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WordPerfect for DOS uses graphics drivers that make it possible to use the program's print preview (and, in WPDOS 6.x only, graphics mode and page mode) with a variety of graphics hardware. Many ofthese drivers support hardware that is now obsolete, and no drivers have beenwritten (and probably will never be written) for newer hardware. This page hassome suggestions for using WPDOS in graphics mode with current video cards andchips.
Corel's web site has a list ofWPDOS5.1 downloads, including graphicsdrivers (and a single file containingall the WPDOS 5.1 graphics drivers available from Corel) and for various WPDOS 6.x downloads,including graphics drivers (see also Corel'ssummarylist of WPDOS6.1 patches and drivers). Graphics drivers filenames have a .VRS extension.
For all versions of WPDOS, start with the IBM VGA drivers; these will work withany current hardware, but are limited to 640x480 resolution. For WPDOS 5.1, the IBM VGA driver may be youronly possible choice among the original drivers, but, with many modern video cards, you should use the new WPDOS 5.1 VESA graphics driver. Do not choose the IBM 8514/A driver, no matter how tempting it looks to you.
For WPDOS 6.x, you will probably get best results with the VESAVBE driver supplied with the original WPDOS installation disks. In DOS and Windows 95, 98, or Me, the VESA driver provides up to 1280x1024 resolution with many current desktop video boards; under Windows NT, 2000, and XP it works with some, but notall, boards that support VESA under DOS or Windows 9x. Some boards work withWordPerfect's VESA driver only if you use the patcheddriver found elsewhere on this page. Do not choose the IBM 8514/A driver, no matter how tempting it looks to you.
Unfortunately, the IBM VGA driver may be the only driver that will workwith some boards that do not support VESA. Under Windows NT, 2000, or XP, you maybe required to use the IBM VGA driver even with boards that support VESA graphicsunder DOS and Windows 9x or Me, because the NT/2000/XP drivers for those boards do not include VESAsupport. Matrox boards seem to be an example of such boards: you can use the WPDOS VESA drivers with a Matrox board under DOS, Windows 9x, and Windows Me, but not under WindowsNT, 2000, or XP. (For more information on Matrox boards, see a separatesection on this page.)
This is a vexed and vexing question, and the answer may change almost any day. Briefly, to use high-resolution VESA graphics with WPDOS on a desktop computer, you will almost certainly need a separate video card, not the built-in graphics built into inexpensive motherboards. Some video cards can display high-resolution VESA graphics; some cannot; some can do so under earlier versions of Windows but not under Windows XP or Windows Vista; some can do so with some version of the Windows XP or Vista driver software but not with others; some combinations of LCD monitors and video hardware can display VESA graphics effortlessly; other combinations require the use of a DVI connection (see below) and will not display VESA graphics with a conventional VGA connector.
Recent desktop video cards based on ATI chips seem to support VESA graphics extremely well. When I experimented with one such card, VESA graphics were solid and stable under Windows XP with the latest drivers from ATI (now AMD)'s web site. However, the hardware-based font used in full-screen DOS and WPDOS sessions seems quite ugly, although ATI seems to have improved it in recent years. Older ATI desktop hardware provided a dashed underline in monochrome mode, but recent models provide a continuous underline.
Intel graphics hardware can generally display VESA graphics and work smoothly with WPDOS in graphics mode. You may need to use thepatched version of the WPDOS 6.x VESA driver available elsewhere on this page.
A VESA graphics driver for WPDOS 5.1. On most recent computers, the print preview screen in WordPerfect for DOS 5.1 is limited to a low-resolution, high-flicker image. But a VESA graphics driver has been written for WordPerfect 5.1 that will give 5.1 users the same high-resolution, low-flicker images available under WordPerfect for DOS 6.x. The was written by Michal Necasek, a graphics engineer for SciTech Software, who has generously made it available at no charge. Download it in this zip archive; open the archive file in Windows Explorer (under Windows XP) or with any Zip management program; extract the VESA.VRS file and copy it into your WPDOS 5.1 directory. Further instructions are included in a Readme file in the archive.
Warning: The VESA graphics standard may or may not be supported by your video hardware, so there is no guarantee that this driver will work on your system. See the discussion of video hardware above.
When switching from text mode to graphics mode in WPDOS 6.x, you may see one or more error messages that say "Divide Overflow", and then graphics mode may display normally. This error message seems to result from some obscure conflict in your video hardware. The only solution seems to be to change to a different video card, or sometimes to a different monitor, although it is sometimes possible to fix the problem by making fine adjustments in the Windows video driver using special-purpose software for this task. (Please do not ask me about such software; I know nothing about any such software currently available.)
If the crash does occur again, restart WPDOS, return to Alt-F1, Display, and simply choose a different graphics driver or choose Auto-Select. If you are using WPDOS 6.x, and you cannot restart WPDOS because you have set it to begin in graphics mode but it crashes when it starts up, then start WPDOS 6.x with the command-line switch /tx by using the Start menu, then Run, and entering c:\wp62\wp /tx (or a similar command using the actual path of your WPDOS program). (This last instruction applies only to WPDOS 6.x, not to WPDOS 5.1, which can only start in text mode, not in graphics mode.)
Under Windows 95 or 98: Edit your c:\Autoexec.bat file (or create one if you do not have one) and add a line that loads a DOS-based mouse driver. This will typically have a name like MOUSE.COM. Add a line to your Autoexec.bat file that loads this driver. (If you do not how to do this, search for help online or consult a knowledgeable friend.) Note that this probably will not help the performance of a mouse connected to a USB port.
Fewif any current graphics board come with software that sets the refreshrate for DOS graphics applications, so WordPerfect's graphics screens display at thedefault refresh rate of 60Hz, with an irritating flicker on CRT monitors, instead of a restful 75Hz or higher.If the board supports the VESA graphics standard (see thesection above), and works with the WPDOS 6.x VESA driver or the new WPDOS 5.1 VESA driver, a third-partysolution may provide the answer.
Some older boards will not work directly with the WPDOS VESA driver, but can be made to work with it through third-party utilities. The most effective of these is SciTech Display Doctor, which includes a memory-resident utility called UniVBE that allows you to select the VESA graphics driver in WPDOS and set refresh rates for DOS or Windows 9x; use the DOS-based component of this product, not the Windows driver, which is less reliable.SciTech formerly offered freely downloadable versions of this software on its FTP site, but these no longer seem to be available.
For many recent boards that support the VESA 3.0 standard, but do not include utilities that let you set DOS refresh rates for the VESA driver, two third-party solutions to the problem areavailable: the freewareVBEHzutility, and the (highly recommended) shareware Unirefresh utility by Rob Muller. (Download the program from one of the links on theMajorGeeks.com site; you may need to try more than one link.) These programs work with many graphics boards made in the late 1990s and early 2000s based on Nvidia and3Dfx chips, and the Matrox G450 (and possibly the G200 and G400 if upgraded with a later BIOS formerly available onMatrox'sweb site); I have not tested it with ATI graphics hardware. Both these software solutions work under DOS,Windows 9x, and Windows Me. They will also work with some video boards under Windows 2000 and XP if started from afull-screen Windows 2000 and XP DOS prompt (but not with the Matrox boards; see furthernotes below). I have not tested these programs under Windows NT.
If you are using a graphics card that supports VESAgraphics, but WordPerfect 6.xrefuses to display VESA graphics, a solution to your problem has beengenerously provided by Haye van den Oever. The WordPerfect VESA VBE driver(VESA.VRS) asks the graphics card's BIOS how much memory is on the card. If theBIOS reports 16 MB or more, the driver refuses to load, perhaps in order to avoidproblems that were common when the driver was written. Unfortunately, because allcurrent graphics cards have far more than 16 MB of memory, VESA.VRS may refuse toload when used with these cards.
Fortunately, the BIOS on many video cards reports that the card has only 4 MB of memory, even ifthe card really has 16 MB or more. As a result, the original VESA.VRS doeswork with these cards. Furthermore, many Windows video drivers intercept the request by VESA.VRS and report that the card has only 8 MB or less of memory, no matter how much memory is actually on the card. This means that some cards with a BIOS that reports 64 MB of memory in pure DOS will instead report 8 MB when used from a WindowsDOS box, and VESA.VRS will work with these cards when WordPerfect is run from aWindows DOS box, but not when run from pure DOS. To determine how much memoryyour card's BIOS reports, you may run VESAMEM.EXE byHaye van den Oever. The Matrox G450 card, for example, reports 32 MB memory whentested in pure DOS, but 8 MB when tested from a Windows DOS box. (Remember, this patched driver is for WPDOS 6.x only!) 2b1af7f3a8