Corel WordPerfect Office X5
Like previous versions, Office X5 offers strong compatibility with Microsoft Office
- Excellent compatibility with Microsoft Office, solid handling of PDFs
- Unimpressive newsreader and e-mail features, no Web apps component
The new version of Corel WordPerfect Office X5 bolsters features, but offers little incentive for users of competing suites to switch.
Price$ 399.99 (AUD)
Squeezed by desktop competitors (Microsoft's powerhouse Office suite and the free, open-source OpenOffice) and Web alternatives (apps from Google, Zoho, and others), can Corel WordPerfect Office X5 bring something to the productivity software table? The suite does deliver some unique features--most notably in PDF support and--with the addition of Nuance PaperPort to the suite--in document management. But WordPerfect Office X5 remains a tough sell for general business users who are reasonably satisfied with Microsoft's core Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps, or their free Web counterparts.
I looked at WordPerfect Office X5 Standard Edition ($399, or $199 for an upgrade), which consists of X5 editions of WordPerfect, Quattro Pro for spreadsheets, Presentations (Corel's PowerPoint alternative), WordPerfect Lightning (a note-taking app), Paperport, and Mozilla Thunderbird for WordPerfect Office (which replaces the old WordPerfect Mail e-mail client and personal information manager).
Like previous versions, Office X5 offers strong compatibility with Microsoft Office, including the ability to create, open, and edit the XML-based formats introduced in Office 2007, along with support for dozens of other formats-including antiquated ones that Microsoft no longer supports. In fact, Corel even offers you the option, when launching WordPerfect, of working with a "classic" DOS-like interface (WordPerfect 5.1), featuring grey type on a blue screen. Other startup options are Microsoft Word mode (a throwback to the preribbon interface) and legal mode (which caters to Corel's strong following in the legal community).
Nevertheless, the application reminds you that Microsoft's formats are not its native formats: When you save a .docx file, you get a pop-up 'Conversion in progress' window that goes away quickly, but becomes a bit annoying after multiple viewings.
WordPerfect's ability to edit PDF documents--a weakness in Microsoft's suite--still falls short of perfection. In my tests with a group of PDFs, some remained fairly faithful to the original layouts; but in others, text and layout became scrambled. It beats having no support at all, but Office users will be at least as well off if they install a good PDF plug-in. PaperPort's PDF Viewer Plus, the SE version, lets you complete forms that you could fill out with a free Reader plug-in, and annotate static PDFs, but nothing more. To scan and fill out a static PDF form, you must upgrade to Nuance's PDF Converter.
WordPerfect retains its Reveal Codes feature, which makes fine-tuned format adjustments possible. A new feature that some business and government users may like is support for data import from Web services. Accompanying the suite are various utilities, including an XML project designer and a Pleading Expert.
The decision to go with Thunderbird--available as a free download to everyone--hints at WordPerfect Office's weakness in handling e-mail and newsreading tasks; its Exchange support remains incomplete. Thunderbird is rather slow as a front end to Web-based e-mail; by default, it downloads only headers, and I experienced significant delays when I clicked on a header to download a Gmail message.
Quattro Pro is a respectable alternative to Excel, with reasonably good charting and formatting tools. Presentations is a serviceable PowerPoint alternative for slideshows, and its accompanying Presentation Graphics application offers bitmap image-editing tools for hands-on types; but the beta of PowerPoint 2010 is difficult to outshine in overall ease of use and integration of image-editing tools. Lightning, the note-taking app, doesn't have the suite-wide integration that Microsoft is introducing for OneNote in Office 2010. Further, Corel has no equivalent to Microsoft's upcoming Office Web apps (though so far, these don't seem likely to pose a serious challenge to existing Web-based productivity tools).
One useful innovation in WP Office X5 is the Reference Center, a central repository for help and tutorials for the whole suite. Anyone who migrates to Office X5 from Microsoft Office should find it invaluable.
Microsoft has yet to announce pricing for upcoming editions of Office 2010, but they will undoubtedly be more expensive than corresponding versions of WordPerfect Office. On the other hand, budget-minded users have more free options than ever these days, so X5 is unlikely to draw legions of new customers on price alone. But it should keep traditional Corel fans in the fold.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® Portable SSD
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
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
- Lenovo to integrate Amazon Alexa in Moto smartphones
- Google will start adding Assistant to Nougat and Marshmallow phones this week
- Google's new AI aims to end abusive online comments using 'Perspective'
- Village Roadshow aims to block 40 pirate sites
- Analysts peer into Microsoft's rumored Windows 10 Cloud
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.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- 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
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperNSW
- FTJava Developer - Fixed Term ContractQLD
- CCDesktop Engineer l WollongongNSW
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer - NetApp SpecialistNSW
- FTFinancial ERP Customer SME / Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- FTJunior / Entry Level IT role - Recent IT TAFE GraduateNSW
- FTSenior Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)WA
- TPSenior Applications Support OfficerQLD
- TPSenior Test AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Project Coordinator - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- CCIT Support TechnicianNSW
- FTPMO Specialist - PermanentACT
- CCOrganisational Change Analyst - Banking/Financial ServicesNSW
- TPWinforms DevelopersWA
- CCStorage System EngineerNSW
- CCWPF .NET EngineerNSW
- CCProject Support SpecialistVIC
- FTFront End DeveloperQLD
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- CCDevOps/Senior Sys Admin - eCommerce - Contract - Sydney Northern BeachesNSW
- CCProject Support OfficerNSW
- CCSenior C++ .Net DeveloperWA
- CCSenior System AdministratorVIC
- CCCyber Security Strategy AnalystACT
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT