WordPerfect/WordPerfect 12

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This module describes the differences between WordPerfect 12's 'normal' new operating mode and its Classic Mode, which emulates WordPerfect 5.1.

Abbreviations in this module:

  • WP 5.1: WordPerfect 5.1 DOS, not the Microsoft Windows version
  • WP 12: WordPerfect 12 Windows

The Classic Mode[edit]

Note about how this is written[edit]

General impression of the Classic Mode[edit]

Much in the Classic Mode is not like the real thing, WP 5.1. For example Shift-F1 does not evoke the normal WP 5.1, but the WP 12 menu. So you have to know that you have to choose Customize to change the keyboard (template) setting. In WP 5.1 you could choose the Keyboard template directly. Also Ctrl-F8 evokes the WP 12 Font menu. F2 evokes the WP 12 Find and replace menu. And of course pressing F2 to start searching doesn't work, you have to press Enter to start searching. And there are many more of such differences. Very shameful is that pressing F3 does not evoke the normal WP 5.1 Help where you would get help about a function by pressing the key combination under which that function was.

Function keys and other keys[edit]

A note about how we write about function keys here[edit]

We've chosen to give the function keys names ourself, those are often a compromise between their WP 5.1 name and their function in WP 12.

Key combinations with F1[edit]

F1 (Undelete) has clearly not been debugged. The menu is familiar: "Undelete: 1 Restore 2 Previous Deletion". But what the menu options do are definitely WP 12 functions and not what the menu should do as being part of the Classic Mode. Restore is the same as Undo, still quite similar to WP 5.1 but former WP 5.1 users who used deleting and restoring text to cut and copy text will find that is not working in the Classic Mode. The Previous Deletion option works as WP 12's Redo. It is not bad to have WP 12's Undo and Redo but it would be nice if this was written correctly in the menu. And it is definitely not WP 5.1 style.

Shift-F1 (Settings) is really a turnoff for the real WP 5.1 fan. It invokes the WP 12 Settings menu which is completely different. Features are arranged completely differently and some vital WP 5.1 features are missing. For example adjusting the display colors is impossible. So if you want white letters on a black background for maximum contrast that is not possible. Of course artistic display color settings like blue for bold, yellow for underline and the mix of the two colors, green for bold and underline are not possible, but that is not an omission in the Settings menu but something that is impossible in the Classic Mode. (Although of course this could be done with complicated macro's, but that is not the topic of this article.) Another unlucky thing is Settings (Shift-F1), Customize, Keyboard. In the WPDOS 5.1 keyboard a lot of keys have assigned to them Feature 34288. Not really very clear in case you are really used to the WP 5.1 function keys and want to assign for example to Ctrl-Shift-F3 the PerfectExpert because F3 is the ordinary Help. Also unlucky is the order of Shift, Ctrl and Alt. Between just Ctrl and just Alt there's Ctrl-Shift, not really good to get an overlook of the key combinations that were used in WP 5.1.

Ctrl-F1 (Command) is handy. In WP 5.1 you get a menu with the choices DOS prompt, DOS command and possibly Copy to WP Shell Clipboard. Copy to WP Shell Clipboard is obviously an obsolete and unneeded command in a Windows program. have to press a key to get a DOS prompt or a DOS command. In WP 12 Classic mode it directly opens a command window (MS-DOS prompt) where you can execute more commands or just one if you prefer so.

Key combinations with F2[edit]

F2 (Find&Replace) evokes unfortunately the WP 12 Find and replace menu, and of course pressing F2 to start searching doesn't work in that menu. You have to press Enter to start searching. But there is another disadvantage that is more serious. Pressing function keys to insert codes does not work, you have to select each code in a list in the menu Match, Codes where you can type in the code to select from the list. But what a small group of people will also miss is that it is not possible anymore to use a one character wildcard in a search. This was done with Ctrl-X in WP 5.1.

Shift-F2 (Search Backwards) unfortunately doesn't work. This has a logical explanation. It is impossible to type in the Find and Replace when the focus is on the Find Prev button.

Key combinations with F3[edit]

Very shameful is that pressing F3 (Help) does not evoke the normal WP 5.1 Help where you would get help about a function by pressing the key combination under which that function was. You get the ordinary Windows help. Moreover pressing a letter to get help about a subject starting with that letter is not possible. (You would retype the letter one or more times to page down through the list of help topics.)

Ctrl-F3 (Window/Lines) seems to work excellently and invokes a classic WP 5.1 Ctrl-F3 menu. But a weird thing is that the menu has an option WP Info, an option that is not in the WP 5.1 menu. But what people that make readme.txt files that have to be read in older versions of Notepad will possibly regret is that it is only possible to draw graphical lines. This is something that is missing in the Classic mode, line drawing for use in a fixed width character font for readme.txt files. Note that in later Windows versions also proportional fonts can be used in Notepad to display the text, and the default font is a proportional font. So for readme.txt files for later Windows versions drawing lines with asterisks or similar character has no use, unless you want to impress the users of your program with what you can do in Notepad. If they switch their font to Fixedsys or Courier they can see all your tables made with asterisks and underlining with underline characters (̅).

Alt-F3 (Reveal Codes) is a little bit disappointing again. Well it closes or opens the Reveal codes subwindow but the colors in this window are definitely not the familiar blue screen colors. It is possible to change to colors yourself but it would have been nicer if the change of Workspace to Classic Mode would also change the colors of the Reveal Codes subwindow. Fortunately a powerful WP 12 feature of the Reveal Codes subwindow still works. You can click on a code to edit it and sometimes you can also edit related settings.

Key combinations with F4[edit]

F4 (Indent Left) and Shift-F4 (Indent Left&Right) works exactly as you would want it to work.

This is not the case for Ctrl-F4 (Move) which should give you the possibility to Move or Copy a Block but which either gives the menu that you would get in WP 5.1 when no block was selected, or even more confusing gives you a Close window dialog box. This random behaviour is a serious bug. The workaround is clumsy. Use on the menu bar Edit, Cut or Edit, Copy. You will unfortunately have to do that with the mouse. Retrieving of Blocks works fine. Retrieving of tabular columns and rectangles works fine too, but is rather confusing to use as you will have to use the menu bar to cut or copy them.

Alt-F4 (Selection On/Close/Exit) is again a case of something that is not really a bug but that is really clumsy. Pressing Alt-F4 once switches on selection/block, and you can use the arrow keys and other movement keys to select text without having to constantly press Shift like you normally need to do in other Windows programs. But there's nowhere an indicator that says that selection is on, so that is sloppy. And pressing Alt-F4 again has not the effect it should have: selection off. Instead of that it brings up an Exit dialog box. To switch a selection off you need to click anywhere in text, clumsy for users who preferred and didn't need to use the mouse in WP 5.1. For the use of Alt-F4 instead of F7 see F7.

Key combinations with F5[edit]

F5 (Open File/List) works as you would expect. It opens the Open File menu dialog. But previewing a file without opening it is not possible, and sometimes that is just what you want, to get a quick impression of a file without leaving the Open File menu.

Shift-F5 (Date/Paragraph) has a bug again. When you choose for Define it works as Date Text. (edited, after experience in COREL WP X3 (13): in the classic menu, Date Text and Define both have D highlighted as their mnemonic character, but 1 and 6 as their respective numeric option number. If 6 is entered, the WPX3 Define paragraph box opens and you can indeed "Define").

Ctrl-F5 (Document In/Out) has the option DOS Text, which gives the following option that some users will really like: Retrieve (CR/LF to [SRt] in HZone). This can even be used to reformat a readme.txt file that has been formatted by line breaks which show up as [HRt] in WP 12. By saving the readme.txt as DOS text and retrieving it you can nearly get all the paragraphs right. The HZone is the hyphenation zone, which actually consists of a left and a right zone. When a line break is in the hyphenation zone in a DOS text WP 12 will recognize that it is not the end of a paragraph but just the end of a line. Of course for that the margins and font size have to be set such that the end of the lines that are full of words are within the hyphenation zone. Use a rather large hyphenation zone, and don't forget that you have to use a fixed width font. In WP 12 only Courier New is available for this.

Alt-F5 (Reference) looks fine. It has a lot of the legacy menu's that all bring you finally to the appropriate WP 12 menu.

Key combinations with F6[edit]

F6 (Bold) works for switching on and of Bold when no selection is on. When F6 used to make a selection Bold it is not working, it has no effect. Another bug unfortunately.

Shift-F6 (Center) works fine.

Ctrl-F6 (Special Tab) doesn't work that easy as in WP 5.1 but offers the new possibilities of WP 12.

Alt-F6 (Flush Right) works fine and produces a [Hd Flush Right] code that only flushes right one line, which is exactly what it should do. Funny is that it is still possible to make text overlap, but someone has to be really clumsy too do that, so we don't consider this a bug. You don't need to shield your user of every little mistake he could make, especially not if he has the powerful tool of Reveal Codes to correct any silly mistakes.

Key combinations with F7[edit]

Very importantly, F7 (Close/Exit) does not work most of the time to close windows. But you can use Alt-F4 (Close/Exit) instead of F7. The fact that F7 doesn't work most of the time is clearly a serious bug. As for allowing the use of Alt-F4 instead of F7 we think this is a good thing. It is definitely not WP 5.1 like but if both F7 and Alt-F4 would have worked it would have been more user friendly for most users than with just F7 working for Close/Exit. Often F7, when it works, and also Alt-F4 invoke a Close document dialog box when closing the last menu, which is clearly another bug.

Shift-F7 (Print) works fine.

Ctrl-F7 (Foot/Endnote) has a lot of legacy menu's and looks fine.

Alt-F7 has a lot of legacy menu's. And for making Tables you even get the WP 5.1 prompts "Number of Columns:" and "Number of Rows:", really legacy WP 5.1 style! Math doesn't work like in WP 5.1 in a table made with tabs. It only works in a table and it evokes the formula bar in that case.

Key combinations with F8[edit]

F8 (Underline) works fine for switching on and off underline without selection switched on. When F8 is used to underline a selection it does not work, but turns the selection off. Another bug unfortunately. F8 can of course be used as a workaround key to turn a selection off with the keyboard which is not possible otherwise.

Shift-F8 (Format) is really a delight for the WP 5.1 fan. It is only a shame it doesn't evoke a full screen menu but apart from that the menu structure is the one you know from WP 5.1.

Ctrl-F8 (Font) evokes the WP 12 Font menu. That menu is about as efficient as the WP 5.1 menu's but it is not legacy WP 5.1. Ctrl-F8 has unfortunately also a problem, when it is used when a selection is active. When a selection is active you get Page Setup, and not the Font menu window. This is a serious bug and there is more than one workaround, but they are all clumsy.

Alt-F8 (Styles) evokes the WP 12 Styles menu.

Key combinations with F9[edit]

F9 (ENDFIELD) works exactly as it should work and inserts the merge code ENDFIELD.

Shift-F9 (Merge) evokes the WP 12 Merge dialog. This dialog is a little bit clearer than the prompts of WP 5.1.

Ctrl-F9 (Merge/Sort) gives the user the choice between Merge and Sort and brings you to Windows menu. The option Convert Old Merge Codes has been added to make the menu familiar but only brings up a pop-up window saying it is an obsolete command which perfectly makes sense.

Key combinations with F10[edit]

F10 (Save As), Shift-F10 (Open File), Ctrl-F10 (Record Macro) and Alt-F10 (Play Macro) all evoke the right WP 12 dialog box.

Key combinations with F11[edit]

F11 (Reveal Codes) works fine. Shift-F11, Ctrl-F11 and Alt-F11 should have had no function but give Italics, Large and Very Large. Not WP 5.1 but definitely not a problem.

Key combinations with F12[edit]

F12 (Selection/Block) has the same problem as Alt-F4 (Selection/Block). See Alt-F4 for more details.

Shift-F12, Ctrl-F12 and Alt-F12 have no effect just as they shouldn't have.


Key combinations with edit keys[edit]

Home doesn't work like it should work. In WP 5.1 it is a "prefix" key to tell WP 5.1 how far you want to move. In WP 12 Classic Mode it just works like in WP 12 WordPerfect mode, the ordinary Workspace. This is really a turnoff. It is possible to get in front of any codes with Home and Ctrl-Home. Just press the key(s) twice. In WP 5.1 you'd have to press Home three times for that. It works, but really is not WP 5.1 style.

End of course doesn't work as it should work either. End brings you to the end of the line like in WP 5.1. But Ctrl-End brings you to the end of the text, and doesn't delete the par of the line right to the cursor.

Del really doesn't work like it should work. When a selection is on Del deletes the whole selection without asking "Delete selection?". But worse is that when you would delete a code and just want to go on deleting text only you have to press reply No to each window asking you whether you want to delete that code. In WP 5.1 pressing Del again would be seen as no by WP 5.1. Much more clever.

Ins works the same as in WP 5.1.

PgUp and PgDn are also like in windows. They don't bring you a page up and a page down but a screen up and a screen down.

Other key combinations with Shift, Ctrl and Alt[edit]

Shift-<edit key> makes a selection just like in windows. And pressing an edit key deactivates the selection like in windows. The fact you can use the traditional WP 5.1 way to make a selection and use the windows way might seem an advantage, but it is quite confusing because Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V don't work. The weird thing is that Ctrl-X works normally. It was clearly not well thought of how this works. Together with the bug in Ctrl-F4 (Move) this is really clumsy.

A lot of the Ctrl-<letter> combinations have functions assigned to them and some evoke the macro ctrl<letter>.wcm. This is again a weird choice Corel has made. In case you want to make a macro you would have to find out what letters are used and what are not. Moreover in WordPerfect 5.1 most Ctrl-<letter> combinations where unused by most users (you could use them as merge commands but there were easier ways to insert merge commands). What is really a shame is that Ctrl-V doesn't work for combining to characters in a special one. Only a small group of people will miss Ctrl-X for inserting a wild-card character when searching, that stands for one random character. HOWEVER, you can write a simple macro for Ctrl-V using the (WPCharactersDlg ()) command in the macro editor (Ctrl-m), which brings up the window of symbols, and you can then compose (e.g. acute accent by typing ',e) and press enter. It's a tiny bit slower. ANYWAY, regular wordperfect mode in Windows versions just uses ctrl-W to produce the same result and always has done so.

Display colors[edit]

Yet to be written.

Menu bar[edit]

Really weird is that there is no WP 5.1 menu bar. It is not that hard to make a menu bar with the WP 5.1 menus and menu options left and at the top, and to add to the bottom and to the right WP 12 menus and menu options. Of course it is not that hard to make it yourself but it should have been included.

Application Bar[edit]

The Application Bar could have been better. We have to admit it is not that important and the bottom line of the screen of WP 5.1, the WP 5.1 Application Bar was not perfect. But the way the Application Bar is in the Classic Mode really misses the style of the WP 5.1 Application Bar. That not the full name and path is in the Application Bar seems a wise decision. But the icon for the shadow cursor should have been written in full, as should have other icons have been written in full, to make the Application Bar less distracting by a lot of funny icons.


Conclusion about the Classic Mode[edit]

The conclusion may still change depending on our findings.

The Classic Mode is not at all a bad compromise between the WP 5.1 user interface and the WP 12 user interface. But a lot could be improved without making the user experience for both the more WP 5.1 oriented users as the WP 12 oriented users any worse. For most die hard WP 5.1 lovers the differences between the Classic Mode and the real WP 5.1 in my opinion are just too great. Even by tweaking a lot of settings other than just switching to Classic Mode the difference between the Classic Mode and WP 5.1 are large. There's clearly room for Corel to improve the Classic Mode, although for a group of users it will be a wonderful working Mode.