GCN Lab Review: Corel WordPerfect Office X4


WORDPERFECT OFFICE X4 from Corel has come a long way ' it
has loads of extra features and takes compatibility to a high

One feature that sets WordPerfect Office apart from others in
this review is its various operating modes for each of the core
programs. These modes allow the user to select the most comfortable
working environment. If we were, say, entirely used to the
blue-screen of the old Version 5.1 days, we would select the WP
Classic mode. The suite also has modes that emulate the
environments of their Microsoft Office 2003 counterparts.


WordPerfect X4 is a powerful word processor with many features
that allow the user to feel right at home. There are dozens of
toolbars available that already have their buttons configured to
resemble various other word processor versions. Instead of having
to learn where all the buttons have moved, we simply selected the
tool bars with which we were most accustomed. This can save
production time that is ordinarily lost when learning the layout of
a new program.

The interface for Quatro Pro, Corel's spreadsheet program,
has improved with each new version, and X4 is no exception. The
charting features in particular have been greatly enhanced with the
inclusion of Corel Visual Intelligence X4. This data analysis tool
makes it easy not only to display values in a chart but also to
interpolate trends. We were pleased to see that Quatro Pro X4
allowed the use of as many as 18,278 different sheets but thought
it unusual to have them already created and lettered.

Presentations X4 makes it easy to jump in and make a slide show.
We found we could start with either a blank template or open one of
a number of projects for a variety of purposes. Whether it is
budget analysis or a new product release, Presentations has a
ready-made slide show containing slides that would typically be
included in the optimal order. Change the information on each one
and you are ready to present.

A valuable feature in WordPerfect Office X4 is its
interoperability with the Adobe Acrobat PDF format. We were able to
publish a PDF from any of the basic components as easily as saving
to any other format. And importing from a PDF was almost as easy,
interpreting text in graphics and maintaining the formatting of the
original document with 90 percent accuracy.

In addition to the base components, WordPerfect Office X4 also
contains WordPerfect Mail and WordPerfect Lightning. Mail has an
easy-to-use interface and can receive mail from any server using
Post Office Protocol 3 or Internet Message Access Protocol.
Lightning is a lightweight text editing, document sharing and
project collaboration tool that can pull notes and ideas together
into one place.

There is also a disk full of clip art and fonts. Although this
can be a powerful tool, like most such collections it can be
difficult to search quickly. A third disk has dozens of video
tutorials that teach about every aspect of the office suite. This
is the most well-designed collection of tutorials for office
software we have seen in a long time.

Corel is offering WordPerfect Office X4, which works with
Windows XP or Vista, for $300, which we feel is a good price
considering all of the extras you get. An upgrade is available for
$160, a great price considering most people will be upgrading from
another version.

Corel, 877-582-6735, www.corel.com

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.

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