How does WPDName work?

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WP Descriptive Name Explorer (WPDName) scans each file in a selected directory. Native WordPerfect files (at least through version 12) always start with these four characters: -1, W, P, C (hex FF, 57, 50, 43). Therefore, any file that does not begin with these four characters can be ignored; no WP Descriptive Name info will be found.


Each file that is identified as a WordPerfect file is further scanned to find a file position pointer to the Descriptive Name property. Then WPDName jumps to the Descriptive Name location and reads the Descriptive Name information. However, the Descriptive Name info is encoded in WordPerfectʼs special character sets.2 Therefore, it is necessary to parse each character above 127 in the Descriptive Name property and convert it to an installed font character. As installed, WPDName only converts characters up through 255 (except for the Euro sign, Unicode symbol decimal 8364 or hex 20AC). The conversion table is located in a read-only text file (WP-FontConversionTable.txt) which is located in the same folder as the WPDName executable (WPDName.exe).


If for some reason WPDName cannot find a file position pointer to the Descriptive Name property, it will try a brute force search to locate the Descriptive Name in the first 512 kb of the file. If the Descriptive Name info still cannot be located, the file will be marked and color coded according Descriptive Name user color preferences (View|Preferences... from the main menu).


By default, WPDName does not try to find Descriptive Name information in WordPerfect files saved in the compound file format that was introduced in WP7. However, this default may be overridden by changing the Check for WP compound files option to yes in preferences.


To access WordPerfect file format information used in this application, you will probably have to join the Corel Connected - Partner program:




Corel does not make it easy, but once you have joined the Partner program, find and download a WordPerfect SDK to obtain detailed file format information.


2 Early operating systems did not support extended characters in font sets. The old ASCII character sets could represent up to 128 characters (0 through 127), though not all characters were printable. The ANSI set of 217 printable characters, also known as Windows-1252, was the standard for the core fonts supplied with US versions of Microsoft Windows up to and including Windows 95 and Windows NT 4. The first 128 ASCII characters are represented in the first 128 ANSI characters. Additional characters are available in ANSI in characters 128 through 255.


WordPerfect overcame these limitations by installing additional font sets. Using its own translation table, WordPerfect was able to print in various languages and print various symbols not available in the ASCII or ANSI character set long before Unicode fonts became available.