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Applications

Corel revamps office, graphics software

Canadian software maker unveils an update to WordPerfect Office and to its CorelDraw graphics suite.

Corel on Tuesday announced an updated version of WordPerfect Office, its rival to Microsoft's dominant Office suite.

The new program, Corel WordPerfect Office X3, adds the ability to import and export its files to Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). The software also has a new interface and promises better support for multilingual characters and an easy way to strip out hidden information, or metadata, from a file.

"With Corel WordPerfect Office X3, Corel has created a powerful solution that enables users to create, edit and re-use their content, particularly through its new ability to import, edit and export PDF, as well as its exceptional Microsoft Office compatibility," Richard Carriere, Corel's general manager, said in a statement.

The move comes ahead of Microsoft's introduction later this year of Office 12, the next version of its suite, which features a significantly revamped user interface and new file formats. Microsoft launched a limited beta of the software last year and plans a broader test version in the second quarter of 2006.

Corel said that the new software is priced at up to 60 percent less than a comparable version of Office. It comes in standard, home, professional, and student and teacher editions, ranging from $99 to $399. Also, many users of Microsoft's Office can purchase an upgrade version of WordPerfect Office, rather than having to pay the price of a new license.

The standard edition is made up of WordPerfect X3, the Quattro Pro X3 spreadsheet, Presentations X3 and the WordPerfect Mail e-mail program. The home edition includes consumer versions of the e-mail and spreadsheet, along with Corel Photo Album and multimedia software from Pinnacle and antivirus software from Norton. The student and teacher edition adds the Paradox relational database and can be installed on up to three PCs, while the professional version has Paradox, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications and the WordPerfect X3 software development kit.

Corel, based in Ottawa, also announced CorelDraw Graphics Suite X3, an update to its suite of graphics software. The latest version, which will be available next month, adds a new tracing tool for converting bitmap images into vector graphics, a new image adjustment lab feature and other new tools.

The suite includes CorelDraw, Corel Photo-Paint as well as clip art, image capture tools and software for handling RAW-format photos. The full version is priced at $399, while upgrades sell for $179 and the student and teacher edition is priced at $99.