TYWP Ch 1-Starting Out
- [CN] Chapter One: Starting Out
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to:
• Install WordPerfect on your Macintosh
• Open WordPerfect, and enter text
• Save files to disk
• Open two files at once
Let’s begin by assuming that you’ve never touched a computer in your
life. You’ve just taken your new Macintosh out of the box, and
WordPerfect is still in the box.
Forget about WordPerfect for a minute, and see what the manual that
came with your Mac has to say about setting it up and turning it on. If
you’re new to all of this, you’ll want to take the guided tour called
Macintosh Basics that comes on your computer’s hard disk, if you bought
it with one, and on a floppy disk otherwise. This is an excellent
introduction to the Mac’s interface: the way you give information to
and get information from the computer.
This book assumes no prior knowledge on your part about WordPerfect or
word processing, but does assume that you know the aspects of general
operation that the tutorial, or your owner’s manual, contains.
[A-HEAD] Installing WordPerfect
When you went through the Macintosh Basics tutorial, you simply ran a
program that was either on your hard disk or on a floppy. Some programs
can be run either way, but WordPerfect’s power and features make it
large enough that it needs to be on a hard disk (which typically holds
50 or 100 times as much information as a floppy).
So, the first thing you need to do with WordPerfect itself is to put it
on the hard disk that’s inside your Mac. (For some Macintosh models,
the hard disk is in a separate box next to or under the Mac. Makes no
If that sounds complicated, it’s not. WordPerfect has a system built in
that lets you move the program from its original floppy disks to your
hard disk easily. Let’s do this now.
[NOTE ICON] If you’re already expert enough that virus protection
software is running on your Mac, turn it off before installing
WordPerfect. If you like, you can scan the WordPerfect disks first,
then turn the virus programs off. See Appendix X for a discussion of
what computer viruses are, and what to do about them.
1. Open your WordPerfect package, and find the set of floppy disks.
Handle these carefully. Find the disk that’s labelled “Installer” or
“WordPerfect 1.” Put this in the floppy drive.
2. You’ll see a new window open, with an icon called “Installer,” or
“Install WordPerfect,” as shown in figure 1.1:
[Figure 1.1: the Install WordPerfect icon]
Double-click on this. You’ll be guided through a short process, and
your computer will restart when you’re done.
At this point, your desktop’s windows and icons will reappear, and
you’ll see a new folder, entitled “WordPerfect 3.0,” as in figure 1.2:
[Figure 1.2: Your hard disk window, with a new folder]
Congratulations! You’ve installed WordPerfect on your hard disk, and
are ready to do amazing things.
[A-HEAD] Starting to use WordPerfect
1. Move your arrow cursor over the WordPerfect 3.0 Folder, and
double-click to open it. You’ll see figure 1.3:
[Figure 1.3: the WordPerfect Folder window]
One of these icons is the WordPerfect program, and the others are
folders containing things such as dictionaries that the program needs
to operate effectively.
2. Double-click on the WordPerfect program icon. WordPerfect takes a
moment to read its data off of your hard disk.
[NOTE ICON] The first time you start WordPerfect after installing it,
the program will ask you for your name, organization, and license
number — which you’ll find on the box WordPerfect came in, or on the
cover of the Reference Manual. Type this information in, and click your
mouse in the OK button.
3. Then you’ll see a window like this:
[Figure 1.4: a new WordPerfect window]
Note that the largest part of the window is blank — this is where your
writing or drawing will go. The icons along the left and top of the
screen, and the menu bar and ruler at the top are all tools that help
make your file (or document — the words are interchangeable) look the
way you want it to. There’s a lot here, so let’s ignore all of it, and
pay attention to the blank area. This is very much like a sheet of
paper you’ve put into a typewriter, and you’re all ready to type (or,
excuse us, word process. You’re a computer user now).
4. Go ahead and type a few words. Each letter appears on the screen as
you type. Note that the insertion point — a blinking vertical line —
stays just ahead of where you’re typing.
If you make a typing error, just use the delete key (or the backspace
key on some keyboards), and you’ll see for the first time that there’s
something special going on here: your Macintosh just erases what you
backspace over, and you can type the correction. No more white-out
Don’t worry if you can type faster than the Macintosh can listen to
you. The Mac buffers all of your keystrokes, and puts them on the
screen as fast as it can. Just type away.
Here comes the next fancy part to computer word processing. Don’t press
the return key when you get near the right side of the screen. Just
keep typing whatever you want, and try to watch the screen as you do
Wow! When you get to the right side of the screen, and a word is too
long to fit on the line, it automatically jumps to the start of the
This is called “word wrap” in computer lingo, and it’s a good example
of what WordPerfect can do for you. Why should you have to worry about
where a line ends, and whether a word will fit on the line, or whether
you should start a new line first? That’s the Macintosh’s job.
Already, you’ve been freed to think as you write, and let this bunch of
wires and disks in front of you do the low-level work.
You’ll use the return key on your keyboard only to start a new
5. Press Return, and see that the blinking Insertion Point has gone
down to the line below where you were. Type a few more words. This is a
new paragraph, although it isn’t indented or separated by any space
from what you typed before.
Of the various ways to separate paragraphs (if you want to), the
standard use of the tab key, to indent the first line of a new
paragraph, is fine. Or you can take the more popular option that
computer word processing people do, which is to press return twice, so
that there’s a space between paragraphs, but no indenting.
6. Type some more, with new paragraphs as you wish and, when you get to
the bottom of the screen, you’ll see that the page scrolls so that you
can see each new line. Isn’t this something? WordPerfect is taking care
Let’s take a break from all this fun to do an essential chore. It’s got
to be done but, thankfully, it’s almost automatic once you learn how.
This is saving.
What this means is, all you’ve typed so far is in the Macintosh’s
memory or, exactly, the kind of memory called RAM, or random access
You can forget those big words right away; it’s just that this stuff
called RAM is your words on electronic chips, the kind you see when you
take the cover off your stereo. It’s all very nice while you’re typing,
but when you turn the Macintosh off, the electricity powering the chips
turns off, and your typing disappears.
This is no good, so we want to transfer your typing to your hard disk,
where it will stay until tomorrow or next year. After doing this, you
can then type some more, or print your file, or stop working with the
computer. So let’s copy your typing from RAM to your hard disk or, as
we say, save it to disk.
[A-HEAD] How to Save
1. Grab your mouse, and bring its arrow cursor up to top left of your
screen, to the File menu. Click and hold on this. You’ll see a menu
drop as shown in figure 1.5:
[Figure 1.5: the File menu]
Still holding your mouse button down:
2. Bring your mouse down to the Save command, so that it’s highlighted,
as you see in figure 1.6:
[Figure 1.6: the File menu, with Save selected]
and release the mouse button at this point. WordPerfect responds with
[Figure 1.7: the Save As window]
and this is initially a little confusing. Don’t worry; this is about as
hard as the Macintosh gets. It’s just that the Mac needs to know a
couple of things all at once: where you want to put your typing, and
what you want to name it. Forget everything else.
As with any filing system, the point of locating it somewhere and
naming it something just lets you find it later.
The place your Mac suggests — in the WordPerfect 3.0 Folder — is fine.
3. For a name, just type “My First File” in the Save Document As box.
4. Click your mouse on the Save button.
Presto. This window (or, since it asks for a conversation between you
and your Mac, this dialog box) goes away, and you’re returned to your
typing. Note that the title of your file, at the top of the screen just
below the menu bar, and that used to read “Untitled,” now reads “My
An exact copy of what’s on the screen is now on your hard disk, and you
can change some of what you typed, or add to it, without worrying about
losing part of it. You can always get it back, now that you’ve saved
it. Go ahead and type some more.
Let’s see how much easier it is to save any changes you make to “My
First File,” now that you’ve saved it a first time. From the File menu:
5. Choose the Save command again. This time, there’s no Save As window
(or dialog box) — just a pause for a couple of seconds, and you’re back
to your screen of typing.
Why didn’t the dialog box show up again? Because you’ve already saved
it the first time, so the Macintosh knows its name and where it is. All
you’ve done is added your more recent typing to the file.
This will be the same way as long as you work on this document — you
just add to it, then save, and your further work is then appended to
what’s already on your hard disk, safe and sound.
[A-HEAD] The importance of saving
It’s a really great idea to nurture the habit of saving like this,
every five minutes or so. Don’t type for half an hour and then save.
It’s just that since what you write is in RAM — on those wires and
chips — if there’s a power outage, the electricity needed to keep your
writing in RAM can go away, and your work with it. But if you save your
writing to disk every five minutes, it’s safe even if the electricity
This is a big — no, the big — answer to lots of computer worries. You
may have friends who have lost hours of work; we sure have. Why did
that happen? Most often, they just didn’t save their writing often
It’s so simple, that the only excuse is that they forgot. And since a
habit is the best insurance against a faulty memory, now’s the time to
start a good habit of saving often. Go to the kitchen and get your egg
timer, set it for five minutes, and type away. When the timer goes off,
save and then write some more.
You’ve just conquered the major source of computer problems.
[A-HEAD] Making changes to your file
As you’ve typed, you’ve probably made some typing errors, or changed
your mind about a word or two. You simply backspaced, and typed the
Now let’s say that you’re at the end of your fifth paragraph and,
reading what you’ve written, you see that you want to change something
in the second paragraph. Do you have to backspace through three
paragraphs and, in doing so, delete all that’s in between? No way.
Here’s another use of your mouse:
1. Move it around a little on the screen. You’ll see another kind of
cursor appear, one that we call an I-Beam, when you’re over the typing
area. The cursor changes back to an arrow when it’s over the menus or a
bar. You’ve already seen the blinking insertion point, appearing where
you type, and you know about the arrow cursor from the Macintosh Basics
tutorial. Here’s the arrow, I-beam and insertion point, shown in figure
[Figure 1.8: three kinds of cursors]
If you click your mouse (seen as the I-Beam) anywhere where you’ve
already typed, you’ll move the blinking insertion point to that place
in your typing.
2. Click your mouse just to the right of any word you’d like to change.
See that the insertion point is now blinking just after that word.
3. Backspace (using the delete or backspace key, depending on your
keyboard), until you’ve deleted the whole word you want to change.
4. Type your change.
This the next big plus to computer word processing. You can make any
change to any part of your file, any time you want to.
[NOTE ICON] We say that a computer frees us, and empowers us, and this
is the first part of that. When you start to write, you can just sit
down at the Macintosh, start WordPerfect, and type whatever comes into
your mind. Any changes that you subsequently want to make are easy,
just a mouse click away.
5. Save your changes, just for safety’s sake. That egg timer really is
a good idea, to develop this great habit right away.
[SHORTCUT ICON] For a faster way to change a word, double-click your
I-beam on it. The entire word will become selected. You can then just
type a replacement — the original word is deleted automatically.
[A-HEAD] Closing your file
At this point, you’ve done all the writing you want to do in this file,
and perhaps want to write something else with WordPerfect. So let’s
close the file you’ve been working on.
1. Bring your mouse up to the File menu, and choose Close.
If you’ve done any more writing, or made other changes, your Mac will
ask you, by means of another dialog box, if you want to save those, not
save those, or cancel your decision to close your file. If you haven’t
made changes since you last saved, your file will simply close.
2. If you have made changes, the dialog box will look like figure 1.9:
[Figure 1.9: Save Changes?]
and you can click your mouse on what you want. Unless you’re sure you
don’t want to keep the changes to your file, you should click Save.
Your document is now closed, and you’ll see the Macintosh desktop.
Let’s begin a new file, to see how we can write something else.
[A-HEAD] Starting a new file
1. Come up to the File menu, and choose the first command: New.
You now have a new, untitled screen. Type a few words. This is an
example of a second piece of writing.
2. Choose Save from the File menu, and save this to disk as you did
last time. Use the name, “My Second File.”
3. Close this document, again from the File menu.
Now let’s say we want to go back to your first file, to make some
further changes, or maybe just look at it.
[A-HEAD] Opening a file
1. Choose Open from the File menu.
You’ll see a dialog box, shown in figure 1.10, which looks a little
like what you saw when you saved each of your two files for the first
time. There’s a list of folders or files, and buttons to the right.
[Figure 1.10: the Open Dialog Box]
2. Click on the words “My First File.” It becomes selected, or changes
from dark on light to light on dark.
3. Click the Open button at the right.
[SHORTCUT ICON] Or, double-click (click twice, quickly) on the name of
Presto again! Your original writing is back on the screen.
This is an important step. You might want to close the file now, and go
through the steps again to open it. In this way, you can come back to
any file you have on your hard disk.
4. Make some changes to “My First File” and save them.
5. Close “My First File,” and then open “My Second File.” Add a few
words to this one too, and then save this file.
It’s just as easy to have two or more files open at once, with their
windows next to each other, or one behind the other. You can compare
two documents, or copy paragraphs out of one and paste them into the
6. Open “My First File” again. Its window sits nearly on top of “My
Second File,” but a little offset, so you can see the edges of both.
This kind of setup can give you a real boost in productivity and
accuracy, and you now know how to do it.
[A-HEAD] Quitting WordPerfect
At this point, let’s say that we’re through with the computer for the
time being. Rather than just turn the Mac off, we should quit
WordPerfect first. It’s important to do it this way, since both
WordPerfect and the Macintosh need to clean things up a little, so to
speak, before the power’s shut off.
1. Bring your mouse up to the File menu, click and hold, and choose the
Quit command, the last one on the menu.
If you have any unsaved changes to any open file, WordPerfect will ask
you if you want to save them. Do so. If you haven’t made changes since
last saving, the open files will simply close. WordPerfect then quits,
and you’re returned to your original desktop. You can now:
2. Choose Shut Down from the Special menu, and your Macintosh will
either, depending on the model, turn itself off or take a moment and
then tell you it’s safe to click off the power switch.
If you feel any anxiety about any of this, why not repeat the steps
from “Starting to Use WordPerfect” up to now. For a certainty,
repeating a few steps now is a good idea, since the largest hurdle
you’re facing is not an objective complexity to the tasks, but a lack
of ease and familiarity with this kind of tool. Keep in mind that a
little practice with these steps, now and as we go, really pays off.
Otherwise, you can sure pat yourself on the back for learning how to:
• Install WordPerfect on your Macintosh
• Open WordPerfect, and write a letter, or a novel
• Save your work to disk frequently, so you won’t lose it
• Start a second file, and save that to disk
• Close files, and quit WordPerfect
which is quite a bit for your first session. Note that while not
everything seemed easy at the time, it certainly posed no problems if
you did things step by step, and repeated a step here and there as
Importantly, you’ve just learned how to do about ninety percent of what
word processing users do every day on their Mac. A little practice will
make it as effortless for you as it is for them. You see? We promised
it would be easy.