Hello WordPerfect, Goodbye Word!

Corel WordPerfect Office X7: Standard Edition

Let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way, shall we?  Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software available today. There, I said it.   As if I had to.

Microsoft Word is used by the majority of computer users, and the words “Microsoft Word” are synonymous with “word processing”. No two ways about it. The Microsoft Office Suite, of which Word is a part of, is used by approximately 1.2 billion people1 (in other words, one in every seven people on the planet). For better or worse, Word is recognized as the industry standard, by which all other word processing programs are measured.

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word

Microsoft and its products have been dominating the market for years. So, yes, Word is the most popular word processor around. However, the question must be asked: does its ever-growing popularity automatically reflect on its quality? Does the fact that 1 in 7 people use Word make it the best word processor around? Not necessarily…not by a long shot.

When WordPerfect was created in 1979 (a cool 4 years before Word made its Multi-Tool Word debut), it was the most advanced of its kind. In the early to middle 1980s, WordPerfect managed to improve itself, innovate, and zoom past the then-leading WordStar and MultiMate word processors. By 1986, it became the heavy-weight champion of the word processing world.

In the late 1980s, Microsoft Word was WordPerfect’s main competitor, and both companies were putting up a good fight for control of the market. However, WordPerfect was still enjoying the high life of software success.

The pivotal point came in the early 1990s with the release of Microsoft Windows and its increasingly technologically-progressive versions. WordPerfect was delayed in releasing a version of its software which was compatible with the up-and-coming Windows environment – an error which ended up costing them a lot. As more and more homes, establishments, and companies began leaving DOS and upgrading their systems to the Windows operating system, Microsoft seized more control. WordPerfect never bounced back.

In 1994, WordPerfect was acquired by Novell Inc., which hoped to rekindle WordPerfect’s dying flame, and become a worthy opponent for Microsoft. It did not succeed.

When Windows 95 came out, it exploded onto the market. It was a game-changer, and it quickly became the world’s most popular operating system. Unfortunately for Novell Inc. and WordPerfect, Microsoft had made bundling deals with many PC manufacturers, and had pre-installed its Office for Windows Suite (which included Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and other office-type applications) on many machines. This caused an even greater shift in the balance of power between Word and WordPerfect. Twenty-two months later, Novell was forced to sell its struggling WordPerfect software to Corel Inc., which has since continued to develop the software as a solid alternative for Microsoft Word.

That is the history in a nutshell.

Experience the Difference

Marketing techniques and strategies aside, these two programs were essentially created to achieve the same goal: to facilitate ease of use in creating, editing, formatting, and printing documents.

Corel

Corel

In April 2014, Corel released the newest version of its WordPerfect Office productivity suite, the X7. The release offered users new and enhanced features, such as:

  • PDF Forms – Turn any document into a fillable PDF form, which the user can then save, email, or export data from.
  • Macro Manager – Create and edit macros quicky and easily, and manage them from multiple locations.
  • Mail Merge Expert – Merge a contact list onto printable envelopes.
  • EPUB Support – Publish eBooks to all major eReaders, including Kobo and Sony Reader.
  • Enhanced HTML Output – Support for HTML5, including publishing comments and footnotes.
  • Keystroke Menu – Easy access to settings and commands by typing the first few letters of a feature in the designated search box.
  • Roxio Secure Burn – Create secure archives which can be transferred to CD, DVD, Blu-ray disc, and only be accessed by users who possess the proper authorization.

Features such as these ensure the user gets the job done faster and more efficiently. The WordPerfect iPad app was also released on the same day as X7. The app allows the user to create, edit, and view WordPerfect documents on their iPad.

WordPerfect Office X7 Standard Edition also includes:

  • Quattro Pro – a spreadsheet, graph, chart, and list-creating software
  • Lightning – a digital notebook to better capture ideas and images
  • Presentations – a way to create and edit multimedia slide shows

The X7 Office Suite supports over 60 file types, including Open Office and the latest Microsoft file formats for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and even OOXML. Aside from the new addition of PDF forms tools, there is also the option of PDF importing, publishing, password protecting, and PDF/A support. All of the user’s PDF needs are met with the X7 Suite, and the hassle of having to spend extra funds on a costly PDF tool are spared from a WordPerfect user.

wordperfect

Corel WordPerfect Office

The Corel WordPerfect Office X7 suite comes in several editions:

  • Standard Edition (list price $249.99) – The standard edition is suitable for the typical home or small-business user’s needs. It carries with it the ability to create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
    • Price on Wordperfect.com $219.99
    • Price on Amazon $149.15
  • Home & Student Edition – This edition is designed for home or school use. Work smarter and quicker with the templates and extras which make up this powerhouse of productivity. Built-in PDF tools and file format capabilities allow seamless collaboration with friends, classmates, and colleagues.
    • Price on Wordperfect.com $99.99
    • Price on Amazon $49.99
  • Professional Edition (list price $399.99) – This version is the most enhanced edition of the X7 suite. It includes features such as Paradox database management system, which helps the user track, organize, and compile data.
    • Price on Wordperfect.com $349.99
    • Price on Amazon $340.99
  • Legal Edition – The legal edition includes legal-specific features and tools, such as Perfect Authority – a tool which instantly locates, alphabetizes and cross-references citations. Perfect Authority works with citations in Bluebook, California Style Manual, Florida Rule 9.800, and Louisiana Public Domain formats.
    • Price on WordPerfect.com $349.99

Comparatively, Microsoft Office 2013 editions for PC are:

  • Home & Student
  • Price on Microsoft.com $179.99
  • Price on Amazon $139.99 (digital download)
  • Home & Business
  • Price on Microsoft.com $309.99
  • Price on Amazon $219.99 (digital download)
  • Professional
  • Price on Microsoft.com $619.99
  • Price on Amazon $399.99 (digital download)

The prices speak volumes, considering that WordPerfect does everything that Microsoft does, better, quicker, and easier.

Each version has its own unique features, but what makes them all come together is their user-friendliness. The WordPerfect software is used and trusted by millions of people, worldwide.

What every user needs – whether it is a college student, a senior manager, or a legal or medical professional – is a hassle-free word processing experience. This is what the X7 office suite offers. It is made in such a way that creativity and workflow are not stifled, but are rather able to flow smoothly and provide the finest and most accurate results.

Corel WordPerfect Office X7 Review

Corel’s WordPerfect Office X7 is by far the easiest word processor I have used in a while. I am used to using Word, and am frequently frustrated with the way of achieving my goal. Many times – if I am creating a document that is more complicated than the average text document – I find myself struggling with Word for control of formatting.

The Office X7's “reveal codes” feature (which has been a staple of WordPerfect since the 90's) is nothing short of a miracle. No more formatting issues. I am going to repeat that: no more formatting issues. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. Bupkis. Tables, charts, images, text – they all flow seamlessly together in beautiful, document-making harmony. And even if there are formatting issues – reveal codes come to the rescue. Something that would drive you up the wall in Word, or another word processor, can be solved in a matter of seconds with X7. Click the button, find the anomaly, drag it out, and continue working.

WordPerfect has changed a lot over the years, but it has been a fortress of security and convenience since the mid-90s versions. When using WordPerfect, I don’t get upset by any of the things which get me all worked up when creating documents in other software. The ease of integrations of various components alone is worth the price of this office suite.

I set out to create an 8-page brochure (4 pages, front and back). This used to be one of the things which I dreaded with Word since I never knew what kind of trouble I will run into. This was not the case with this software. I was done in a third of the time than it would have taken me with Word. Or less.

Here is the thing: some might rightly say that when you come down to it, it is all up to the user. The more savvy a user, the quicker a job might get done.

I am not disputing this. Certainly, knowledge is power, especially when it comes to word processors and software of that nature. It is quite possible that someone who knows Microsoft Word inside and out could do a better job than I did with Word.

However – and this is what makes the difference (as far as I am concerned) – we are not all amazingly tech savvy. We are not all Word wizards. I certainly admit I am not. We don’t always have the time to tinker with a program in an effort to get what we want out of it. Mostly all I am looking for in a program is for it to work with me. That is all I ask.

Intuitive and User-Friendly

I want a piece of software that is intuitive and user-friendly. Word has made some advances in that area over the years to be sure. Word ‘97 was a revelation, but it hasn’t done in that department much since. A new “ribbon” interface does not make up for the fact that it can be annoying to create something in that program.

WordPerfect, on the other hand, has constantly been improving its reliability and ease-of-use. I feel it has been doing this consistently because it is outgunned. It is the underdog. Unlike Microsoft – whose place in the pantheon of computing is unrivaled and undisputed – Corel Inc. knows that it has a lot at stake. That is why it still makes a sincere and honest effort to keep its ear open to its users, keep its nose to the grindstone, and keep churning out high-quality software time and time again.

Part of what makes WordPerfect Office so easy to use is its interface. Some may consider it to be a bit old-fashioned, but I thoroughly enjoy it. It is far less busy and cluttered.

WordPerfect

WordPerfect

The PDF tools are another reason to seriously consider switching from Microsoft Office to WordPerfect. They were for me, anyway. I regularly receive (and need to edit) high-quality PDF documents. With WordPerfect, it is the easiest thing in the world to edit them right there. No need to convert and risk losing the formatting. That was a huge plus for me, and I can tell that it will be a huge plus for countless others as well.

I have heard that other than the die-hard, passionate, long time user of WordPerfect, many of the users who are getting on board are in the legal field. I can see why. That type of environment requires precision and efficiency. Many times there are tight deadlines, incredibly long and complex documentation needs, and multiple changes – of all shapes and sorts – that are made throughout the document. Lawyers, judges, paralegals – I can certainly see how it could be as helpful to them as it is for me.

A few words about the other parts of the suite:

Quattro Pro

Quattro Pro is a spreadsheet software which resembles Excel in many ways. It has everything it should have. It contains formulas, charts, graphics, shapes, and basically anything necessary to create a professional financial or other type document. It comes packed with many pre-installed templates which save the user time and energy. Navigating through the workspace is quick and easy, and those who are new to Quattro Pro can choose a more familiar look and feel (Excel or Lotus) to work with.

Presentations

Presentations is easy enough to use. It doesn’t disappoint or falter, and it gets the job done. After opening the application and going through the different tabs, I found that the interface is pretty straightforward. The master gallery opens on startup which provides the user with many different backgrounds choice.

Like with its sister applications, Presentations gives the user the option of switching between workspaces. In this case, it is between PowerPoint and Presentations workspaces.

Presentations in its X7 version is like many other slide show programs, but it still retains that unique WordPerfect Office feel, meaning user-friendliness and intuitiveness. Even if a user has never used this software before, Corel does everything to acclimatize the newcomer, and make the user feel comfortable. Presentations does a great job, provides accurate and fast results, and is overall a wonderful addition to the X7 Office Suite.

Lightning

I was very impressed with the WordPerfect Lightning note-creation tool. It is light-weight and simple. It integrates with Word or Wordpefect, allows screen captures, insertion of images, and tables. Several customization options are also available which make the software that much more personal.

Compared to Microsoft’s OneNote, Lightning is just that – quicker and more precise. With note creation, it really is a rule-of-thumb to say that less is more. After all, if I wanted to create a full document, I would use a different kind of software. This is why Lightning immediately captured my eye and my imagination. It gives lots of options without being cumbersome or overwhelming. The (relative) minimalism suits it very well, and makes it a tool that is fun to work with.

It is possible that not too many people will switch over to Corel’s Suite based on Presentations, Quattro Pro, or Lightning. The WordPerfect word processor, however, is one great reason – THE reason – to consider switching over to WordPerfect Office X7.

My Score 9.5/10

I took half a point away, since this software could still use a translator. Also, the word count option should be visible, and not necessitate a separate click. Although that last thing is my own pet peeve.

This office suite is not really trying to be Microsoft, nor should it. It is, however, giving it a good fight. WordPerfect Office X7 is a wonderful office suite in its own merit. It has everything needed for a user to be productive, efficient, and on point. Most of all, what you get when you purchase X7 is value, real value, for your money.

WordPerfectOfficeX7

There is a downloadable 30-day trial for those who wish to test the software. The download includes the full software package: WordPerfect word processor, Presentations slide show creator, Quattro Pro spreadsheet builder, and the Lightning digital notebook.

For those of you who require not only spell checkers but also grammar checkers, there are two pieces of software that are well-known to the writing world:  Grammarly and WhiteSmoke.  These are two pieces of software that can help you in your grammar pursuits.

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