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Microsoft Word for DOS 1.15|
To create a new window using the mouse, you left click on the border.
The cursor changes to a square, and when released sets the position for
the new window edge. (see the next screen shot)
To resize a window, click on a border, hold down the left button,
and move the mouse.
The term used for this action is a "Window move". It is also interesting
to note that Microsoft did not use the term "drag" anywhere in the documentation.
To close a window with the mouse, you click BOTH mouse buttons at the
same time on the window bar. As you do this, the cursor changes to a square
with an "X" through it.
Word for DOS can have up to 8 windows open. (More than Windows 8?!)
In Word for DOS 1.x, windows can tile vertically or horizontally. They
can not overlap or leave unused areas. This is similar to the behavior
of Windows 1.0.
There is also a special window for footnotes. (1)
You can also use the mouse for selecting text, setting tab stops, and
 Recursive footnote. See footnote 1.
Microsoft Word for DOS has built in help. You can activate the help
with the mouse by clicking on the question mark at the bottom of the screen.
The help system is nothing special. It is just a text file displayed
to the screen. There are no hyperlinks, but you can select topics from
the command menu.
Opening and saving a file is a little different. File operations are
grouped under the "Transfer" command item, rather than the familiar term
"File" that we use today.
Under the "Load" command you can enter a file name, or press the down
arrow to view a list. Oddly, there doesn't seem to be anything you can
click on to show the file list. From the list, you can click on a file
name, but to indicate you are done you must click the command label "Transfer
Optionally, Microsoft Word for DOS can run in pure text mode. This
was necessary because some PCs of the time only had monotext cards. In
color text mode, each window can have a different background color.
In text mode, formatted text is indicated using colors or intensity.
The requirement to be compatible with text-only modes is why Word for
DOS does not display different fonts or sizes. This ability is added in
1985 to Word for Macintosh, and later in Word for Windows.
The kids these days still think touch screens are new and fancy. Well
back in 1983/84 the HP 150 port of Word for DOS 1.x supported touch!
The above excerpt from the Word
1.x for the HP 150 manual describes how this worked. (Not included
in the IBM PC version).
Shortly afterwards, people learned that holding their arms out all day
and getting finger bacon grease on their monitor was a retarded thing to
Fast forward to 201X, all those people are dead, and their kids think
screen bacon grease is cool.
(See the HP
Museum for more info about the HP 150)
Like most word processors of the day, Word for DOS also has its fair
share of keyboard commands. Compared to others of the time period it is
perhaps not as convoluted as many, and most commands are accessible through
the command menu.
Software continued to improve its user friendliness making options visible
on the screen or easily accessible in menus.... until Windows 8. Yes, I
was just trying to get another jab at Windows 8 in there.