WordPerfect 6.0 (DOS): Show Me

WordPerfect 6.0 (DOS): Show Me

by Kendall Callas

WordPerfect 6.0 for DOS introduced some snazzy new features that you may not yet have discovered. If you're still using WordPerfect version 5.1 or an older version, read on to see why you might wish to upgrade.

"Show me" is the basic idea behind the success of Microsoft Windows. The value of diagrams and "pick lists" has not been lost on the developers of DOS software. WordPerfect 6.0, the latest version for DOS, shows you some handy information in three very convenient new features.


Ever forgotten the name of the file you created yesterday? Or perhaps you'd prefer not to type the finger-twisting directory name or filename of the document you're always working on. How would you like to see a history list of files you've recently worked on?

The little-used Retrieve key (Shift+F10), now called "Open/Retrieve", offers a hidden beauty. Press Shift+F10 and you'll see a clue: an innocent little down arrow symbol at the far right of the screen. Simply tap the down arrow and voila! A menu opens up showing the last ten files you saved or opened. Tap the down arrow key to point to the file you want, then press Enter.

Tip: To switch between the options of "Open into New Document" or "Retrieve into Current Document", tap Shift+F10 again (before selecting a file).

A pick list of macros is also available. At the Play Macro screen (Alt+F10), press the down arrow to see a history list of the ten macros you last played.


Up till now, it's taken some work to peruse directories of documents. One could navigate by typing directory names or by pointing to move one level at a time through the directory structure.

New and improved, version 6.0 offers two new features to ease use of the File Manager (formerly called the List Files screen). After you tap F5, you get the question familiar to WordPerfect 5.1 users implicitly asking which files you want listed on the resulting directory. In version 6.0 as in 5.1, you simply press Enter to list all files in the current directory. To change this default, you can also type a different directory name. Additionally, you can type a filename pattern to change the default (*.*) and list a subset of the files.

In WordPerfect 6.0, after you tap F5 you have two additional options, QuickList and Directory Tree:

QuickList (F6).
Use F6 to get there quickly, if you know where you want to go. The QuickList is a list of destinations -- directories or groups of files that you use frequently. Once setup, the QuickList is a fast way to see a File Manager listing of a file or group of files.

It's simple to setup your QuickList: Tap F5, then F6 to get to the QuickList screen. You may see the set of entries WordPerfect ships with, such as "Backup Files:"; they aren't very useful (except perhaps "Documents:" and "Macros/Keyboards/Button Bar Personal:"), so you may delete them if you like.

Note the different actions listed at right, mainly 1-Select (same as Enter), 2-Create, 3-Edit, 4-Delete. Press "2" or "C" to create a QuickList entry. Type a few words of description (as you wish it to appear on the QuickList menu), then press Enter. Now type in the directory and filename specification for this destination; include one or more of these details: the drive letter, directory path, and filename or wildcard pattern.

Some examples of QuickList entries:

Description Filename/Directory specification
Work Files \WORK
Letters in Current Directory *.LTR
Work Log File D:\WORK\WORK.LOG
Travel Articles C:\TRAVEL\*.ART
Expense Reports D:\WORK\EXP*
Macros C:\WP60\MACROS\*.WPM

QuickList entries may include a filename (to list one specific file) or a filename pattern using the asterisk (*) wildcard (to list a subset of files -- such as *.FAX to list your faxes). If just a directory name is specified, all files in that directory will be listed.

The QuickList is an excellent tool to tailor WordPerfect to your own needs. Once you've entered your own set of frequent destinations, it's blindingly fast to get there. From the edit screen, tap F5, then F6, down arrow to highlight the item you want from the pick list, then press Enter. Voila!

Directory Tree (F8).
This offers a graphical approach to navigating through your directory structure. Tap F5 then F8 and you'll see a tree diagram of your hard disk. Like a road map marked "You are here", your position (the current directory) is initially highlighted. Point up or down with the arrow keys to highlight the directory you wish to list, then press Enter.

Note the actions listed at right, including 1-Select (same as Enter), 2-Other Drive, 3-Rescan Drive. Use "2" or the letter "O" to select a different disk drive (such as A:). Use "3" or "R" to rescan and update the tree with recently added or deleted directories. You may even print the directory tree with Shift+F7.

These three new features are just a sample of the new benefits that the 6.0 upgrade has added to a proven work horse. If you're still using trusty old WordPerfect 5.1, perhaps now you can see why you might want to upgrade to the latest and greatest.

Copyright (C) 1995 by microCounsel, (415) 921-6850. All rights reserved.

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