Preview: Corel WordPerfect Office 11: test and review

WordPerfect Office 11.0 retains the best features and the most important previous versions of the suite. The features graphing Quattro Pro are as rich as usual, again, thanks to the real-time preview, you can select the data and see what they look like in a number of graphics. WordPerfect also retains its Reveal Codes option, which displays all formatting codes within a document, so that advanced users can modify codes for better customization. Now you can even print them on paper codes.

As WordPerfect has long been the darling of lawyers and academics, 11.0 incorporates all the tools of his previous legal version, for example, the wizard Pleading Wizard assists lawyers and notaries in the creation of an advocacy document.

The most significant addition to the list of new features in WordPerfect Office 11.0 will not interest most consumers or very small companies, but it will be useful to gather and organize large amounts of data. Each application of the new suite can now publish documents in XML (Extensible Markup Language). XML is the data standard used by large companies to extract information (eg, database records) from web services or networked PC and insert them into databases. Additionally, IT professionals can create forms for collecting data and bring them directly to the back-end system, very handy feature to collect and tabulate the expense, for example. Other devices, such as mobile units, and applications on different operating systems compatible XML, such as Linux and Mac can read the forms and XML files. The XML integration of WordPerfect Office 11.0 is also expected to open files formatted in XML. However, during informal tests, we discovered that WordPerfect could not open an XML document created with Microsoft (problem is explained in our view by the separate implementation of XML in Office 2003).

We also appreciate the new routing functionality of WordPerfect Office 11.0, which allows you to send documents by email to contacts in your Address Book WordPerfect. You can even choose the order in which multiple reviewers receive the document and remind each reviewer to forward the document to the As. Because WordPerfect Office 11.0 does not offer e-mail client (no more lamentable Corel Central), which would be the natural way for such routing, you must have Outlook 2000 (or higher) to use this feature, by cons, Outlook Express not enough.

Primarily for professionals

As we have already said, since XML is now used almost exclusively by large companies, most home offices or small businesses (markets where Corel hopes to walk) will not have the development resources required to best exploit the XML integration of Corel. However, when we know, after all the hype orchestrated by Microsoft around XML, Microsoft Office 2003 Standard does not even offer XML support, WordPerfect seems to be a better deal for large companies.

Among the new tools useful for all, there is a file converter that can convert groups of documents in other file formats, a plus if you take this result after using that of Microsoft, for example. Similarly, Corel WordPerfect has improved the excellent PDF publishing capabilities Office (available in WordPerfect and Presentations but unfortunately not yet in Quattro Pro) to support Adobe Acrobat 5.0 (the penultimate version of the standard PDF reader). In addition, PDF publishing feature can now display the symbols (such as mathematical formulas), resulting in smaller files for some graphics-intensive documents. If you want to convert your work in PDF to publish it on a website, WordPerfect Office 11.0 is what you need. Microsoft Word does not offer anything as among its features.

The decision to remove Corel his e-mail client creates both advantages and disadvantages. First, the almost perfect integration of Outlook with many of the other Office applications has raised the bar for office suites. However, the lack of e-mail client in WordPerfect Office 11.0 is not as problematic as it seems at first glance. For example, large companies operate probably already email managers. Running a business can deploy Outlook routing functionality of WordPerfect Office documents. Failing Outlook, companies can use the routing functionality via Novell GroupWise. However, as many enterprise servers have their own features document sharing, they have anyway not need the WordPerfect Office routing functionality.

Very small businesses and consumers fear that getting WordPerfect Office Standard 11.0, including comes with a PC without email client could end up costing them in the long run. Now these customers do regret anything no email client in WordPerfect Office, unless they have need of its functionality collaborative documents. Otherwise, they can use the e-mail program they already use whatsoever.

WordPerfect Office 11.0 is available in two versions: Standard and Professional. The Standard version includes three basic applications: a word processor (WordPerfect 11.0), spreadsheets (Quattro Pro 11.0) and presentation software (11.0 Presentations). WordPerfect Office does indeed has no e-mail client. If you buy WordPerfect Office 11.0, so you should bring your own email program.

Improved interface

If you need a database program, you will need to purchase WordPerfect Office Professional 11.0, available only through professional licensing. The Microsoft Office 2003 Professional Edition contains the Microsoft Access 2003 database, plus Microsoft Publisher 2003 and Microsoft Office Business Contact Manager 2003. If you need a desktop publishing application and a contact manager, select Microsoft Office 2003.

The look and feel of this suite have changed very little since the previous versions. 11.0 WordPerfect, Quattro Pro 11.0 and 11.0 Presentations each have the same menus and bar structures of Windows-based tools, as in the past.

The few improvements that we have seen at the interface primarily concern WordPerfect word processor. His new mapping tool documents (accessible via the toolbar or the View menu / Document Map) displays a tree structure with hyperlinks for large documents (those divided into chapters and sections by the editor) in a separate pane on the left. So, if you click a link to Chapter 5, for example, the selected part of the document appears in the main part of the window. The mapping facilitates navigation in the voluminous document and crown a long wait: Microsoft Word offers the same functionality for years, in fact since Word 97.

However, the most ingenious feature at the WordPerfect Office 11.0 interface is one that returns to the DOS era. Responding to the desire of its main user base, which includes legal and governmental bodies, Corel WordPerfect is now possible to set (word processing, not after a whole) in classic mode (via the Tools / Settings menu). WordPerfect looks and then acts as the venerable WordPerfect 5.1 DOS-based program, now over a decade. The screen shows the look of version 5.1 (white text on blue background) and the same keyboard commands (such as F6 to put the selected text in bold). Apparently, this feature appeals to many officials and veterans legal employees, who find the interface and keyboard shortcuts version 5.1 conducive to faster typing and more customizable than the new program interface.

Office 11.0 has an advantage over Office 2003: it runs on other operating systems than Windows 2000 and XP. This suite can manage a PC running any version of Windows from Windows 98 Second Edition. There is no Linux version, but according to spokesman Corel, this does not delay.

Download the trial version