WordPerfect Office 12

Quick look

Microsoft-compatible suite with added features

Price: $299

Phone: 800-772-6735

Online: www.corel.com

Corel Corp.'s new version of WordPerfect is aiming to lure away Microsoft Office users by being more office-friendly.

If you are looking for an alternative to Office, or use an older version of WordPerfect and have always wanted a more Microsoft Office-compliant data processing suite, WordPerfect Office 12 is for you. It comes with features such as a compatibility toolbar that alters programs in the suite to look more like the Microsoft versions.

But Office 12 shares more than aesthetics with Office. It supports open standards such as Extensible Markup Language and has a more logical user interface.

Corel takes interoperability with other programs and formats a step further by building in the ability to generate Adobe Portable Document Format documents without needing Adobe Acrobat.

Office 12 has WordPerfect 12, the Quattro 12 spreadsheet program and Presentations 12, a multimedia presentation app.

The suite is fully backward-compatible and can run other Corel apps. The new WorkSpace Manager interface lets you choose to operate in a legacy WordPerfect, WordPerfect 12, WordPerfect Legal or Microsoft Office environment.

Unique to Office 12 is WordPerfect OfficeReady, a browser that helps organize, preview and access Office 12 templates from a central window.

A compatibility toolbar lets users publish documents in PDF, HTML, XML and Microsoft Office formats.

Office 12 is capable of importing and exporting 85 more file extensions than Microsoft Office 2003, which makes it a good candidate for any agency that has a large number of applications running on client PCs. And it costs about $100 less than Microsoft Office.

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