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Finding and Opening Documents in WordPerfect 12

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This chapter will teach you how to use the Open File dialog box to find, open, and manipulate files in WordPerfect 12, as well as searching for files, even if you don't know the name. This chapter will be especially helpful to those new to computing in general, and those new to the Windows operating system specifically.
This chapter is from the book

In this chapter

  • Learn how to get around in the Open File dialog box.

  • See how to navigate through drives and folders and display the files in other folders.

  • Learn how to search for a file when you can't remember the name or where it is located.

  • Convert documents from a different format so that you can work with documents created in other programs.

  • Learn how to organize your files into folders so that you can locate them later.

  • Learn how files can be moved, copied, renamed, and deleted—all from within the file management dialog boxes.

In Chapter 2, "Creating, Saving, and Printing Documents," you learned how to create a document from scratch and save it to a disk. In many situations, you can use an existing document to help get you started on a new document. For example, suppose that you create a newsletter for your company for the month of June. When July rolls around, you don't have to create another newsletter from scratch. You can just open the June newsletter, revise it, and save it as the July newsletter. You leverage the time and energy you spent on the June newsletter to simplify the creation of the July newsletter. The key to making this work is being able to find the file you need when you need it. After all, what good is that well researched, carefully planned, professionally designed document if you can't find it later?

Getting Familiar with the Open File Dialog Box

When you're ready to open a file, you will use the Open File dialog box. You will spend more time in this dialog box than in almost any other dialog box in WordPerfect, so it's important to spend a few minutes getting familiar with it.

To display the Open File dialog box

  1. Click the Open button, or choose File, Open (Ctrl+O). The Open File dialog box appears (see Figure 3.1).

Figure 3.1Figure 3.1 Use WordPerfect's Open File dialog box to locate and open documents.


WordPerfect maintains a list of the previous nine documents that you've opened. They appear at the bottom of the File menu. To choose one of these documents, open the File menu and either click the filename or press the underlined number next to the filename. WordPerfect opens the file into a new document window, and you are ready to go.

Opening a File

When you open the Open File dialog box, WordPerfect automatically displays the contents of the default or the most recently used folder. The section "Navigating Through Drives and Folders" later in this chapter covers switching to a different drive or folder.

To open a file

  1. Click the file you want to open.

  2. Click Open. You can also double-click the file to select and open at the same time.


In WordPerfect, you can open as many as nine documents at once. To select more than one document, click the first document and hold down the Ctrl key as you click the others. When you're finished selecting files, click Open.

Customizing the View

There are several different ways to display files and folders in the Open File dialog box. It could be personal preference, or it could be that a different view makes it easier to locate a file. Whatever the reason, it's a snap to switch to a different view with the Views button.

You can click the drop-down arrow to the right of the View button to choose from the following options:

  • Thumbnails—Displays thumbnail size images of picture files.

  • Tiles—Displays the files and folders in two columns with large icons. The type and size of the document are also shown.

  • Icons—Displays the folders and files with an identifying icon. Only the folder or filename is shown.

  • List—Displays the names of the folders and files with small icons.

  • Details—Displays the names of the folders and files with small icons. The size, type, and creation/modification date and time are also shown (see Figure 3.2).

Different types of files have different file icons. For example, a WordPerfect document has an icon of a pen on a blue background. The icon for a Word document has blue W on a white page. Application files usually have a smaller version of the icon that appears on the desktop. The icons can help you zero in on the file you want.


You can enlarge the Open File dialog box and display more files and folders at one time. This trick is especially helpful when you are using the Details view. Point to a side or corner of the dialog box and wait for the two-sided arrow. Click and drag the dialog box border. Release the mouse button when you're satisfied with the new size. You can use this same method to make the dialog box smaller.

Figure 3.2Figure 3.2 The Details view provides the most information about the files and folders.

Rearranging the File List

The Details view has an added advantage. Since you now have columns for each item of information, you also have column headings that identify the item. Clicking these column headings allows you to sort the file list by the creation/modification date, the size, or the type.

Let's say you are looking for a particular file that you edited yesterday. Sort the file list by the creation/modification date to group the files by date and scroll down the list to see the files that were saved on that date (see Figure 3.3).

To rearrange the file list

  1. Click a column heading that you want to sort by, such as Type.

  2. Click the column heading again to arrange the list in reverse order. You will notice an arrow next to the column heading. This arrow indicates a descending or ascending sort order.

Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 Arranging the file list by date or by type can help you locate a specific file.

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