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Discovering the hidden treasures of WordPerfect Office

Sometimes the most helpful tools aren't readily apparent. When you read reviews and feature articles on WordPerfect® Office 12, you'll notice that the most recognized and sought-after applications get all the coverage. What isn't immediately obvious is that there is a treasure trove of helpful utilities and tools included in the suite.

This tutorial will help you discover the hidden treasures in WordPerfect Office 12 (many of which are also found in WordPerfect Office 11). Some of these utilities and tools are built into WordPerfect, so they are accessed from "inside" the program. Others are completely independent of WordPerfect, so they are started from "outside" the program.

The following tools are found "outside" of WordPerfect, which means that in some cases they can be used with the other suite applications.

Conversion Utility

The Conversion Utility helps users convert large numbers of Microsoft® Word (*.doc) files, legacy WordPerfect files, and files in other formats to WordPerfect (*.wpd) format. You can convert files in batches without having to open them in WordPerfect.

To start the Conversion Utility, choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > Utilities > Conversion Utility. The WordPerfect Office Conversion Utility dialog box is shown in Figure 1.

Note: The Conversion Utility is not available in WordPerfect Office 12 – Home Edition.

Figure 1 The WordPerfect Office Conversion Utility lets you convert batches of files in various formats without opening each file in WordPerfect.


The Clipbook™ supports multiple clipboards so you can copy information from several different sources and then assemble it whenever you are ready. The Clipbook works with any Windows® application, stores multiple clips in a single clipboard, and lets you create an unlimited number of clipboards. Clips can be anything from text and graphics to sounds. Clipboards can be shared over a network, which gives network administrators centralized control over standard paragraphs and company graphics.

To start the Clipbook utility, choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > Utilities > Clipbook.

Spell Utility

The Spell Utility is used to convert word lists and dictionaries from previous versions of WordPerfect. You can also view the contents of a main word list, add and remove words in the main word list, merge a word list with another word list, and create new main word lists.

To start the Spell Utility, choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > Utilities > Spell Utility. The Spell Utility dialog box appears (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 Use the Spell Utility to customize the main word list, or to convert legacy word lists into a format that you can use in WordPerfect 12.

Corel® Application Recovery Manager™ (CARM )

The Corel® Application Recovery Manager™ (CARM) is activated when a crash occurs. The CARM lets you save your work and quit the application, or you can choose to continue working. You also have the option of reporting the problem to Corel. The information you provide in the reports helps the Corel developers improve the stability of the application.

To view and manage CARM reports, choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > Support > CARM Organizer.

WordPerfect® XML Project Designer WordPerfect includes its own XML Project Designer that enables you to define how various elements are to be displayed. These definitions are collected in layouts and are stored in the same XML template that contains the DTD.

To open the WordPerfect XML Project Designer dialog box, choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > Utilities > WordPerfect XML Project Designer. You can also start the Project Designer from within WordPerfect by clicking the Edit Layout button in the XML editor.

Note: XML integration is not available in WordPerfect Office 12 – Home Edition.

Task Manager

The WordPerfect Office 12 – Small Business Edition and Home Edition come with a Task Manager. You can start any of the applications in the suite with just one click (see Figure 3). Both editions come with a large collection of templates that you can use to create a variety of documents and projects.

When you select a project, the Task Manager launches WordPerfect, Quattro Pro®, or Presentations™, opens the template and you're ready to go! The Task Manager also has links for Help, Support, Tips & Tricks, recently opened documents and an online search for additional templates.

Figure 3 The Task Manager has tabs for Tasks, Applications, Recent Documents, Online Services, Tips & Tricks, and Help & Support.

InstallShield® Update Manager

The InstallShield® Update Manager will automatically check for updates at intervals you specify. If updates are available, you will see an icon on the taskbar. When you click the icon, you will see a list of available updates. You decide which updates to install.

The InstallShield Update Manager detects which Corel products you have installed on your system and builds a list for you. From this list, you can select or deselect which programs you want to update.

To open the InstallShield Update Manager, choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > Product Update.

Adobe® Reader®

Adobe® Reader® lets you view, navigate and print files in Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Reader is a multi-platform application so the PDF format has rapidly become the standard for document exchange. You can save WordPerfect and Presentations files as PDF.

To start Adobe Reader, choose Start > All Programs > Adobe Reader.

Note: Adobe Reader is included in the Standard, Professional, Small Business and Home editions of WordPerfect Office 12.

Switching gears, the following items are integrated with WordPerfect, so with a couple of exceptions, all are found in the WordPerfect menus.

Pleading Expert

The collection of legal tools included with WordPerfect Office 12 includes two pleading wizards that automate the process of preparing pleading documents. The Pleading Expert Filler helps you create cases and generate pleading documents. The Pleading Expert Designer helps you create customized pleading styles, so you can generate pleadings that meet strict filing requirements.

The pleading experts are part of the legal tools, so they can be found on the Legal Tools menu. Choose Tools > Legal Tools > Pleading Expert Designer (or Pleading Expert Filler). You can also use the Start menu to open the Pleading Expert Designer (see Figure 4). Choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > Utilities > Pleading Expert.

Figure 4 Use the Pleading Expert Designer to create cases and produce pleading documents.

Note: The legal tools are available in the Standard, Professional, Small Business, Student & Teacher and Try-Before-You-Buy editions.


The QuickFinder™ tool allows you to search for files based on the filename, content, date modified, or file type. You can build a search that is as simple as looking for every file that contains the word "recycle." Or, you can create a complex search designed to display a very narrow selection of documents (which is often the case when searching through legal, scientific, and medical documentation).

You can use QuickFinder in two ways from the Open File dialog box (choose File > Open). The first method is for a very simple search for text in a file name or in the content of a file. Simply type the information you want to search for in the File name text box, then choose Find Now. The other method is used when you want to build a more complicated search. In the Open File dialog box, choose Advanced to open the Advanced Find dialog box (see Figure 5). For more information on creating a search, click the Help button in the Advanced Find dialog box.

Figure 5 In the Advanced Find dialog box, you can search for text in a file name, text in a file, and information in document summary fields using operators to narrow down the search.

You can also access QuickFinder from the Start menu. Choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > QuickFinder Searcher.

QuickFinder Manager

QuickFinder is really two tools: a file search tool and a file indexer. The file indexer is called QuickFinder Manager, and you can use it to create files that contain a list of all words in a series of documents. Rather than search through the text of every file, QuickFinder searches through the fast search file. The most obvious advantage is the significant decrease in the amount of time it takes to locate files. A less obvious advantage is that you can combine text from documents in different folders and drives and search it all at once (rather than perform a series of QuickFinder searches on each folder or drive).

To start the QuickFinder Manager, choose Advanced from the Open File dialog box, and then click the Index Manager button. For more information about creating an index, choose Help from the menu bar in the QuickFinder Manager dialog box.

You can also access QuickFinder Manager from the Start menu. Choose Start > All Programs > WordPerfect Office 12 > QuickFinder Manager.

Note: QuickFinder is available in the Standard, Small Business, Professional, Student & Teacher and Try-Before-You-By editions.

Equation Editor

WordPerfect's Equation Editor is a vital tool for those who work in the scientific or technical industry. The Equation Editor lets you insert and format mathematical and scientific equations in a WordPerfect document and in Presentations slide shows. You can insert pre-set equations, or create your own.

Each equation you insert into a document is treated as one item rather than as a group of individual symbols or characters. The equation is inserted into the document inside a graphics box, which you can move, size, and edit.

To open the Equation Editor dialog box, choose Insert > Equation. The Equation Editor dialog box appears (see Figure 6). For more information about formatting a graphics box, see "Inserting graphics boxes and text boxes" in the Help topics.

Figure 6 The Equation Editor lets you create your own equations that you can insert into a WordPerfect document or a Presentations slide show.


TextArt™ is a text effects program that enables you to contour words and short phrases into predefined shapes. You can then add shadows, textures, and 2D and 3D effects to the text shapes. TextArt is most often used for logos, banners, flyers, and other types of "casual" correspondence.

To start TextArt, choose Insert > Graphics > TextArt. A piece of sample text appears in a graphic box in your document and the TextArt dialog box appears (see Figure 7).

Figure 7 The TextArt design tool can be used to create shapes with words and short phrases.


The Scrapbook™ provides fast, easy access to folders of clipart images organized by category. You can search and preview images. When you find the one you want, simply drag and drop it into your document. The Scrapbook lets you preview sound, movie and graphic files. You can also create categories so you can organize items using your own organization method.

It's easy to build your collection of images and sounds. You simply copy or move a file from a document into the Scrapbook. You can also import files into the Scrapbook. With an Internet connection, you can download graphics, sound files, and movie files from the Web.

To open the Scrapbook dialog box, choose Insert > Graphics > Clipart. Click the Help button for more information on previewing and organizing graphics, sound and movie files.

Figure 8 Use the Scrapbook to organize your clipart files, sound bites and movie clips.

Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications (VBA)

Microsoft® Visual Basic® for Applications lets developers build custom business solutions by automating and integrating off-the-shelf software applications to meet specific customer needs. Scripts and macros developed in earlier versions of WordPerfect Office remain fully functional. VBA is integrated into WordPerfect, Quattro Pro and Presentations where it can be used by developers to create custom solutions.

To open the Visual Basic Editor dialog box, choose Tools > Visual Basic > Visual Basic Editor.

Note: VBA is available in the Standard, Professional and Small Business editions.