Few columns have generated as much mail as John McCormick’s Power User on Page
43 of the June 15 issue. McCormick lamented the new release of an old favorite,
WordPerfect from Corel Corp. Here is a sampling of the responses:

I, too, prefer an earlier version of WordPerfect. I like 6.0a, a Windows version that
still does all the things I need. I’m put out because I cannot buy just an upgrade to
WordPerfect without having to pay for upgrades to products I don’t want and, in some
cases, don’t have.

The office software suite idea does not meet any personal requirement of mine. I also
consider myself a power user of WordPerfect. I discovered early in my use of the Windows
version that you must learn how to edit the button bars in order to provide the
functionality that you use. In fact, you can add a convert-case button to the button bar
if you go to Tools on the menu bar, then Settings and finally to Customize.

The first thing I do whenever I get a new version is to set my keyboard type and edit
the buttons so that I have what I need and eliminate what I do not use. I also move
drop-down lists so that they are close to the menu item from which they are invoked, so I
don’t have to move the cursor around the screen.

I do have the latest version of Microsoft Word, and it is similarly afflicted. Even
with 75M or 80M of program, it still doesn’t do what I want.

Owen Hammett
Reston, Va.

As you may already know, Ctrl-K will swap case from upper to lower or lower to upper. I
read your article and thought I’d take a look for the quick way to do things. It
takes WordPerfect 8 a while to get up and going on the help file search, but I did manage
to find it in the online lookup. 

I agree that it would require less training if publishers would at least keep the same
macro key combos from version to version. I still set the keyboard combos to earlier
versions when I set up software for people. It’s very time-consuming to reteach
someone who has an excellent grasp of the current software. It is also time-consuming to
redo macros for new versions.

Most of the quick-change keystrokes were in WordStar—way back when—and were
very easy to remember.

I do use the font changes and the graphics, although that tendency changes with each
job, and most of the users I work with only want to type a letter. Unfortunately, under
Windows 95 some of the prior versions run slower than the newer ones. Or else they glitch
more and it’s worth it to upgrade to prevent lockups. I’ve resisted upgrading
most of my users to WordPerfect 8 as the visual opening is different from the prior
versions and that decreases their comfort zone.

Oh, and by the way, Ctrl-K works on a word-by-word basis.

Dawn Blalack
Umatilla County, Ore.

A superb editor, all messed up

Corel WordPerfect has made a mess of its own product.

I started using WordPerfect way back at Version 4.2, and it was a superb editor. But
over the years, WordPerfect has made a total mess out of many of its features, my pet
peeves being macros and search/replace, both of which used to be really easy to use. Now
one must, as you observed, drill down through layers of menus and dialog boxes—and it
all still works worse than it did 10 years ago. Arrrggghhh!

Jeff Morin
Program analyst
Environmental Protection Agency

I just read your column. You hit the nail on the head, but you missed a few problems
I’ve run into.

You need to add the scientific term “pH” to your list of items word
processors won’t accept these days.

Also, if you save time by not using a lot of periods in your typing, “PhD” is
a problem. Two other glitches: The auto cap after typing “Yahoo!” and the dash
on the numeric keypad no longer work with the Num Lock key on.

Kathleen Cheeseman
Consumer safety officer
Food and Drug Administration

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