Corel WordPerfect Office X9 Review

Summary

Corel Word Perfect Office X9 is the most powerful and flexible office suites available today. Its professional focused features make it right at home in any office. The included PDF and image editor software can save you from needing to purchase other software; this, together with its low price, makes it the best value for money on the market.

Overview

I fondly remember loading WordPerfect from 12 floppy disks onto DOS PCs in school. Even though WordPerfect has its storied history back in the 80s as one of the first graphical word processors, WordPerfect Office X9 is firmly forward-looking.

Word Processing

WordPerfect X9 is the text processor of the Corel WordPerfect Office suite, and its lineage is undoubtedly evident. The interface is easy to use and combines clear icons and a classic drop-down menu system to organize its myriad of features. It’s refreshing to have an organized menu instead of hunting through buttons and ribbons looking for what you want, click the menu and read the options. All the features also have hover-over tooltips to provide additional help with what each feature is. It’s compatible with all office file formats, including doc, docx, wpd, rtf, and pdf.

All the standard features you want are present and quick to use. The spelling and grammar check are excellent. Mail merge and macro recording are available to help automate repetitive tasks. One simple but powerful feature is with a single click you can fix the capitalization of entire sections of text to proper sentence capitalization.

One excellent inclusion is the ability to create PDF documents with text fields and buttons. This type of form is very common in any business. If you need this ability otherwise, you’d need to spend over $100 to get Adobe Acrobat, and it’s included in WordPerfect!

Obsessive formatters will love the Reveal Codes feature. This shows exactly what type of formatting and whitespace is being put in your document. This can save you from spending time trying to get the spacing or layout just right in your document. One useful feature is the ability to automatically adjust the formatting and spacing to fit a certain number of pages. If you’ve ever had to change the text size multiple times or needed to fit your speaking notes into one or two pages, you’ll recognize how useful this is.

Those in the medical or legal fields will especially appreciate the advanced features on offer. Pleading paper format, Bates Numbering, and redaction tools will save you time in preparing documents. The reference tools allow you to create cited reference indexes easily. It also includes a powerful file search tool that can allow you to quickly look though many different files and locate what you need for your case or patient easily.

WordPerfect is not Unicode based. It doesn’t support all character sets. This is especially noticeable in the lack of support of double-byte characters. If you use an Asian language or non-roman alphabet, it may not display.

Spreadsheets

Quattro Pro X9 is the spreadsheet and formatted data program in the Corel suite. Spreadsheets might be the most boring topic in computing, but they make the world go round. Having a way to work with data takes you from just guessing to creating knowledge and insights.

Quattro Pro uses graphic icons for frequently used items and has powerful tools in menus, similar to WordPerfect. It is compatible with all the major file formats, including xls, xlsx, csv, lotus, and xml. Every spreadsheet loaded and worked flawlessly. Complex math and data analysis spreadsheets were functional. A test personnel scheduling sheet worked and displayed the versatility in formatting available.

Quattro Pro is easy to use. Every feature that we looked for was present. I was able to use simple functions, work with dates, do economic forecasting, and perform vlookup. It can create graphs and charts of various types; although, visually, they were not very striking. It supports advanced data manipulation with database connections and has CrossTab reports to generate a pivot table like 3-dimensional data from a simple table. It had no issues working with spreadsheets containing over 20 thousand rows.

Presentation

WordPerfect Office’s slide deck software is Presentations X9. These days, PowerPoint has become a dirty word in boardrooms as it’s become to easy to make poor slide decks that put more emphasis on transitions and effects than on the content.  Presentation X9’s simple interface allows you to focus on creating captivating slides. It has compatibility with ppt, pptx, and shw files. It can import a laundry list of content, such as vector graphics, pictures, videos, and even cad models. Completed slide shows can be exported as ppt files, PDFs, or as compiled executables.

Presentations has all the features you need. It can do shape drawing and flow chart diagraming with shape tools. It can display charts and graphs, and even includes a datasheet manager for a quick creation. Auto alignment and automatic spacing tools will keep everything centered and in line. Speaking notes can be added to slides to keep you on topic.

If you want to create slide shows fast, it included Slide Outliner, showing you all the text content as lines that can be edited. This allows you to quickly write your outline and slides without individually editing each slide.

Other Features

Every edition of WordPerfect Office X9 includes AfterShot 3, a full-featured photo editor. AfterShot can replace Photoshop, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars. It can do photo storage, organization, and cataloging. It also has layered photo corrections and sharpening and color curve tools. You can also use it for image manipulation, such as clone stamp and healing brushes.

WordPerfect Lightning application is a structured note-taking program. It allows you to take text notes and combine them with other document types into notebooks. This lets you quickly organize your files on a topic and gather everything into one place.

Paradox database manager is part of the professional suite. It can create relational databases for storing and retrieving your data. When you are ready to take a step up from spreadsheets, Paradox can help you easily hold your data and make applications to manage it simple.

Business Use

The considerations for choosing an office suite in an office environment may not be the same as for home use. Manageability, product life, and support are significant factors for business where time is money.

Corel makes it easy to buy WordPerfect Office licenses in bulk with volume discounts. These are full perpetual licenses; no subscriptions or internet licensing. The licenses can be tied to a single account for easy management. It’s also an installed product, so there’s no need for an internet connection to use it.

Live support is easy to get from Corel. I was able to get someone to assist me with a question from their web support chat app immediately; they also have a phone line for support. This is in stark contrast to many other software providers who have no real-time support, so you are left with searching forums for answers.

Legal and Medical professionals will especially appreciate the features targeted to them. The Perfect Authority feature makes creating references and cited works a snap. If you need to perform discovery or document review, there’s no other office software with built-in multi-document search or automatic Bates numbering.

Price and Competition

WordPerfect Office X9 is hands-down the best value office suite on the market. The home edition is $90 at the time of this writing. Compared to Microsoft Office 365 home edition, which is $100 for only a one-year subscription or $150 for the perpetual Home and Student edition. The inclusion of AfterShot 3 makes WordPerfect Office the clear winner for home use.

WordPerfect Office X9 Standard edition should be on the top of the list for any business to consider. It’s MSRP is $250, but it can be found at lower prices, and combined with volume discounts. Compare with Microsoft Office 2019, which is also $250 for a perpetual license, or Office 365 Business is $8.25 per user per month.  The added value of the bundled PDF forms and photo editor of the Corel suite can save you the cost of needing to buy Adobe Acrobat and Photoshop for your employees. There is no included email client, but if you use web-based email, a full mail client is not required.

There are free alternatives in WPS Office ad-supported or Open Office, but the trade-off of distracting adds or lack of support will waste your time. Web-based solutions, such as Google Docs, are not always available and can be difficult to use to upload and download documents.

Purchases from Corel also have a 30-day money-back guarantee, and there is a trial version freely available. This makes trying it out a no-risk opportunity.

Conclusion

WordPerfect Office X9 is the top value for most users in office software available today. The applications are stable and fully featured. Their unique attributes, such as Reveal Codes, are welcome additions. The bundled inclusion of AfterShot 3 almost makes it a no-brainer for normal home use. If you need to use Asian languages or require an Exchange compatible email client, you may need to consider another suite though. Everyone else should not relegate WordPerfect to obsolete status. It’s time to take a fresh look at WordPerfect Office X9 and find your best work companion.