WordPerfect is Watching You!

by Kendall Callas

New versions of WordPerfect for Windows offer some nifty new features. The program is much more active in watching what you type and automatically reacting to it. Most of the time, this is good.


This feature immediately detects misspelled words (that is, words not in its dictionary) as you type them. As always, you still have the option of running a spell check as a separate step, but this feature marks unrecognized words with red underlines right after you've typed them -- useful if a second look at your copy or second listen to your Dictaphone will help fix it. I think live feedback is helpful; one secretary told me that this feature has made her a much better typist.

At any time, you can right-click with your mouse on a marked word for alternatives or to add to your dictionary. This features was introduced in WordPerfect 7 as Tools, Spell-As-You-Go; in WordPerfect 8 it's located under Tools, Proofread, Spell-As-You-Go.

QuickBullets -- Numbers, Too

For you outliners, QuickBullets automatically invokes the Insert, Bullets & Numbers feature. When you provide certain typed clues, it will automatically start adding bullets or paragraph numbers.

To use automatic paragraph numbers, start a new line with a number, a period, then a tab (such as 1.) and start typing; when you press Enter, you'll get the next number. Instead of numbers, you may use roman numerals, upper or lower case (such as i.), or begin with a letter for a lettered list, upper or lower case (such as A.).

For automatic bullets, begin a new line with a symbol, then a tab. You may produce different sizes of round bullets, and several symbols as follows:

* ... asterisk or lower case letter "o"= small round bullet
O ... upper case letter "O" = large round bullet
> ... greater than sign " >" = right pointing triangle
^ ... caret "^" (Shift+6) = diamond
+ ... plus sign "+" = star hyphen "-" = bold em-dash

The QuickBullets feature was introduced in WordPerfect 7 under Tools, QuickCorrect, Options; in WordPerfect 8 it's located under Tools, QuickCorrect, Format-As-You-Go.

If you design forms, here a couple tips you'll like. (For QuickBullets above and the features below, check the setting; they may be off by default and you'll need to turn them on, depending on your version.)

Automatic Lines

The QuickLines feature offers automatic graphic lines (across the page). On a blank line, type three or more hyphens ("- - -") then Enter for a single horizontal line, or three or more equal signs ("= = =") then Enter for a double horizontal line. (In WordPerfect 8, type four or more of them.) Check the setting to make sure this feature is turned on: Tools, QuickCorrect, Options, QuickLines in WordPerfect 7; in WordPerfect 8, it's Tools, QuickCorrect, Format-As-You-Go, QuickLines.

Clickable Checkboxes

Especially nice if you create forms for filling in on-screen, WordPerfect 7 and 8 ship with a macro called CHECKBOX. Run the macro to create a "ballot box" in your document then click it with your mouse to turn on or off an X in the box . I usually like to enlarge it to 20 point size. (If you distribute document files which contain these check boxes, note that the CHECKBOX macro also must be available to click a checkbox.)

Copyright (C) 1997 by microCounsel. All rights reserved.

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