WordPerfect ( WP short ) is a word processing program, which was initially later developed and marketed by Satellite Software International and of the WordPerfect Corporation, Orem, Utah. Until the early 1990s presented WordPerfect de facto the " word processor " standard for DOS computers dar.


What WordPerfect from other word processing programs is fundamentally different and is appreciated by the users, are the control characters. Any command that is used within a document by the user is through a control character recognized at any time and can be changed later. This can be seen and hide in the application's window, the control character window. For example, a word represented in the award, " fat", so this is the control character window by a bordered by an arrow shape word " fat " in front and visible after the text shown in bold, with the respective arrowheads make clear where the command starts and where he ends. Also applies to WordPerfect, the principle that a command remains active until it is canceled or deactivated by the user. Through this unique program operation and representation of the user always has an overview of the program behavior.

The program also offers a true WYSIWYG. While there is based on Word Microsoft still a printed image preview, but this WP superfluous, since the screen display always shows exactly the print result. Also, a special feature is the downward and upward compatibility with other versions of this program.

Backward compatibility means in this case that documents saved with such as WordPerfect X3, also without problems with WordPerfect 6.0 can be opened for Windows (not even older versions). Only the new functions of X3 can be shown in version 6 of course not. You then Saves WordPerfect 6.0 and loads the document again in a newer version, the newer features for this release are still not fully available.


The computer scientist Bruce Bastian and Alan Ashton wrote the first version of WordPerfect in 1979 for a mini computer from Data General. Bastian was at that time a student at Brigham Young University in Provo (Utah, USA). His style of programming in the development of software that should show a playing in a sports stadium band on the screen, his professor Alan Ashton dropped to what eventually led to the collaboration and the development of WordPerfect original version. A year later, the two founded Satellite Software International ( SSI) and sold their program as "SSI * WP ", which was later renamed due to the success of WordStar. In November 1982, finally, the first version of WordPerfect was released for the IBM PC. To start the program, which was delivered on a 5.25- inch floppy disk, had for reasons of copy protection every time the so-called key - disk on which there was also the program itself, are inserted into the floppy disk drive. The program package were three other disks in: one containing the program, which was run on a PC with a CGA color graphics along with color monitor. Underlining or italics were then in the text on the screen, each in a different color and neither underlined nor italicized. A ' Speller' disk ( dictionary for spell correction) and a ' Supplementary' - disc on which, among other things, a program was at the autograph modifying the supplied printer driver, could be used. The IBM -compatible PC must have at least 128 KB of RAM, and ideally two 5.25 " floppy drives, each with 360 KB Read Capacity feature: a drive for KEYDISK, the other for the Speller - Disk in 1986 changed SSI his name. " WordPerfect Corporation ". at the same time sparked WordPerfect the hitherto dominant MicroPro WordStar as the world's most widely used word processing system from before it was ousted himself from 1992 Microsoft Word within a year and a half from the top.

At the days of DOS WordPerfect was almost word processing standards and in particular at universities due to its enormous function range and its most far-reaching freedom of program errors ( bugs) widespread. Was controlled via the software combinations of Shift, Alt and Ctrl with a function key (eg Shift F7 for the print menu ). A keyboard template that came with the program and has been stuck above the function keys on the keyboard, helped beginners to quickly navigate with the keyboard shortcuts. Only in version 5, a menu bar has been added, which could be activated with the Alt key. In version 5.1 WordPerfect was very common. However, Microsoft Word could catch up, since this was sold on many PCs together with the operating system from Microsoft. The version of WordPerfect 6.0 was one of the first fully graphical applications under DOS, and then graphics and formatting could view and edit directly. DOS as the operating system but was increasingly unpopular and so the software sold from bad to worse. There was probably some popular Windows versions (eg version 6.1), but Microsoft dominated the market rapidly.

Following the acquisition of WordPerfect Corporation by Novell in June 1994 and the subsequent sale to Corel in January 1996, was for a long time doubtful whether WordPerfect could remain on the market at all. This was followed by versions 7, 8 and 9, the total but only very poorly sold.

Since version 11, Corel is now trying again to gain market share, and it will reappear periodically releases new versions and updates.

Since the market launch of version 12 (June 2004) it looks as though Corel product WordPerfect Office (includes Word Processing WordPerfect, a spreadsheet Quattro Pro and Presentation and graphics program Presentations) securely established at least as a niche product. Version 12 offers choice in addition to the normal WordPerfect user interface a user interface that either the instantaneous quasi-standard program MS- Word or similar to the widely used years ago DOS version of WordPerfect. In addition to the standard version (denoted with an upgrade, are eligible for an upgrade all products from Corel, but also competing products such as the Microsoft Office ) is often offered on eBay especially an OEM version. Unlike the full version of this missing the encores, such as clipart or TrueType fonts. In addition, the support is limited for this version. Thus, inter alia, the installation of Service Pack 2 with the OEM version is not possible; However, Corel has now responded to the harsh criticism from the user and a service pack 3 released, which can also be installed with OEM versions. Furthermore, a Full range version for pupils, students and teachers at a greatly reduced price (but no printed manual ) available ( so-called SSL version). Ever are offered for educational institutions a variety of group deals that are also available priced below of Microsoft's Office product.

Current versions

The published in English and now also the German-speaking version 13 ( officially called X3) support against previous assumptions, the OpenDocument formats not currently. Corel has announced an update to OpenDocument and Microsoft's Open XML format. For WordPerfect 12, the user interface has been modernized, which will now support Windows themes. There is also the possibility to open PDF files instantly in X3. More complex layouts are not retained. From the relevant newsgroups it clear however, that the users are not satisfied with the new version. Among other criticism is that bugs have not been corrected from previous versions and compatibility with products such as Microsoft Word has not been substantially improved. ( Officially called X4, only in English - now also French - available language ) Also published in the April 2008 version 14 were except an improvement in the import and export functions for the PDF format, and the ability now also texts in the OpenDocument read and open XML format, but not being able to save any significant innovations introduced.

Version History

For DOS:

For Amiga

For Atari ST

For Apple II:

For Apple Macintosh:

For NeXT computer:

For Microsoft Windows:

With version 6.1 of 1994, the sales of WordPerfect was set as a single program. Word Perfect is available only as part of a complete office suite. The programs in the suite differ depending on the version, but include fixed are always the word processor WordPerfect, a spreadsheet Quattro Pro, presentation and graphics program Presentations and since version X3 and WordPerfect Mail, a personal information manager with e- mail, address book - and calendar functions similar to Microsoft Outlook.

For Linux: