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Finding and Opening Documents

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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 you can work with documents created in other programs.

  • Learn how to organize your files into folders so 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 and Editing Documents," you learned how to create a document from scratch and save it to disk. In many cases, you can use an existing document to help get you started on a new document. One of the most common word processing tasks is editing an existing document to create a new and unique document. For example, suppose that you create a newsletter for your company for the month of June. When July rolls around, you probably won't create another newsletter from scratch. You'll open the June newsletter, revise it, and save it as the July newsletter.

Getting Familiar with the Open File Dialog Box

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

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.

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" covers switching to a different drive and/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.


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.

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 View button.

You can click the View button to cycle through the different views, or you can click the drop-down arrow to the right of the View button to choose from the following options:

  • Large Icons—Displays the folders and files with large icons

  • Small Icons—Displays the folders and files with small icons, so more files can be seen at once

  • List—Displays the folders and files with small icons

  • Details—Displays the folders and files with small icons along with the size, type, and creation/modification date and time (see Figure 3.2)

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


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.

You can enlarge the Open File dialog box and display more files and folders at one time. This 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.


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.

Rearranging the File List

The Details view has an added advantage. You can sort the file list by the creation/modification date, the size, or the type. For example, you might arrange the file list by the creation/modification date to locate a file that you edited on a specific date (see Figure 3.3).

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

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.

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