Tech – for Everyone

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

Corel’s WordPerfect (Updated)*

I have mentioned to my readers before that I have been using Windows computers since the days when we looked forward to the release of Windows 95 (think “Jurassic period”).

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.

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 (then) 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 (monochrome) 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 — 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 X5, and it comes in a “Home and Student” ($100), “Standard” ($180), and “Professional” ($280) 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…
[update: I never did get time to do this, but I have since come across several more WP loyalists. (I found a good deal on Office 2010, and went with that..)]

Today’s free link(s): WordPerfect Universe calls itself the “first stop for WordPerfect Office users”, and I must say you can find pretty much anything WP-related here. There’s also OfficeCommunity.com – The official WordPerfect Office Community.

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 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 X5

Orig post: 5/28/09

Today’s quote:To be wronged is nothing unless you continue to remember it.” ~ Confucius

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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September 15, 2011 - Posted by | computers, software | , , , , , ,

14 Comments »

  1. Due to cash restraints, I’ve been strictly an OpenOffice guy for a while, though I’ve downloaded but have yet to install the new LibreOffice suite. However, I used WordPerfect way back in the days of Windows v3.11 on the job as a tech, writer, producing control system operator manuals. I particularly liked it’s ability to automatically generate T.O.C. and Index files.

    Like

    Comment by IzaakMak | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • IzaakMak,
      So you, too, trod the earth in the Jurassic… When I think back on that era, it is hard for me not to think “We’ve come a long way, baby”.

      I briefly fiddled with LibreOffice on a iMac some couple of years ago now, but generally stick with OpenOffice whenever shelling out $150 for basic word processing and spreadsheet ability doesn’t seem .. the thing to do.

      As always, ‘preciate your stopping by, and hope all is “groovy” there!

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 15, 2011 | Reply

  2. Hey Paul an interesting blog today! Word Perfect …I will be checking it out…thanks.

    Like

    Comment by Gaia | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      The Corel productivity suite (featuring WordPerfect) is an “alternative” to Microsoft’s Office suite. Slightly better pricing, perhaps better PDF ability.. doesn’t get a lot of mention.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 15, 2011 | Reply

  3. I too have wondered what happened with WP.
    At the risk of dating myself, I have been computing since the DOS, WANG, and WP days. I started using MS word by force (that is what was available)
    I have often wondered what happen to WP. It was my favorite. Now I must DL it so that I can reminisce about the good old days.

    Nice article.

    Like

    Comment by ebony | September 15, 2011 | Reply

    • ebony,
      The transition from WordPerfect to Word, for everyone in the offices I supported, was not a happy experience.. but people adapted.

      I was sorta surprised to see that Lotus Notes is still around as well.. http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/notes/.

      And yes.. that does “date” us. ;)

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 15, 2011 | Reply

  4. O-YESSSS!!!!……..Those were the days. WP5.0 got me through my return to school [age 47], on a 286/DOS 6.0 that didn’t even have a HDD—saved everything on a 5¼ floppy disc, and school had the same situation, only the box was a 8088……Today mine is a 3.8 LGPA P4 with 6+TB storage….Such a time to get old [er]..LOL…Still remember the “reveal codes” !!!…And I even had basic “colors” [I HAD “arrived”—from monochrome !!!!]

    Like

    Comment by holmwel | September 16, 2011 | Reply

    • holmwel,
      Though it has been a while since I fired her up, so I cannot say fersher this is still true, but I have a working 486DX/Win 3.11 box in the Tech Paul Museum.. and a few months ago, I had cause to fire up a P-II/Win 98 machine.. (I wrote about that experience, here, Reflections of.)
      Yes.. we have come a long way.

      I am glad you mentioned returning to school at an advanced number of years. I too, got over my doubts and nervousness, and went back and took classes despite my (quite similar) age, and I’m glad I did. I suspect there are many folks out there who are .. um.. reluctant to go back to school. You and I survived it. Maybe that will help someone make the decision.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  5. LOL Paul. I too thought WP was extinct. I remember using it as my very first ‘proper’ word processor on Win 3.11, after graduating from the green screened Amstrad http://www.flickr.com/photos/tubbweb/4714452713/

    I feel old!

    Like

    Comment by Paul Andrew Russell | September 16, 2011 | Reply

    • Paul Andrew Russell,
      Hey, great picture (had to look closely to see that it was turned on)! You reminded me of one particular support episode (yikes!) .. and that screen was monochrome, a kind of sickly orange…

      And you are not “old”.

      Cuz’ if you were, I’d be “old” too.

      Ha!

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 16, 2011 | Reply

  6. My first computer at work was on a Columbia 8088 w/dual 5 1/4″ floppies, DOS, no HD and used Wordstar. A few years later we upgraded and moved on to Wordperfect. I still use WP 6.1 almost everyday. It’s one of those programs that was just built to last.

    Like

    Comment by dbeckermann | September 18, 2011 | Reply

    • dbeckermann,
      My trusty rusty remembering device is (foggily) telling me that by the time I was routinely wrestling with the new-fangled comp-u-tatin’ machines, 286’s were ‘the norm’ in the office.
      Long time ago.

      My (foggy) memory is also telling me the 8088’s ran at 8 MHz… and the good floppies held 800 kB’s.
      Thinking ablout that sure makes me appreciate today’s Giga’s and Tera’s!

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 18, 2011 | Reply

  7. Hey Paul, I’ve got a few years on you and was teching in the 8088/86 days. WP was the go-to app from the early DOS days until purchased by Novell. Novell was on a spending spree, purchasing, I believe… SCO-Unix, a spreadsheet and a data-base. Novell wanted to be king of the hill before MS ever thought of doing so. Bundling everything with Netware x.x… the greatest networking system ever. Unfortunately, Novell ran all of the above in the ground and opened up doors, windows, etc. to allow MS to come rushing in with Windows and Office. Corel later purchased WP in a Novell firesale.
    IT history has been short, but so interesting to watch as things have played out…
    Sort of like Lotus sueing another spreadsheet due to “look-alike” infringement… Not that Visi-Calc had any sayso in the matter… Loving it!
    Rob

    Like

    Comment by Rob | September 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Rob,
      Yup, I was “the computer guy” when all the secretaries (this was before “administrative assistants”) were “forced” to switch from WP – which they had now ‘mastered’, and had to use this new “Word” thing.. which wouldn’t open any of their previous documents..
      Sigh.. good times.
      (NOT!)

      So you will understand, then, why I relate the following – today I picked up a machine for secure recycling. The mobo was a Socket 7.
      (Kinda floored me a little.. Here I was reminiscing this week..)
      Win 95, Quatro Pro, WordStar…

      Not old enough to go in the Tech Paul Museum, though it does fill a gap between my 486DX and my 233 P-II… Built by MidWest Micro.
      Who?

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | September 20, 2011 | Reply


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