Stakes out Future Turf with WordPerfect
Unix Version added
to WP Stable
By Jim Bray
Corel Corporation has fired
another round in its competitive battle with Microsoft.
The Ottawa-based company is
jumping into the operating system war with both corporate feet, releasing
Unix and Linux versions of its popular WordPerfect word processor.
This is significant. To an
increasing number of people, Linux (which is basically a "public
domain" version of Unix) is "the operating system of the future"
and theres speculation the virtually free and incredibly flexible
OS could give Microsoft Windows a real run for your money once
theres enough mainstream software to warrant people switching.
The Unix and Linux releases
join a WordPerfect family that includes versions for 16 and 32 bit Windows,
Macintosh, and DOS. So whichever way the OS winds blow, with the exception
of OS/2, it appears that Corel intends to be there.
Weve been running the
Unix version on a Linux system and, one the whole, its a fine performer.
Unfortunately, at this time,
the Li/Unix WordPerfect doesnt come bundled as an office suite,
with spreadsheet, database and all that other nifty stuff. Instead, its
a standalone word processor which is fine if thats all you
As a word processor, WordPerfect
is among the top of the class, and the Unix conversion looks and feels,
for the most part, like the 32 bit Windows version. You get things like
the "shadow cursor" that lets you start typing from anywhere
on a page you want, "spellcheck on the fly" and (ugh!) "grammar-on-the-go."
You also get typical Corel
extras, like Netscape Navigator® 3.02, more than 5,000 clipart images,
a decent selection of photos, textures, and fonts. An Internet Publisher
feature that lets you create stuff in WP8 and publish it to html, with
links, bookmarks, et al, which is really quite standard for big league
word processors, and there are also charting and drawing capabilities
similar to what youd find in the other WP versions.
Corel says you can import and
export MS Word 97 files (WP itself uses its own standard file format,
which is handy), but we didnt find any evidence of that. Perhaps
it didnt leap out and bite us on the nose; but if thats the
case wed suggest making such things easier to find in subsequent
Still, if youre a Unix/Linux
user, or thinking of becoming one, its safe to say you have a powerful
word processor at your disposal.
Meanwhile, for those who
can never seem to find the right piece of clipart, Corel has weighed in
with its Gallery 1,000,000. This $160 Cdn package comes chock full of 14
CD-ROMs that not only include the megapix collection, but Corel PhotoHouse
2.1 photo editing application, and an image browser/search tool thats
meant to help you easily find the right image.
And I really mean "meant
to." While the browser/search tool is supposed to make it easy to
find the right image, by using a typical search function, I couldnt
get it to work properly and found it quicker to hunt and peck disc by
Fortunately, theres also
a thick, full colour book that shows the million pics, and its a
really handy feature. It would have been a lot more handy, however, if
Corel had included with the pictures an indication of which disc theyre
on! You get a legend showing the directory theyre in, but not the
disc number! Therefore, we found ourselves going back to switching discs
ad nauseam, trying to find particular images.
As far as the content goes,
theres plenty: some 815,000 Web images, 140,000 pieces of vector
clipart, 60,000 photos, more than 1,000 fonts, 530+ sounds and over a
hundred video clips.
Theres a lot of repetition
in this collection, too, so longtime Corel customers may find they already
have a lot of whats in this collection (though obviously only a
part of it). If youre new to Corel, however, youll find plenty
of neat things with which to grace your work spread across this collection.
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think