| Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect
Macros, tips, and
templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
| Page updated Jun 2, 2021
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| Updating, upgrading, or reinstalling WordPerfect
Other parts in this series
[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 3] Upgrading to a newer version of WordPerfect
[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]
NotesIf you are simply reinstalling the same WordPerfect program on a new computer or a newly formatted drive
If you are uninstalling and/or reinstalling the program because you think it might fix a problem -
¤ See the footnote on the Repairing WordPerfect documents and templates page.
¤ See also Repairing 'bad' or damaged WordPerfect program files. If a damaged program file is at fault, a Repair is easy to do and might fix the problem.
¤ Generally speaking, it is better to try and track down — and fix — a problem before reinstalling the whole program — which, in any case, will not affect existing damaged documents or templates. (For problems with damaged/corrupted documents or templates see the Repairing... page for troubleshooting methods and solutions.)
¤ See the notes below about installing any non-current version of WordPerfect on computers running newer versions of Windows, such as Windows 7/8/8.1/10. The current WordPerfect version will be the one being sold on the Corel site.
¤ Also see the next section ("Migrating customizations") about what to back up before you begin, and how to reproduce your settings and customizations on the new computer or drive.
If you are uninstalling and then reinstalling the same WordPerfect program on the same computer
Instructions to uninstall (as well as install) the program usually can be found in small files in the root directory of the installation CD: Readme.txt (for any text editor) and Readme.htm (for your Web browser). Choose whichever you prefer and double click its filename to open it.
Instructions to completely (manually) remove all traces of the WordPerfect program might be available on the Corel site for your version. See the "Program removal" section below.
Important notes about reinstalling the same WordPerfect program on the same computer:
Are you doing it to fix a problem? In WordPerfect, reinstalling the program (i.e., over the existing copy) simply to attempt to fix a problem is often a waste of time because (for one thing) the procedure does not overwrite (i.e., replace) any existing user-customized WordPerfect program files like the default template, nor does it affect existing regular documents that might have been damaged internally even if they can still be opened — any of which might be a possible source of the problem.
This is also true if you first remove the WordPerfect program, since program removal via the Windows Control panel does not remove a customized default template, QuickWords template, or any of your documents.
[Even if you use Corel's complete program removal procedure (described below) it still is wise to back up the default template (and the QuickWords template, QuickCorrect lists, et al; see here) to another location, and then remove the existing version before reinstalling the program. You might need some of the customizations in these files in the reinstalled version.]
See Repairing WordPerfect documents and templates for more information about how to fix damaged documents and templates, as well as some miscellaneous problems, prevention methods, etc.
If you have customized WordPerfect you might want to first follow the tips and instructions in the "Migrating customizations" section so that you can save and migrate those items later.
N.B.: Here, "migrate" is the key idea, especially when reinstalling the same version of WordPerfect due to problems with the original installation. Reason: If, after reinstalling the program, you simply replace (i.e., copy over) the new factory-fresh default template with your older version of that template, you may be bringing along any corruption inside that old template. It is a much better idea to migrate certain customized items (e.g., toolbars) from the old template into the nerw template. This is easy to do, primarily by copying them into the new template. The procedure is explained in the "Migrating customizations" section.
Trial (downloadable) versions
For WordPerfect X6 and (presumably) later versions: The trial version of WordPerfect Office X6 appears to contain everything on the retail (boxed) version's installation CD. [However, once purchased, there might be separate download files for various "extras" (additional fonts, clip art, etc.) usually found on a separate CD in some retail versions.] You can uninstall it the same way as you would a regular installation.
For WordPerfect X5 and earlier versions: The conventional wisdom is to completely remove all traces of any trial version on the computer before installing a retail (boxed) version. See the "Complete removal" paragraphs below. Also, some early trial versions might not contain all items in the retail version, so it's probably a good idea to start with a clean system before installing the full retail version.
Program removal - Basic and complete program removal methods
[Reminder: If you intend to reinstall the same program on the same computer see the important notes above — especially about the default template and other user-customizable templates.]
Method A. Use the basic Windows procedure to uninstall it.
Most users will find that the basic Windows procedure of uninstalling WordPerfect will suffice to remove their existing program in preparation for a reinstallation of it.
To locate the procedure you can hold down the Windows logokey while pressing the S key; then search for "uninstall" or "Add or remove programs" — or alternatively search and use the (legacy) Control Panel to uninstall it. Consult Windows Help or search the Internet for more information.
But note that this procedure most likely will not remove all things originally placed on your system during installation, such as program files modified during program use or some Windows Registry entries.
Hence, it is sometimes desirable or necessary to manually remove most — or even all — traces of the program from your computer before reinstalling the current program or a new version of it. Here are two ways to do it:
Method B. Refer to the WordPerfect installation media for a more comprehensive procedure.
In recent retail (boxed) versions of the program you should find instructions and information in a Readme file on the installation CD (or for downloaded versions, in the root folder of the extracted download) about how to manually uninstall all program components, including Windows Registry entries and user-modified program files.
Note that this procedure is different from — and a bit more comprehensive than — using the Windows procedure in Method A above to uninstall the program.
Tip: There probably will be slightly different instructions for different versions of Windows, so be sure to view the entire Readme file.
Method C. Refer to the manual (a.k.a. "complete scrub") procedure.
This method is generally much more comprehensive than just using the Windows procedure in Method A above (which it does use as a first step).
Most gurus consider this to be a complete scrub of the program from your computer — especially if (e.g.) the Windows procedure in Method A doesn't seem to do the job.
For WordPerfect X8 (e.g.) this manual removal procedure should be found in the Corel Knowledgebase (a.k.a. Support site at support.corel.com). Search the WordPerfect section for "remove WordPerfect" or "How to manually remove WordPerfect" or similar.
You should find articles there such as "WordPerfect Office X8: How to manually remove WordPerfect Office X8," "How to remove WordPerfect Office [X6 or X5]," etc. For other recent versions try using the appropriate abbreviation (X4, X3, etc.) when searching that support site.
Note that these procedures involve modifying the Windows Registry. Instructions tell you to back up the Registry first (or at least create a Windows Restore Point). Be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Also look for "Add or Remove...Featured Programs..." to remove any program "extras" you may have installed.
If your version is new and not yet listed on that support site, you might be able to use the instructions from the most recent version listed on the Corel site by substituting your version number (e.g., X9) where appropriate in the earlier instructions.
Also [for WPX5 and later] you might also have a small plug-in program installed called iFilter, which is used with third-party search tools. If you want to reinstall an earlier WordPerfect version on a system with a later version installed, you might need to remove all iFilter versions from your system and then reinstall them later. See here (under "Out-of-numerical-order" installations).
If you are not comfortable with this manual "scrub" approach — which, as noted, also includes some minor editing of the Windows Registry — you could try posting a request on http://OfficeCommunity.com (often, Corel employees visit there). If you still have no luck, join the free WordPerfect Universe peer-supported site and post in either the "Troubleshooting" forum or the "Installing and Upgrading" forum (but not both).
First, see "Customizations" above.
Second, it is a good idea to first clean out your Windows \Temp folders, The free CCleaner — a well-known program — is an easy way to do it; it can also clean out left-over things in the Registry (but this is not usually needed for most WordPerfect users).
Then reboot your computer, turn off your AV (anti-virus) program temporarily, and install the full version of WordPerfect from the CD or (in recent versions) the Corel download file. Reason: Some (few) AV programs can interfere; hence the recommendation. Note that some other memory resident programs can also interfere with program installation, but again this is rare.
Once installed, turn your AV on again.
See the next section on migrating your customizations to restore them.
Installing WordPerfect on newer versions of Windows, such as Windows 7 or later
• Be aware that Corel has certified the following configurations for recent versions of WordPerfect (WP) and Windows (32-bit or 64-bit editions):
WPX6(Service Pack 1)/WPX7/WPX8/WPX9/WP2020:
[* Windows 7 patched to SP1 for WPX9]
Note that there are minimum hardware requirements for successful installation of WordPerfect. In most cases these are easy to meet, but see the "Tech Specs" section on the WordPerfect.com site's Products page for each product.
• Patches (a.k.a. Service Packs) for current and recent WordPerfect versions can be gotten either from "Check for Updates" on the program's Help menu or they can be downloaded directly from the Corel site under the Support tab's "Patches & Updates" (e.g., choose WordPerfect Office; then on the patch page you can download the current version's patch(es) or use the "Select a Product" drop list to download patches for previous versions).
Typically, Corel provides patches for the current program version and the two previous versions on their Patches & Updates page. So even if you think you won't need a patch for your version, you might want to download it and save it anyway.
Note that some patches are cumulative (i.e., they include previous patches) while others might need to be installed in a specific order. The information on the download page will tell you.
Usually you will see linked Release Notes on the Corel download page that tell you more about each patch.
[For release dates for WordPerfect for Windows see Footnote 1.]
• All versions of Windows should be up-to-date with Windows patches from Microsoft (most often delivered via Windows Update) before installing any version of WordPerfect.
For example, Corel's site (for the most recent release of WordPerfect 7) states:
System Requirements: "Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit editions), Windows XP (32-bit edition) with the latest service packs and updates installed." [Italics added.]
Service packs and updates for Windows can usually be applied using Windows Update on your computer.
• Older documents and templates: The above points do not mean that you cannot open and use WordPerfect documents and templates created in those earlier versions, as was discussed in Part 1. You can, since the file format has not changed since WPWin6. (But see next paragraphs.)
• Older printers: As has been noted elsewhere on this site, WordPerfect makes much heavier use of your installed printer's printer driver software than is the case with many other programs to provide true on-screen WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get" [when you print the document]).
Hence, when Microsoft releases an updated version of Windows this can sometimes require an updated printer driver for your current printer so that WordPerfect can "talk" to the printer under the newer version of Windows. If WordPerfect has problems with the printer driver the program can exhibit various issues such as slow loading of the program, delays or inability to open documents, etc. (See here for various printer-related problems.)
You can usually get an updated driver for the newer version of Windows from the printer manufacturer's web site. (The installation CD that came with the printer might be out of date, especially for Windows 7/8/10 systems.)
• Older versions of WordPerfect (e.g., WPX4 and earlier) on newer versions of Windows (e.g., Windows 7 and later):
While others have been successful in installing earlier WordPerfect versions on newer Windows versions, "your mileage might vary" as they say.
Whenever newer versions of Windows change (see release dates here), older WordPerfect programs (no longer supported by Corel) might not have been patched appropriately since the new Windows version came later. You could run into problems with the old WordPerfect version on modern Windows systems — and some might not even appear until later.
Your best bet — but still not as good as getting a new version of the program — is to ensure Windows is up to date, and then apply all available patches to the WordPerfect program immediately after you install/reinstall it — even before trying to open it or use it.
• WordPerfect patches: Note that like many software companies today, you might only find patches ("service packs") for the current version and the immediately previous two versions on the Corel site's Support tab (though they might also still be available from the program's Help > Check for Updates menu).
Even if you think you might never need them it's a good idea to download and save the patches (and release notes) for your WordPerfect version — the same as you should do for the original installation materials.
Manually installing patches is generally "one-click easy" and could solve some problems later. [Side note: "If it ain't broke don't fix it" is a widely held belief, but it assumes you know the entire program is working as designed in all respects and under all conditions. Remember the old saying: Good software is never complete. This is why nearly all software publishers periodically release patches and updates (the latter often incorporate bug fixes as well as new features).]
• Compatibility mode: Sometimes setting an older version of WordPerfect to run in Windows XP compatibility mode will work — assuming the WP version came out after Windows XP was released. [Right-click the program's icon, choose Properties, and click on the Compatibility tab.]
On computers that are running Windows Vista, Windows 7/8/10, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2
You might not be able to open Help files that require the Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) program [e.g., versions of WordPerfect — such as WordPerfect 12 — produced before these Windows versions were released]. That program might still be available. Search the Microsoft site for it.
A (brief) version history of WordPerfect for Windows
[For "What's New and Different" see here.]
1991 WordPerfect 5.1 for Windows
1992 WordPerfect 5.2 for Windows
1993 WordPerfect 6.0 for Windows
1996 WordPerfect 7.0 for Windows [*]
1997 WordPerfect 8.0 for Windows
1999 WordPerfect 9.0 for Windows (WordPerfect Office 2000)
2001 WordPerfect 10.0 for Windows (WordPerfect Office 2002)
2003 WordPerfect 11.0 for Windows (WordPerfect Office 2003)
2004 WordPerfect 12.0 for Windows (WordPerfect Office 12)
2005 WordPerfect X3 for Windows (WordPerfect Office X3) (X3 = version 13)
2008 WordPerfect X4 for Windows (WordPerfect Office X4) (X4 = version 14)
2010 WordPerfect X5 for Windows (WordPerfect Office X5) (X5 = version 15)
2012 WordPerfect X6 for Windows (WordPerfect Office X6) (X6 = version 16)
2014 WordPerfect X7 for Windows (WordPerfect Office X7) (X7 = version 17)
2016 WordPerfect X8 for Windows (WordPerfect Office X8) (X8 = version 18)
2018 WordPerfect X9 for Windows (WordPerfect Office X9) (X9 = version 19)
2020 WordPerfect 2020 for Windows (WordPerfect Office 2020) (version 20)
2021 WordPerfect 2021 for Windows (WordPerfect Office 2021) (version 21)
Since 2008 all versions -- with the exception of 2021 -- have been released biannually in the Spring (in various months). However, the timing of future release dates may or may not follow such an approximate schedule.
For release dates of Windows see (e.g.) the Wikipedia article, "History of Microsoft Windows".
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* - Corel acquired WP Office in late January 1996. The (un-affiliated) Toolbox for WordPerfect went live on March 15, 1996 as a personal page on the CompuServe Forums.