WordPerfect 12 For Dummies

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Do you take the shortest route instead of the side roads when you’re trying to get somewhere? Do you choose the streamlined model instead of one loaded with gizmos and gadgets? Do you value ease over extras? WordPerfect 12 is practical software designed to help you create great-looking, readable documents. Whether you’re a recent convert from longhand (welcome to the modern world) or a word processing pro, WordPerfect12 For Dummies covers what you need to know, including:

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Do you take the shortest route instead of the side roads when you’re trying to get somewhere? Do you choose the streamlined model instead of one loaded with gizmos and gadgets? Do you value ease over extras? WordPerfect 12 is practical software designed to help you create great-looking, readable documents. Whether you’re a recent convert from longhand (welcome to the modern world) or a word processing pro, WordPerfect12 For Dummies covers what you need to know, including:

  • The basics, like using menus and toolbars, saving, editing, and printing files, getting help, and more
  • Editing and formatting text, adding page numbers, charts, cool fonts, borders, backgrounds, and more
  • Using templates to make your life easier
  • Creating envelopes and labels and doing multiple mailings
  • Using the compatibility toolbars, Workspace Manager, Office Ready template browser, and wireless office capabilities
  • Creating and integrating columns, tables and graphics
  • Creating Web pages, Adobe Acrobat Documents, XML files, and even Microsoft Office documents
  • Publishing your document as a Web Page

WordPerfect12 For Dummies was written by Margaret Levine Young, David C. Kay, and Richard Wagner, all computer gurus who have written or contributed to other For Dummies books and numerous computer books. After it shows you how to do what you need to do, it inspires you to do things you probably didn’t know you could do, such as:

  • Changing Workspaces to the WordPerfect Legal mode if you need to create legal documents
  • Choosing from 26 different tool bars to fit the way you work and what you’re working on
  • Using WordPerfect Office Ready for 40 additional templates
  • Printing bar codes
  • Using Microsoft Outlook contact information in Word Perfect

First you’ll get comfortable with WordPerfect 12, and then you’ll get confident and want to explore more. Whether you are a beginner, need a quick refresher, or want to take advantage of the advanced functions, with its complete index, WordPerfect12 For Dummies will be the reference you rely on.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764578083
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/8/2004
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 298,084
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

In high school, Margaret Levine Young was in a computer club before there were high school computer clubs. She stayed in the field throughout college, graduated from Yale, and went on to become one of the first PC managers in the early 1980s at Columbia Pictures, where she rode the elevator with big stars whose names she wouldn't dream of dropping here.
Since then, Margy has co-authored more than 25 computer books about the topics of the Internet, UNIX, WordPerfect, Microsoft Access, and (stab from the past) PC-File and Javelin, including Access 2003 All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, Dummies 101: The Internet For Windows 98, UNIX For Dummies, and WordPerfect for Linux For Dummies (all published by Wiley Publishing, Inc.), Poor Richard's Building Online Communities (published by Top Floor Publishing), and Windows XP: The Complete Reference and Internet: The Complete Reference (published by Osborne/McGraw-Hill). Aside from explaining computers to anyone who will listen, her other passion is her children, along with music, Unitarian Universalism (www.uua.org), reading, and anything to do with eating. She lives in Vermont (see www.gurus.com/margy for some scenery).

David C. Kay is a writer, engineer, artist, and naturalist, combining disparate occupations with the same effectiveness as his favorite business establishment, Acton Muffler, Brake, and Ice Cream (now defunct). Dave has written or contributed to more than a dozen computer books, including various editions of WordPerfect 11 For Dummies, Graphics File Formats, and The Complete Reference, Millennium Edition.
Besides writing computer books, Dave consults and writes for high-tech firms, and also teaches about wildlife and edible plants. For recreation, he paints theatrical sets, makes strange blobs from molten glass, sings Gilbert and Sullivan choruses in public, and hikes in whatever mountains he can get to. He longs for the Rocky Mountains of Canada, pines for the fjords of New Zealand, and dreams of tracking kiwis and hedgehogs in Wanaka. He feels silly writing about himself in the third person like this and will stop now.

Richard Wagner is an experienced For Dummies author whose writings span both technical and non-technical worlds. His tech books include WordPerfect 11 For Dummies, XML All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies, XSLT For Dummies, as well as 15 other computer books. He also invented and architected the award-winning NetObjects ScriptBuilder software product. In his non-tech life, Richard is author of Christianity For Dummies and Christian Prayer For Dummies and editor of the Digitalwalk.com e-zine.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Exploring the Essentials 7

Chapter 1: WordPerfect Basics: Out of the Box and Raring to Go 9

Chapter 2: Cruising Your Document 23

Chapter 3: Discovering “Perfect” Text Editing 43

Chapter 4: Working with the Spelling and Grammar Tools 65

Chapter 5: On Paper at Last — Printing Stuff 79

Part II: Formatting Your Text 95

Chapter 6: Giving Your Documents Character 97

Chapter 7: Sensational Sentences and Pretty Paragraphs 111

Chapter 8: Perfect Pages and Dashing Documents 139

Chapter 9: Documents with Style 161

Part III: Making Your Documents Come Alive 181

Chapter 10: Formatting Beyond the Text 183

Chapter 11: Saying It with Pictures 211

Chapter 12: Working with Templates and Office Ready 229

Part IV: All the World’s a Page: Going Beyond Your Desktop 253

Chapter 13: Publishing for the Web 255

Chapter 14: Using WordPerfect in a Microsoft Office World 267

Chapter 15: Mail Merge: Printing to the Masses 273

Part V: More Stuff You Can Do with Your Documents 289

Chapter 16: Managing Your Documents 291

Chapter 17: Reveal Codes: Getting Ultimate Control Over Your Document 301

Part VI: The Part of Tens 319

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Tweak WordPerfect 321

Chapter 19: Ten Really Good Editing Suggestions 337

Index 343

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First Chapter

WordPerfect 12 For Dummies

By Margaret Levine Young David C. Kay Richard Wagner

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-7808-1

Chapter One

WordPerfect Basics: Out of the Box and Raring to Go

In This Chapter

* Starting WordPerfect

* Looking at the WordPerfect window

* Typing your text

* Naming, editing, and printing files

* Leaving WordPerfect

* Switching to other Windows programs

* Getting help

When you're discovering something new, whether it's driving a car or using WordPerfect, the best advice has always been: Start with the basics and build from there. We show you how to perform the Big Five word-processing operations: get the program (WordPerfect) running, type some text, save the text in a file on disk, open the file again later, and print the file. By reading this chapter, you find out how to coax WordPerfect into performing these five operations. Then, in later chapters, we get into some refinements, such as editing the text after you type it (Chapters 3 and 4) and making it look spiffier (Chapters 6 through 9).

Starting WordPerfect

To begin using WordPerfect, you have to start the program. You don't need to step on the clutch, but you do need to follow these steps:

1. Choose Start[right arrow]All Programs (or Start[right arrow]Programs if you're using Windows ME).

A list of all the programs installed on your computer appears.

2. Choose WordPerfect Office 12.

Another list appears, showing all the programs that are part of WordPerfect Office 12.

3. Choose WordPerfect.

WordPerfect fires up, and the WordPerfect window appears. Or, if this is the first time you've run WordPerfect 12, a dialog box appears, asking you what mode you want to work in.

4. If you see a dialog box, asking what mode you want to work in, click the OK button to select WordPerfect mode.

WordPerfect 12 allows you to work in different modes. For now, just click OK to select WordPerfect mode. (See Chapter 18 for details on modes.) And if you'd prefer not to see this dialog box when you start WordPerfect, uncheck the Show at startup box.

A Perfectly Good Window

After WordPerfect is running, you see the WordPerfect window, as shown in Figure 1-1. The wide expanse of white screen is a digital version of that plain old piece of white paper you can hold in your hand.

The following list describes in more detail what you see in Figure 1-1:

  •   Title bar: The title bar is at the top of the window, displaying the words WordPerfect 12 - [Document1 (unmodified)]. This line tells you the name of the document you're editing (more about documents later) and reminds you that you are, in fact, running WordPerfect. The (unmodified) part tells you that you haven't typed anything yet.
  •   Minimize button: Click this button to minimize WordPerfect, making it disappear into a little box on your Windows taskbar. WordPerfect is still running when you minimize it. You can return the program to the way it was by clicking the WordPerfect 12 button on the taskbar.
  •   Maximize/Restore button: The middle button lets you switch back and forth between having WordPerfect fill the whole screen (maximized) and filling just a part of it. Click it once to maximize the document. Click it again, and you restore WordPerfect to its original size. The button changes its name and appearance from Maximize to Restore.
  •   Close button: To put things simply, this button makes WordPerfect go away. It exits, disappears, terminates, goes poof! This button is useful, but it's also kind of dangerous if you're in the middle of working on a document. Not to fear, however, because WordPerfect asks you to save changes before going bye-bye. For more information, see the section called "Leaving WordPerfect," later in this chapter.
  •   Document window controls: You can use these three buttons to do the same thing as the WordPerfect window controls, only for your document. Minimize, maximize (or restore), or close a document. We talk all about editing many documents at the same time in Chapter 16.
  •   Menu bar: The row of words just below the title bar is WordPerfect's main menu bar. We talk more about commands in Chapter 2.
  •   WordPerfect 12 toolbar: Below the menu bar is a row of buttons that make up the WordPerfect 12 toolbar, which from here on we call, simply, "the toolbar." The buttons usually have little pictures on them. Later in this chapter, we show you how to use some of these buttons to save and print a document.
  •   Property bar: The property bar has a bunch of controls that let you change how things look in your document. Whatever you're doing in WordPerfect, the property bar changes to let you control all the characteristics, or properties, of what you're working with. It's pretty neat, actually.
  •   Application bar: The bottom line of the WordPerfect window shows you which documents you're working with in WordPerfect (we discuss using multiple documents more in Chapter 16) and status information about what's happening in WordPerfect right now. Several controls are also on the application bar, and we talk about them in Chapter 2.
  •   Scroll bars: Along the right side of the window is a gray strip that helps you move around the document; you find out how to use it in Chapter 2. If your document is too wide to fit across the screen, WordPerfect displays a scroll bar along the bottom of the window, too, right above the application bar.

Typing Something

As a word processor, WordPerfect is designed for assembling pieces of text into something meaningful. As a result, the task of typing all those letters, words, phrases, and sentences seems like a rather important part of using WordPerfect.

Whatever you type appears at the cursor's location. You can use the mouse or the keyboard to move that cursor (as Chapter 2 explains). By default, you're in insert mode, which means that whatever you type is inserted into the text. If your cursor is between two letters and you type a new letter, the new one is inserted between the two original letters.

To undo text you've just typed, click the Undo button on the toolbar. (The Undo button looks like a left arrow.) Or you can press Ctrl+Z, or click Edit on the menu bar and then click Undo. (See Chapter 2 for more details.) To fix an earlier mistake, first move the cursor to the text that you want to change. If you want to delete just a letter or two, you can move the cursor just after the letters and then press the Backspace key a couple of times to wipe them out. Or you can move the cursor right before the letters and press the Delete key. Same difference - the letters disappear. See Chapter 3 to find out how to delete larger amounts of text.

Wrapping Your Text for You

After you begin typing, you can go ahead and say what you have to say. But what happens when you get to the end of the line? Unlike a typewriter, WordPerfect doesn't go "Ding!" to tell you that you're about to type off the edge of the paper and get ink on the platen. Instead, WordPerfect (like all word processors) does something called word wrap. It figures out that you are almost at the right margin and moves down to the next line all by itself.


Not pressing the Enter key at the end of each line is important. WordPerfect, like all word processors, assumes that when you press Enter, you're at the end of a paragraph. If you press Enter at the end of each line, you'll have a hard time making formatting changes to your document later on.

If you change the margins later or use a different font, WordPerfect adjusts the formatting so that your paragraphs fit within the new margins.

If you want to split one paragraph into two, simply position your cursor just before the letter where you want the new paragraph to begin and press Enter. Voilà! WordPerfect moves the rest of the line down to a new line and reformats the rest of the paragraph to fit.

Saving Documents

Every time you type in WordPerfect, whether it's a love letter to your secret admirer, a huffy memo to your boss, a to-do list for your spouse, or the next great American novel, you create a document. WordPerfect calls your unsaved documents Document1 (or Document2, Document3, and so on, depending on how many unsaved documents you have open).

Saving a document for the first time

You can save a document in at least three ways. We're sure that your insatiable curiosity will drive you to find out all three, but the following method is our favorite:

1. Click the Save button on the toolbar.

The toolbar is the row of little buttons just below the title bar. If you don't like clicking tiny buttons, choose File[right arrow]Save. Or, if you love pressing key combinations, press the Ctrl+S. The Save File dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 1-2. (Check out Chapter 2 to find out more than you ever wanted to know about working with dialog boxes.)

2. In the File Name box, type a name for the document.

When the Save File dialog box first appears, WordPerfect tries its best to supply a name for your document by putting the first line, sentence, or series of words into the File Name box, followed by a .wpd extension tacked on the end.

The text is highlighted so you can type a new name if you don't like the one WordPerfect gave you. Feel free to name your document (almost) anything you want. (You don't have to type the .wpd part, although you may if you really, really want to.)


You can press the Esc key at any time to cancel saving the file.

3. If you want, choose a different folder or disk drive for your document file:

To save your document in some other folder in My Documents, double-click any folder shown in the dialog box.

To create a new folder, choose File[right arrow]New[right arrow]Folder; type a name for the new folder that appears, and then press the Enter key.

To save somewhere outside My Documents (or on another disk drive), click the down arrow next to My Documents. In the list that appears, click to choose any other folder or drive (such as A: for your floppy disk drive).


If you've used other Windows programs before, you might be surprised to see a menu bar in the Save File dialog box. Enjoy the added functionality - on the house!

4. Press the Enter key on your keyboard or click the Save button.

WordPerfect saves the document in the file that you chose. You can tell that this procedure worked because the document's title bar changes from Document1 to whatever you named your file.

Saving a file for the second time

If you make changes to a file after you've saved it, you need to save your changes. If you want to keep two versions of the document (the original and the revised version, for example), you can do that, too. What you can't do is have two documents with the same name in the same folder; WordPerfect overwrites the old version of the file with the new version - after warning you.

When you try to save a file for a second time but you don't change the name slightly, a Save As dialog box appears, telling you that the file already exists and asking whether you really want to replace it (irrevocably deleting the existing file in the process). You have two, count 'em, two options here:

  •   Yes, to replace the existing file
  •   No, to enter a different name for your new file

From there, saving the file is the same as described in the preceding section, "Saving a document for the first time." Press the Esc key if you have second thoughts about saving the file. The dialog box disappears.

Chapter 16 describes useful things to know about files, including how to delete, move, and copy them.

Saving a document the third, fourth, and fifth times

When you want to save the contents of the document without renaming it, you can simply click the Save button. WordPerfect assumes you want the document saved with the same filename and folder as before.


WordPerfect automatically saves a backup of your document every ten minutes. See Chapter 19 for details on how you can change the setting to another interval.

Filename rules

Whether you were the teacher's pet or the rebel at the back of the class, you must follow certain rules for naming files in WordPerfect (and in other Windows programs for that matter). There's no way around them. Here they are:

  •   Filenames can be as long as 255 characters. Try to rein it in, now!
  •   Most filenames contain a period (.). What follows the period is called an extension, is usually three letters, and usually describes the type of the file. WordPerfect documents use the extensions .wpd (which stands for word-processing document), .frm (which stands, obscurely, for mail merge forms, covered in Chapter 15), and .dat (mail merge data files, also in Chapter 15).
  •   You can omit the period and the extension if you want. (WordPerfect adds them by default.)
  •   Although you can use any extension you want for your document, we strongly recommend sticking with the standard .wpd extension. Windows looks at the extension to determine what kind of file it is and allows you to perform certain actions based on the file type. If you don't use a standard extension, Windows won't know what to do with the document.
  •   You can use letters, numbers, spaces, and almost all punctuation in the name and extension. However, certain characters are no-no's to use in the filename, including the following: \, /, :, *, ?, and <>|. If you try to use one of these characters, WordPerfect politely tells you about the problem and allows you to change the name.
  •   You can use either capital or small letters; neither Windows nor WordPerfect much cares. In fact, the programs don't even distinguish between caps and lowercase letters (they're not case sensitive). PIQUED MEMO.WPD, piqued memo.wpd, and Piqued Memo.wpd all are the same filename, as far as Windows is concerned. (The .wpd extension may or may not show up, depending on your Windows settings.)


Excerpted from WordPerfect 12 For Dummies by Margaret Levine Young David C. Kay Richard Wagner Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2007


    The was a very nice book to learn Word Processing but I found it a little confusing.

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    Posted December 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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