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WordPerfect Office Small Biz Edition 12.0 review: WordPerfect Office Small Biz Edition 12.0

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MSRP: $349.00

The Good The new e-mail client, image editor, and business templates complement Corel's strong set of productivity programs.

The Bad Some programs, including Paint Shop Pro 9 and Task Manager, could be better integrated with the rest of the suite. Suite doesn't include the new Paint Shop Pro X.

The Bottom Line WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition is an affordable productivity suite with a powerful set of core applications--a good buy for smaller companies that don't import a lot of Microsoft Office documents.

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7.0 Overall
  • Setup 6
  • Features 8
  • Support 7

WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition

WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition combines the core features of Corel's respected office suite--WordPerfect 12, Quattro Pro 12, Presentations 12, and Symantec Norton Internet Security 2005--with two new additions: WordPerfect Mail and Paint Shop Pro 9. The result is a powerful, feature-rich package with plenty of punch for small-business users. Even better, Small Business Edition is priced $100 less than the comparable, small-business version of Microsoft Office 2003 but offers more features. There's room for improvement, though. We'd like to see better integration among this suite's applications, including the ability to use Paint Shop Pro's powerful image-editing tools inside a WordPerfect document. And since WordPerfect Office 12 does a poor job of importing Microsoft Office files, it's not a great choice for businesses already standardized on Microsoft's suite. But for a home or a small business, WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition is an affordable, complete, and reliable productivity package.

Our installation of WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition took from 30 minutes to an hour--overall, a smooth ride, aside from some speed bumps. For instance, one test PC already had a trial copy of Paint Shop Pro 9 installed, so we had to cancel the suite installation, remove the image-editing app (long past its 30-day trial period), then return to the WordPerfect Office 12 installation. On another PC, Norton Internet Security 2005 installed itself--even though the computer already had another antivirus program, McAfee VirusScan. Corel's express-installation program didn't prompt us with an offer not to install; had we thought about it, we could have opted for a custom installation and manually deselected Norton. After installation, the two virus fighters were running simultaneously, so we had to manually uninstall McAfee.

The new Task Manager provides plenty of useful business templates--as does OfficeReady, another WordPerfect Office utility.

WordPerfect Office 12 performs some clever interface tricks. For instance, it can mimic the keystrokes, the menus, and the toolbars of Microsoft Office applications--handy for Microsoft Office converts. The Corel Small Business Edition adds WordPerfect Mail, a well-designed e-mail client with a familiar icons-and-toolbars layout that's painless to learn.

The WordPerfect Office 12 suite also adds the new Task Manager, a job-oriented interface that provides templates for specific tasks. When you select Business Plan Presentation on the Task Manager screen, for example, the appropriate template will load inside the Presentations app. This is simple but redundant; this suite's task-based utility OfficeReady already offers dozens of templates for invoices, purchase orders, job estimates, brochures, and so on. Hopefully, Corel will merge OfficeReady and Task Manager in future versions of WordPerfect Office.

The $349 WordPerfect Office 12 Small Business Edition is designed for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Several new components include the WordPerfect Mail e-mail client, formerly known as Bloomba; Paint Shop Pro 9, an image editor that Corel acquired with its purchase of Jasc Software in 2004; and the Task Manager.

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