Corel WordPerfect Office 12.0
Modest upgrade to a solid suite offers better (but not flawless) Microsoft Office compatibility.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
If you can't beat Microsoft Office, mimic it - at a lower price. That's the philosophy behind Word-Perfect Office 12. This minor upgrade to Corel's venerable, capable suite adds tweaks aimed at keeping cost-conscious small businesses and home users, as well as long-time WordPerfect aficionados, productive in a Microsoft-centric world.
The Standard version comprises and Presentations 12. The database manager, Paradox, is available only in the Professional version. You do get 600 TrueType fonts and a VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) bolt-on for WordPerfect 12.
We tested a shipping version and found that, although the new features help, the best way to ensure that you'll always have full Microsoft Office compatibility when you need it is still to use Microsoft Office.
With two clicks, you can now switch the WordPerfect word processor, the Quattro Pro spreadsheet, and the Presentations tool into rough approximations of their Microsoft counterparts. Choose this option in WordPerfect, for instance, and the program not only adopts a Word-like menu structure, it also defaults to Word's file format.
The Corel suite lacks an alternative to Microsoft's Outlook e-mail and calendar programs; instead, it has features such as the ability to do mail merges using Outlook contacts.
The Microsoft-like menus do make it easier for Microsoft Office users to convert to Corel's Office. And in my tests, most files travelled back and forth between Offices without a hitch. Unfortunately, file importing worked less than perfectly: for example, Presentations jumbled elements on some complex PowerPoint slides, and Quattro Pro couldn't handle an Excel spreadsheet with elaborate formulas and macros.
As for version 12's other additions, the slick OfficeReady utility lets you preview the suite's templates, including 40 new ones for work and home tasks. However, the WordPerfect Wireless Office Suite - a set of tools for exchanging messages with SMS-enabled mobile phones - is misnamed, poorly documented, and haphazardly integrated with the rest of the product.
Like previous versions of WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, and Presentations, the software in the new suite already match most of the significant features of their Microsoft equivalents, and they offer some bonuses of their own. To create PDF documents in Microsoft Office, for example, you need a separate program such as Adobe's $299 Acrobat 6.0 Standard package; Corel's suite does it natively. Additionally, Microsoft Word still does not duplicate WordPerfect's Reveal Codes mode, which lets serious document tweakers massage page layouts by editing the underlying formatting instructions.
The $499 Standard edition of WordPerfect Office undercuts the $699 Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003 suite list price by $200, and volume licensing agreements bring even deeper discounts. An academic version retails for $189.
Ultimately, Corel's suite is a better value than Microsoft's for some users, but not all. In its favour are its more-liberal licensing policies, which allow you to install a single copy on both a business PC and a laptop or home system, as long as it is used on only one machine at a time.
People on tight budgets should investigate OpenOffice.org, a free open-source download that feels even more like Microsoft Office in some respects. But if you need a powerful e-mail/personal information manager such as Outlook, or if you can't risk file-compatibility glitches, then Microsoft's pricier suite remains the best bet.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
- Google lets users get social with Maps
- Microsoft unveils a bonanza of security capabilities
- Here's how Evernote moved 3 petabytes of data to Google's cloud
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- TPFront End DeveloperWA
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- CCTest AnalystWA
- FTFront-End DevOps Developer/Consultant - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)ACT
- FTBid ManagerVIC
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- CCDigital - Full Stack developer contract role - CollingwoodVIC
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Manufacturing and Trade & Logistics Modules)NSW
- CCBPM DeveloperVIC
- TPSAP Helpdesk SupportACT
- FTSenior C++ EngineerACT
- TPDrupal Developer - Immediate startQLD
- CCCloud Security Solutions Architect - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTPart Time - IT Service Desk AnalystVIC
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- FTTechnical Consultant MS Dynamics AXVIC
- TPFunctional Business AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Networks Specialist - DNS PlatformVIC
- CCTelecommunication Operations SpecialistTAS
- CCProject Manager - Adelaide basedVIC
- CCApplication Solution Designer (Automation) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW