Overhaul brings word processor into 90’s – Corel’s WordPerfect Suite 7 integrated software – Software Review – Evaluation

Overhaul brings word processor into 90’s – Corel’s WordPerfect Suite 7 integrated software – Software Review – Evaluation – Brief Article

Lynn Greiner

WordPerfect has had a difficult life these past couple of years.

Its Windows products were slow in solidifying, staggering uncertainly through versions 5.0, 5.1 and 6.0 before setting on the quite usable 6.1.

But now that Corel has control of the product, it’s galloping forward again.

The 32-bit WordPerfect Suite 7 gathers a collection of programs from several sources.

From WordPerfect comes the flagship word processor, plus a new Quattro Pro spreadsheet and a much-improved Presentations. Novell’s Envoy viewer, and Starfish Software’s Sidekick 95 personal organizer, plus Inso’s Quick View Plus file viewer offer a nice set of utilities. Also, Netscape Navigator 2.01 Internet browser and AT&T WorldNet Service provide Internet connectivity are included.

Corel’s branded contribution is CorelFLOW 3 flowcharting software, plus 150 fonts and 10,000 clipart images. The Professional version of the suite also include Borland’s Paradox database, InfoCentral intelligent PIM, CorelTime Line project manager and GroupWise.

Tasks, called QuickTasks, walk you through common processes.

There’s even a QuickTask that helps you build your own QuickTasks.

The three core applications all are fully Web-enabled. You can even embed links in cells of spreadsheets and get continuous Internet data updates.

WordPerfect 7 still looks and feels very much like the WordPerfect we all know, yet it’s packed with important differences. For example, as well as saving files in all of the usual formats (including HTML), you can publish them to the Internet with a couple of mouse clicks. Changing margins is easier with visible blue margin guides you can drag to the right spot. Spell-As-You-Go underlines misspelled words in red. There are lots of other convenient touches as well, like intelligent bullets. And, yes, Reveal Codes is still there, for users who like to delve into the innards of their documents.

Quattro Pro 7 contains a slew of new features like mapping, publishing to Envoy, and notebook templates and Wizards for common tasks.

Presentations 7 offers many of the ease-of-use features pioneered by Lotus in its Freelance Graphics. Unlike competing products, it can actually read in presentations in other formats. Some features may not come out exactly, but it beats recreating the whole slide show.

Minimum system requirement are a 486 with eight MB of RAM.

Performance is sluggish with that, however, but picks up with 16 RAM. A full installation occupies over 220 MB! But Corel WordPerfect Suite is well worth the space.

Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 has a suggested list price of $555 and $199 for upgrades.

Corel Corp. is at 1600 Carling Ave., Ottawa. K1Z 8R7. Phone 1-800-772-6735, or on the Web at www.corel.com.

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