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Jewish World Review
Jan. 20, 2006
/ 20 Teves, 5766
Wordperfect hopes X3 is lucky number
It's b-a-a-a-c-k. WordPerfect, that is, the once-dominant DOS and Windows
word processor, is returning today with a new version. The $299
WordPerfect Office X3 Suite - publisher Corel Corp. is studiously avoiding
the number 13 - is being launched as a more reasonably priced alternative
to the Office suite that other firm, Microsoft, puts out, which lists for
In demonstration and in testing, I've seen some rather nice capabilities
in WordPerfect that could allow someone to pretty much format a book,
newsletter or report to extent not normally associated with a "mere" word
processing program, coming very close to "professional" publishing
The number of features WordPerfect, or "WP" to users, can pack in is
impressive. One of the newest is the ability to open Adobe PDF files and
edit them as word processing documents, with no special conversion
required. The program is also adept at saving documents as PDFs, another
At the same time, WordPerfect is a good, reliable, "standard" word
processor: if you need to write memos, letters, resumes, articles,
novellas, this program can handle it. The Standard Edition - also
available as a $159 upgrade for users of previous WP editions or of some
competitive products - includes the Quattro Pro X3 spreadsheet and
Presentations X3, along with an e-mail client and the Paradox database.
That's a whole lot of software for the money.
The extra features of WordPerfect are a nice bonus, but frankly they'd be
worth a lot less without compatibility between WP and universe-dominating
Microsoft Word. Here, there are some challenges. I can move files between
the two programs, but success is a bit uneven. WordPerfect will open just
about any Microsoft Word file I can throw at it, and without too much
problem, only a few minor layout fixes.
The same can't always be said for the reverse trip, although to be fair,
my test here involved a PDF file which I opened in WordPerfect, saved as a
Microsoft Word file and then opened with Word on the Mac. But whether it
was the Mac or Windows version of Microsoft Word, both had some formatting
issues with the PDF file as edited by WordPerfect. This, too, can be
overcome with some attention to formatting, but I was surprised by the
extra work that would be required.
My limited test schedule didn't allow me to work with either Quattro Pro
X3 or Presentations X3, but demos by Corel suggest these programs are
highly capable in and of themselves. Both claim file compatibility with
Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.
Comment should also be made about WordPerfect Mail, a new WP suite
component. The software includes contact, e-mail and calendar management,
and seems a decent rival to Microsoft Outlook. However, I found filtering
of some e-mails to be spotty - sometimes the program would place the
e-mail in a subfolder, sometimes it wouldn't.
There's also a "Home Edition" of WordPerfect Office X3 that for $99 gives
users the word processor, spreadsheet, a trial of the e-mail program and a
bunch of extras home users might like including versions of Pinnacle
Studio and Instant CD/DVD as well as Corel Photo Album 6 and Norton
Internet Security 2006. For the money, this delivers a lot to home users
For the business user, WordPerfect X3 may or may not be a lucky number.
It's a highly capable piece of software that delivers a raft of features.
But performance is a bit uneven, and when push comes to shove, that could
lead to frayed nerves as deadlines approach. Details can be found at
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JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.
© 2006, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com