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Corel WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition review: Corel WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition

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MSRP: $89.00

The Good Abundant templates; backward compatible; WordPerfect simulates Word, and Quattro Pro simulates Excel in appearance.

The Bad Includes weak versions of Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD, Encyclopedia Britannica; Quattro Pro has trouble importing Excel charts.

The Bottom Line WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition is designed for families, not businesses, and it's useful mainly to collect, edit, and burn digital images onto CDs or DVDs for personal use.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 6
  • Support 7

Corel WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition

WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition is Corel's answer to Microsoft Works Suite 2005 and replaces Corel WordPerfect Family Pack 5.0 offered last year. WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition spans three CDs and includes WordPerfect 12.0, Quattro Pro 12.0, WordPerfect OfficeReady Personal Finance, Encyclopedia Britannica Ready Reference 2005, Corel PhotoBook and Corel PhotoAlbum, Pinnacle Instant CD/DVD creator, and Norton Internet Security 2005. Unfortunately, none of the non-Corel apps are full strength, so the net benefit of including them is debatable. The inclusion of digital-image-editing tools and a DVD-burning app might make for interesting family photo projects, but the more likely scenario for a purchaser is a small-business user who wants inexpensive copies of WordPerfect 12.0 and Quattro Pro 12.0, especially if you don't already qualify for the discounted educational version of Corel WordPerfect Office 12.0. In that case, WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition, which sells for less than $100, is your best alternative.

Not only is the WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition task manager pleasing to the eye, it's intuitive and functional, too.

When you launch WordPerfect Office 12.0 Home Edition, the task manager displays a screen full of useful tabs and buttons, leading to individual programs and templates. Unlike the Works interface, the WordPefect Office task manager is actually well designed and easy to use.

WordPerfect 12.0, the word-processing application in Corel's suite, supports the latest Microsoft Word formats and maintains backward compatibility with older versions of WordPerfect, including the DOS-based WordPerfect 5.1. Should formatting errors occur when importing text from Word, the Reveal Code feature--unique to WordPerfect--allows you to see all formatting marks on the page, making it easy to tweak text and the layout.

Quattro Pro 12.0, Corel's spreadsheet app, is also compatible with the latest Microsoft Excel files. In what might prove a stumbling block for some, however, Quattro Pro suffered paroxysms in our tests while attempting to import our Excel charts, unable to reproduce some data files exactly and ultimately distorting our graphical information.

OfficeReady Personal Finance is Corel's collection of templates designed to help you track monthly cash flow and perform other light financial tasks. Unlike Microsoft Works Suite, which includes Microsoft Money Standard Edition 2005, OfficeReady Personal Finance is perhaps too remedial for most accounting uses, even for home use. For tracking household budgets or balancing your checkbooks, you should opt instead for either Intuit Quicken or Money.

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