Secrets of the WordPerfect for Windows FileOpen Screen

by Kendall Callas

Working with your library of existing documents is an important aspect of word processing. Why reinvent the wheel when you can cut and paste from previous work? Here are a few not so obvious tips on using the FileOpen screen more effectively in WordPerfect for Windows:

“Send” files to diskette

From the File, Open screen it's easy to copy a file to diskette: right click on the filename and choose Send To, then pick your floppy drive A: or B:. In WordPerfect 8, you can also conveniently copy a file directly from your edit screen to diskette with File, Send to.

Ctrl+click to select a group of files

At the FileOpen screen, mark a group of files to delete, print, open, copy, or move by holding down the Ctrl key as you click them. Ctrl+click allows you to select an assortment of files, not necessarily grouped together on the list; Shift+click marks contiguous a group of files. After selecting files this way in WordPerfect for Windows 6.0 and later, press ENTER to open them all (up to 9), tap the DELete key to erase them, or point to one of the selected files and right click for more options.

Display the details of your files

Opt for more information at the FileOpen screen: set WordPerfect to show you the “as of” dates of your files. To see the date and size of each file, in WordPerfect 7 or 8, simply click the Details button near the center of the toolbar. In 6.x versions, at File, Open, click the Setup button and change Show: from “Filename Only” to “Filename, Size, Date, Time.”

Sort the FileOpen list

Extending the preceding tip, you can easily sort the files listed on the FileOpen screen when using the Details view. Simply click on the "Modified" column heading to see them in chronological order. In fact, WordPerfect for Windows 7 or 8 lets you click on any column heading ("Name", "Size", "Type") to order the files that way. Click a second time to reverse the order. (In version 6.1 sort files this way at File, Open: click the Setup button and change "Sort By:" from "Filename" to "Date/Time".)

FileOpen “back a level” directory button

A convenient button for changing directory appears on the FileOpen screen in WordPerfect for Windows 7 or 8. Click the folder button, just to the right of the directory box (labeled “Look in:”), that shows a right-angled arrow, pointing left and up. This button makes it easy to back out of a directory, moving one step back in the directory path to the parent directory, which contains the current directory.

Preview documents from FileOpen

To see a picture of a file at the FileOpen screen in WordPerfect 6.1/7/8, click on the filename, then click the Preview button on the toolbar, just right of center (in version 6.1, click the View button). This is very handy to make sure it's the correct document before you delete, print, or move it.

Copy text from Preview!

Extending the preceding tip, you can even copy text from the FileOpen screen's Preview image! No need to open a document to borrow from it. After selecting a file and clicking the Preview button, “drag” with your mouse to select text copy it with Ctrl+C or click the Copy button on the toolbar. Paste it later into your document with Ctrl+V or click the Paste button.

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