Using Page Preview Causes Windows to Resize WordStar Window; also, WordStar window too tall or too short, and Windows changes the font size of the WordStar window

Applies to all versions of WordStar and Windows - example given is WordStar 7 and Windows 98.


also covers


Font size change

This is due to the font being set to Auto. The font will always change to keep an 80x25 (by default) text display. Setting this to anything else will adjust the window size rather than the font size.

Loss of 43 Line Window after use of Page Preview

This is due to WordStar asking Windows to create a VGA/EGA text mode display after switching away from the graphics mode Page Preview display. The default size for VGA/EGA text screens is 80x25, this being the size of window created.

WordStar has to be told that it is not working with a standard VGA/EGA screen, but with one capable of displaying 43 lines. This has to be done by changing the Monitor type within the Console settings with WSCHANGE. Just changing the number of lines is not sufficient as WordStar will still tell Windows to create a virtual monitor of default size.

Additionally, Windows should also be told that the DOS mode for this DOS program uses a none standard display size. This setting should match that chosen within WordStar (25, 43, or 50 lines). If this is not done, Windows may display a window that is taller than necessary causing WordStar to only partially fill it, or, conversely, one that is not tall enough causing Windows to add a vertical scroll bar.

To Correct the Problem

Note: You can run WSCHANGE by finding it with Windows Explorer and double clicking on the filename, or by opening a DOS Shell (MS-DOS Prompt) from your start menu and using the DOS commands to run it (assuming that the DOS Shell starts in C:\WINDOWS - the default, and that your WordStar is in C:\WS7)

  1. At the C:\WINDOWS> prompt, type cd \ws7, and then press ENTER to change to the WS7 directory (folder). The prompt will change to C:\WS7>.
  2. The first thing to do is make a backup of your working WordStar. At the C:\WS7> prompt, type copy ws.exe ws_saved.exe, and then press ENTER. You now have a copy of your working WordStar called ws_saved.exe.
  3. Start WSCHANGE, by typing wschange, and then press ENTER.
  4. WSCHANGE will open and ask you the file to use for default settings. For now this will be the default WS.EXE. However, should you wish to tweak your modified version, which I suggest you give a different name, you'll need to type that name instead. this should become clearer later.
  5. Just press ENTER accept the default WS.EXE.
  6. Now you will be asked what you want to call the modified version of WordStar. I'd suggest Ws43Line.exe so that you know that this is that particular version. Renaming the file will leave your original WordStar intact so you can still run it if you want. Future modifications to this version would be made by entering ws43line.exe in the first box as noted above.
  7. We're now going to change the monitor settings. This is option A in the main menu. Type the letter A to change to the Console Menu. We want to change the screen size which is listed under the Monitor Menu, also option A. Type the letter A again.
  8. Here we need to tell WordStar to use a monitor that can display 43 lines. This is the EGA with 43 line option, letter D. Type the letter D. WSCHANGE will tell you that WordStar is now set for 43 line display. Press ENTER to continue. You could now check the Screen Sizing menu - C - but this should have been changed automatically. Type C and check that the height is set to 43. Type X to return to the previous menu, and X again, and again. You're now asked to confirm your changes. Type Y.

That's it! Now try it by typing ws43line , and then pressing ENTER.

Now, depending on your default DOS settings within Windows you'll get a windowed or full screen version of WordStar with 43 lines. 35 lines for the editing screen, one for each of the title bar, menu bar, info bar, tab bar, and at the bottom of the screen the status bar. Type that is hold the Control key down and press Enter to switch between full screen and windowed. If that works, try out your page preview. This should now work correctly!

The VGA 50 line option looks good on a 1024x768 monitor too. Don't use the options with underlining as you'll end up with a monochrome display rather than colour and the text and background are indistinguishable.

Windows DOS Mode Settings (Shortcuts)

To allow you to run WordStar in a variety of screen sizes, and with your preferred font size at start-up you should really create some new Shortcuts. This will allow you to keep the default MS-DOS Prompt for any other DOS programs that can't support the extra lines, etc., they'll just fill the first 25 lines of the window. The way to do this is explained in another article.