WordPerfect 8.1; Old Dog Learns New Tricks

Anyone that still has a copy of Corel Linux lying around can run the bundled copy of WordPerfect 8.1 that was in the default installation.

If you are interested, you can learn how to do this here: http://xwp8users.com/

After Corel abandoned its Debian Linux OS, I looked for a way to use the WordPerfect 8.1 version. Since earlier versions of SuSE , e.g. 6.1, included the necessary libc5 support as well as wordPerfect8.0 Download Edition, I expected it would be possible to run WP8.1 as well. After some effort in finding a version of alien that worked properly, I managed to convert the WP8.1 and its associated Type 1 fonts Debian packages to RPM and install in SuSE. Although the RPM’s installed, there were some set up steps that had to be done manually. However, by about the time glibc2.3.2 came into use, the WordPerfect printer installation and configuration processes no longer worked.

With SuSE 11, my alien RPM’s also no longer installed. So I took the “brute force” approach by extracting the tar data packages and installing it the Slackware way: tar -xvzf
Another preparation now needed was to create a symlink for the locale file WP8.x expected. By installing the old SuSE shlibs5 and type1install packages and editing /etc/ld.so.conf to add the path to the libc5 folder installed by shlibs5, the WP8.1 and fonts packages - now in tar format - could again be used.

However, this was a rhetorical exercise; what use is a word processor that can’t print? Well, there was a work around; open the created .wpd file in LibreOffice Writer, which has an import filter, and print from there. Since LibreOffice can run the same Type 1 fonts, no reformatting was needed.

But now a way has been found by Peter Stone, the operator of http://xwp8users.com/ , to reactivate the printer installation and configuration.

There are still a few “glitches” in the WP8.1 installation: the backspace and delete keys type an “|” instead of erasing in some of the dialogs, so if you mistype a file name in the file-save field, you have to mouse over and delete everything and try again.

WordPerfect 8.1 was only provided in Corel Linux; it was never offered as separate media. I mention it because it is the only version of Linux WordPerfect that can still be used, with some effort. The original free download and Personal Edition of WP8.0 install via a script that no longer runs. However, there is one version of WP8.0 that can still be used. If you happen to have a copy of Caldera Open Linux 2.x (other than 2.4) there is an included RPM of WP8.0, and it is installable after some preparation.
(Peter Stone and I are still working on this version of WP8.0 and so far it is promising.) The main drawback of the WP8.0 free download version is only a few available fonts are provided, compared with the abundance of Type1 fonts that go with WP8.1. Additional fonts are provided by the selected printer driver.