Truth in Society

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1994

Prompt #17

Truth / About Wordprocessing / in Society

You already know how to do one thing on the network (at least); send mail. Now we're going to try to help you make a next step. If you already know about word processing, or have experience with WordPerfect, some of this may be redundant; read it selectively. But some may tell you things you didn't know. We'll have further prompts with more advanced features later; right now, we're going to try to get you started with the very basics.

First, from the opening menu, you need to make a "Course Drive Selection." Highlight that item, and you'll get a menu that looks like this:

[Course drive selection menu screen shot]

Move the bar down to TRUTH (or simply press T) and you'll have chosen to designate drive Q: as the one for the Truth in Society section. You may have to press {enter} a couple of times to get back to the main menu. Remember, if you don't do this at the opening menu every time, you won't be able to get the Q: directory, and will have to go back to the opening menu.

Now, select Applications (or type A), then Word Processing, then Word Perfect 5.1. (We're not starting with Word Perfect 6.0b because there are still some bugs with it; whatever you learn with 5.1 won't be wasted). You'll get the "opening screen" for Word Perfect. It should be blue, and will be asking for a "Username (Limit: 3 characters); you can put your initials in the slot. You'll then go to an "editing screen," which should be black, with a line of menu items across the top and some information (once you start editing, it'll give you the name of the file and where you are in it) at the bottom.

What we think it would be useful for you to do this first time is pretty simple.

  1. Press F5, or go to the menu bar, highlight File, and then List Files. You'll get a message at the bottom left saying Dir H:\*.*. If at this point you press {enter}, you'll get a list of files on your own personal directory (which is called H:, and which no one else -- except the system operators -- has access to). Right now, it's probably only got something called WP in it, which isn't a file at all, but a directory which keeps track of whatever you might do later to customize WordPerfect.

  2. Press {F1} (which often gets you back out of things in WordPerfect), and you'll be back to your editing screen.

  3. Try {F5}, or use the menu bar, again -- but this time, respond by pressing the = key. The message at the bottom will change to "New Directory = ."

  4. Put "Q:" (you need the colon) in the slot and press {enter}. If you press {enter} again, you'll get a list of the files in Q:. One of them will be called OPENING.DOC (there may be other files in there called OPENING.RAH or OPENING.JQZ; you can ignore them for now).

  5. Using the arrow keys, move the highlight over OPENING.DOC and press the {1} key (not {F1}; the numeral). And don't just highlight the file and press {enter}: that lets you "LOOK" at the file, but not change it. Highlight it, and press {1}. That file will tell you the next steps in the process of exploring Word Perfect. Do those now, and then come back to this document.

  6. When you've followed the directions in that file, and created your own new file, you might want to know how to start a file from the beginning. All you do is start writing from that empty opening edit screen. When it comes time to save it (after you've worked for a few minutes, the system will remind you to), press {F10} or choose File/Save and the program will ask you for a file name. There are some limits on file names -- they have to have eight or fewer characters in the part before the period, and three or fewer afterwards, and in general they only want letters and numbers in them. You can't leave empty spaces. People often use their initials in the last three slots (the "extension") as a way of identifying their files; other times they use dates (927 is how we might identify a file created on September 27, for instance). Create a file name, and press enter. Your file will now be in whatever directory you were attached to (it might be your own home H: directory, or the course's Q: directory, or even on a diskette (in drive A: or B: on the machine).

Previous prompt

Next prompt