Working with Multiple Documents in WordPerfect

Working with Multiple Documents in WordPerfect

by Kendall Callas

One of the best new features in recent versions of WordPerfect is the ability to open multiple documents at the same time. You can work with up to nine documents, switch back and forth between them, and even cut and paste to move text from one to another. This applies to WordPerfect for DOS versions 6.0 and 6.1 and all versions of WordPerfect for Windows.

Try this out: Start with some text on your screen, then open up a second document by choosing
File Open from the menu bar. When you open another document, it automatically opens into its own document window. You now have two document windows open. You may repeat this process to open up as many as nine document windows.

To open a blank document window (to begin typing from scratch), choose File New from the menu bar. This is great for quick notes. For example, say you are working on a document and are interrupted by a phone call. For a blank screen to type a phone message or take notes, open a new document window. WordPerfect for Windows users may find it easier to use the shortcut keys Shift+F4 or Ctrl+N. (WordPerfect for Windows 6.1 users will need to press Enter to select the "Create a blank document" template after the File New command.)

To see the list of document windows you have opened, select Window from the menu bar. At the bottom of the resulting menu, you'll see a numbered list of open document windows which makes it easy to switch between them. The check mark indicates the document window you are in currently. Tap a number to switch to a different document window, or point with your mouse or arrow keys. (In WordPerfect for DOS 6.x, an alternative to the Window command is to tap the F3 key.)

A handy shortcut key let's you rotate between open document windows. Ctrl+Y is the "Next Document" key in WordPerfect for DOS; use Ctrl+F6 in WordPerfect for Windows. DOS users may also use the "Switch" key (Shift+F3) to toggle back and forth between the last two document windows used.

The Window command also allows you to "cascade" or "tile" the windows to see several at the same time. Of course, you can only see a small portion of each document. Tile means to arrange small rectangular windows edge-to-edge like bathroom floor tiles. Cascade overlays the windows in a stair step pattern, one-on-top-of-another, each slightly offset.

Once arrayed on screen, click with your mouse to make a window active and switch between the document windows, or use the Next Document key described above (Ctrl+Y or Ctrl+F6).

To rearrange tiled or cascaded windows, you may use your mouse to move or size them. Change a window's position by dragging the title bar (hold down the left mouse button as you roll your mouse). Similarly, adjust the size of a document window by dragging one of its border lines with your mouse (as you point to the border the pointer will become a double arrow; hold down the left mouse button as you roll the mouse).

The up and down arrow symbols at the top right corner of each window let you "maximize" or "minimize". Click on the up arrow with your left mouse button to expand the document window to full screen. Click on the down arrow to shrink the window. To close (exit) a window, use your mouse to click on the control at its top left corner. (It looks like a dot in WordPerfect for DOS, like a "dime slot" in WordPerfect for Windows.)

It's easy to cut and paste from one document to another. To begin, highlight some text. You can do this in 3 ways: drag with your mouse, hold down the shift key while using movement keystrokes, or click with your mouse (two clicks select a word, three clicks select a sentence, four clicks select a paragraph).

Shortcut Keys for Multiple Documents

Task WP/DOS 6.x WP/Windows
Open an existing document: File Open
or F5
File Open
or F4
Open blank document window: File New File New
List open windows: Window
or F3
Switch to next document: Ctrl+Y Ctrl+F6
Copy: Ctrl+C Ctrl+C
Cut: Ctrl+X Ctrl+X
Paste: Ctrl+V Ctrl+V

To copy the highlighted text, use Ctrl+C (or choose from the Edit menu). To cut it, use Ctrl+X. (The X symbolizes a pair of scissors.) Then move the cursor to where you want the text and use Ctrl+V to paste it. (Think of the V as an arrow or editor's insertion mark.)

With a little practice, you too can multitask!

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