Word for Word Perfect Users

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Booklet Formatting and Printing in Microsoft Word
Changing the Default Font in Microsoft Word
Document linked to Printer in Microsoft Word
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How can I get a different header / footer on the second page?
Heading? Header? Microsoft Word Help
More on Headers and Footers in Word
Letterhead
Mapped Content Controls and Document Properties
Weird Lines and Borders
Macros and VBA
Master Documents Feature in Microsoft Word
A Back CoverPage in Microsoft Word
Normal Template in Microsoft Word - How to Open or Find the Normal Template
My docs open in the wrong program! Re-registering Word using the commandline.
Moving (Sharing) Customizations in Microsoft Word
Global StyleSheet?
MVP means?
Naming Files - A System is the Key
Posting tips in the Microsoft Word Forums
Getting rid of that (*)#"@^ paperclip! - Taming the Office Assistant
Page X of Y doesn't work in Microsoft Word!
Save Changes to the Global Template? Keeps Popping Up
Templates in Microsoft Word
Global Templates
Too Many Icons on the Taskbar in Microsoft Word 2000
Getting Rid of the Web Toolbar in Microsoft Word
Word for Word Perfect Users
Favorite Documents Menu
Work Menu in Microsoft Word
Templates Menu in Microsoft Word
What books have been recommended about Microsoft Word?
Where can I find more templates?
Word Links

 

 What are some basic tips for someone who is converting from Word Perfect?

This page last revised: 13 Dec 2017 05:24:01 -0600 .

a. This will be a painful but not necessarily unrewarding experience.

b. Compatibility "features" in Word will make things worse! (Word 2003 and earlier versions)

Do not turn on any of the Word Perfect conversion features or compatibility features. They will make things very confusing because they won't work like Word Perfect, but they won't work like Word, either. This will mean that books will be wrong, help will be wrong, other users you ask will be confused. These are not available through the user interface in Word 2007 and later; they should never have been there.

c. Word and Word Perfect look at a document in very different ways.

Primarily, WP sees a stream of text that you do things to, like damming a river to change it's course. You turn on Bold and everything from then on is Bold until you turn it off. Likewise with changing margins or tabs. Word Perfect inserts unseen codes (like printer codes in ASCII text files of old) to turn things on and off. You can see these codes by selecting "reveal codes." (see g. below)

Word sees documents as built up of compartments, one inside of the other.

Characters fit into paragraphs which fit into sections which fit into documents. Formatting changes change only the compartment to which they are applied. If you change the tab settings on one paragraph, the paragraphs that follow aren't changed (if those paragraphs exist when you make the change). Changes made in one paragraph will carry through in subsequent paragraphs which are created from that paragraph.

 

Must read: http://www.word.mvps.org/FAQs/General/WordVsWordPerfect.htm

Much of this answer is based on John McGhie's excellent article and other writings.

d. Word keeps most of its formatting in the pilcrows (paragraph marks). 

This is why it is recommended that you switch your viewing options in page layout view and normal view to "view paragraph marks." Don't worry, they won't print out and you can still switch to print preview to see the page without them. When you see them, they will look like a backwards "p" with two barrels.
Showing non-printing formatting marks in Microsoft WordFlying Pillcrow - Trademark of AddBalance Word websites.

e. Learn about styles and apply them religiously in your form documents.

Do not have anything in your form documents formatted as "Normal." If you want to change paragraph formatting, create a new style for the new format. In talking about form documents here, I’m talking about templates, as well as Word "forms." A fine look at styles is in Microsoft's Legal Users Guide to Microsoft Word. You can find this on-line at http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide (revised version).

f. Use multiple templates.

Avoid basing a document on the Normal template (blank page). Long-term this will save you many headaches. Download and read John McGhie's piece for more on this. Learn about templates, where they are stored and why, and how to create them.

g. Word does have a "reveal codes" but it is not the same as WP's.Word Perfect Reveal Codes Microsoft Help

To reveal the formatting of a part of a document, press Shift+F1 (or select What's This? on the Help menu). This will give you a large arrow pointer with a question mark. Point it at the part of the text that is giving you trouble and it will tell you what style formatting is applied and what direct formatting is applied to that text.  (In Word 2002 and later this info shows up in a task pane.) In Word 2003 and later, check the box at the bottom of the task pane to show source of formatting.

To see margins and tab settings, display the ruler. 

For more on this, see: Word's Reveal Codes and http://wordfaqs.ssbarnhill.com/RevealCodes.htm

Here is a Microsoft White Paper on equivalents to Reveal Codes:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/271478/en-us While dated, it is still relevant.

There is a commercial program called CrossEyes that adds a reveal codes feature to Word. I've heard that it works well.

h. Macros - take a look at AutoText (Building Blocks) and AutoCorrect. 

Most Word Perfect users that I know primarily use macros to enter boilerplate. In Word, this function is filled much better using AutoText and AutoCorrect features. See Boilerplate Text in Microsoft Office - AutoText, AutoCorrect, and Building Blocks. To convert these, run the macros in Word Perfect to produce the text, save that text in a document and import (paste) that text in a Word document as plain text. Format it using Styles. Save the text as AutoText entries or Building Blocks in a global template.

For macros that do something more than enter text, machine conversion seems to be impossible. (Think in terms of explaining quadratic equations using sign language without a pencil and paper. The concepts don't translate.)

Here is more on converting WP macros to use in Word: Converting Word Perfect Macros - a Microsoft Whitepaper. Note, I do not recommend using text in an imported or converted document but rather using text pasted as plain text and formatting in Word. Converted documents often have formatting anomalies that will cause problems when used in other documents.

i. Changing the margins in Word creates a new Section.

This is generally not what you want to do if we are talking left and right margins. Instead change the paragraph formatting of Indents (left and/or right). In Word, this does what changing the left/right margin does in WP, without creating a new section. This can be done on the Ruler or in the paragraph formatting dialog box. It is often best accomplished by creating a Style for the different indents so they can be quickly applied.

The reason this is important becomes evident if you try to edit headers and footers. Each Section in Word has three headers and three footers built in, whether or not they are displayed. Having multiple sections on a page can make this difficult.

Sections / Headers and Footers in Microsoft Word 2007-2013

j. Justification and alignment are also different.

What WP calls flush justification is done using tab setting instead of justification settings. See Working with Tabs and Alignment / Justification of Text in Microsoft Word.

k. Styles are not all that important in Word Perfect; in Word they are at the heart of the application.

If you want Word to work with you instead of against you, you must learn to use, create and modify Styles.

Trying to use Word without understanding and using styles is like pushing on a string. I resisted learning and using styles for years and now regret every day of those years because although that string was still very hard to push, it kept getting longer and longer, and had some very important projects tied to it! Once you understand styles and the Word concept of organizing things into Chinese boxes everything falls into place and instead of pushing a string, you can push a button that turns on the very powerful text processing machine known as Microsoft Word and it will start doing your work for you instead of running around behind you trying to undo what you thought you just did.

l. Show me the Function Keys! (Word 2000 - 2003)

You can get the function keys to display in a special toolbar at the bottom of the screen if you want (something like pressing F3 twice in WP 5.1). The following macro will do this.

Sub ShowMeFunctionKeys()
    Commandbars("Function Key Display").Visible = True
End Sub

The following macro would toggle this display:

Sub ToggleFunctionKeysDisplay()
    With Commandbars("Function Key Display")
        .Visible = Not .Visible
    End With
End Sub

See Macros and VBA for instructions on inserting this macro into your Normal.dot or other template.

In versions 2007 and later there is no equivalent function key toolbar, but the help system will show function key use, as will a web search: 2007, 2010, 2013 - I think these give the same information but am posting all three here because they may be taken down after a time.

Here is my summary of the function key assignments in Word (97-2013).

m. Do not use converted documents to produce new documents.

I recommend against using converted documents except for reference!

They will be filled with formatting anomalies that will get you at the worst time. This is especially true of any documents containing numerous margin changes or automatic numbering or bullets. Try recreating form documents in Word using the following process: In Word Perfect (if you still have it, in Word if not) save your files as text files. Use your converted files as references to show you how you want your formatting to look. Create a new document in Word and insert the text from the text file. Save this new document as a Word template. Format it the way you want using styles, not direct formatting. Save it again. To use a template within Word, use File => New and pick your template. This will create a new document for you.

General practice in WP is to have a document and copy and edit it to create a new document. This is not good practice in Word. In Word, construct a good, tight, template for your documents and use that template when constructing new documents. Among other things, this can avoid embarrassing "metadata" http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/metadata.htm and things like surprise headers and footers from creeping into new documents.

There is a program for conversions from Word Perfect to Word available through Levit & James called CrossWords.

Note on Conversion Problem to Word Perfect 5.? for DOS from Word 2002 and later.

One of the Service Packs for Word 2002 changes the WP5.? conversion file WPFT532.CNV. This change is continued in Word 2003 (and probably later). The new conversion file supports conversion from WP 5.? format to Word but not conversion to this format. I copied the file from a Word 2000 installation to a Word 2003 installation and Word 2003 now will convert to WP 5.0 for DOS format. I don't know that this will work perfectly for others but post the information. Note that the new (read-only) converter patched a security problem with the old converter, so use at your own risk.

Please note the warnings above about using converted files. I don't recommend using converted files for editing or preparation of templates unless they are taken through as straight text without formatting.

A quick tutorial on some of the "hidden" non-printing marks that you can display in Microsoft Word:

The paragraph symbol (backwards double-barred P) means someone used the Enter key. (The name for this symbol is "pillcrow.") Paragraph Formatting can be thought of as stored in each paragraph mark. Generally, you do not want to have any paragraph marks with no text preceding them (blank paragraphs). They add a lot of "overhead" to Word documents and make editing much more difficult. If you need to adjust the spacing between paragraphs, use the "space before" and "space after" paragraph formatting options, preferably through the paragraph's style.

Shift+Enter displays as a little arrow curling down and to the left. Shift+Enter is a manual line break and is used when one wants to break a line but stay within the same paragraph (useful if you are sorting addresses entered in paragraphs, or want to break a line and avoid having the Space Before/After settings kick in). 

Tabs appears as an arrow pointing to the right. 

In Normal View, you will also see Breaks; in the middle of the break the type of break will be displayed (Page/Column/Section). Section breaks are double-lines of dots, Page and Column breaks are single-lines of dots. You won't see these breaks, as such, in Page View, but will see the results.

Spaces display as very tiny dots, but non-breaking spaces (Ctrl+Shift+Space) appear as degree signs.

Optional Hyphens are entered with Ctrl+Hyphen; they do not need to be viewed unless you want to check their placement. They only take effect at the end of lines if a word break is called for when hyphenation is activated. Hyphenation is usually done automatically, it does not require the use of optional hyphens unless the formatter is unsatisfied with the word breaks that show up.

Hidden text is simply regular text and other characters that is formatted with the Format-Font option Hidden. It will appear with tiny dots beneath any text that is formatted this way when you have display of hidden text turned on.

Whether or not to view Hidden text depends on if that feature is being used or suspected of being used. To quickly see if any Hidden text is lurking about your document, turn on display of hidden text and do a Find (CTL-F), click the More button, and while your cursor is in the Find box, click Format and Font, and select the Hidden option. Do not enter anything into the Find box for text. The search will then find anything with Hidden format applied. (Remember that unless you are already viewing Hidden text, the Find feature won't find it.)

I strongly recommend to people that they try to get into the habit of viewing at least paragraph marks and tabs at all times; it greatly facilitates figuring out what is going on with one's document formatting, especially if it is someone else's formatting :). Optional Hyphens and non-breaking spaces are rarely used and generally with specific intent, so it is not often one needs to view them for checking purposes.

Robin Kopel (with minor editing and additions by Charles Kenyon)

From an edited post on the Microsoft new users newsgroup.

You can view these non-printing formatting marks easily by toggling the setting. In Word 97-2003 the control for this is the pillcrow on the Standard toolbar. In the more-recent Ribbon versions of Word it is on the top right of the Paragraph group of the Home tab ribbon. The keyboard shortcut to toggle this display is Ctrl+Shift+8 (Ctrl+*). You can also set your Word options to view individual marks. I generally keep display of the pillcrows and tab arrows turned on.

For more on this topic, you may want to refer to What do all those funny marks, like the dots between the words in my document, and the square bullets in the left margin, mean? by Suzanne Barnhill and Dave Rado.

n. More reading

There are a number of excellent articles out there. You can start with:

Tips & Gotchas at mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/TipsAndGotchas.htm.

How Word Differs from Word Perfect (John McGhie)
http://www.word.mvps.org/FAQs/General/WordVsWordPerfect.htm

Converting from Word Perfect to Word

Microsoft's Knowledge Base articles: http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q271/4/78.ASP 
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/Q211/6/92.ASP

 

 

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Using Date Fields in Microsoft Word
Calculated Dates
Booklet Formatting and Printing in Microsoft Word
Changing the Default Font in Microsoft Word
Document linked to Printer in Microsoft Word
Fonts Missing from Menu in Microsoft Word
How can I get a different header / footer on the second page?
Heading? Header? Microsoft Word Help
More on Headers and Footers in Word
Letterhead
Mapped Content Controls and Document Properties
Weird Lines and Borders
Macros and VBA
Master Documents Feature in Microsoft Word
A Back CoverPage in Microsoft Word
Normal Template in Microsoft Word - How to Open or Find the Normal Template
My docs open in the wrong program! Re-registering Word using the commandline.
Moving (Sharing) Customizations in Microsoft Word
Global StyleSheet?
MVP means?
Naming Files - A System is the Key
Posting tips in the Microsoft Word Forums
Getting rid of that (*)#"@^ paperclip! - Taming the Office Assistant
Page X of Y doesn't work in Microsoft Word!
Save Changes to the Global Template? Keeps Popping Up
Templates in Microsoft Word
Global Templates
Too Many Icons on the Taskbar in Microsoft Word 2000
Getting Rid of the Web Toolbar in Microsoft Word
Word for Word Perfect Users
Favorite Documents Menu
Work Menu in Microsoft Word
Templates Menu in Microsoft Word
What books have been recommended about Microsoft Word?
Where can I find more templates?
Word Links

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