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Bastian and Ashton retained ownership of the software that they created. They then founded Satellite Software International, Inc.
WordPerfect 1. It was sold as WordPerfect 2. The developers had hoped to program WordPerfect in C , but at this early stage there were no C compilers available for the IBM PC and they had to program it in x86 assembly language. All versions of WordPerfect up to 5.
The use of straight assembly language and a high amount of direct screen access gave WordPerfect a significant performance advantage over WordStar , which used strictly DOS API functions for all screen and keyboard access and was often very slow. This was updated to support DOS 2. It also expanded printer support, where WordPerfect 2. Adding support for additional printers this way was impractical, so the company introduced printer drivers , a file containing a list of control codes for each model of printer.
Version 3. WordPerfect also supplied an editor utility that allowed users to make their own printer drivers or to modify the included ones. WordPerfect 4. It became the first program to overtake the original market leader WordStar in a major application category on the DOS platform. By , Compute! This version also included "print preview", a graphical representation of the final printed output that became the foundation for WordPerfect 6.
WordPerfect 5. This version could read and write WordPerfect 6 files, included several 3rd-party screen and printing applications previously sold separately , and provided several minor improvements. WordPerfect 6. By the time WordPerfect 6. The ease of use of tools like Mail Merge  combine form documents with data from any data source , "Print as booklet", and tables with spreadsheet capabilities and possibility to generate graphs are also notable.
The WordPerfect document format allows continuous extending of functionality without jeopardizing backward and forward compatibility. Despite the fact that the newer version is extremely rich in functionality, WordPerfect X5 documents are fully compatible with WordPerfect 6. The older program simply ignores the "unknown" property while rendering the known elements of the document. WordPerfect users were never forced to upgrade for compatibility reasons for more than two decades.
Documents are created much the same way that raw HTML pages are written, with text interspersed by tags called "codes" that trigger treatment of data until a corresponding closing tag is encountered, at which point the settings active to the point of the opening tag resume control.
As with HTML, tags can be nested. Some data structures are treated as objects within the stream as with HTML's treatment of graphic images, e. Styles and style libraries[ edit ] The addition of styles and style libraries in WP 5. Styles are a preset arrangement of settings having to do with things like fonts, spacings, tab stops, margins and other items having to do with text layout. Styles can be created by the user to shortcut the setup time when starting a new document, and they can be saved in the program's style library.
Prior to that, WordPerfect's only use of styles was the Opening Style, which contained the default settings for a document. After the purchase of the desktop publishing program Ventura , Corel enhanced the WordPerfect styles editor and styles behavior with the majority of Ventura's capabilities.
This improved the usability and performance of graphic elements like text boxes, document styles, footer and header styles.
Since WordPerfect has been enriched with properties from CorelDraw Graphics suite, graphic styles are editable. The Graphics Styles editor enables customizing the appearance of boxes, borders, lines and fills and store the customized design for reuse. The possibilities include patterns and color gradients for fills; corner, endpoint, pen-type and thickness for lines. Box styles can be used as container style, including a border, lines, fill, text and caption; each with its separate style.
A text box style shows that WordPerfect cascades its styles. Reveal codes[ edit ] Present since the earliest versions of WordPerfect, the Reveal Codes feature distinguishes it from other word processors; Microsoft Word's equivalent is less powerful. The codes for formatting and locating text are displayed, interspersed with tags and the occasional objects, with the tags and objects represented by named tokens.
This provides a more detailed view to troubleshoot problems than with styles-based word processors, and object tokens can be clicked with a pointing device to directly open the configuration editor for the particular object type, e.
WordPerfect had this feature already in its DOS incarnations. Macro languages[ edit ] WordPerfect for DOS stood out for its macros , in which sequences of keystrokes, including function codes, were recorded as the user typed them.
These macros could then be assigned to any key desired. This enabled any sequence of keystrokes to be recorded, saved, and recalled. Macros could examine system data, make decisions, be chained together, and operate recursively until a defined "stop" condition occurred.
This capability provided a powerful way to rearrange data and formatting codes within a document where the same sequence of actions needed to be performed repetitively, e.
But since keystrokes were recorded, changes in the function of certain keys as the program evolved would mean that macros from one DOS version of WordPerfect would not necessarily run correctly on another version. Editing of macros was difficult until the introduction of a macro editor in Shell, in which a separate file for each WordPerfect product with macros enabled the screen display of the function codes used in the macros for that product.
For example, "go down four lines" has a clear meaning on a DOS screen, but no definite meaning with a Windows screen.
WordPerfect lacked a way to meaningfully record mouse movements. A new and even more powerful interpreted token-based macro recording and scripting language came with both DOS and Windows 6. PerfectScript has remained the mainstay scripting language for WordPerfect users ever since. It dealt with functions rather than with keystrokes. There was no way to import DOS macros, and users who had created extensive macro libraries were forced to continue using WordPerfect 5.
An important property of WordPerfect macros is that they are not embedded in a document. Despite the term "macro", the language has hundreds of commands and functions and in fact creates full-fledged programs resident on and executed on the user's computer. A WordPerfect macro can create or modify a document or perform tasks like displaying results of a calculation such as taking a date input, adding a specific number of days and displaying the new date in a dialog box.
Documents created or edited by a WordPerfect macro are no different from those produced by manual input; the macros simply improve efficiency or automate repetitive tasks and also enabled creating content-rich document types, which would hardly be feasible manually. The PerfectScript macro language shows especial versatility in its ability to deploy every function that exists in the entire office suite, no matter whether that function was designed for WordPerfect, Quattro Pro or Presentations.
The macro development wizard presents and explains all of these functions. The number of functions available through PerfectScript is unparalleled in the office market. Widgets like buttons, input fields, drop-down lists and labels are easily combined to build user-friendly interfaces for custom office applications. An example: Macros may be used to create data entry programs which enter information directly into WordPerfect documents, saving the time and effort required to retype it.
Language formatting conventions[ edit ] Function keys[ edit ] Like its s predecessor Emacs and mids competitor, MultiMate , WordPerfect used almost every possible combination of function keys with Ctrl , Alt , and Shift modifiers, and the CtrlAlt, ShiftAlt, and ShiftCtrl double modifiers. Early versions of WordStar , which used only Ctrl. The extensive number of key combinations are now one of WordPerfect's most popular features among its regular " power users " such as legal secretaries, paralegals and attorneys.
Printer drivers[ edit ] WordPerfect for DOS shipped with an impressive array of printer drivers —a feature that played an important role in its adoption—and also shipped with a printer driver editor called PTR, which features a flexible macro language and allows technically inclined users to customize and create printer drivers. An interesting feature of the DOS 5. It allowed a user with certain compatible printers to use Word Perfect as a conventional typewriter.
This functionality was removed in the DOS 5. WordPerfect Library,  introduced in and later renamed WordPerfect Office not to be confused with Corel's Windows office suite of the same name , was a package of DOS network and stand-alone utility software for use with WordPerfect. The package included a DOS menu shell and file manager which could edit binary files as well as WordPerfect or Shell macros, calendar, and a general purpose flat file database program that could be used as the data file for a merge in WordPerfect and as a contact manager.
LP did not support tables, labels, sorting, equation editing or styles. It was written by Lew Bastian. In December , Novell released DataPerfect as copyrighted freeware and allowed the original author to continue to update the program. Updates were developed until at least DataPerfect supports up to 99 data files "panels" with each holding up to 16 million records of up to fields and an unlimited number of variable-length memo fields which can store up to 64, characters each.
Networked, DataPerfect supports up to 10, simultaneous users. The first mature version, WordPerfect 5. That version had to be installed from DOS and was largely unpopular due to serious stability issues. By the time WordPerfect 5. WordPerfect's function-key-centered user interface did not adapt well to the new paradigm of mouse and pull-down menus, especially with many of WordPerfect's standard key combinations pre-empted by incompatible keyboard shortcuts that Windows itself used; for example, Alt-F4 became Exit Program, as opposed to WordPerfect's Block Text.
The DOS version's impressive arsenal of finely tuned printer drivers was also rendered obsolete by Windows' use of its own printer device drivers.
WordPerfect Office Suite[ edit ] WordPerfect became part of an office suite when the company entered into a co-licensing agreement with Borland Software Corporation in The most important middleware-suite, still active in current versions of WordPerfect Office, is called PerfectFit developed by WordPerfect.
The other "middleware" developed by Novell was called AppWare. However, Novell kept the WordPerfect Office technology, incorporating it into its GroupWise messaging and collaboration product. Microsoft vs Novell[ edit ] Compounding WordPerfect's troubles were issues associated with the release of the first bit version, WordPerfect 7, intended for use on Windows In the lawsuit 'Novell v.
Microsoft', Novell argued that these problems were due to anti-competitive acts by Microsoft. The initial release suffered from notable stability problems.
WordPerfect 7 also did not have a Microsoft "Designed for Windows 95" logo. This was important to some Windows 95 software purchasers as Microsoft set standards for application design, behavior, and interaction with the operating system.
To make matters worse, the original release of WordPerfect 7 was incompatible with Windows NT , hindering its adoption in many professional environments.
A Windows version of WordPerfect was not introduced until nearly two years after Windows 3. Word also benefited from being included in an integrated office suite package much sooner than WordPerfect.