you type the abbreviation in a document, QuickWords automatically expands it. The QuickWord template is used only to store the abbreviations and expansions.

[This template — named QWnnxx.wpt, where "nn"=program version and "xx"=language — is always located in the same folder as your currently active default template. If WordPerfect cannot find it there, it will create a new, factory fresh copy of that file.]

[Point #6
The importance of styles in templates.

Styles are design elements — like bold, italics, font type, font size, color, or line spacing — that can be applied to text.

In WordPerfect, styles consist of specialized codes (visible when the Reveal Codes window is open) containing computer instructions about the formatting to apply to the document. 

Some styles can even act as "containers" to hold one or more of these design elements (format instructions), and some of them can even hold text, graphical items, tables, watermarks, and even other ("nested") styles.

They are easy to use since many of them are available on a menu, toolbar or property bar. You can also create your own custom styles if you wish. 

Additionally, WordPerfect will apply certain styles automatically, such as a document's initial Open Style:

Templates set up a special, initial style code that passes such design elements "downstream" to new documents when they are created.

This code, [Open Style: DocumentStyle], is visible at the very top of the new document in Reveal Codes, and it will remain present for as long as the document exists. (If this code is not present, see Footnote 4.)

It is the vehicle that transports whatever other styles or format elements you wish to pass on to the downstream text in new documents based on that template.

Typically these include a default font, font size, and page margin settings. It can be easily modified to customize it (more below).

Incidentally, WordPerfect has many features such as headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, outlines, and graphic boxes that are actually built-in styles.

[Point #7
Understanding the WordPerfect "stream".

The main thing to keep in mind here is that unlike some other word processors, WordPerfect is a "stream oriented" program, where format codes take effect until they are either discontinued (i.e., stopped or suppressed by user intervention) or replaced by another code of the same type (e.g., a new text color).

Hence, new formatting applied in the document can be downstream from previous formatting and upstream from other (actual or potential changes in) formatting.

This is similar to the way we type (or dictate, or assemble) material into a document: There is a overall stream of information with a beginning, middle, and end, where occasionally we give the computer an "in-line" instruction to change the appearance of something in the stream — like hitting the Caps Lock key to emphasize letters as we type them. WordPerfect format codes do the same thing.

Note especially that single format codes can be inserted into the stream of text and they will affect subsequent, downstream text; or, if you select text first, they will bracket the selection with a pair of codes — one to start the formatting and one to stop it — and the formatting will apply to just that selection.

This simple "stream" metaphor can help you produce complex or creative formatting — sometimes with things beyond what other word processors allow — but it can also help solve many format problems, too.

A bit of "trivia":

Web pages using HTML formatting are stream-oriented, too, since they have beginning and ending codes (or "tags") for fonts, paragraphs, and so forth. So stream formatting is not unusual, though it might be unfamiliar at first. [For a little more on this topic as it relates to WordPerfect, see "Streaming code architecture" on the WordPerfect Wikipedia page.]

On the other hand, Microsoft Word is "object oriented," where formatted items — letters, words, paragraphs, sections or the entire document — are "containerized" into "objects." Containers within containers within containers ... this can sometimes create puzzling format issues for Word users.

[Page top]

The Default template

First, be sure you have viewed the section above, "Things you need to know first."

Next, if you need to change (or fix) the default template you should know what the default template file on your system is named, where it is located, and what happens to it if you delete it, move it, or rename it. Scroll down for information on how to modify it or fix it.

Also see the Custom templates section below which might suit your needs better that a modified default template.

Further, network administrators can make use of the Additional Objects template as the network "default" template (see below).

The default template's file name

•  The Corel® standard (a.k.a., "factory-shipped") default template file on your computer, the one that was created and used by WordPerfect when it is first installed, is named something like -


where nn=version (e.g., 8, 11, 16, 20, etc.)
and xx=language (e.g., US, UK, CE, etc.).

Examples of some default template names:

wp8us.wpt [U.S. language version of WordPerfect Suite 8, released in 1997]
wp10uk.wpt [United Kingdom version of WordPerfect 10, released in 2002]
wp18us.wpt [U.S. version of WordPerfect X8, released in 2016]
wp20us.wpt [U.S. version of WordPerfect 2020, released in 2020]

[Note that WordPerfect X3 = version 13, WordPerfect X9 = 19, etc.]

•  Each installation must have (and use) this template on the computer in order to function. And as noted elsewhere, even if you delete it (i.e., the currently active version of it) WordPerfect will create a new, factory fresh, "virgin" copy of it the next time the program loads. (Network administrators who wish to provide a common "default template" for all users should see the Additional Objects template section below.)


The filename on disk and the display name that is listed in File, New from Project (or New in WP8) are different things. The former is the Windows name; the latter is the "Project" name given to the template in the Project category list, and which can be used to edit the default (or other) template directly from within WordPerfect. See "How to modify your template [Method 2]" below for more on this topic.


If you install another version of WordPerfect it is almost never a good idea to simply copy the existing default template into the other version, then rename it, in order to preserve any customizations stored in it. (Exception: If the other version is exactly the same — i.e., the same default name and created by the same major version of WordPerfect — you probably can make a copy of it, as discussed here.)

A better method is to recover ("migrate") customizations from the existing default template (and from some other customized areas) to another WordPerfect program by using the methods discussed
on the main Tips page, Section 7, here.
Standard location on disk (WP9 [c.1999] and later versions)

[Note that this might not be the actual location of the currently active version of the template on your particular system; see "Actual location" below.]

For standard locations see the Corel article Where are the WordPerfect® default templates? here (on the main Corel Support site). The article lists the Corel "standard" installation locations for default templates for WordPerfect 9 and later versions, as well as for relatively newer Windows versions (e.g., WPX7/WPX8 are similar to WPX6).

Tip: If you still cannot find this file, try using Windows to search for the exact name (see the previous section).

The reason why both the standard and actual locations are described here (and below) is that some users might want to know where Corel puts this file during a normal (i.e., not custom) installation.

In newer versions of WordPerfect if you change the default location for the default template in Tools, Settings, Files, Template (tab), the actual location — i.e., the currently active location — on your disk might change, too. See the next section below.
Actual location on disk of the currently active default template

•  The location of your currently active default template can be found in the Tools, Settings, Files, Template (tab), "Default template folder" dialog field.

Note that this location is where WordPerfect looks for this important file each time you launch the program.

•  The template's filename is shown in the second field, "Default template."

When you use File, New it is the file WordPerfect uses to create new blank documents (i.e., copies of iteself).

•  For most users these items will be the same as the standard location and filename described above — but it is a good idea to verify them (and jot them down for future reference) before proceeding with the next sections.

•  Still can't find it?

If after examining the information currently entered in the Tools, Settings, Files, Template fields in the dialog above (i.e., NOT the folder tree using the clickable folder buttons next to those fields) you can't find the default template file (or any other template file) using Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 10), My Computer, or similar program, see the next section ("Using Windows Explorer, File Explorer, or My Computer to find your default template").

•  Want to change the location?

On my system, using Windows File Explorer, I moved my default template file and other custom template files into a new sub-folder in my Documents folder (C:\..\Documents\WordPerfect\My Templates).

This way I can then be sure to back them up periodically along with other personal files (e.g., C:\..\Documents\WordPerfect\My Macros) to an external disk drive.

Important note: Using a custom location is easy, and generally without issues. But it's a bad idea to create such a new personal folder in (or under) a Windows folder. Such operating system locations are found in the root folder of the "boot" drive (C:\) such as Program Files, Users\AppData, and Windows. Always create custom folders for your personal templates, macros, and/or data files in an area designed for user files, not program files. Otherwise you risk losing those personal files, failing to back them up, or possibly impacting Windows.

After that was done, and back in WordPerfect, the path (only) to the default template folder that was originally specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Template was changed in that dialog's first field ("Default template folder"), using the adjacent clickable folder button to insert the new path and folder, so as to reflect the new location. Thus, that first field now shows as C:\Users\Barry\Documents\WordPerfect\My Templates

This needed to be done so that WordPerfect can locate the correct default template. Then the program was closed and reopened so that it would register and use the new location.

Note: This is why the phrase currently active default template was used above: The location can be changed in the Tools, Settings, Files, Template dialog by the user to "point" to the actual default template that WordPerfect should use when the program is opened — i.e., the currently active version of the template. But note that other, inactive, copies may also exist on your system which were created during program insallation (or by users). Thus you should always refer to the Tools, Settings, Files, Template to locate the currently active file if you need to search for it on disk.

Important: If you set this default template's location to some other location in Tools, Settings, Files, Template (e.g., a different path and/or folder), a brand new QuickWords template will be created at the new location, too. This can give the impression that your QuickWords have vanished. However, you can migrate an existing QuickWords template to that location to make your QuickWords available again (see here).

•  Want to rename it?

Generally, there is little reason to rename the default template file on your disk using Windows Explorer or similar program (and then also "point" to the renamed file in Tools, Settings, Files, Template tab) if you customize it, since the small advantage of seeing a custom name (e.g., Barry.wpt) can be outweighed by possible confusion if you need to troubleshoot the program using the automatic default template generation technique below. (Templates can become corrupted like any other file.)

•  Networks:

While it is possible to relocate the default template to a different network location, this can present problems since that location might not always be available.

In such a scenario and if the default template's location is unavailable, when the local program is opened it will immediately create a new, factory fresh default template (and a new QuickWords template, too) in a new folder location on the local computer; any customizations stored in the default template (and perhaps other settings) will not be available until the original network location's connection is re-established and WordPerfect is reloaded with its Settings set to "read" that location and template.

Note also that WordPerfect provides a way to update the local default templates on multiple networked computers with the Additional Objects template. This is a better method than setting up a common default template on a network share for all network users, since each user will always have a local copy of the default template available, and it can be updated as needed from the Additional Objects template.

Access to network printers can become problematic, too — especially since WordPerfect makes much greater use of the printer than other programs to provide true WYSIWYG on your screen. It tries to connect to the current printer as soon as you start the program, and can "hang" if it cannot locate the printer. Solution: Create different Windows User Profile to use when you are, or are not, connected to the network and printer.

Using File Explorer, Windows Explorer, or My Computer to find your default template

Normally you will see this important file in the folder specified above.

If you still can't find the default template file (or QuickWords template file or other WordPerfect program file) on disk with File Explorer, Windows Explorer or My Computer, it might be because of default settings (thanks to Microsoft) in Windows itself that prevents you from seeing certain files.

For example, in Windows 10/8/7:

Click the Windows Start button to open the Windows Start menu. In the Search field, search for "Folder Options" (in Windows 10 search for "File Explorer Options").

On the Folder Options (or the File Explorer Options) dialog, click on the View tab. Then -

[1] enable the radio button, "Show hidden files, folders and drives"


[2] uncheck (clear) the box that says "Hide extensions for known file types".

Click OK.

You should now be able to find the file.

Tip: If you are new to computers or to folder and file navigation using Windows Explorer (which is installed on all Windows PCs), see Footnote 7 for an easy way to navigate to your currently active default template file on disk so that you can rename it (if necessary).

Arcane tip: To find out which template (default or custom) the currently open document is based on, click on Tools, Template Macro, Edit. You can see the template's filename in that dialog, or you can see it if you click the Location button in that dialog. [Macro writers can use a single macro command to find the name of the template the current document is based on: Messagebox(;;?CurrentTemplate).]
Automatic generation of the factory-shipped default template

WordPerfect can sometimes fix itself with a little help.

•  After closing WordPerfect, if the Corel standard-named
currently active default template file (see here for location) is moved, deleted, or — better yet — renamed to something else, a new factory fresh copy will be automatically created the next time WordPerfect is opened. [But see the IMPORTANT NOTES below.]

•  Since there can be more than one copy of the default template file in different folders, see the above sections for the name and actual location of the currently active default template file on your disk. [If you can't still find it using Windows, see "Using Windows Explorer ... to find your default template."]

•  Closing WordPerfect, then renaming the currently active default template file on disk, and then reloading WordPerfect is a standard trouble-shooting technique.

This works by temporarily backing up — and "hiding" from the program — the existing (and possibly) modified or damaged template. This forces the program to automatically generate a brand new factory fresh version as soon as the program is restarted.

The new version will not have any user customizations or corruption in it. If this solves the problem at hand, the customizations stored in the backed up template can be restored (copied) to the new template (see here).

For more on the topic of fixing a damaged or corrupted default template and restoring such customizations, see the 3-step method under "Fixing the default template by restoring it" here.

•  The best method to rename the default template file: Simply add to, or change, the "root" part of the filename on disk.

For WordPerfect X6, for example, you could rename it from wp16US.wpt to wp16USbackup.wpt. (Other versions and language editions [UK, CE, etc.] will have different names as discussed above.) Modifying the root part of the filename, rather than the filename's extension (.wpt), will make it easier to locate it if you need to copy (transfer) certain customizations from it, since WordPerfect will always "see" the filename extension (.wpt).

Then restarting WordPerfect will immediately create a factory fresh version of the default template file in the same folder as the renamed version. (Newbies can find more help with finding and renaming this important file in Footnote 7.)


¤  File names matter: As mentioned, whenever the program opens and then it cannot find the currently active default template file (with a file name pattern of WPnnxx.WPT) in the folder shown in your Tools, Settings, Files, Template dialog, it will automatically create a new factory fresh copy of it.

But this will only happen if the deleted or renamed file on your disk has the same standard filename (with the pattern WPnnxx.WPT) shown in the Tools, Settings, Files, Template (tab) dialog.

If some other existing file (e.g., MyNewTemplate.wpt) is named in that dialog — perhaps as the result of a past attempt to create a "custom" version of the default template file — then deleting/renaming the standard, factory shipped default template file on your disk (as often recommended by experts while troubleshooting) will not cause the program to create a new factory fresh copy of it.

This is because the program will not know that the standard default template file is now "missing" and it will simply assume you wish to continue using the file with your customized filename — and therefore it will not replace that file.

Remember: The program always looks in Tools, Settings, Files, Template for the current name and location of the default template. You should have fewer difficulties if you keep the same factory installed, version specific name for the file on disk and for the file shown in that dialog.

¤  What about other user-created templates? Unlike with the standard factory default template (WPnnxx.WPT), it is not possible to automatically regenerate a custom template by deleting/renaming the existing custom template. (This is a good reason to keep backups of all custom template files.)

¤  What about other program-created templates? As with the standard factory default template (WPnnxx.WPT), if you delete the QuickWords template (which has a name pattern of QWnnxx.WPT), the program will automatically regenerate a new, virgin copy of it in the same folder as the currently specified WordPerfect default template. Both of these template files will be located in the folder which is specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Template tab.

¤  If you are on a network: Automatic creation of a factory fresh Corel standard default template file can also happen if the file specifically named in Tools, Settings, Files, Template (tab) points to a network location that is not currently available. If it can't find the default template, it will create a new one. (See Networks above.)

Next, you should know how to modify it, or fix it if that should be necessary (including how to save your customizations that are stored in it).

How to modify your default template with new default settings

Before you begin modifying your default template, especially with major modifications, you might want to make a copy of it in another folder to serve as a backup.

You can find your currently active default template file
(there can be more than one default template on some systems) using the methods above.

Renaming the currently active default template file (WPnnxx.WPT, where nn = version number and xx = language version) after closing WordPerfect is one way to make a "backup" of this important file, since (as mentioned above) a new, factory fresh, default template will be recreated automatically the next time WordPerfect loads.

WordPerfect does this whenever it cannot "see" WPnnxx.WPT in the expected location, which is specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Template (tab).

Later, you can always copy (migrate) any customizations such as personalized toolbars from the renamed version. (For more on this topic see "Migrating customizations" here.)
Alternative: With renaming you would have both the old (and possibly customized) version and the unaltered factory fresh version — the latter becoming the new, probably stripped-down default. Hence, instead of renaming the file you might wish to make a simple backup copy of it, so that you can modify your current working copy with new features, building on what you might have already done to it.

Caution: If you also decide to relocate this customized default template to another Windows folder, be sure to immediately specify any change you might have made to the new template's location in Tools, Settings, Files, Template so that WordPerfect can find it and use it instead of the usual shipping default template. (Reload WordPerfect so it can "see" the new location.) Then refresh your Projects list with File, New from Project, Options, Refresh Projects. (If you have multiple versions of WordPerfect installed on the same computer, see some tips in Footnote 1.)

Method 1:

This method is best (quicker, easier) for relatively minor changes to the default template, such as changing the default font or page margins.

It makes all modifications inside the initial style code you see at the top of a new blank document (i.e., the [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code).

Also see "Before you begin..." above.

For more extensive changes see Method 2. See also the important side note under Method 2 about modifying the default template for specific tasks instead of creating a custom template for the purpose. (The former is not usually a good idea.)

Either use a comprehensive step-by-step guide with screen images

- or -

Use the following abbreviated instructions:

On a <WordPerfect> menu, click on File, Document, Current Document Style — or simply double-click on the [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code in Reveal Codes at the very top of the document.

This opens the Styles Editor dialog. Here you can make changes to the current document — and also save them to the default template that is currently specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Template.

For example:

You might want to change the current font, font size, or page margins and make them the default for all new documents, too.

To do this, make the changes in the Styles Editor dialog using the Editor's menu and/or property bar (at the top of that dialog), then be sure to enable (i.e., tick) the checkbox at the bottom of the dialog, "Use as default," and click OK, then answer 'Yes' to the confirmation dialog that pops up.

The changes will affect both the current document and the default template.

Tips and notes

•  After you test your changes in a brand new document, you should disable (un-tick) that checkbox to prevent unwanted changes to the default template if you later modify the initial code with new formatting intended for just the current document.

•  To set decimal or fractional font sizes, see the main Tips page here.

•  Important note about using certain menu options to set preferred fonts and/or font sizes: I do not recommend using either File, Document, Default Font -or- Format, Font to change your preferred default font or font size. [In WordPerfect 8: Format, Font, Default Font.] See Footnote 3 and Footnote 9 below for more information.

Method 2:
This method can be used for any changes to the default template, including moderate to extensive changes. For minor changes you can just use Method 1.

Briefly: You simply modify (edit) the default template directly to customize it, by opening it for editing.

This is often done to delete previous customizations, or to add more complex formatting codes, or to copy certain customized "objects" (keyboards, toolbars, etc.) from other templates. (For the latter, see Footnote 2.)

Important side note -

If you need to set up a specialized template — e.g., a letterhead with text, graphics, special margins or other format codes in the body text area ("display area") of the document — you should create a separate custom template.

The default template discussed here is used to create new blank (empty) documents (File, New) — i.e., new documents that have nothing visible in the body text area when viewed in Reveal Codes.

Having some customizations stored in the default template (e.g., your preferred font, margin setting, tab setting, etc.) and carried forward into new documents based on that template — via the initial [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code — is perfectly fine. Method 1 and Method 2 show you how to do it.

But you probably should avoid placing anything (even a single format code) in the body text area of the default template.

Note that placing format items in the body text area of the default template is not by itself problematic in terms of general program operation. But if you do so — and in addition to possible other issues and confusions that might occur as a result — you might find the program will unexpectedly leave an extra "empty"  document (Document1) on screen when you open an existing document.

This was reported in this WordPerfect Universe thread as well as this more recent one. This is most often noticed by users when they double-click on a WordPerfect file's name in Windows Explorer: They get two documents when the program opens, the clicked one and an "empty" one.

In such a case the program "knows" the default template's automatically generated blank document is not truly blank so it opens it and keeps it on screen. This often leads to confusion and concern about program operation, and it's another reason for the recommendation about using custom templates for special tasks.

Here's how to do it.

•  Click File, New from Project (or just File, New in WP8).

•  Under the Create New tab, in the upper drop list, choose "Custom WP Templates."

•  In the lower drop list, choose "Create a blank document." This (oddly named) choice is the default template shipped with WordPerfect.

[For those who have multiple versions of WordPerfect installed on the same computer, see Footnote 1. For those with multiple installations of WordPerfect on a network, see the Additional Objects template section below.]

•  Right-click this name to Edit the template (or click the Options button, then choose "Edit WP Template").

[For those with more than one version of WordPerfect installed on a single computer:

Be sure to take note of the full path and filename at the top of the WordPerfect program window when it loads the template, to verify this is the template you want to modify (i.e., the one that is currently specified in Tools, Settings, Files, Template).

Multiple installed versions of WordPerfect create multiple copies of this file — but the same name is used for all of them in the File, New from Project (or just New in WP8) list.]

•  You can make most formatting changes inside the template's own initial style (e.g., font or page margin changes) by double-clicking the [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code in Reveal Codes; then use the Styles Editor's Format menu to make font changes. (See Method 1 for the general process and some tips.) The changes will be stored "inside" all new (blank) documents' initial style codes (which codes they inherit from the default template), and thus be less likely to be deleted accidentally.


[1] If you wish to modify the default font, see the cautionary note under Method 1 above.

[2] Some format codes can't be created (and some can't be edited) inside another style such as the initial document style. Such "nested" styles can cause the program to freeze  when you try to edit or create them in the Styles Editor.


☼  To create a complex format code inside the initial (or any other) style, such as a [Delay] code (which is itself a style containing other codes!): Set up the delay (Format, Page, Delay Codes) and any related delayed formatting in a new document and test it there. Then carefully copy the [Delay] code from Reveal Codes in the new document and paste it back into the Styles Editor in the original document.

☼   To edit a format code that already exists inside a style: Cut the style (Ctrl+x) from the Styles Editor and paste it (Ctrl+v) into a new blank document, where it can be edited and tested. Then cut (or copy) the edited version from Reveal Codes in the new document and paste it back into the Styles Editor in the original document.

•  When finished, click either File, Save or Save As.


☼  You can also copy some customizations from another template into the default template, such as customized toolbars and keyboards. See the main Tips page, Section 7, under "Migrating customizations."

☼  You can, of course, make changes directly in the body text area of the template, such as specifying line spacing, etc. Whatever you add will be inherited by new, blank documents. But it probably is better to edit the DocumentStyle (see previous paragraphs) so the changes are tucked inside that initial style and they will be less prone to accidental deletion in new documents spawned by the template. (You could even add text, date codes, tabs, etc., to the body text area — but this is best done by creating a custom template for such purposes, not by modifying the default template in this way. You probably want all new, blank documents to be truly blank.)

☼  Since the label "Create a blank document" is not very useful in indicating the fact that it is your default template — especially if you have several versions of WordPerfect on your computer and use a common folder for all of their default templates — you can easily change the displayed name in the Project list to reflect the actual filename(s) of the default template(s). See Footnote 1.

How to fix a damaged default (or custom) template

There are two ways to do this.

[1] For the Default template:

You can force WordPerfect to create a new factory fresh version of the default template (but NOT a custom template; for those templates see #2).

The technique was discussed in general terms in the "Automatic generation of the default template" section above, but for step-by-step details see "Fixing the default template".

If the new, fresh version solves the problem you can transfer (a.k.a. "restore" or "migrate") various customizations into that new template as discussed in the "How to transfer..." section below.

- or -

[2] For any template (Default or Custom):

You can try repairing the damaged template file itself with some simple methods: see Repairing WordPerfect documents and templates.

The methods there can often fix a damaged default template, custom template, or user document — particularly by using Corel's free WPLOOK file repair utility as explained on that page. (That standalone file repair program does not need to be installed and is included in recent versions of WordPerfect.)

How to transfer (restore, or migrate) your default template's customizations

- to a newer WordPerfect version, or
- to a different computer, or
- from a backed-up or renamed copy of a template to a new template

See "Migrating customizations."


Some customizations are stored in the Windows Registry (such as the display settings for toolbars, and custom page size definitions), not in the template itself. These generally will have to be restored by manually re-creating them. See the linked "Migrating..." page just above.
More tips
See Related pages and tips below.

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The 'Additional Objects' template

This is another "default" template that users can specify in Tools, Settings, Files, Template. It supplements the user's default template, it does not normally replace it (but see next paragraph).

From WordPerfect's X5's (and X6's) Help file:

"You can ... choose an additional objects template. This is a second default template that stores objects such as keyboards, menus, template macros, toolbars, and styles that you can use in addition to or in place of those in the default template. For example, a system administrator could use an additional objects template as a network template that would overwrite a user’s default template [assuming the Update default template... option is enabled; see below]....

To choose an additional objects template

1. Click Tools Settings.
2. Click Files.
3. Click the Template tab.
4. In the Additional template folder box, click the Browse button.
5. Choose the drive and folder where the template is stored.
6. Click Select.
7. In the Additional objects template box, click the Browse button.
8. Click the template you want to use as the additional objects template.
9. Click Open.

If you want to update the default template with styles from the additional objects template, enable the Update default template from additional objects template check box.

[Note:] It is not always recommended that you update the default template with the additional objects template. Updating might only be useful, for example, if many users on a network use the styles in the additional objects template. The network administrator could enable the Update default template from additional objects template check box to update each user’s default template."


☼  From Using WordPerfect X3, by Laura Acklen and Read Gilgen:

"In a networked environment, a system administrator can implement company standards by customizing an additional objects template and keeping it on a networked drive. Each user has his or her own default template on the local drive [N.B.: a local default template is required for their WordPerfect program to function], so each is free to customize WordPerfect. As an added precaution, the additional objects template can be set up as read-only to prevent accidental modification."

☼  In addition to the network deployment discussed above, the Additional Objects template might also be used to store special custom menus, keyboards, etc., that you might wish to give to another user (via physical copy of the additional objects file) or to use with your other WordPerfect versions (by copying it to the appropriate template folder for each version). It offers a means to keep these items separate from your default template but still have them available in all new, blank documents.

☼  Another way to include custom toolbars, macros, etc. — a.k.a. "objects" — in a user's template is to copy them directly into the template from another template (a "source file"). This can be done manually as discussed on the custom toolbar page here, or it can be done with a simple macro using the TemplateCopyObject() command to specify the path+filename of the source file, the type of the object (e.g., ButtonBar! [i.e., toolbar], macro, keyboard, etc.), and the name of the object (e.g., "My New Toolbar").
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Custom templates
All users:

•  Please view the section "Things you need to know first" above.

•  For information on the default template, see "Default template" above.

Intermediate to advanced users:

•  To create a custom, automated ("prompted") template, see "Automating WordPerfect Templates".

•  Is there a quicker or easier way to create a custom template? (Yes, but...)  See Footnote 5.

How to create, use, modify, fix, or delete your own custom templates

□  To create a custom template:

[Tip for intermediate/advanced users: You can simply rename a standard document with a .WPT file name extension; this creates a simple template from the document. Moreover, the template can be located anywhere you wish. This has the advantage of simplicity — but it also has a few disadvantages (discussed in Footnote 5) over the traditional 3-step method described next.]

Step 1.

•  Click File, New from Project (or just File, New in WordPerfect 8). The PerfectExpert dialog opens. (In WP8 this dialog is named New.)

•  Under the "Create New" tab, select "Custom WP Templates" or any other preferred group from the top drop list. This group is where you want to see the new template's name appear in the Project category list when you have finished creating it.

•  Click the Options button, then click "Create WP Template" on the drop list that appears.


¤  The "Add Project" choice on the drop list is typically used for creating or importing automated, predefined projects which use PerfectExpert "helper" files.

Predefined project files — such as the memo, agenda, and budget projects included with the WordPerfect Office — have an .AST or .ASX filename extension.

On the other hand, standard WordPerfect documents (.WPD) can also be used as projects, but you should find the current procedures described here more often useful since they produce custom templates that can be edited at any time with "Edit WP Template."

•  A new, blank template document should appear on screen, with the name Template1 at the top of the window, and with the Template Property Bar displayed just below your other toolbars. [Note: The Template Property Bar has the “Build Prompts” button on it. If it (or any property bar) does not show, click View, Toolbars, Property Bar to display it.]

Step 2.

•  Create your new template in the open Template1 document. Type any text, format the document (fonts, margins, etc.), and include any custom styles, toolbars, etc. Whatever you enter in this document and then save will become a template for future use.


☼  You can create the new template from scratch in the open Template1 document, or you can use an existing WordPerfect document as a basis for your new template by inserting it directly into Termplate1.

To use an existing document, simply place the cursor where you want the new file to be inserted and click Insert, File. Choose your existing document and click Insert. Answer “Yes” to any question about overwriting existing styles, which will overwrite defaults (such as font types) for the new template (not for all templates). Edit the newly inserted material as needed; for example, you might need to remove existing bookmarks, prompts, date codes, or text.

Important: If you use an existing document to create the custom template you should first ensure it is not internally corrupted; see here for a free Corel standalone utility (WPLOOK) that can help clean out any corruption. (It is very easy to use.) Otherwise, you might simply create a corrupted template, which can then pass the corruption down to documents spawned by the template.

☼  Advanced users: You can "hide" some format codes so that they are less likely to be deleted while creating or editing a document. See Footnote 8.

Step 3.

•  Save the new custom template with File, Save. The "Save Template" dialog will appear.

•  In the Description field of the Save Template dialog, type a description (e.g., “My personal letterhead,” “Company invoice,” etc.). This appears in the PerfectExpert (or New) window when you create a new document.

•  In the Template Name field, type a filename for the project template, without a filename extension (e.g., “My personal letterhead”). The template file will be saved in a folder (subdirectory) that corresponds to the group, with a .WPT filename extension automatically added to whatever name you typed in the Template Name field.

•  From the bottom drop list, choose a template group/category (e.g., Custom WP Templates), then click OK to close the Save Template dialog.

Tip: You can create your own categories beforehand with File, New from Project, Options (button), Create Category. If you want the category to appear near the top of the list, begin the name with a bracket ([).

•  Since the template file has just been saved, close the current window with File, Close. 

•  When you wish to use the new template, select it in the File, New from Project category list and click Create. (Don't see it? Check out the Tips below.)

Note: This opens ("spawns") a copy of the template [temporarily named Document1 (i.e., with a number from 1-9)] which you can then name properly when you save it to disk. (See also the "To open..." section  below.)

Tips for custom templates

☼  See also Related pages and tips below.

☼  If you do not see your custom template in the File, New from Project category list (and you are sure you saved it or moved it there), you may need to refresh the list with File, New from Project, Options button, "Refresh Projects".

Note: The same Options button can tell you where a custom template (or WordPerfect Project) is stored on disk — its complete path and filename — by using the "Project Properties" choice.

☼  You can import other "objects" (customized keyboards, toolbars, menus, styles, etc.) into the new template from another template. See Footnote 2 below.

☼  To create a custom, automated ("prompted") template, see "Automating WordPerfect Templates".

☼  To trigger a template macro to automatically play when you open a document based on a template, see here (this information is also included in the "Automating WordPerfect Templates" article in the previous tip).

☼  (Arcane tip:) To find out later which template (default or custom) the currently open document is based on, click on Tools, Template Macro, Edit. You can see the template's filename in that dialog, or you can see it if you click the Location button in that dialog.

□  To open ("load") a new document based on a custom template:

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 template, then click Create (i.e., a new document).

However, there are easier and faster ways, especially if you frequently use the same template-generated custom documents. See Loading new documents based on custom templates, which describes several methods (toolbar button, macro, etc.) to more easily load such custom documents.

Note that when you load a new document based on a custom template, the name of the document on screen will be Document1 (or Document2, etc.) — the same generic name as any new, blank document based on the default template. When you save it you will give it a new name.

□  To modify a custom template:

Like the default template described above, you can modify a custom template. There are a couple of ways to do this but the best (or most intuitive) way might be to modify it by directly editing it.

Note: If you wish to modify a custom template that is not in the File, New from Project list — such as when the template was created by merely renaming an existing .WPD file with a .WPT extension as discussed in Footnote 5 below (which you should read first!) — simply open it with File, Open. You can then skip steps 1-3 below.

Caution: If you wish to modify a standard WordPerfect Project, rather than a user-created custom template, note that some Projects are automated with internal coding and an additional "helper" file. This can mean that your modifications might render them partially or completely inoperative. (A clue is the presence of [Named Region] and/or [Bookmark] codes visible in Reveal Codes. Don't delete them.) Make a copy of the Project with the Options button and work on the copy.

Step 1. Click File, New from Project (or just New in WP8).

Step 2. Under the Create New tab, in the upper drop list, choose the name of category in which the custom template is listed. Then in the lower drop list, choose the name of the custom template.

Step 3. Right-click the name to edit it (or click the Options button) with "Edit WP Template". Note the full path and filename at the top of the WordPerfect program window when it loads, to verify this is the custom template you want to modify.

Step 4. You can make most changes in the template's initial style (e.g., font changes) by double-clicking the initial [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code in Reveal Codes; then use the Styles Editor's Format menu to make font changes. The changes will be stored "inside" all new (blank) documents' (based on that particular template) initial style codes, and thus be less likely to be deleted accidentally. When finished, click File, Save or Save As.

□  To fix a damaged or corrupted custom template:

Use the procedure to fix ordinary documents, explained here.

□  To move or delete a custom template:

First determine the custom template file's location (and the new folder location if you want to move the file) on your computer with File, New from Project, <select the name of the template>; then click the Options button, choose Project Properties, and jot down the path and filename you find there.

Then exit from WordPerfect and use Windows Explorer or My Computer (or just Computer in recent versions of Windows) to navigate to the folder that contains template file. Move or delete the file. Re-open WordPerfect, and click File, New from Project, Options (button), Refresh Projects.

Note: Removing a category does not delete template projects from your hard drive. If you remove a category containing projects not stored in another category, a new category, "[Deleted Projects]," is created containing those projects. [- From WordPerfect X5's Help file.]

Tip: To find out which template the currently open document is based on, click on Tools, Template Macro, Edit. You can see the template's filename in that dialog, or you can see it if you click the Location button in that dialog. [Macro writers can use a single macro command to find the name of the template the current document is based on: Messagebox(;;?CurrentTemplate).]

□  Template macros don't play?

If an embedded template macro does not play automatically — such as when you attempt to use a WordPerfect Project (File, New from Project) that contains them to provide some type of automation (e.g., the Monthly calendar needs to format the calendar for the desired month) — then WordPerfect's template macros may have been turned off (i.e., disabled) in response to a program dialog message prompting you to "disable macros".

Here's the dialog:

Disable macros dialog

[Another (less common) reason for the failure of a template macro to play: The original template file might be unavailable on your system to "trigger" the template macro in the current document that was saved to your disk. See Footnote 6.]

Typically, WordPerfect will automatically display this message whenever you launch a Project or other template containing a template macro.

But if you then -

[1] check (tick) the box "Do not show this message again," and
[2] click the Disable Macros button

- then you will have told the program to prevent playing any embedded template macros and not show this dialog again. (Unless a user's organization tells them otherwise, most users will probably want to enable template macros.)

It's #1 that can cause confusion and a "problem" with the Project since it effectively hides the message in the future, when you probably have forgotten that message or how you answered it. You are left trying to figure out why a Project or other automated template is not working as intended.

So ... what if you want to enable template macros but cannot do so because the above dialog no longer appears?

Here's how to restore (un-hide) the program's message so you can answer it differently. It does require a small, simple change to the Windows Registry — but that's why the Corel article also shows how to back up the Registry first.

From the Corel Support Knowledgebase:

"How do I restore the template macro prompt dialog after hiding it?

When a template is opened which contains a PerfectScript® template macro, a [message] dialog is presented asking if the user wishes to disable the macros in the document. If you answered [in the affirmative, and you also] enabled the "Do not show this message again" option [with] 'Yes,' you will be unable to use any template macros within WordPerfect.

When opening templates which contain PerfectScript® projects in WordPerfect, some options may not work or may not be shown if the template macros are disabled. If you are not prompted on opening a template containing macros, you may need to reenable the template macros.

If you are not prompted when using a template which contains macros you can follow these directions to restore the prompts to factory default:

Please read this [Microsoft Support] article prior to performing these steps:

Title: How To Back Up and Restore the Windows Registry. [Updated URL Dec 2015: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/322756]

1. Close all applications, including WordPerfect.
2. Click Start, Run.
3. In the Open text box, type: Regedit and click OK.
This will launch the Windows Registry.
4. Click File, Export (or Registry, Export)
5. In the text box, Save in: select My Documents or Desktop.
6. Towards the bottom where it says File Name: type CorelBackup
7. Below to the left, under Export Range, select All and click Save.
8. The cursor will change to an hour glass and will return to a pointed arrow
9. Click the + to the left of HKey_Current_User [Tip: This expands the "key". Also, instead of "+" it might be a ">" symbol.]
10. Click the + to the left of Software
11. Click the + to the left of Corel
12. Click the + to the left of WordPerfect
13. Click the + next to your version number of WordPerfect.
14. Right-Click on "HideDialogs" and select Delete.
15. Click Yes on the confirmation dialog.
16. Close the Registry Editor with the X in the upper right corner.
17. Relaunch WordPerfect.

WordPerfect will now prompt you when you open a Template containing template macros."

[Edited slightly for clarity. Also, after step #17 the Registry key you deleted in step #14 will be restored and the message will reappear when a template macro is present in a document. In other words, the message's appearance will be restored to the factory default. When you then want to make a different choice and hide the message iagain, be sure to first check (tick) the "Do not show..." box.]

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Related pages and tips

•  Saving custom styles to your default (or other) template; importing custom styles from other documents (even ones you didn't create); and removing new styles from your template when you don't need them anymore: See here.

•  To create a custom, automated or "prompted" template, see "Automating WordPerfect Templates". [An example of an automated template is the letterhead template in the Library.]

•  "Trigger" a macro from inside a template to play automatically when specific events occur as you use the template

•  Automatically insert the current date as (unchanging) text (not as a code) in a letterhead or other template.

•  Create a vertical toolbar with text buttons (instead of graphic icons) to quickly access your favorite folders, templates, and files. See Vertical Toolbar.pdf.

•  Automatically associate a personalized keyboard or menu with a template so that the keyboard or menu will appear automatically when you open a new document.
•  Need to reset page margins on page 2 (if there is a page 2) back to the one-inch default or some other setting? Here's how to do it in either the current document or in a template.

Disclaimer, Distribution, and Privacy Policies
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Footnote 1

When you have multiple versions of WordPerfect installed on the same computer: 

If you have renamed your default template and/or you have several versions of WordPerfect installed on the same computer, you will have several "Create a blank document" files listed in File, New from Project. 

Each file belongs to its own copy of the default template or its own version of WordPerfect, but you can change the displayed name in the Project list to make them easier to find and edit.

Try one of these methods:

•  To change the listed name to another name: Simply click on File, New from Project, then right-click the filename, choose Project Properties, and edit the Display Name. (The actual filename is shown in the field, "Project filename.") You can use the actual filename as the Display name (e.g., "wp13us.wpt") or simply add a version number to the display name (e.g., "Create a blank document 13").

Note that you will have to do this in each version of WordPerfect you have installed on your computer, since each Project list (the Projects.usr file) is stored with its own version of WordPerfect.

  -or -

•  To change the listed name to the actual Windows filename (but without the .wpt extension): Edit the template File, New from Project, then right-click the filename, choose Project Properties, and choose Edit WP Template. When the template opens, click the Description button on the template toolbar, and delete the contents of the Template Description dialog. Save the template, and then refresh the Project list with File, New from Project, Options, Refresh Projects.

Note that, to be on the safe side, you probably should not do this for templates created in another version of Wordperfect. Use the first renaming method above for those templates.

[Thanks to Roy "lemoto" Lewis in a post here at WordPerfect Universe for the first tip, and Noal Mellot in his post here for the second tip.]

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Footnote 2

Advanced tip: You can import other "objects" — customized keyboards, toolbars, menus, styles, etc. — from another template (if they are not already present in the new template) with the Copy/Remove Object button on the Template toolbar.

First, back up the target template you wish to modify.

Second, if the source template is not already in the same directory/folder as the current default template (or any other "target" template you wish to modify), then copy it there with Windows Explorer or Windows Computer. The location of the default template folder will be indicated in Tools, Settings, Files, Template. You should rename the source (e.g., MyOldDefaultTemplate.wpt) before copying it so it will not conflict with an existing template of the same name. (The source template needs to be in the same folder as the target template.)

Third, open the target template for editing. [See Method 2 above for complete steps.] When it opens, simply click the Copy/Remove button on the Template toolbar that should be visible (it will have these buttons: Build Prompts...; Copy/Remove Object...; Associate...; and Description....) Then choose the "Template to copy from" (the source), and then choose the "Object type" (i.e., Styles). Select one or more objects, and click Copy to import them. Click Close when finished, then Save the template.

Notes and tips

•  Save and back up the target template before importing objects.
This is especially important if you have spent a lot of time customizing the new template before importing other objects into it.

•  As noted, the template to be copied from must be in the same folder on your system where the custom template is located. This is an often overlooked step.

•  Some Styles available in the old template can be either normal format styles or outline styles. WordPerfect doesn't tell you which type of style they are in the Copy/Remove Template Objects dialog's Styles list, but when you copy them to the new template they will show up in the new template in the appropriate place (either the Format, Styles menu, or the Insert, Outline... menu, respectively).

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Footnote 3

[Continued from a Note above:]

More on using the Format, Font dialog:

The Format, Font dialog has a Settings button that allows you to "Set the font and point size as the default for all document." If you use it I believe you might have similar problems to those explained in the Footnote 9 below ("I do not recommend using ...").

This particular dialog might have been "inherited" from WordPerfect 8 and earlier versions, and while it might have worked well in those versions, it probably should not be used in recent versions of WordPerfect to set the default font and font size for future (new) documents. See Method 1 above, which uses File, Document, Current Document Style to set the default font and font size for all new documents.

To add one final — if esoteric — blow to using this Format, Font dialog:

Some users have discovered that clicking in the "+" symbol in the Font list in that dialog lets you choose a "sub-font" or "sub-face" such as Times New Roman Italic or Times New Roman Bold. Applying italics or bold this way can be problematic since their format codes might not be easily found — even with a macro such as Replace Codes (which can replace one format code with another) — if you want to remove or replace them. Instead, you might consider applying text attributes such as italics or bold with the Text property bar on the main document screen or by using the shortcut keys Ctrl+I or Ctrl+B on selected text.

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Footnote 4

A kink (pothole?) in the Template Road

For arcane (and not well understood) reasons ...

if you start (i.e., create) a new WordPerfect document from Windows by

[A] right-clicking on the Windows Desktop or Windows File Explorer and then choosing New > WordPerfect [version#] Document on the Windows pop-up context menu,

rather than from

[B] WordPerfect's main menu using File > New,

... then method [A] will create the new document based on a separate, relatively hidden "parent" file named WordPerfect.wpd. (In WordPerfect X5 and earlier it was named wordpfct.wpd.) *

For example, if you are using WordPerfect 2020 the new file on your Windows Desktop will be named WordPerfect 2020 Document.wpd or if more than one file with that name exists in that folder, WordPerfect 2020 Document (n).wpd where "n" is an incremented number.

It will be a simple copy of the hidden "parent" file and appear in whatever location method [A] was used — e.g., the Windows Desktop or some other preferred folder. It uses standard WordPerfect default settings for paper size, font, font size, margins, tabs, etc.

The location of the parent file WordPerfect.wpd (size=30 bytes) is inside a protected Windows folder (you might need Administrator rights to modify anything in it). For example, in WordPerfect 2020 it is located in
C:\Program Files (x86)\Corel\WordPerfect Office 2020\Shared\ShellNew
You probably should not modify the contents of that folder.

Why this matters

The separate parent file in method [A] above is used to create a renamed, empty copy of itself when you use New > WordPerfect [version#] Document on (some) Windows right-click context menus.

In many if not most cases this should not be a problem. It's an easy way to quickly create a new, empty WordPerfect document with standard formatting.

However ...

The document created this way is
not based on your currently active (and possibly customized) default template, as discussed above. It's a mere "shell" of a template-created document. Even your own preferred font won't show up in such a document: It will use the Times New Roman 12-point font (along with other "standard" formatting).

Moreover ...

The normal [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code created by the default template (method [B]) will be missing from the top of the new document. That code is often modified by users to set the current document's preferred formatting and (optionally) save such customizations to the default template so they can be used with future documents. But in this case any customizations you might have made to your current default template will not be present in this new document.

This might even be preferred by some users or in some situations.

[Advanced users should be able to force Windows to always use their current WordPerfect default template as the basis for new documents — even when using method [A
] as discussed below.]


•  If you need to create new, blank documents that will include personal customizations previously made in your default template, then do it the traditional way with File > New on the WordPerfect menu or click the "New Blank Document" toolbar button.

That way, you are sure to be using the default template that is set in Tools, Settings, Files, Template — the one that passes downstream to the new, blank file any customizations you may have made to that template (default font, page margins, etc.).

And you will get access to the important and editable [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code placed at the top of the new document.

[As noted, a more advanced way is described in the tip below, which shows a Registry edit that will force Windows to always "point" the program to your currently active default template (.wpt) file instead of the WordPerfect.wpd file described above.]

•  What if you want to be able to start a new empty file (using the Windows context menu method above) in the folder it's supposed to be in, rather than the Windows Desktop?

Use Window File Explorer, or any file manager, or even WordPerfect's File > Open to navigate to a desired folder first. Once you can see the contents of the desired folder, right-click in that View pane (the one that shows icons, details, etc.) and use method [A] above.

An alternative is to create a special toolbar or other method to quickly  navigate to the relevant folder before starting a new, empty file using the Windows context menu method. (You probably have to navigate there anyway, right?) See, for example, "Navigating quickly to your favorite folders, files, and templates from inside WordPerfect" here.

•  Advanced users: 

Macro writers:
Another bit of arcana related to this initial format code was discovered with WordPerfect X5: Using a macro in a global search/replace routine for all [Open Style] codes will delete the initial code as well. It is better to use a macro routine that starts searching just after the initial code before it replaces any of these particular codes.

More on starting a new document from the Windows context menu:
See the WordPerfect Universe post starting here about the discoveries made and the recommendations offered.

Forcing Windows to use the WordPerfect default template:
Here is
a method based on a WordPerfect Universe post in 2012 by member (and frequent contributor) Larry Lewis that makes a single change to the Windows Registry so that the "template" file that is accessed when you create a new WordPerfect document from the right-click context menu on the Windows Desktop (or File Explorer) is the same WordPerfect default template file used when opening a new document with File > New on the WordPerfect menu.

Caution: Obviously always back up the Windows Registry before editing it. You assume all risks when using this or any method that involves changing the Registry.

Step 1. First, get the [full] Path and Filename of your current default Document Template.

Important: This is the same Path and Filename that is listed under Tools > Settings > Files > Template tab > Default template folder and Default template file [as also described above].

If you copy the folder's Path to the Windows clipboard you can paste it into Regedit in the steps below. You will need to add the template's Filename to the end of that copied Path.

Example, using WordPerfect X6 (should be all on 1 line) —

\PerfectExpert\16\EN\Custom WP Templates

Step 2. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).

•  Click on the ">" next to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT to expand it.

•  Navigate down to .wpd and click on the ">" to expand it.

•  Locate and click on the ">" next to WPxxDoc (where ''xx'' is your version number; e.g., WPX6 is WP16Doc ... WP2020 is WP20Doc.

•  Under WPxxDoc, click on ShellNew. As you click on ShellNew, in the right pane locate FileName.

•  Double- [or right-] click on FileName.

•  [This step might not be needed and, if so, it will not appear:]
In the pop-up, click on Modify...

You should now be in the Edit String dialog containing 2 fields:
"Value name" and "Value data."

On a typical Windows 7/8/10 system using (e.g.) WordPerfect X6, the existing string in the Value data field should show a full Path and Filename like this (all on 1 line) —

c:\Program Files (x86)\Corel\WordPerfect Office X6\Shared\ShellNew\WordPerfect.wpd

•  In the "Value data" field replace the existing string with the full Path and Filename of your current default template (obtained in Step 1 above).

For a typical U.S. language edition of WordPerfect, your new string in the Value data field for the full Path and Filename will be something like this (all on 1 line) —

\PerfectExpert\xx\EN\Custom WP Templates

— where "xx" is your version number such as 16 for WPX6 or 20 for WP2020.

Step 3. Click the OK button to close the Edit String dialog, then close Regedit with File> Exit.


Now when you right-click the Windows Desktop (or File Explorer) and choose New > WordPerfect [...] Document, the WPD document that appears will be based on your WordPerfect default template and contain the standard [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code at the top of that document.

But be aware that the document will be named (and sequentially numbered if more than one exists in that folder) the same way as before your modification to the Registry. For example, using WordPerfect 2020:

     New WordPerfect 2020 Document...wpd

Obviously, you can rename (or copy or move) it from Windows or open it in WordPerfect and then save it with a new name (and location, if desired).


Note that if you have multiple versions of WordPerfect installed, the ShellNew entry in the Registry for the version currently associated with Windows will have to be modified the same way as the above example if you want its new documents created via the Windows context menu to be based on that version's default template. (Only the associated WordPerfect version is used with the context menu's New... choice.)

The Registry change above will not be automatically carried into a newer WordPerfect version if you decide to upgrade WordPerfect. It will need to be made manually for that newer version's
ShellNew Registry entry (assuming the newer version is the one associated with Windows).

Additional advantage:

Any modifications you make to your currently active default template will be reflected in ("inherited" by) any new document subsequently opened directly from Windows (e.g., by right-clicking on the Windows Desktop or by using Windows File Explorer, and then choosing New > WordPerfect [version#] Document).


The one-time method above requires modifying the Windows Registry, which might not be desirable or even allowable in some organizations.

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Footnote 5

Is there a quicker or easier way to create a custom template (than the method described above)?

Yes. You can simply create a normal document with the usual .wpd filename extension, save it, and then rename it with a .wpt filename extension. Choose it in the File, Open dialog and it will spawn a duplicate of itself, just like any other template.


A small disadvantage here is the template could then be located almost anywhere — which might not be optimal for some folks, such as those in an office where machines might be shared. The traditional methods described above for creating a custom template will automatically create an entry in the File, New from Project list, and place it physically along with other custom templates. This might make it a bit easier to use or edit. (Of course, you can always use Windows Explorer to move the template to the disk location used for any desired Project category. You can then access it the same as other Projects, as explained above.)

Another disadvantage is inherent in the method itself: To edit the template later and make changes you will need to (1) locate it, (2) rename it back to a normal document with a .wpd filename extension, (3) edit it [note that in later versions of Windows you can right-click on the .wpt file to edit it], (4) save it, and (5) rename it back to a template file with a .wpt extension.

Still another (potential disadvantage): See Footnote 6.

So if you used this file renaming method to create the template, you still might want to place the resulting template file in the same folder or sub-folder as your other WordPerfect template Projects so that you can easily edit it without having to go through the file-finding-renaming-editing-renaming process. (When they are placed in that folder for the first time, simply Refresh the Project list with the File, New from Project, Option button.) Then to edit it just right-click on its name in the Project list, and choose "Edit WP Template."

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Footnote 6

If you plan to share documents containing template macros with other WordPerfect users, take note of this:

If a template containing a template macro is set to be triggered by some event, note that the template macro will only trigger in a document (.WPD) if the template (.WPT) is present, either in the original template folder or in the default (parent) template folder. If WordPerfect cannot locate the template, the template macro will not play even though it is embedded in the document itself, since the trigger specification is stored in the template, not in the resulting document.

This can cause problems when sharing such automated documents with other WordPerfect users. Make sure they also have the template that spawned the document and it is located in the same relative folder as the original. [This might explain why template macros fail to automatically play in some documents if the original template has been renamed, relocated, or removed.]

[A corollary: If you change or add a template macro in a template, all documents that were previously created with that particular template should — if the template is present — be able to run the revised (or new) template macro if they are set up to be triggered (or if they are manually played through the menu).]

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Footnote 7

For those who are new to computers or to folder and file navigation using Windows Explorer (which is installed on all Windows PCs), here's an easy way to find your currently active default template so that you can rename it (if necessary).

1. In WordPerfect, click on Tools, Settings, Files, Template (tab).

2. The "Default template folder" field on that tab should be selected (i.e., the contents are highlighted in reverse color). If it is not selected, right-click in that field and choose Select All.

3. Copy the selected contents of that field to the Windows clipboard with Ctrl+c (or by right-clicking the selected field and choosing Copy).

4. Close the dialog and then close the WordPerfect program.

Before doing any other task that invloves the Windows clipboard, do the following:

5. Right-click on the Start Orb ("Start button") on your Windows desktop. Click on Open Windows Explorer. [Alternative:  Click Start, (All) Programs, Accessories (folder), Windows Explorer.]

6. In Windows Explorer, click in the top field — in the empty space area to the right of the field's contents (the field shows the current path). Delete the contents of that field. (If you can't find an empty area in that field, try choosing "Computer" or "Desktop" from the left pane in Windows Explorer. This should shorten the displayed path in that field.)

7. In that field, paste the previously copied material (step #3) with Ctrl+v (or by right-clicking in that field and choosing Paste).

8. Press the Enter key. The folder containing the currently active default template should open in Windows Explorer. (You can click on the "Name" column heading to sort the items alphabetically.).

9. Scroll down to find the default template. It will have a name like wp16US.wpt — assuming you are using WordPerfect X6 (i.e., version 16) and the US language version. (If you can't find it in the Windows Explorer window, see above.)

10. Rename the first part of the name; for example, rename wp16US.wpt to wp16USbackup.wpt. (You can rename the file by clicking on its name to choose it, then use Windows Explorer's File menu to Rename it. Or you can just right-click on the file's name and choose Rename from the context menu that appears.)

When you next reopen WordPerfect, it will automatically create a new factory fresh (i.e., unmodified) version of the default template in that folder. You can then copy (transfer) various customizations from the backed up version into this new template file, as described above.

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Footnote 8

Since a template can contain various formatting codes (and perhaps text or graphics) so that it spawns new documents set up the way you want them to look, and since the new documents are clones of the template, some user-inserted format codes in the body text area of the spawned ("child") document might be accidentally deleted by users while editing — especially if they are located at the beginning of the document or where Reveal Codes is not visible to let users see what they might be deleting at that point.

Often, this happens with [Delay] codes that exist to do something on subsequent pages, such as set new tabs or margins, but it can happen with other (non-delayed) codes.

One solution is to "hide" these format codes inside the template's initial [OpenStyle: DocumentStyle] code. This is done by opening Reveal Codes, then selecting and copying (or cutting) the code(s) from the body text area into the initial [Open Style] code. Caveat: If you do this you would not be able to later modify those codes (e.g., a header or footer) while editing the [Open Style] code: You would need to cut (with Ctrl+X) the inserted codes back into a document, edit them there, and then paste them back into the [Open Style] code with Ctrl+V. Of course, you have to remember how to do this....

This little trick is briefly explained in a footnote here (using a [Delay] code as an example). Another example is used in a macro to set up line numbering (et al) in a macro's edit screen, which is found in the Library (MacSetup); the download page explains in an example how you can use the same trick to reset page margins on page 2 (if there is a page 2) in any document.

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Footnote 9

[Continued from above...]

Important note about using certain MENU options
to set your preferred FONT and/or FONT SIZE

I do not recommend
using either File, Document, Default Font or  Format, Font to change your preferred default font or font size. [In WordPerfect 8: Format, Font, Default Font.]

[Side note: Both menu options have a Settings button to save changes: The File, Document, Default Font ... Settings button has a single choice to save changes for all new documents based on the default template; the Format, Font ... Settings button lets you save changes to either the default template or just to the current document. But read on for caveats.]

Here's why you might not want to use those two menu options.

With either menu option, changes are made to the program's internal program code and thus they are transmitted directly — and somewhat invisibly to the user — to all new, blank documents created ("spawned") from that template. (The Settings button on Format, Font also lets you apply changes to just the current document.)

A frequent and often puzzling problem can arise from this:

If you use File, Document, Default Font (or Format, Font) to change the font or font size and there are existing font or font size codes in the document's initial Open Style code (the first code in the body text area) then nothing will be changed — and no message is given to let you know that nothing was changed.

In this scenario you might assume that there must be a font change somewhere in the body text area of the document, and if you cannot find one you would be left puzzled since you know you just changed the font with (e.g.) File, Document, Default Font!

How might this happen?

Any font changes you or a co-worker might make directly in the Styles Editor (e.g., see above method) with either File, Document, Current Document Style or by simply by double-clicking the initial [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code at the very top of the document, are "downstream" from the internal changes made with File, Document, Default Font (or with Format, Font). [See more about WordPerfect's "stream formatting" above.]

Hence, new font or font size codes inside the current document's initial Open Style code (visible in its Styles Editor's Contents pane) will take precedence over similar changes made with the File, Document, Default Font (or Format, Font) menu selection, which are "upstream" from them.

Using the Styles Editor to directly set up customizations is common — even typical. Moreover, such changes can be made before and/or after using the two problematic menu options above. If before, you might run into the problem. [Another unanticipated twist in the tale: If font changes are made using either problematic menu option, and the Settings button is used to save them to the default template (with "Set face and point size as default for all documents"), the changes will not work if there are font and/or font size codes already in the default template's Open Style!]

You could, of course, simply delete the new font codes from the Contents pane in the Styles Editor for the Open Style code. This should allow the even-further-upstream font settings to reassert themselves ... but that's not the point, or even the best solution. It's just a workaround.

I explained this issue in a 2005 post at WordPerfect Universe — including an easy way to test it (see the steps described below).

In that post I recommended using
File, Document, Current Document Style [alternatively, double-click on the initial Open Style: DocumentStyle code to use the Styles Editor] whenever you want to change your default font or font size while editing the current document or the default template (see above).

At least you can see any existing font codes and delete them before applying new default font codes.


Using the Styles Editor method above has other advantages: It will (1) set the default font for all printers, whereas File, Document, Default Font (or even Format, Font) probably applies to the current printer only; (2) it will let you set several other format options, not just your choice of font; and (3) just as easy to use as the either of the problematic menu choices discussed above. [See also the issue with "sub-fonts" in Format, Font described in Footnote 3 above.]


To help prevent accidental use, you can rename the File, Document, Default Font menu choice (or even remove it altogether) to something like "Default Font (DON'T USE)...". See "Customizing your menu..."

To test and verify the  problem of using File, Document, Default Font or Format, Font under the condition where a "default" font change already exists (first posted on WordPerfect Universe here [et seq]):

1. Open a sample document — one without any font changes in it, such as a new document with a few lines of text typed into it.

2. Edit the Open Style (double-click the [Open Style: DocumentStyle] code to bring up the Styles Editor).

3. Change the default font to something (e.g., Arial Narrow). Ensure that the new Arial [Font] code appears in the Styles Editor's Contents field. (Delete any existing [Font] code so that just the new Arial [Font] code is active.)

4. Click OK to return to the document. Notice that the font for the document is now Arial Narrow, as expected.

5. Next, use File, Document, Default Font to (presumably) change the document's default font to something else (e.g., Times New Roman). This brings up the Document Default Font dialog, where you can select the TNR font. Click OK when done.

Notice that the font in the document does not change! Apparently, the Arial Narrow font code in the Styles Editor is overriding the changes you just attempted to make.

[The problem has existed since at least WordPerfect 8 through WordPerfect X7. (Update June 2019: It still exists in WordPerfect X9.)]

To verify this ...

Edit the Open Style and remove/delete the Arial Narrow font code. Click OK and you should now see the document is in Times New Roman (assuming that's what you used in step #5) — the new default for the document that you wanted to make in the first place (i.e., in step #5)!

Because nothing tells you whether or not your change worked using File, Document, Default Font, I recommend you do not use it to change the document's default font.  Use the Styles Editor instead.