Clickable Documents

by Kendall Callas

The World Wide Web is the best example these days of how useful it is to give documents extra dimensions. Click here for more information, click there to select a sub-topic, click on that to go another step. WordPerfect offers two tools to add clickable elements that will make your documents more useful to the mouse-equipped.

"TIP" flags.

Especially if you create documents such as procedures or forms for on-screen use by others, it helps to add comments that users can optionally view for additional information.

In WordPerfect for Windows, first change your environment preferences (in WPWin 6 or 7 use Edit, Preferences, Environment; in WPWin 8 use Tools, Settings, Environment) to show your initials as “TIP” (or any 2 or 3 characters). Also choose a bright color such as red or green.

Now put your cursor where you want the flag to appear, then create a comment with Insert, Comment, Create. People reading the document on-screen (the printed version is unchanged) will see a brightly colored flag labeled “TIP” in the left margin. One mouse click on a comment flag will display the text of the comment; a double click allows it to be edited. (In View, Page, readers may need to use the horizontal scroll bar to expose more of the left margin so they can see the flag. If the user has changed the display mode to View, Draft, flags do not appear, instead comments are shown across the screen against a gray background.)

This technique allows a simple way to embed another level of detail in your text which the user may optionally view.


Since version 6.0 for DOS or Windows, WordPerfect offers a tool called Hypertext, familiar to anyone who has used a graphical browser to click their way around an Internet web site.

Hypertext gives new life and amazing utility to standard document fixtures such as a list, table, index, table of contents, table of authorities, or appendix. Any list or table becomes a menu — an active tool for navigating the document (or collection of documents).

Imagine how much more useful a document summary would be if — when you clicked on a reference — WordPerfect instantly jumped to that page.

Buttons can optionally display an image, word, or phrase. When activated by a mouse click, a button can run a macro, jump to another document, or jump to another point in the current document.

To create a button in WPDOS 6.x, use Mark Text/Alt+F5, then select 6/Hypertext. In WPWin 6.x/7/8, use Tools, Hyperlink.

Clickable documents offer powerful tools for rapidly flowing through interconnected documents such as manuals, research summaries, brief banks — any complex document or collection of documents.

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