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!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 3 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 4 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 5 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
Latest News Articles
- LastPass is scrambling to fix another serious vulnerability
- New Google Home partnerships expand the smart speaker’s footprint in the smart home
- If Google Assistant isn't your thing, you can now talk to Cortana on the lock screen
- Razer’s updated Blade Pro is the first ever THX-certified laptop
- 10 powerful, obscure Windows keyboard shortcuts you should know
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
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.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG G6 phone: full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 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
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSenior Performance AnalystQLD
- TPSystems Analyst - WHS ImplementationNSW
- TPSenior Business AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness Implementation ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst - General InsuranceNSW
- FTSenior Lead Developer/Architect - TelcoVIC
- FTJava Developer - Short team Contract @ CanberraNSW
- CCSAP FICO Support AnalystWA
- FTTechnical Solutions ArchitectWA
- FTChange ManagerNSW
- CCSAP BPC SME/Consultant - BRISBANE BASEDQLD
- FTAutomation Test AnalystSA
- TPProject Manager - General InsuranceNSW
- FTSenior Network EngineerACT
- CCICT Strategist and AdvisorNSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTPeoplesoft Functional Consultant - Campus SolutionsNSW
- CCTest Manager with PV Security ClearanceACT
- CCSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- CCChange LeadNSW
- TPGIS Resource Data & TestingQLD
- CCProcess Assurance LeadNSW
- CCInfrastructure Project ManagerNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst (Level 1 Support)NSW