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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2019 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated Jan 30, 2019

WordPerfect Tips
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Updating, upgrading, or reinstalling WordPerfect


WordPerfect menu choices refer to the <WordPerfect> menu. (Right-click on WordPerfect's 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 on this site seem to be missing from your program, see here.

[Part 1] Overview: Some things to keep in mind about WordPerfect documents and program files

[Part 2] Updating your current copy of WordPerfect - i.e., bringing your program up to date with a Corel Service Pack or "patch"


[Part 4] Uninstalling and/or reinstalling your current WordPerfect program (and how to completely remove it)

[Part 5] Migrating customizations

[Part 6] Multiple versions of WordPerfect on the same computer

[Part 7] Transferring macros from one system to another, or from an earlier version of WordPerfect to a newer version

[Return to main Tips Page]

Part 3:  Upgrading to a newer version of WordPerfect

Be sure to read the "Overview..." section and the "Migrating customizations" section  ... or at least read them before you do an actual upgrade.

You can install and keep multiple versions of WordPerfect on the same computer

Whether or not to retain an older version on your computer is a decision you might want to make before installing (or upgrading to) a newer version.

[1] Be sure your current computer system meets the minimum System Requirements for all WordPerfect versions you plan to install. For the current version this information can be found on the Corel site's product pages. That site page also has links to What's included, Compare Versions, Compare Product Family, etc.

[2] For newer versions of Windows Corel has certified which WordPerfect versions should work on those operating systems. See the section, "Installing WordPerfect on newer versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 or later" in Part 4.

[3] Finally, see "Multiple versions of WordPerfect on the same computer" in Part 6. here. You can install the newer version in a separate folder from the older version to keep them separate.

Caveat: If you have serious issues with your current WordPerfect version it might be much better to save your customizations and then completely uninstall it rather than install another version alongside the problematic one. See Part 4 and Part 5.

Retail (box) version or Internet download version?

•  Which WordPerfect Office version is best to buy?

My recommendation is to buy the most recent version of WordPerfect Office that will work on your computer (see [1] above) -- preferably directly from Corel (Corel.com or WordPerfect.com).

Why? One reason is that WordPerfect has changed over the years, in part to keep up with internal changes in Windows. Older WordPerfect versions (which might still be sold on non-Corel sites) might save you money but could result in extra time and frustration trying to make something work properly when that version is installed on a modern operating system. (If that should happen to you, you could join WordPerfect Universe and ask for help on their Troubleshooting Forum.)

The main Corel sites (see links above) contain a one-page PDF entitled "Compare Product Family" (or similar) posted on various product Overview pages.

That document gives a basic table listing the differences between the editions (
Professional, Standard, and Home & Student) of the current version (e.g., X9) of WordPerfect Office.

For more information on various new and enhanced program features see "What's New and Different in WordPerfect Office versions?" here.
It also has some information about the lower cost Home & Student edition.

•  Download or boxed version?

If you don't need the CDs in a retail box (e.g., you have a reasonably fast internet connection for large downloads) then you should know that the complete purchased download for each WordPerfect Office version (X6 and later) is the same as the boxed version for the chosen Edition (Professional, Standard, and Home & Student). It's really a matter of preference.

Note that the Download Trial version is the same basic version as the Buy Now version for that specific product edition: Its time limitations are removed when you purchase a product key from Corel and you get acess to extra program content when you purhcase it (see next section).

(For program upgrades see the next section below. They are the same as regular products but offered to qualified users at a discounted price.)

The product key is your program's serial number -- typically a long, multipart, alphanumeric number. (The key is another good reason to register the product: You can retrieve it from Corel if you ever need it.)

•  Download "extras" separately?

Methods of product distribution can change. For modern download versions Corel splits the basic WordPerfect Office suite from various other content -- "extras" such as lots of fonts, graphics, third party programs, etc., that are typically found on another CD/DVD in a retail box. This reduces the initial download time for many users.

The basic ("core") suite of programs then is used for both the Download Trial version (i.e., time limited) and the Buy Now version (i.e., not time limited) for that Edition.

When you actually purchase the download suite from Corel you should immediately get a purchase receipt or an email contining
your product key (serial number) and some links to let you download the extra content. [The extras will probably include a separate ContentInstaller.exe file to use to install some of the extra content on your system. The Corel receipt (or email) should explain this.]

•  How big is the download?

It depends on the Edition, of course. But the entire installed WordPerfect Office (WPO) suite should not severely impact disk space on modern hard drives. For example, version X8 (released in 2016) needs only about 1.5 GB for the complete installation.


Unless you are severely limited on disk space I typically recommend that you install allWordPerfect Office components such as WordPerfect, Quattro Pro spreadsheet, Presentations graphics and any WordPerfect utilities such as Lightning. Further, some components of the suite are "called" by WordPerfect for things like TextArt, which uses Presentations.

•  What if you don't want the whole suite?

You cannot purchase only a part of the WordPerfect Office suite, such as just WordPerfect or just QuattroPro. You can only decline to install various parts of the suite. (But see my recommendation in the previous paragraph above.)

You can uninstall a Trial version the same way as you would a regular version: with the Windows uninstall a program function. (Sometimes you might want to remove all traces of the program: see "Complete program removal" in Part 4 of this series here.

Some WordPerfect Office versions come with trial editions of third-party programs, which you can install or not, as you choose.

•  Be wary of "retail" downloads or CD/DVD products from Internet sites other than Corel.com or its sister site WordPerfect.com.

You may be getting an OEM version, which may or may not work for you. See "About buying "bargain" WordPerfect Office software" below.

Further, some sites offer bargain prices for old, outdated and probably unworkable versions that might seem to be up to date (such as WordPerfect 8, released in 1997, which is not the same as WordPerfect X8, released in 2016). Caveat emptor.

Upgrade Editions

[UPDATE April 2016:] Corel's Upgrade Eligibility states (via a link on WordPerfect Office X8 Products page): "To purchase the upgrade version, you must own a previous licensed version of WordPerfect Office." (See below for exclusions.)


¤  Important:  There are no Upgrade editions available for the WordPerfect Home & Student, WordPerfect Academic, WordPerfect OEM, or Not For Resale editions. These editions are already heavily discounted in price (or in the case of OEM they are preinstalled on some new computers) and they might not contain all features found in a regular edition. So if you currently have one, or buy a new one, it can't be upgraded.

¤  The Home & Student edition is nearly identical to the Standard edition (see a comparison matrix here), and periodically seems to be  discounted on Amazon.com and sometimes on Corel.com. Moreover, it can be legally installed on up to 3 computers in your home. This offers an inexpensive "upgrade" path.

¤  Upgrade editions for WordPerfect Standard, Professional, and Legaleditions are the same as the regular editions of the same type. They are merely purchased at a discounted price from Corel or an authorized retailer (Amazon.com, etc.). (If you purchase from Amazon, it is recommended that you make sure the product description says "ships from" Amazon and not from some other source.)

¤  OEM editions have special serial numbers: A post on OfficeCommunity indicates that serial numbers that start with WP??B22 are OEM editions.

¤  Previously, upgrades were offered to users of the prior two versions only. Apparently this policy was changed to include any previous version -- even the earliest version, as reported by a user on WordPerfect Universe here.

There is no need to install an earlier version of WordPerfect in order to install an Upgrade Edition. However, if you also want to have both an earlier version and a newer version (some folks feel more comfortable with both versions available until they get used to the new one) you should install both in numerical order (e.g., WPOX7 before WPOX8). For more on this issue see  "Out-of-numerical-order" installations in Part 6.

Also, it's probably a good idea to install each version in its own folder as noted here. (This usually is a choice during installation. The earlier version can be easily uninstalled later, if desired.)
For Upgrade Editions you may only need to own a previous version of WordPerfect (or, possibly, Microsoft Word) to use a Corel upgrade key (a.k.a., serial number); you don't need to actually have it installed before upgrading to a newer version (but you might need the old installation disk for verification). See the Upgrade's installation instructions or contact Corel for details on installing an upgrade.

See what's new and different in recent WordPerfect versions and  editions to help you decide about upgrading

•  For some versions (i.e., the program's number, such as WordPerfect X8) there are links to an Edition Comparison matrix, which shows what is included in each edition (Standard, Home and Student, Professional, Legal) of that version. This information is also available on the Corel WordPerfect site.

•  For more, see What's new and different in recent WordPerfect versions, a summary of new features in each version.

•  New "upgraders" should note that WordPerfect 12 and later versions contain a feature called the  Workspace Manager, which is designed to offer choices to set WordPerfect to -

▸ WordPerfect mode, or
▸ Microsoft Word mode, or
WordPerfect Classic mode (v5.1) (i.e., blue screen with white text), or
WordPerfect Legal mode.

It typically is turned ON by default and appears (as a dialog) when you first start up one of these newer versions of WordPerfect. This can be confusing for some users, since some features or customizations in the standard WordPerfect mode can appear to be missing. See the tips here and here about this feature.

If cost is an issue, consider getting the WordPerfect Office Home & Student Edition

The Home & Student Edition typically is often heavily discounted on Amazon.com and even Corel runs periodic sales. It is very similar to the Standard Edition except that it does not natively import (i.e., convert) PDF files, though it can create them, and it is licensed only for home use on up to three computers.

Since it is so inexpensive, there is no "upgrade" version of this program.

See the Corel WordPerfect site for more information, online purchase, current special offers, etc. If you purchase from a non-Corel site be sure the product description indicates that it "ships from" Amazon and not from an unknown site.

Legal professionals

You can get the Standard Edition for a substantial discount if you belong to the Bar Association. See http://www.wordperfect.com/us/pages/bar-association/.

About buying "bargain" WordPerfect Office software...

[Note: I am NOT promoting the purchase of more expensive versions of WordPerfect here. I am just offering some cautions based on experience.]

Should you buy an inexpensive "OEM" version of WordPerfect from an Internet source?

There are several reasons why you should not consider buying an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) version of WordPerfect Office, unless it comes bundled with a new computer (in which case it was virtually free of charge to you).

Even then, you might want to read more about them, their limitations, drawbacks, and alternatives here.
Finally, be VERY careful about buying a "full" versions from lesser known sites since they sometimes might not be what you expect. (Major online retailers like Amazon.com are less likely to be problematic if you buy a software product that ships directly from them. Remember the old saying that "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.") See also the "Compare Versions" and "Compare Product Family" links on the "new and different" page here.

For computers that are running Windows 7 or later

See "Installing WordPerfect on newer versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 or later" in Part 4.


Be sure to read the "Overview..." section and the "Migrating customizations" section ... or at least read them before you do an actual upgrade.

<< Part 2
Part 4 >>