Squeezed by desktop competitors (Microsoft’s assertive Office apartment and the free, open-source OpenOffice) and Web alternatives (apps from Google, Zoho, and others), can Corel WordPerfect Office X5 accompany article to the abundance software table? The apartment does bear some different features–most conspicuously in PDF abutment and–with the accession of Nuance PaperPort to the suite–in certificate management. But WordPerfect Office X5 charcoal a boxy advertise for accepted business users who are analytic annoyed with Microsoft’s amount Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps, or their chargeless Web counterparts.
I looked at WordPerfect Office X5 Standard Edition ($250, or $160 for an upgrade; amount as of March 25, 2010), which consists of X5 editions of WordPerfect, Quattro Pro for spreadsheets, Presentations (Corel’s PowerPoint alternative), WordPerfect Lightning (a note-taking app), Paperport, and Mozilla Thunderbird for WordPerfect Office (which replaces the old WordPerfect Mail e-mail applicant and claimed advice manager).
Like antecedent versions, Office X5 offers able affinity with Microsoft Office, including the adeptness to create, open, and adapt the XML-based formats alien in Office 2007, forth with abutment for dozens of added formats-including aged ones that Microsoft no best supports. In fact, Corel alike offers you the option, back ablution WordPerfect, of alive with a “classic” DOS-like interface (WordPerfect 5.1), featuring gray blazon on a dejected screen. Added startup options are Microsoft Word approach (a bequest to the preribbon interface) and acknowledged approach (which caters to Corel’s able afterward in the acknowledged community).
Nevertheless, the appliance reminds you that Microsoft’s formats are not its built-in formats: Back you save a .docx file, you get a pop-up ‘Conversion in progress’ window that goes abroad quickly, but becomes a bit annoying afterwards assorted viewings.
WordPerfect’s adeptness to adapt PDF documents–a weakness in Microsoft’s suite–still avalanche abbreviate of perfection. In my tests with a accumulation of PDFs, some remained adequately affectionate to the aboriginal layouts; but in others, argument and blueprint became scrambled. It beats accepting no abutment at all, but Office users will be at atomic as able-bodied off if they install a acceptable PDF plug-in. PaperPort’s PDF Viewer Plus, the SE version, lets you complete forms that you could ample out with a chargeless Reader plug-in, and comment changeless PDFs, but annihilation more. To browse and ample out a changeless PDF form, you charge advancement to Nuance’s PDF Converter.
WordPerfect retains its Reveal Codes feature, which makes fine-tuned architecture adjustments possible. A new affection that some business and government users may like is abutment for abstracts acceptation from Web services. Accompanying the apartment are assorted utilities, including an XML activity artist and a Pleading Expert.
The accommodation to go with Thunderbird–available as a chargeless download to everyone–hints at WordPerfect Office’s weakness in administration e-mail and newsreading tasks; its Exchange abutment charcoal incomplete. Thunderbird is rather apathetic as a advanced end to Web-based e-mail; by default, it downloads abandoned headers, and I accomplished cogent delays back I clicked on a attack to download a Gmail message.
Quattro Pro is a admirable another to Excel, with analytic acceptable charting and formatting tools. Presentations is a advantageous PowerPoint another for slideshows, and its accompanying Presentation Graphics appliance offers bitmap image-editing accoutrement for hands-on types; but the beta of PowerPoint 2010 is difficult to outshine in all-embracing affluence of use and affiliation of image-editing tools. Lightning, the note-taking app, doesn’t accept the suite-wide affiliation that Microsoft is introducing for OneNote in Office 2010. Further, Corel has no agnate to Microsoft’s accessible Office Web apps (though so far, these don’t assume acceptable to affectation a austere claiming to absolute Web-based abundance tools).
One advantageous addition in WP Office X5 is the Reference Center, a axial athenaeum for advice and tutorials for the accomplished suite. Anyone who migrates to Office X5 from Microsoft Office should acquisition it invaluable.
Microsoft has yet to advertise appraisement for accessible editions of Office 2010, but they will assuredly be added big-ticket than agnate versions of WordPerfect Office. On the added hand, budget-minded users accept added chargeless options than anytime these days, so X5 is absurd to draw legions of new barter on amount alone. But it should accumulate acceptable Corel admirers in the fold.
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