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Review: WordPerfect Office X3 Standard Edition

The latest edition of Corel's office suite adds an e-mail application and PDF functionality to its existing group of applications.
WordPerfect Mail And Others
It's hard to compete with a product like Microsoft Office without offering an e-mail application, and Corel has finally added one to its suite.


WordPerfect Mail handles e-mail, scheduling, and RSS feeds. (Click on image to expand.)
WordPerfect Mail is an interesting, if fairly standard, e-mail package, with most of the familiar features, including basic appointment and contact management (interestingly, there is no task management). The interface includes a nice feature that, when you hover over today’s date, displays thumbnails of all the months in the year, making it a simple move to display a future month and make changes or adjustments. The address book is well laid out and you can easily create new address books, then drag and drop contact names between books.

WordPerfect Mail uses a tool called Smart Groups to organize e-mail, listserv messages, and RSS feeds. This is handy, but it took me a while to find out that you had to use Smart Groups in order to receive your RSS feeds. The relationship should be made clearer for new users.

WordPerfect Suite X3's other two major applications, Presentations and Quattro Pro, are not significantly changed in this iteration. Both offer the features expected of professional-level presentation and spreadsheet packages; I was able to import and work with simple Office files in both Quattro Pro and Presentations without trouble — though animations failed to import cleanly into Presentation.

Conclusion
Corel still has a strong base of loyal WordPerfect users, but it's got to entice existing users to upgrade and convince new users to join its ranks. Unfortunately, the company is currently caught between the overwhelming market dominance of Microsoft Office, and the attraction of free suites such as OpenOffice. While features like better wizards and PDF editing can help, they may not be enough.


WordPerfect Office X3
Corel Corp.
www.corel.com
Price: $299; $159 upgrade
Summary: Corel has put together a solid office suite, but it remains to be seen if they can compete against the ubiquitous Microsoft Office and the free OpenOffice office suites.