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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
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Page updated Jan 4, 2021

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Formatting a legal Transcript document

Related items -

•  How to create a Question-and-Answer style

•  Modifying the legal Pleading feature

•  Pleading Setup - an alternative macro to create a basic Pleading but with some differences from the WordPerfect Pleading feature

•  Create a keyword index using [1] the WordList macro to develop an editable, alphabetized draft of a concordance file, which then [2] can be used to automatically create the index.

•  [Off topic - and for use in ordinary documents, not as a replacement for the Transcript method on this page:] Line numbers displayed in the margin are a built-in feature: Format, Line, Numbering. But they are designed to appear on just one side of all pages, as shown in the screen shot in the next column. But you can create line numbers that alternate between odd and even pages with a macro. See (e.g.) a 2006 WordPerfect Universe post by Roy ("Lemoto" Lewis here.

Legal transcripts

Note -

WordPerfect menu choices refer to the <WordPerfect> menu (right-click on the top menu bar for a choice of menus). If you use a <Microsoft Word> menu, the choices might be absent from your menu (but not from the program), or they might be found under another menu selection. If the menu choices or toolbars discussed below seem to be missing from your program, see here.

Legal transcripts -- such as those created by court reporters for depositions -- are similar in format to a legal pleading with numbered lines, etc.

However, they often are required to be submitted in a specific format -- which is why this Tips page shows how to set up the formatting manually (at least, the first time) so that you can customize the transcript's format to meet your own needs.

Here is a sample page of one such format:

Transcript sample page

Compared to a standard (default) WordPerfect document this (redacted) sample page uses -

•  a larger left page margin and smaller top and right margins,
a single, continuous page border around the text area,
    ... and on page 2 and following pages ...
•  page numbering in the upper right, and
25 numbered, double spaced lines per page.

[This sample format is somewhat similar to the Transcript Layout on Depobook (here), a professional court reporting site.]

It is easy to create your own version of the format using the user modifiable steps below. Once you have done it you can make modifications to the setup (see tips below).

Creating a transcript format

Unlike the legal Pleading that comes with some versions of WordPerfect -- and which uses a watermark for part of its formatting -- the steps below do not require a watermark.

In fact, with this method all new format codes are created at the top of the main document. They will be visible in Reveal Codes. Thus the codes can be individually double-clicked later to modify the formatting they produce.


Here, we assume you want to use the same (or similar) format shown in the sample page above.

, it's better to open a new blank document (File, New). Later, you can turn the newly formatted document into a custom template by inserting static "front page" text into it.

It might also help if you -

- Set the document to "page view" (View, Page) to display the faint, dotted gray guidelines on all pages, and also enable View, Guidelines (enable all options in that dialog).

- Turn Reveal Codes on (View, Reveal Codes).

- Adjust the view to see the entire page with View, Text Zoom -or- by holding down the Ctrl key while you rotate the mouse wheel.

Step 1.

Place the cursor at the top of the document.

Set the font and font size with Format, Font. Typically the font is Courier New and the size is 12-point.

Step 2.

Set up the document's page margins with Format, Margins.

Using the sample format above:

Left margin = 1.75"
Right margin = 0.5"
Top margin = 0.667"
Bottom margin = 1.25"

Optional: Set up tab stops (Format, Line, Tab Set), justification (Format, Justification), etc., for the initial transcript pages. These items can be changed for the main sections of the transcript (or set automatically as in Step 6).

Step 3.

Create the page border with Format, Page, Border/Fill.

Tip: You can also create a custom page border: See the Graphics Tips page here (esp. the general method in Example 2 there). This needs to be done before you proceed with the rest of Step 3.

Click on the Single border style thumbnail in the "Available border styles" list, then click OK.

The border should appear in the document.

Note that the left side border has a slightly larger overlap on the left page margin than it does on the right page margin. This is an artifact of the way the program calculates the dimensions of page borders. Generally this is not an issue; however, you will need to set line numbering (Step 6 below) to compensate.

Step 4.

Create page numbering (here, located inside the top right corner of the border-enclosed body text area, as shown in our sample above).


If you want to hide page numbers on more than just the first page, it might be better to skip steps 4 and 5 (creating and suppressing page numbers) and instead create the page numbers using step 6.

Why? With step 5 (suppress page numbering) the program requires an existing (or "current") page to operate on, and therefore it needs a separate suppress format code per existing page.

If you want to hide the page number only on page 1 (or on some other page, later), using the Suppress feature might be all you need.

If so, continue with step 4 and 5.

However, with step 6 you can delay the start of various formatting -- including page numbering -- for "x" pages, since this does not require the prior existence of any pages (which you might not have typed yet).

Thus the specified formatting starts only if the page to which it applies also appears.

If this seems useful, jump to step 6 (but you might still want to read step 5).

[Step 4 continued:]

Click Format, Page, Numbering. The Select Page Numbering Format dialog appears.

Choose the "Page numbering format" -- typically the default of a single number 1.

Then click in the Position drop list and choose Top Right (following our sample format).

Finally, click the Font button on that dialog and choose Courier New (to match the document font).

Click OK twice to return to the document.

A page number should appear where the top and right margin guidelines intersect.

Step 5.

Suppress page numbering on the current page (i.e., page 1) so it doesn't display. [If you haven't seen them, view the Options in step 4 above.]

While still at the top of the document click Format, Page, Suppress and enable (tick) the "Page numbering" option; then click OK.

The page number should now disappear (it will still be there, it just won't show or print).

Step 6.

Delay the start of line spacing (e.g., double space) and line numbering (i.e., the numbers alongside the left page margin) until the next page (or any desired subsequent page).

This is done by creating Delay Codes, as explained below. [For more information on the Delay Codes feature, see here. Note also that you are not limited to one Delay code in a document, and in fact WordPerfect also uses them when (and as often as) needed to accomplish various desired formatting.]


You want to start both double spacing and line numbering on page 2 (that is, you want to delay their onset for 1 page).


Create the 1-page delay with Format, Page, Delay Codes, 1, OK. [Obviously, use "2" if you want to delay starting them until page 3; use "3" to delay until page 4; etc.]

The Define Delay Codes window opens (this title appears at the top of the WordPerfect window) with a toolbar containing 5 buttons:

Image, Page Size, Header/Footer, Watermark, and Close.

The first 4 buttons are for quick access to some items that are also on the main menu.

Here, you do not need to use them.
Instead, use the program's top (main) menu and -

•  Click Format, Line, Spacing. This opens the Line Spacing dialog.

(a)  Set the spacing to 2.0. (You can type the numbers or use the spinner arrow.)

(b)  Click OK.

- A new [Ln Spacing] code appears in Reveal Codes (it appears if the setting differs from a previously existing code in the document).

•  Click Format, Line, Numbering. This opens the Line Numbering dialog:

(a)  Enable "Turn line numbering on".

Enable the radio button "Outside left margin" and set the amount to 0.600".

- This larger amount should compensate for the larger page border offset on the left side of the document.

(c)  Enable "Restart numbering on each page," and (optionally) "Count blank lines".

(d)  Click the Font button on the right side of that dialog and choose Courier New.

- Optionally you can use a slightly smaller font size. For example, 11-point line numbers look a bit better than 12-point when using 12-point the Courier New font in the document.

(e)  Click OK twice.

- A [Ln Num] code appears in Reveal Codes.

•  Optional: Start page numbering (if you haven't done so with step 4):

(a)  Click Format, Page, Numbering. The Select Page Numbering Format dialog appears:

(b)  Choose a "Page numbering format" -- typically the default of a single number 1.

(c)  Use the Position drop list button and choose (following our sample format) "Top Right".

(d)  Click the Font button on that dialog and choose Courier New (to match the document font).

(e)  Click OK twice to return to the
Define Delay Codes window.

•  Optional: Start new tab settings, text justification, etc.:

(a)  Set (or reset) tab settings for the Q&A deposition area with Format, Line, Tab Set.

(b)  Set font justification with Format, Justification.

(c)  Set other items to delay to the same page, as desired.

[To ensure that page margins are reset back to their 1" defaults by using a delay code, see here.]

•  Click the Close button on the Define Delay Codes toolbar to return to the main document.

Result (without using the last 2 options in step 6):

In Reveal Codes on page 1 you should see something like these new codes:

Transcript sample - format codes

You can start entering or inserting material after (to the right of) these codes.


If you want to delay other items to a different page from the one used in the example above repeat step 6.

Tips on using the transcript format

•  To make changes:  You can double-click directly on a code in Reveal Codes to edit its formatting (... and in the case of the [Delay] code, to edit any of the other codes inside it).

•  Create a custom template with these format settings so that the settings will instantly be available when you spawn a mirror-image document from that template. A custom template file (.wpt) then becomes much less prone to corruption than a regular document (.wpd) that is simply used over-and-over as a "template".

•  If maximum line numbers on a page do not equal 25 (as required in our sample) you can try setting (or dragging) the bottom margin up or down, or setting a slightly different line spacing or font size. (This is partly determined by your printer's internal metrics.)

•  Line numbering can be stopped (and started again) further in the document with Format, Line, Numbering, "Turn line numbering...".

•  Line spacing can be changed for a small section of text by selecting the section and changing line spacing for the selection (e.g., to single space). [For more on line spacing (and the related topics of line height and leading) see here.]

•  If the document is to become part of another document (e.g., inserted in it), you can set line spacing to the default (or any setting) with Format, Line, Spacing at the end of the transcript (or the beginning of new material in the inserted document).

•  Use the author's EdgeText macro to set up a watermark to display the reporter's name, etc. This information can be displayed on any edge of the page outside page margins. [For the above sample, try using the bottom center of the page and enable the EdgeText option "Offset the box".]

Create a keyword index using [1] the author's WordList macro to develop an editable, alphabetized draft of a concordance file, which then [2] can be used to automatically create the index.