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Review: WordPerfect Office X3 Standard Edition

There was a time, long ago, when WordPerfect ruled the DOS word processor world. WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold, in my mind one of the best programs ever written. It could handle long documents with aplomb — something, even all these years later, Word still has trouble with — and it had a macro language that was easy and intuitive. When your formatting got messed up, you could reveal codes and fix it in a jiffy. In addition, WordPerfect Corp. had the most competent technical support staff in the business, and it was free.

PerfectExpert offers basic help to novice users. (Click on image to expand.)

Then came Windows 3.1 and Microsoft Word. WordPerfect made a very rough transition to Windows and never recovered its market share. The rest is history. But WordPerfect is still plugging away, now owned by Corel Corp. Their latest version, now part of an office suite, is called WordPerfect Office X3.

What’s In The Box?
WordPerfect X3 comes with three disks: the installation disk (which enables you to load the suite and the template browser called WordPerfect OfficeReady), a training disk, and a resource disk with 9,500 clipart images, 175 photos, and 900 True Type fonts. The last includes an installation front-end, but inexplicably doesn’t include access to the art work and fonts directly from its menu. Instead, you have to use the Explore This Disk option to see them. While the photos are nice, if bland, the clipart is in WordPerfect’s proprietary .WPG format.

The final disc includes high-quality training videos from the fine folks at Lynda.com. This is a nice touch, usually available only from more well-heeled developers such as Adobe. Unfortunately, the disc I received wouldn't auto-run, so I had to figure out how to run the videos, a simple issue Corel should fix.

WordPerfect Office X3 Standard edition ($299.99), which is reviewed here, includes new versions of WordPerfect, Quattro Pro (spreadsheet), Presentations, and WordPerfect Mail (an e-mail client). It also comes with a host of utilities, including PerfectScript (a macro script language), the WordPerfect XML Designer and the Pleadings Expert (a nod to their core law market).

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