GCN LAB REVIEWS

WordPerfect X5 makes everything easy for the user

Reviewers ChoiceIn many ways, Corel’s WordPerfect Office suite breaks my heart. It’s so easy to use and robust that I wish Corel could break Microsoft’s hold on the enterprise so that we could use it at work more often.

Fortunately, Corel’s WordPerfect Office Professional suite is fully compatible with major file types and plays well with Microsoft in particular, allowing me to use it at home or work with minimal interference with my day-to-day work.


WordPerfect X5 Standard Edition

Pros: Easy to use; robust capabilities; strong compatibility.
Cons: No relevant weaknesses.
Features: A+
Performance: A
Ease of Use: A-
Value: A
Price: $150 (with ongoing promotion); $250 regular price

GCN Lab reviews 5 top office suites


File format freedom is a big plus with Corel, particularly as it relates to opening and saving documents in Office Open XML. This compatibility includes interoperability with Microsoft Office documents (.docx), spreadsheets (.xlsx) or presentations (.pptx).

Instead of offering a version of SharePoint, Corel offers the ability to manage content with direct access to SharePoint Server, so your team can edit, view and access the same document from remote locations. And with the ability to track changes, you can quickly compare document versions and create edits in X5.

A new tool, WordPerfect iFilter, lets you search content in WordPerfect documents that are stored in a Microsoft SharePoint server with Google Desktop or Windows Desktop Search, saving a lot of time spent looking for small bits of data in old files.

Like Microsoft, WordPerfect Office X5 is focusing on how interoperability with the Web can improve workflow. Now you have the ability to access information directly from the Web, giving you the ability to create a document once and have it automatically update when you need to refresh or add new data. For example, you can now create a report with Internet data, such as stock prices, and WordPerfect can automatically update those fields with the latest data.

WordPerfect Lighting is one of the coolest features in this roundup. It’s a tool that centralizes the programs by providing you the option of viewing a document, opening your last document, taking a quick note, opening your last note, or taking a snapshot of a selected portion of your screen. I use this application constantly because the snapshot feature is the fastest way of sharing a portion of your screen. The alternative is doing a print screen and then cropping out and zooming into the area you want to share.

Another cool new addition to WordPerfect is PaperPort Professional 12 SE, which organizes all your scanned documents and electronic files on your desktop. This feature also lets you search and view PDF files quickly, which is one capability I have not seen in other office suites.

Unlike Microsoft, an upgrade from an older version of the office suite to WordPerfect Office X5 is possible. And despite changes between X5 and older versions of WordPerfect, you can still import old templates, shortcuts and customized menus created in previous versions. Best of all, X5 is fully Windows 7 compatible, which is the environment I used to review the office suite.

WordPerfect is so focused on providing a solid alternative to Microsoft that is as Microsoft-friendly as possible that it hasn't made the same advancements toward networked collaboration or cloud computing that Microsoft has. Despite that minor setback, WordPerfect’s features, ease of use and $150 — with promotion — price easily merit the Reviewer’s Choice designation.

Corel, www.corel.com

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