Corel WordPerfect has been around since the nineties, but has never actually surpassed the popular Microsoft office suite. Microsoft Word has been the most widely used word processor on Windows machines since ever. Lately though, open source software like Open Office or Libre Office have become a very good alternative for the simple reason that they offer pretty much the same features and are free. So what can WordPerfect bring to the table?
One click indentation
WordPerfect X5 comes in an office bundle that includes a spreadsheet editor and a presentation creator. All these have a cost so what makes it a viable option among the titan and freebies? Ease of use. Although it does not have that many features that hardcore MS Office users might be accustomed to, WordPerfect excels (excuse the pun) at text formatting. PerfectExpert is a sort of a wizard tab that gives access to many functions grouped by relevance. Adding headings, images, footnotes and formatting text has never been easier for a newbie. Whereas a user has to search for the desired function in other programs, here the user can trust that he will not be hindered by the interface before learning where is what. Of course, you can always change the layout to a pre 2010 MS Word if you need to. Quattro Pro and Presentations can also display the layout from their MS Office counterparts.
Wordperfect behaves a bit different when working with the mouse pointer directly over a page. Indentation can be chosen by simply clicking on the desired marking. The cursor is automatically set and you can begin typing. Page margins are also be manipulated a bit differently. Dragging a margin will change its position only form the selector and downwards. This makes it possible to have different margins on each page of a document, or even within the same page.
Adding clipart or pictures feels organic since the text flow controls are varied and useful. This makes adding a picture to an existing document easy since you have more control on how it integrates. Even if formatting gets screwed, you can still bring up the code view panel and check to see where formatting is situated within the text. Formatting code can be viewed and edited from there to add even more control over how the text is layed out.
WordPerfect can save to and interpret PDF files. Of course, interpreting is not an easy job and while artistic backgrounds can mess up the whole text, you can opt to exclude text on images if the conversion is still useful. Saving as "doc" files is also possible, among with many other formats. The "docx" format is not supported unfortunately.
- PDF publishing
- PerfectExpert easier to access functions
- Custom workspaces
- Document sharing compatibility with SharePoint
- Very easy to get into
- Highly versatile at arranging elements into a document
- PDF conversion is not perfect
WordPerfect X5 is a bit old but can still surprise you if you never worked with it before. It wouldn't have been fair to complain about not supporting docx. The current version is X7 but X5 is still functional and way more versatile than free processors while being cheaper than the Office suite.