Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Remember WordPerfect?*

I have mentioned to my readers before that I have been using Windows since the days when we looked forward to the release of Windows 95 (think “Jurassic period”). Recently I was reminiscing with a fellow tech enthusiast, who has been using computers since the very beginning of the PC, and who survived the early days of DOS (think “Triassic  period”), and the name WordPerfect came up.logo_wordperfect

Wow. I haven’t heard that name in… a really long time.

Folks, I know this may be hard to believe, but there was a time before Microsoft Word and MS Office. Back then you composed your documents with WordStar, or more likely, the premier app — WordPerfect.

WordPerfect could do it all. If you had WP, you could actually do fantastic things like use italics and bold and (this was super neat) you could see a preview of what your document would actually print out like.
Before WordPerfect, you kind of had to guesstimate, as your screen used a generic font. (At least, that’s how I remember it…)

But eventually, Microsoft bundled its upstart new word processor – called simply “Word” – with Windows, and so new machines came with Word already installed — spelling doom for WordPerfect. Us techy-types then spent lots of time training people on Word and converting old WordPerfect documents into the Word format.
Sigh. Those were the ‘good old days’…

Anyway.. after our conversation, I decided to look up WordPerfect on Wikipedia to see what year it went extinct, and I was guessing it would be somewhere about 1992… I confess I was stunned by what I learned -WordPerfect is not dead.
What?

Yes, Corel’s office suite – featuring WordPerfect – is not only still around, but I read it has a loyal following. It’s current version is called WordPerfect Office X4, and it comes in a “Home and Student”, “Standard”, and “Professional” versions. I looked at their website and I must say I’m intrigued.

Surely it must have something “going on” for it to still be in the game, and I think it does, so I’m going to download the trial and play with it some. I’m curious about its PDF features and Open document formats…

Today’s free link: WordPerfect Universe calls itself the “first stop for WordPerfect Office users”, and I must say you can find pretty much anything WP-related here.

Today’s free download: To fit with my theme today, I’m going to break my rule about no “trialware” in this section. If you are like me, and would like to see what today’s WordPerfect can do, there’s a 30 day trial that is full-featured (everything’s enabled) here, WordPerfect Office X4

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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November 15, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, PC, software, tech, word processors | , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. I was reminiscing with my father-in-law the other day about Lotus suite. He has been using Lotus Organizer since before he retired in 1999. He had been given a copy of the software for his home computer but no disks. I was surprised to find that they are still selling that software in a stand alone version.

    I told him that I recalled using that software myself when I was a college student and could get the Lotus Suite software really cheap. At that time it included AmiPro as the word processing software. I LOVED using AmiPro. It was replaced somewhere along the way and I wasn’t happy about that.

    I used Word Perfect at work back in the day. I was reluctant to try Microsoft products even though they were well on their way to becoming the standard at that time.

    I succumbed to the Microsoft juggernaut somewhere along the way and now use Office 2003. I did install Lotus Symphony – IBM’s version of Open Office – onto a machine after installing W7 and running out of Office 2003 licenses. I may break down and buy an Office 2007 if somebody has it for a good price.

    For my personal use Office works much better for some key projects I work on regularly. I tried Open Office and it just wasn’t capable of doing what I needed – or if it was, it was certainly not as easy to do as it was in Office.

    Like

    Comment by gadzooks64 | November 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Gadzooks64,
      AmiWord was a bit before my time (or.. I just wasn’t exposed to it..) but I was there for the WP –> MS Word transition in the workplace (I remember a lot of frustrated people… and cursing).
      The “pioneering days” of the PC.. 5 1/4″ floppies” and “sneakernet”..

      I haven’t spent a lot of time looking lately, but I think the Home and Student Edition of MS Office is still holding at the $150 level… but I have seen it for lower..
      (

      click here

      )

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 15, 2009 | Reply

  2. I personally tend to favour SSuite Office’s free office suites. Their software also don’t need to run on Java or .NET, like so many open source office suites, so it makes their software very small and efficient.

    http://www.ssuitesoft.com

    Like

    Comment by Didi | November 18, 2009 | Reply

    • Didi,
      I was not aware of SSuite Office until reading your comment, so I thank you for bringing it to my attention.

      I downloaded the portable version and tested the word processor by opening various .doc files (MS Word 97-2003). It completely failed to translate tables, misread some basic formatting .. and in short, did not impress me enough for me to continue and test the spreadsheet app and .xls compatibilty.

      There are some interesting tools included, and I will continue to play with SSuite, but my initial impression is that it is not a Word substitute.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 18, 2009 | Reply


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