Customizing Your Workspace in WordPerfect Office 2002

You can control many things about the WordPerfect interface (a fancy term for how the program looks and behaves). You could spend hours going through all the options, but you must have better things to do. Below are the options for the tasks most people are likely to tackle in WordPerfect.

Options headquarters: The Settings dialog box

The key to many customization options is the Settings dialog box. To open the dialog box, choose Tools --> Settings or press Alt+F12. Clicking any of the icons in the dialog box opens another dialog box in which you can specify how you want a particular aspect of the program to work.

Click the Display icon to open the Display Settings dialog box. In this dialog box, you can find all sorts of customization options. Here's a look at the biggies:

  • Measurement unit: To change the measurement unit used in dialog boxes, click the Document tab to display available options. Then choose a measurement option from the Units of Measure drop-down list. To select the measurement unit that you want WordPerfect to use on the ruler and on the Position button, choose one of the options from the Application Bar/Ruler Display drop-down list.
  • RealTime Preview: The Document tab of the Display Settings dialog box also contains a RealTime Preview check box. Clicking the check box toggles the RealTime Preview feature on and off. RealTime Preview enables you to preview the results of certain edits before you actually make the change. You can see how your text will look in a certain typeface, for example, or how your document will display at different magnification levels available from the Zoom menu. RealTime Preview puts no additional strain on your computer's system resources, so there's no reason to turn it off unless it bugs you.
  • Shadow cursor color, shape, and action: Using the options in the lower-left corner of the Document tab, you can customize the shadow cursor. Click the Color and Shape buttons to change the appearance of the shadow cursor. Click one of the Snap To radio buttons to specify whether you want the shadow cursor to snap to (align automatically with) margins, tabs, indents, or spaces. The Active In radio buttons enable you to set the shadow cursor to be active in text only, in the white space of your document only, or both.
  • Hidden symbol display: Hidden symbols are little symbols that show you where spaces, paragraph breaks (also known as hard returns), tabs, indents, and other formatting instructions are located throughout your text. You toggle hidden symbols on and off by choosing View --> Show ¶ or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+F3.You can specify which symbols you want WordPerfect to display by selecting the check boxes for those symbols on the Symbols tab of the Display Settings dialog box (Remember, to open the dialog box, you just press Alt+F12 and then click the Display icon.)

More ways to custom-tailor your view

The Display Settings dialog box discussed in the preceding section isn't the only vehicle for custom-tailoring the WordPerfect interface. Check out these options:

  • Choose which toolbars are visible: Choose View --> Toolbars to display the Toolbars dialog box. You get a list of all the available toolbars. Check the box beside a toolbar you want to see; uncheck the box to put the toolbar away.
    If you have a toolbar displayed, you can right-click an empty area in the toolbar to display a QuickMenu that lists all the available toolbars. Click a toolbar name to turn the toolbar on or off. A check mark next to the name means the toolbar is turned on.
  • Hide or display the Application Bar: If the Application Bar is visible and you want to hide it, just right-click the bar and choose Hide Application Bar from the QuickMenu. To turn the Application Bar back on, choose View --> Application Bar.
  • Change the Application Bar contents: You can specify what items you want displayed on the Application Bar. To see all your options, right-click the Application Bar and then click Settings to display the Application Bar Settings dialog box. Or choose Tools --> Settings and click the Application Bar icon.
    While the dialog box is open, double-clicking a button on the Application Bar changes the button's appearance. If the button has a text label, WordPerfect replaces the label with an icon, and vice versa. You also can drag buttons around the Application Bar to relocate them and drag them off the bar to remove them. (If the dialog box isn't open, press the Alt key as you drag or double-click the buttons to get the same results.)
  • Hide or display the Property Bar: To put the Property Bar away, right-click it and choose Hide Property Bar. To turn the Property Bar back on, choose View --> Toolbars and check the Property Bar box in the Toolbars dialog box.
  • Add, remove, and rearrange toolbar and Property Bar buttons: You can delete buttons you don't use and add buttons for commands you need frequently.
    You can relocate a toolbar or the Property Bar by placing your cursor on an empty area of the bar and then dragging the bar to a new position. Alternatively, right-click the bar, choose Settings from the QuickMenu, and click the Options button in the dialog box that appears. WordPerfect then offers up controls for adjusting both the position of the bar and the labels that appear on the bar's buttons.
  • Hide or display margin guides, column guides, and other nonprinting guides: Choose View --> Guidelines and select the guides you want to display from the Guidelines dialog box.
  • Hide or display the ruler: Choose View --> Ruler or press Alt+Shift+F3 to hide or display the ruler. Or, if the ruler is visible, right-click it and choose Hide Ruler from the QuickMenu.
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