Review of Corel WordPerfect 10 After Service Pack 2
© 2001 By Doug Loudenback, Oklahoma City
In this review, I’m stating as objectively as a WordPerfect devotee can what is good and bad about the WordPerfect 10 component of the Corel WordPerfect Office 2002 Suite (CWO 2002), particularly after installation of Service Pack 2, which is WordPerfect 10 Release 10.0.0.663. To know your particular release version, with WordPerfect open, click Help | About WordPerfect .... and you will see the specific Release Version number. Two CWO 2002 suites are available, the “Basic” (which includes WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, Presentations, and Corel Central) or the “Professional” (additionally including the Paradox database program and Dragon Naturally Speaking). All versions also include Quick View Plus, an important but often overlooked part of the Installation Disks, as well as Adobe Acrobat Reader. This review is limited to the WordPerfect 10 element of the suite of programs. As well as review, it may acquaint you with some WordPerfect features with which you were unfamiliar.
In my estimation, few “cons” exist. They are:
1. Disk Space. Normal installation takes more disk space – but – this includes installation of stuff you’d probably want to have done separately before, most notably Quick View Plus.
2. Slower To Load. This was true for the initial release but speed issues seem to have been solved with Service Pack 2. I’ve never seen a program exit more quickly, after installing Service Pack 2.
3. Stability Variations. The computers I have use Windows 98, Second Edition, and Windows ME. While WordPerfect 10, initial and later release, is stable for me in Windows ME, it was very unstable on my Windows 98 computers. The good news is that my experience is that Service Pack 2 has solved that. I’ve read in newsgroups that conflicts may exist between WordPerfect 10 and Windows XP’s CTFMON, particularly before CWO2002 Service Pack 2. A FAQ at this Microsoft link seems to indicate it’s a CTFMON issue and means are suggested to resolve any such problems. See this link: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q282599. If this link fails, in the window that opens at the just stated address, use Search to search for Q282599.
4. Corel Application Recovery Manager. If you use some version of Microsoft Windows, you KNOW it can and will become unstable and crash (though I’ve heard better reports about Windows 2000 and Windows XP). The Corel Application Recovery Manager (CARM) is a feature that is supposed to anticipate such occasions and give you preemptive choices before the imminent doom occurs: (1) save document and close the application (e.g., WordPerfect), (2) exit the application or (3) continue working (even having been forewarned). I’ve not experienced good results with CARM in Windows 98. Sure, you get warned (and all too often if using Windows 98), but the preemptive save feature didn’t work. Unfortunately, with the initial release of WordPerfect 10 in a Windows 98 environment, I had plenty of occasions for CARM to be tested! But, since Service Pack 2 has solved my stability problems in Windows 98, I don’t really know if CARM now functions as intended. I’d just as soon not find out.
5. No More Trellix. Probably, this won’t matter to you. Trellix2 is a program used to create web pages and was part of the WordPerfect Office 2000 suite. I used it to create my website at http://www.dougloudenback.com. I will miss having it available because it is a very nice and easy to use web page creator program.
Several features have either been improved from WordPerfect 9 or they have remained as good as they were in that version – all the more true for users of WordPerfect 6.1, 7.0 or 8.0 which are probably unaware of the very nice changes which were made in WordPerfect 9 from WordPerfect 8 and so on. Some things are altogether new. The items which have captured my fancy which are new or improved in WordPerfect 10 from WordPerfect 9 are listed here.
1. General. WordPerfect 10 works well in Windows ME – and now that Service Pack 2 has been released, it works well in Windows 98. I hear the same about other Windows versions – but see paragraph 3 in “Cons”, above. The program interface is almost exactly like what you were used to in WordPerfect 9, which was very similar to WordPerfect 8. So, no significant “learning curve” is needed. Since it is so similar to WordPerfect 9's interface, it may be that the main “problem” is knowing what is different. This review should help you with that.
2. Installation. My initial install went very smoothly, as did my install of Service Pack 2. The “upgrade” and “regular” versions of WPO2002 have exactly the same content and you probably have a “qualifying” prior program to qualify for the “upgrade” price. Qualifying programs include any version of WordPerfect (DOS or Windows) which is later than 5.0, Microsoft Office 95 or later, Microsoft Works 4.5 or later, Lotus SmartSuite 97 or later, as well as some other programs. Surely you’ve got at least one such qualifying program. To complete the initial install, you will need a CD from your qualifying program before the installation will finish.
3. Oxford Dictionary. Anyone who uses “words” a lot, e.g., lawyers, should really like this new feature. It’s a “real” dictionary which works with or independently of the Spell Checker, even though it’s totally integrated with both Spell Checker and Thesaurus. You can select a word or phrase in your document and get an instant definition for 30,000 words – the dictionary can be upgraded to a 70,000 word dictionary on-line for $20. Examples are:
example: the word “creep”:
creep >verb (past and past part. crept) 1 move slowly and carefully, especially to avoid being noticed. 2 move or progress very slowly and steadily. 3 (of a plant) grow along the ground or other surface by extending stems or branches. 4 (creep to) informal behave obsequiously towards. >noun 1 informal a contemptible person, especially one who behaves obsequiously. 2 very slow, steady movement or progress.
-PHRASES give someone the creeps informal make someone feel revulsion or fear. make one's flesh creep cause one to have an unpleasant sensation like that of something crawling over the skin.
-ORIGIN Old English.
example: the word “slick”:
slick >adjective 1 done or operating in an impressively smooth and efficient way. 2 glibly assured. 3 (of skin or hair) smooth and glossy. 4 (of a surface) smooth, wet, and slippery. >noun a smooth patch of oil, especially on the sea. >verb 1 make (hair) flat and slick with water, oil, or cream. 2 (slick up) N. Amer. make smart, tidy, or stylish.
-DERIVATIVES slickly >adverb slickness >noun.
-ORIGIN probably related to an Old Norse word meaning 'smooth'
4. Thesaurus. The initial release of WordPerfect 9 had one of the most abysmal thesaurus’ you can possibly imagine. It was like, “duh.” User protests cured that problem during various service pack releases to WordPerfect 9. Gratefully, the initial release of WordPerfect 10 has a robust and useful Thesaurus, as well as the integrated Dictionary, noted above. If you have an early release of WordPerfect 9, see The Bottom Line, ¶4, below.
5. Clipbook. The “Corel Clipbook” is NOT present in the initial release but is part of Service Pack 2. It allows you to save an unlimited number of “clips” and in all types of file formats – text, graphics, sound, whatever. It is “cross-platform”, meaning you can use it with any program you have on your computer. Unlike the Windows Clipboard, you don’t lose the contents of Clipbook when you turn off your computer. Clipbook does not displace the Windows Clipboard; it is in addition to it. I see this new feature as a major program enhancement. If you do a lot of copy/cut/paste routines, you will love the new Corel Clipbook.
6. Publish To PDF. This WordPerfect 9 feature file now supports hypertext links – not important if you never use hypertext but invaluable if you do. Other Publish to PDF improvements are embedded fonts and the quality level of exported graphics. A “PDF” (portable document file) is a file that can be read by Adobe Acrobat Reader, the primary cross-program/platform program for reading/printing documents. Most everyone has some version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on their computer (but if they/you don’t, it’s a free download at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html and is also on your Corel WordPerfect Installation CD’s). If you have a need to e-mail a file to a client who doesn’t use WordPerfect, and/or if you don’t want that person to be able to change what you’ve written, just read and/or print it, you will love the ability to Publish to PDF.
7. Publish To HTML. While I’m disappointed that Trellix is not part of the WPO 2002 suite, the improved Publish To HTML feature is very nice. It exports graphics properly, fully utilizes WordPerfect’s marvelous table formatting/structuring capabilities, saves “bookmarks” and hypertext links to them, colors, fonts, whatever. I’m impressed! For an example of a such a WordPerfect file “Published to HTML”, you are looking at it.
8. Movement Within A WordPerfect Document. WordPerfect 9's improved ability to move between different elements of a document have been further enhanced. In WordPerfect 9, you could click the icon in the right vertical scroll bar, toward the bottom, for movement. Now, you can select to click an up/down arrow and, by clicking on the icon, chose to move between the following items: page, heading, table, footnote, comment, text box, bookmark, graphic, equation, hyperlink, redline text and strikeout text.
9. Variables. Previously, a “variable” was used only in merge or macro features. A “variable” is something you define which has varying values, such as a name, address, or whatever. Now, the concept of a “variable” has been introduced into a regular WordPerfect document. Variables allow you to mark text that you know will change such as dates, client names, addresses, etc. So, you could have a form letter or pleading, change the values of the variables, and the document could then be saved/printed with the updated variable information.
10. Reveal Codes. This invaluable feature is still present and it’s still perfect. Reveal Codes is now supported in the Two Page View. This may or may not be significant to users, depending on whether they tend to use the Two Page view for getting an overview of how a document “looked” in an objective way.
11. Microsoft Word Read/Write. This was already pretty good in WordPerfect 9. From what I’m told (I don’t have Word installed on any computer I own and, hopefully, never will), the feature has allegedly been enhanced in WordPerfect10. But, I’m just parroting what I’ve seen elsewhere and have no first-hand knowledge.
12. Drop Caps. I rarely used “Drop Caps” (makes big letters like the first letter in a magazine article paragraph) so it’s no big deal to me. I’m so sure I’ll be using Drop Caps in my next pleading or brief! But, if it’s important to you, the feature has been enhanced. You can now set more variations with the feature, such as the number of characters to “drop”.
13. Text To Tables. You can select text (even better if the text is tabbed), then, from the menu, select Table, Convert and the text will be converted to a table. You can do the same thing from parallel columns. And, as before, you can convert a table to text if you want. A Tables menu item has been re-introduced in WordPerfect 10.
14. Make It Fit. You can now select what you wish to “fit”, as opposed to an entire document, and “make the selection” fit within the desired number of pages. This might be helpful in “tweaking” documents to match page limit requirements that might exist, e.g, a trial court brief that you want to keep to 5 pages.
NEUTRAL OR OTHER
1. Price. When initially released in April 2001, the “Regular” upgrade (including WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, Presentations and Corel Central) was just under $150 and the “Professional” upgrade (including the “regular” programs plus the Paradox database program and Dragon Naturally Speaking) was just under $250. Since then, “street” prices are lower and the “Regular” suite is available for around $110. So, it’s still relatively inexpensive, particularly compared with Microsoft Word suite prices.
2. Paste Special. No change since WordPerfect 6.1, but this feature persists in its superb usefulness. If you’ve ever opened a Microsoft Word document with all of its garbage paragraph formatting codes (which Word users have virtually no control over creating), Paste Special gives you the option of pasting stuff as unformatted text. So, if you’ve opened a Word document, select the whole document, copy it to the Clipboard (or Corel’s new Clipbook), and then do a “Paste Special” (Edit | Paste Special ...) and choose “Unformatted text”. All the codes are gone! Even if you have to do some minor reformatting (e.g., re-italicize case citations), this feature persists in its exceptional importance.
3. Insert Shapes. I’ve noticed no change from WordPerfect 9. Compared to WordPerfect 8 and earlier, the “shapes” you can insert radically changed in WordPerfect 9. You can insert from 7 categories of shapes – lines, basic, arrows, flowchart, stars, callout, action. All are completely editable and configurable.
4. Autoscroll. Click on the Autoscroll toolbar icon and you can scroll up, down, fast, slow through a document by positioning the mouse on a page. This is very handy for very long document review. Introduced in WordPerfect 9, the feature is unchanged in WordPerfect 10.
5. Embedded Fonts. Beginning with WordPerfect 9, you can “embed” fonts in a document when saving it if you want. That remains true in WordPerfect 10. So, if you send a file to someone else for review/editing/whatever, the font you’ve used will be present in the document even if that person doesn’t have that font installed on his/her computer.
6. Quick View Plus. I note this element because so many WordPerfect users aren’t aware of its presence on the Installation CD’s. Quick View Plus enables you to read and print hundreds of file-types even if you don’t have the originating program installed on your computer. You can also copy to the Clipboard (or the new Corel Clipbook) from a document opened in Quick View Plus. If you haven’t installed this program from your Corel WordPerfect Installation CDS (any version since WordPerfect 6.1), do it today!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Whether upgrading to WPO 2002 is worth your money depends on several objective and subjective pieces of information. Compared to what you’ve already got, does what I’ve said above give you reason to spend about $110 (or more if you want the version with Paradox and Dragon Naturally Speaking)? Answers will vary depending on what you’d like WordPerfect to be able to do. My recommendations are:
1. WordPerfect 9 Users. Look over the Pros and Cons and decide if what you’ve read is worth $110. Your answer naturally depends on what you want to be able to do in WordPerfect.
2. WordPerfect 8 and Earlier Version Users. Buy Corel WordPerfect Suite 2002. It’s a great product and it’s much better than what you have right now. BUT, be sure you read the next paragraph.
3. If You Buy. The initial release is WordPerfect 10.0.0.517. As of this writing, the current latest release (Service Pack 2) is WordPerfect 10.0.0.663. If possible, don’t buy the product until you know for sure that you are getting the latest release. If you can get a “promise to return if it’s not WordPerfect 10.0.0.663 or later” before you buy, do. I don’t know if that much detail is “on the box”. Service Pack 2 was released mid-November 2001. Presumably by the time you read this, the latest release will be at CompUSA, BestBuy or wherever. On the first installation CD, read a file in the root directory (your Compact Disk drive letter) probably called, “ReleaseNotes.txt”. It will identify the specific release number. If it’s not 10.0.0.663 (or later if another Service Pack comes out – always check the Corel download website at http://www.corel.com/support/downloads/index.htm), take it back if you can.
4. Even If You Don’t Buy. Even if you decide to keep what you have, get the latest Service Pack for the version of WordPerfect you are using. Downloads are free, even if they might take some time to download (not too much if you have a DSL or Cable Internet connection, but lots longer if you don’t). Upgrades to WordPerfect 6.1, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0 and 10.0 are available at http://www.corel.com/support/downloads/index.htm. After you’ve downloaded, copy the downloaded file to your read/write CD Rom drive, if you have one, so you can use that downloaded file on your other computers.