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HOW TO USE: WordPerfect 4.2: MEMO Alternative for the 95LX

HOW TO USE: WordPerfect 4.2: MEMO Alternative for the 95LX

Looking for something more robust than MEMO? This older version of WordPerfect sports a spell checker and thesaurus! This article covers installation and work arounds for features that don't work on the 95LX.

By Gerald B. Curtis

About the Author: [Gerald B. Curtis is President of Gerald B. Curtis Associates, a nationwide roofing design and failure investigation firm based in Camden, New Jersey. Mr. Curtis has been using computers since the early '80s and an HP 95LX for about a year. He says that the use of the HP 95LX has improved his business operations and timely communication tenfold. He lives in Haddonfield, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, with his wife and three children.]

[Thanks to Marty Mankins of WordPerfect Corporation for his feedback on, and additions to this article -- Rich.]

I read in The HP Palmtop Paper (page 23, Jan/Feb 92 issue) that someone had found that WordPerfect 4.2 works satisfactorily on the 95LX. However, I had some trouble installing the program, and it took some time and experimentation before I had it working properly.

Installing and Setting up WordPerfect 4.2 on the 95LX

Although you may be able to make WP 4.2 fit on the 95LX's C drive, it's probably better to install the software on a RAM card. Run WP 4.2 on your desktop with its setup option (described in the next paragraph) and then use the connectivity kit to transfer the necessary WP 4.2 files to a RAM memory card. The only file you really need is WP.EXE, the main program file (272,946 bytes). The set- up procedure will create another small file ({WP}SYS.FIL) that you should also transfer over to your 95LX. If you have room on your RAM card, you can also install the WordPerfect spelling checker (LEX.WP-- 289,460 bytes), the thesaurus (TH.WP -- 362,288 bytes), and one or more printer files (name and size varies).

You can set up WordPerfect 4.2 by starting it from the HP 95LX DOS prompt using the wp/s command. It's easier to do this on a PC and then transfer WP.EXE and {WP}SYS.FIL over to the 95LX using the connectivity kit. When you use wp/s to start WordPerfect, it comes up with a small help screen. Press (ENTER) to move to the set-up options and choose 3 to "Set Screen and Beep Options." Set the number of rows to 16. Leave the columns at 80 (don't set columns to 40, it screws up the screen display). Keep pressing (ENTER) to accept the rest of the options. Back at the options screen, you need to press 0 to enter WP and save the changes.

This sets you up for 16 rows, which puts the bottom of the screen where it should be. However, the right side of the screen is still 80 columns over, and as you type along, the screen will creep over as you move beyond the right edge. You can use the (ALT)-Arrow keys to move over to parts of the screen that are not visible. (ALT)-(<Shift>) plus the left or right arrow keys bump the screen 40 columns to the left or right.

In order to simulate a 40-column screen when working on a document, I set the margins to L=1, R=40. I no longer have to use the (ALT)-Arrow Key combinations to move to the part of the document beyond the right edge of the screen. When I'm ready to print a document, or if I import it to my desktop PC, I can reset the margins to an 80 column format.

Features That Don't Work on the 95LX, and Work Arounds

Minus/Plus Keys and Hyphen

At least two WordPerfect 4.2 keys and one operation do not function properly on the 95LX. The Minus Key (-) on the 95LX keypad does not produce a minus in WordPerfect, it scrolls the document screen back. The Plus key produces a forward scrolling action instead of a plus sign. In addition, pressing (CTRL)-(<Backspace>) doesn't delete a word, and bolded or italicized words don't show up on the display (while underlined words do). A dash appears properly when automatic hyphenation is performed.

A hyphen is manually produced on a standard PC keyboard by pressing the minus key found next to the zero in the top row of numbers. The reason the "normal" hyphen cannot be produced by direct keystroke on the 95LX is that there is no top row of numbers with a minus key.

However, a minus or manual hyphen can be produced by pressing (ALT)-43 on the 95LX and a plus by pressing (ALT)-45. Of course you could make a WordPerfect macro to create this, or any of the keys mentioned above.

Many other characters can be assigned to an ALT or CTRL key using WordPerfect ALT/CTRL key redefinition function (press (CTRL) (F3) 3). But choose your redefinitions carefully. Some CTRL key combinations are already reserved by WordPerfect to perform other tasks. The "-" and the "+" cannot be assigned within WordPerfect in this manner because their ASCII values of 043 and 045 respectively are not within the range of values allowed for key redefinition. The HP 95LX User Defined CHAR keys do not work in WordPerfect 4.2.

Word/Line Deletion

Even though the word deletion function ((CTRL)-(<Backspace>)) does not work on the HP 95LX, there is a simple work-around using a WordPerfect macro.

  1. 1. Create the macro on a PC running WordPerfect 4.2 by pressing (CTRL)-(F10).
  2. 2. Enter a macro name when prompted. I used ALTP.MAC <ON DISK ICON>. The .MAC extension is recognized by WordPerfect as a macro file. ALTP means that you press (ALT)-P to activate the macro in WordPerfect 4.2. I chose "P" in ALT P because it is directly below the backspace key and far enough away from the ALT key that I don't trip over my fingers when trying to press the two keys.
  3. 3. Type in (CTRL)-(<Backspace>) as the contents of the macro.
  4. 4. Copy the macro (ALTP.MAC) back to the 95LX, into the same directory that has WP.EXE.
  5. 5. To delete a word in a document, place the cursor on the blank space before it, or anywhere in the word, and press (ALT)-P.



One important point about restoring deletions made with the new (ALT)-P macro. When you delete using (CTRL)-(<Backspace>) on a PC three consecutive times to delete three words, you can restore all three words by pressing Restore ((F1) 1). However, if you used the (ALT)-P macro on the 95LX to delete three words, pressing (F1) 1 would only restore the last word deleted. If you press (F1) 2 you are shown the 2nd to the last word deleted and given the opportunity to press 1 to restore it, or to press 2 to be shown the 3rd to the last deletion.

When WordPerfect is running on a PC, pressing (CTRL)-(END) deletes the rest of a line beyond where the cursor is. Because the 95LX's END key is a Shifted RightArrow, you have to first press (<Shift>) and then hold down (CTRL) and press (<RightArrow>). (NOTE: Pressing (CTRL) and then (<Shift>)-(<RightArrow>) does not work for some reason.) The STICK.COM <ON DISK ICON> utility makes (ALT) and (CTRL) "sticky", which means that you can press them and let go instead of holding them down. Using STICK.COM in conjunction with WP 4.2 makes using (CTRL)- and (ALT)-key combinations easier to use on the 95LX.

Viewing Bolded or Italicized Words

When you bold or italicize a word in WordPerfect, the codes show up in the Reveal Codes screen, but the word(s) do not appear bolded or italicized on the 95LX's screen. I bracket these words with a rarely used character (such as , created on the 95LX by pressing (CHAR) B) to make them easier to see. When it comes time to print the document or to transfer it to a PC, I remove all of the with a special macro (ALTB.MAC <ON DISK ICON>).

Using WP 4.2's Spell Checker

Using WordPerfect 4.2's Spell Checker or Thesaurus requires patience and care due to the display discrepancies. However, I think the extra effort is minor compared to the fact that the speed and thoroughness of those utilities exceeds anything available for the 95LX.

When WordPerfect comes to a word it's spell checker doesn't recognize, it highlights the word and displays spell checker options at the bottom of the screen. If you have your right margin set wider than 40, and the highlighted word is beyond the 40th column, it flashes on the screen for only a moment before the screen moves back to the left. You can press the (ALT)-(<Shift>)-(<LeftArrow>) or the (ALT)-(<Shift>)-(<RightArrow>) to move the screen to the left or right so you can see the highlighted word.

The 16-row set up also impacts the way WP 4.2's spell checker displays alternate words. If WordPerfect is spell checking a document and comes to a word it thinks is misspelled, it displays a list of possible correctly spelled alternative words at the bottom of the screen. When WordPerfect is set up for 16 row display, WP 4.2 will only display one line of three possible replacements words, even if there are more possibilities. Press (ENTER) to toggle through the other possible replacement words. When you see the correctly spelled word, type the letter that is next to the word (A,B, or C) and that word will replace the one in the text.

Some Final Tips

Because of the limited RAM disk storage available on the 95LX, an error message may pop up advising you that there is insufficient memory on the drive where WordPerfect's temporary files are stored. The message and any difficulty can be avoided by invoking WordPerfect's WP- .EXE with another special software switch properly used. For example, if you want to place the temporary files in a sub-directory named a:\wp\ temp, that you know will always have sufficient room available, you can do so by using the following Word Perfect start up command and switches: wp/d-a:\wp\temp.

I have created 95LTRHD <ON DISK ICON>, a header file that I temporarily put at the beginning of all my documents to help me remember all the ASCII (ALT) commands and macros I have created in WordPerfect. When I'm finished with the document, I delete the header and save or print the file.

WordPerfect 5.1 vs. 4.2; Other Final Comments

I use WordPerfect 4.2, instead of 5.1 because its commands are simpler and more easily remembered, and because it's smaller and takes up less RAM disk space. It's probably possible to get 5.1 running on the 95LX loading the minimum files on a RAM card, and using the small .DRS file. Depending on the size of your RAM card, you may have to redirect the storage location of WP's temporary and document files to the 95LX's C drive.

You can transfer the WP 4.2 help file over to your 95LX, but that will cost you another 57,135 bytes of storage space, which I advise against. It's better to know WP 4.2's most important commands by heart. I have, however, taken the trouble to add a narrow strip of self adhesive tape covered with clear plastic adhesive tape on which I have written the F1 - F10 Function Key prompts.

Copying and pasting to the Phone Book.

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