perfect, but it keeps getting better
Alan Zisman (c) 2006 First published in Business
Business in Vancouver January 24-30, 2006;
High Tech Office column;
In the late 1980s, a PC Magazine
cover story found about a hundred competing word processors worthy of
review. At that time, the market leader was WordPerfect's self-named
product. Soon after, however, the company was late with a satisfactory
Windows version, and the bulk of the market moved to Microsoft Word.
WordPerfect passed first from the
original developers to Novell, then to Ottawa-based Corel.
Corel has continued to develop WordPerfect (now sold as part of a
WordPerfect Office suite), which has maintained footholds in many legal
and government offices. It also comes pre-installed on new computers
from a number of manufacturers, including Dell.
has recognized that compatibility with MS Office is vital. As a result,
it has put a lot of effort into ensuring that the suite components can
accurately open and save files in the corresponding MS Office formats.
year's WordPerfect Office version 12 went one step further: a Workspace
Manager feature allows users to choose a WordPerfect or Microsoft
Office look and feel for menus, toolbars and default file formats that
can turn it into a faux MS Office for half the price. (Hard-core
WordPerfect traditionalists can instead choose to mimic the old
blue-screen DOS version.) Last year's WordPerfect Office products also
allowed users to export files in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, which
Microsoft Office users currently can't do without additional software.
(Microsoft is promising PDF support in its next version.)
January 17, Corel released new versions of the WordPerfect Office suite
family of products, version X3. Pricing is $379 for new users, $199 for
upgraders from older versions of Word Perfect or Microsoft Office.
There are discounts for organizations requiring multiple licences.
the former version could export files in PDF, X3 adds the ability to
import PDF files, allowing editing of files saved in that format.
many organizations relying on PDF as a more-or-less universally
viewable file format, this has the potential to be really useful. It's
much easier to make changes to a PDF document in WordPerfect than in
the widely used Adobe Acrobat. (That feature might make some
organizations uneasy, however, because part of the allure of
PDF-formatted files has been the difficulty in changing them.)
Exporting to PDF has been enhanced;
now tables of contents or slide names convert into handy PDF bookmarks.
new: WordPerfect Mail, which combines e-mail, calendar and contact
management with spam filtering and fast search and offers an
alternative to Microsoft Office's Outlook. Presentations Graphics' X3
allows users to create and save graphics in a range of file formats.
The OfficeReady template browser displays thumbnails of templates
making it easier to choose the right pre-designed project.
new Save Without Metadata menu command provides a quick and easy way to
remove potentially embarrassing sensitive information before
distributing a document.
WordPerfect Office X3 comes in a
variety of editions:
the standard edition includes the core WordPerfect word processor,
Quattro Pro spreadsheet, Presentations slideshow software, Mail and
professional edition adds the Paradox database and Visual Basic for
Application programming support;
a home edition drops Presentations and the full version of Mail in
favour of Corel PhotoAlbum 6, Pinnacle Studio SE video editor, personal
finance, home and school-focused templates, a 90-day version of Norton
Internet Security 2006 and a Mail trial version;
low-cost student/teacher edition bundles the core word processor,
spreadsheet and presentation programs.
with most Corel products, there's a wealth of add-ins. All versions
include thousands of clipart images, royalty-free photos and 900 fonts.
As with recent Microsoft Office
releases, X3 requires Windows 2000 or XP.
low cost with good Microsoft Office file format and interface
compatibility with a useful set of templates and now adding the ability
to edit PDF documents, Corel WordPerfect Office X3 is worth
consideration by small business and home office users.