For Windows PC users wanting alternatives to the ribbon-based Microsoft Office, Corel on Thursday released a new edition of the WordPerfect Office suite which adds a new Document Viewer app for Android devices, along with features such as multiple monitor support and built-in eBook pubishing.
Corel's suite still revolves around WordPerfect, Presentations, and the Quattro Pro spreadsheet, and it still includes classic features such as "reveal codes" and "make it fit," said Peter Hanschke, Corel's director of product management - Office Productivity, in a briefing for NotebookReview.
With WordPerfect Office X6, though, Corel is responding to market changes such as the "ubiquity of PDFs, prevalence of mobile devices, growth of eBook and eReader markets, and pressure to do more in less time," Hanschke told us.
In addition to improving the suite's core functionality at opening, editing and exporting PDF files, Corel has added an advanced preview mode for looking at documents in Windows Explorer or as Microsoft Outlook attachments without needing to open the docs. The suite is also fully compatible with all Microsoft Office 10 files, he said.
Only about two percent of the online US working opulation uses WordPerfect Office on a regular basis, but that number can reach 14 percent in law offices, Hanschke estimated. Meanwhile, Canadian-based Corel has been making strong inroads lately versus competitors such as Adobe in the photo editing and video editing categories.
WordPerfect Office X6 Professional, priced at $399.99, incorporates the VideoStudio Essentials X4 video editing package, along with the PDF Fusion software program, WinZip 16 and WinZip Courier, for file compression; Corel Perfect Authority, for building legal Tables of Authority; and Nuance PaperPort 12SE scanning software. Other editions of Corel's suite include Legal ($379.99), Standard ($249.99), and Home & Student ($99.99).
Reader apps for smartphones & tablets
Along with the suite, Corel is introducing a Document Viewer app set for availability from Google Play/Android Market on May 4. The Android OS app joins a previously released viewer app for Apple iOS devices. Corel has no intentions right now, though, to mirror companies like QuickOffice and ThinkFree with mobile office apps designed for content creation, according to Hanschke.
"We think that the PC is still the best platform for content production," he contended. Smartphones and tablets, on the other hand, are well suited to "content consumption" from just about anywhere, according to Hanschke.
Similarly, Corel has no plans at present for a cloud-based, subscription-based online office suite along the lines of Microsoft's Office 365 or the emerging IBM Docs.
New tool for creating Amazon books
Corel added some of the new features in X6 at the request of its legal customers, said Cindy Howard, a Corel product manager, during a demo. For example, almost anyone can use a new feature called WordPerfect eBook Publisher to quickly create and publish an eBook in MOBI, the format used for Amazon books, according to Howard.
Yet many law firms today are already publishing cases and other legal documents in MOBI for download on Amazon.com. "Judges like to read [these documents] on their Kindles when they're riding the train to work, instead of carrying lots of papers with them," she elaborated.
Similarly, PCs at many law offices are now outfitted with multiple monitors, Howard noted. More specifically for lawyers, X6 adds Bates numbering.
Beyond the new eBook Pubisher tool, the new suite also contains eight other utiities: the Electronic Pocket Oxford Dictionary; WordPerfect Address Book; WordPerfect Office Ready Template Browser; WordPerfect Office Conversion Utility; PerfectScript, for creating macros and scripts; QuickFinder, for customizable searches; and PerfectExpert amd WordPerfect XML Project Designer, both for project creation.
Also included are 10,000 clipart images; 175 photos; 900 TrueType fonts; 300 templates; and BrainStorm video-based training.
Electronic downloads of the English version are available immediately, with sales in retail stores scheduled to start on May 4. Corel will also produce an English/French version, slated for availability on May 29 through electronic downloads and in stores on June 14. Corel is offering discounted pricing for product upgrades.