Code Revealed

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

Code Revealed

The WordPerfect word processor has been praised for its Reveal Codes feature, and Corel has enhanced the capabilities in this latest version. For example, as we created a document, codes were automatically inserted indicating where our formatting options began and ended.

We could easily delete these codes as well as modify their properties. In addition, a new option enables users to print documents with Reveal Codes displayed.

In compatibility tests, WordPerfect Office 11.0 faithfully rendered the formatting and styles from Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents and templates in use here at eWEEK. WordPerfect Office 11.0 is equipped with a handy file converter that easily converts one file or large numbers of files into other formats and back again. When saving, WordPerfect Office 11.0 allowed us to choose from a number of file formats in which to save a test document. We could easily open and save Word documents, for example, in the same file format after using WordPerfect to make changes.

WordPerfect has a large user base in the government sector and the legal profession, where many customers are used to using the keystroke shortcuts in some of the earliest versions of the software. In response to user feedback, Corel has added desktop customization features to Version 11.0 of the suite that enable users to create and modify tool bars, the property bar, the application bar, menus and keyboard shortcuts.

Being fans of the DOS-based WordPerfect 5.1 word processor, we replicated that work environment—everything from the blue screen down to the keystroke shortcuts.

WordPerfect 11.0 also addresses the file compatibility issues that can emerge from revision to revision of a product. Legacy files created in WordPerfect 6.1, for example, use the same file format as those in 11.0, thus allowing users of different versions of WordPerfect to share files with no problems.

Even more useful in our tests was WordPerfect Office 11.0s improved ability to publish documents from WordPerfect and from presentations in PDF format—a capability thats not yet available in Word. Using WordPerfect 11.0, we found it easy to convert word processing documents into PDF files for publication on a Web site. The suite now supports Adobe Systems Inc.s Acrobat 5.0 and handles symbols with ease, allowing graphic-intensive documents published to PDF to have much smaller file sizes.

Although most of the major changes show up in WordPerfect Office, Corel has also brought a raft of enhancements to the other suite components, Quattro Pro and Presentations. Features such as CrossTab Reports—which can summarize large amounts of data—have been bolstered with new sorting and filtering capabilities.

This isnt to say, however, that old favorites have gone away. Using RealTime preview, Quattro Pro users can preview formatting changes before applying data to a number of charts—a huge timesaver and a nice touch.

Users familiar with Microsoft Office have probably come to expect an e-mail client to be included with office suites. However, the lack of one in WordPerfect Office 11.0 is not necessarily a detriment.

The suite is integrated with Microsoft Outlooks address book, which means users can use their existing Outlook contact lists when tracking document routings.

In addition, the suite will integrate with messaging platforms such as Novell Inc.s GroupWise and software from IBMs Lotus Software division.

eWEEK Labs Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at

As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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