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Barry MacDonnell's
Toolbox for WordPerfect

Macros, tips, and templates for Corel® WordPerfect® for Windows®
© Copyright 1996-2023 by Barry MacDonnell. All Rights Reserved.

Page updated May 19, 2022

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.

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 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


[Return to main Tips Page]

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

The good news is that most macros written in earlier versions of WordPerfect for Windows will work in later versions.

Some macros written in earlier WordPerfect versions, or some running under Windows Vista and later Windows versions, might require a little adjustment as discussed below. (For DOS versions, see the last paragraph in this section below.)

You can copy/move your existing custom WordPerfect for Windows macro files (*.wcm) from their original folder to the Default or Supplemental macro folder as specified in the newer program version's Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro (tab).

For new WordPerfect installations these settings point to the same physical folder which contains Corel's factory-included macros — but they can be set differently by the user.

For example, I prefer to use a separate, user-created Default macro folder on my disk for my custom macros and use the factory-specified Supplemental folder for Corel's factory included macros. If you like, you could use the opposite arrangement, though "Default" seems less problematical since you might get a custom macro later with instructions to "put it in your default macro folder." It might also be more helpful not to mix custom macros with Corel's macros — especially when upgrading or reinstalling the program.

See the Tips below for the method I use.

Important: The folder locations specified in the Tools...Merge/Macro dialog are where WordPerfect automatically looks for macros whenever you play them with Tools, Macro, Play — or with the shortcut key equivalent (but see Important notes below). For the macros to be found, the path and folder name must correspond exactly to the dialog setting.


☼  [Recommended:] Use separate Windows folders for your custom (or downloaded) macros and for the (Corel) factory-included macros:

•  For my own custom (or downloaded) macros I use this method with WordPerfect X9 (but it applies to any other WordPerfect version):

[1] In Windows File Explorer, I created a new sub-folder under the Windows standard Documents folder to make the macros easier to find and back up. (Any other location and folder name will do — preferably one that's easy to remember.)

Since I have several versions of WordPerfect installed on the same computer, I named each version's custom macros folder using the folder name pattern My WPxx Macros, where "xx"= WP program version.

[2] Next, I opened WordPerfect X9 and edited the Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro (tab), Default macro folder field to change it to "point" to that new location using the full path and folder name. It then becomes one of the two program specified macro folders.

For example. on my system for WordPerfect X9 macros:

Original Default macros path and folder name:
c:\Program Files (x86)\Corel\WordPerfect Office X9\Languages\EN\Macros\wpwin

New Default macros path and folder name:
C:\Users\Barry\Documents\WordPerfect\My WPX9 Macros

I repeated the process for my other installed WordPerfect programs, creating a separate (and differently named) physical folder for each program (e.g., ..\My WPX8 Macros, ..\My WPX7 Macros, etc.) and then editing the corresponding programs'
Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro (tab) settings to point to its own (new) Default macro folder.


¤  Since custom and factory macros are now in separate folders, I don't use this special Default folder for other macros such as the same program's factory-included macros (below). That would simply defeat the purpose of separating them and might cause confusion if some macros with the same name contained different code.

¤  Whenever assigning macros to toolbar buttons, keyboard shortcuts or menus and the program asks -

"Save macro with full path?"

- I answer "No". That way, the program will then automatically look in the specified Default (or Supplemental) macro folder since it was not given a different path to follow.

¤  This method also saves having to remember to edit the Windows path to the macro (in the toolbar button, keyboard shortcut, or menu item editors) if I ever move the macros to a new computer or a version of Windows that uses a different file structure.

¤  Note that your firm or organization might not allow this method, instead requiring that you use the standard (factory default) method or some other method.

[For the standard method, here's a clip from WordPerfect X8's Help module: WordPerfect allows you to store macros in any folder, including the default and supplemental macros folders. The default macros folder contains the macros with which WordPerfect was shipped. By default, these macros are stored in X:\Program files\Corel\WordPerfect Office\Languages\EN\macros\wpwin, where X represents the drive letter. You can use the supplemental macros folder as an additional folder to store macros.]

•  For the program's factory included macros I use this method:

This step is simple:

Just leave the
Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro (tab), Supplemental macro folder field pointing to its original folder. For new installations this contains all factory-shipped macros.

For example, on my Windows 10 system the WordPerfect X9 location for these Corel macros is the same folder as when it was originally installed:

c:\Program Files (x86)\Corel\WordPerfect Office X9\Languages\EN\Macros\wpwin


As noted, upon program installation this folder is physically the same as the Default folder. Hence it contains WordPerfect's factory included "shipping" macros — some of which are "called" by the program to provide various features or functions. (Yes, the program uses its own macros to get some things done!)

Therefore it is not a good idea (when you have specified a different Default macro folder) to also specify a different Supplemental macro folder in the dialog's Supplemental field unless you have actually moved all the factory-included macros into that new folder, or you might find some program features do not work.

☼  You might need to tell WordPerfect where to find macros if either of these is false:

•  Both of the macro location fields in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro (tab) must point to folder locations that exist in Windows.

•  Both folders must be accessible to the program when macros are played. (See also the next tip about protected folders.)

Remember: The folders named in those fields are where the program looks for macros.
You may want to reboot WordPerfect after making any changes to these fields, just to be sure the program recognizes the change.

☼  In Windows Vista and Windows 7 (and perhaps later versions) some folders (\Program Files, \Windows, et al) are protected from casual file creation, editing, and read/write activities (one reason for those pesky "Access Deined" messages), so you should avoid creating folders in those areas to store your macros. It is better to use existing (and accessible) user folder structures, such as the \Documents folder (a.k.a. \My Documents in earlier Windows versions) mentioned in the first tip above.

☼  Note that if macros are stored on a network server they might become inaccessible (or slow to be accessed) at times.

☼  Macros automatically recompile themselves when they are first played in a new version. But you can also force a recompilation of any macro by simply editing the macro and type a space (or any character), and then delete the space, and then Save & Recompile from the Macro toolbar.

☼  Some users (like me) with multiple versions of WordPerfect on the same computer prefer to maintain duplicate macros in special sub-folders for each installed version, and "point" each of their installed WordPerfect programs to these different folders with Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro (tab). This keeps them from being recompiled (and popping up a warning message) each time the user switches to a different version of the program — as would be the case if all versions accessed the same macro folder.

Note that if you use this arrangement and you want to switch to another installed WordPerfect version you probably will see a small warning dialog appear ("PerfectScript macro file associations") to ask if you want to "...restore these file associations to PerfectScript" (screen shot). I answer "No" since I don't want Windows to reassign the macro files association in Windows (*.WCM) to the switched program version — I want to keep them associated with my my most recently installed version, the one I use every day. (I play all my macros from inside the WordPerfect program I'm currently working in, so the macro file's association (*.WCM) in Windows to another WordPerfect program is moot.)

☼  You may have noticed an option (introduced in several recent versions of WordPerfect) in Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro: "Compile and run locally". This setting has three options.

Best choice...?

The factory default for this option is "Read-only macros," the second choice in the drop list.

But for those uses who are in an organization that wants to create a shared macro repository that supports multiple versions of WordPerfect or who are otherwise storing their macros on a network share, the best practice (according to WPX8's Help module under the topic Recording, saving, and storing macros) is to set WordPerfect to compile and run all macros locally — i.e., choosing "All macros," the first choice.


Other users who are not in such an organization, or who maintain multiple versions of the program on the same computer and keep macros in separate folders (as noted in the previous tip above) with read-write access, might consider setting it to "No macros," the third choice. (Screen shot)

Moreover, this option can help prevent a possible cancellation error message during a macro's compilation — even when there is no error and "No macros" was not the chosen option. This can cause the macro to run in a temporary folder with a name like WP??????.TMP ("?" = other character or digit). Again, try setting the option to "No macros".

[This is my personal choice since all my custom macros are stored on the same machine as my WordPerfect program. I have also cloned my desktop's macro storage folders on my laptop (see above), along with using this same "No macros" option. I've not had any problems with this setting to date.]

This somewhat confusing setting was discussed in a thread on WordPerfect Universe here.

Important notes

¤  Custom macros can be placed in a folder other than the two special folders (Default and Supplemental) specified in the Tools, Settings, Files, Merge/Macro (tab). But this should be done only if they are played with a toolbar button, keyboard shortcut, or menu item that contains the full Windows path plus filename — not just the filename of the macro. Otherwise the program won't find them since those two folders (in Tools, Settings) are where it looks for the macro if it has only a filename without the path.

However, this method makes them more difficult to maintain since you will need to remember to edit the toolbar buttons, keyboard shortcuts, or menu choices (with Tools, Settings, Customize, ...) to change their paths to the macros if you upgrade WordPerfect or install it on another system. [This situation is often responsible for users asking, Why won't my macros play anymore?]

See the Tips section above for my own preferences for macro locations, which do not use a separate user-specified folder.

¤ Some custom macros — those that you or your colleagues recorded or wrote — might require "tweaking" especially if the macro code in them (or the toolbar buttons used to play them) refer to older Windows system paths that might not exist on the new system or the new version's setup. Play each macro to see if it works as you expect. Take special note of the following paragraphs.

¤ Be sure to read about warning messages about obsolete commands (and some command replacements) that you might see when playing or editing an older macro under a newer version of WordPerfect or on a different computer. [Warnings about obsolete commands
— which should still function were removed in more recent versions.]

¤ If you created macros in WordPerfect 8 (c.1997) or earlier, or even in some later versions, be sure to read about the new "WordPerfect 9 text selection" setting introduced in WordPerfect 10. This can seriously impact the way a macro behaves unless you take certain steps to compensate for it.

¤  With Windows Vista and Windows 7 (and presumably later versions of Windows) the macro command SendKeys() — which has the ability to send keystroke combinations to the program — is effectively broken. You have to disable the User Access Control (UAC) in those versions of Windows to make such text/symbol keystrokes work (script commands such as {Ctrl} or {Alt} still won't work). Disabling the UAC is something that is not generally recommended.

¤  WordPerfect for DOS macros used a different macro language, so you will have to re-create them in your Windows version of WordPerfect. However ... note that many DOS features required keystrokes for many common tasks; these may now be single keystrokes or toolbar buttons in the Windows versions. Moreover, WPWin now has features that were common as macros in WPDOS; look for built-in features to replace some of those WPDOS macros, such as various boilerplate creation features.

<< Part 6