NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 for Windows 95
A Review by Bill Shook - February 97
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WOW! What a package! It's true -- WordPerfect is back! It comes on CD- ROM and contains 12 different applications, 15,000 clipart images, 150 fonts, and more help than you can imagine (or probably even use).

The following applications and utilities are included:

  • Corel WordPerfect 7
  • Corel Quattro Pro 7
  • Corel Presentations 7
  • Corel Desktop Application Director (DAD)
  • Envoy(TM) (from Novell)
  • AT&T WorldNet(SM) Service software including Netscape
  • Navigator(TM) Internet browser version 2.01

The following bonus applications are also included:

  • CorelFLOW 3
  • Corel Screen Saver
  • Sidekick(TM) 95 (from Starfish Software)
  • Dashboard(TM) 95 (from Starfish Software)
  • Quick View Plus(TM) (from Inso Corporation)
  • Software Developer's Kit (SDK)

I hope you're not expecting me to dive into the detail of each one of these. I doubt anyone will fully understand all aspects of an integrated suite like this. And if they did and were so inclined to document them, they most suredly would require more space than this newsletter!

WordPerfect, Quattro Pro and Presentations are the core applications and are fully integrated with each other and to the Internet. Of course, WordPerfect is the basic application and everything else exists to support it. So let's talk about it first.

Even though I have Microsoft Office Pro 95, which I haven't been able to get into very much yet, I guess you might call me a biased died-in- the-wool WordPerfect user and fan. The NWA-PCUG newsletter has been produced with WP 5.1 for the past ten years, including the one you're now reading. New in WordPerfect 7 are on-screen guidelines for margins, columns and tables to drag them to where you want them, QuickSpots which provide one-click access to formatting menus for paragraphs, table cells, and graphics. Also included are Spell-AS-You-Go and QuickCorrect that correct spelling as you go. QuickCorrect lists can be made identifying how you want things spelled, including (or maybe especially) your incorrect spelling, and capitalization errors. Suppose you type 'teh' for 'the'. If it is in the list, it corrects it for you as you type it. Shadow cursor is also included, which gives a more exact cursor position before clicking, QuickFormat which copies pre-defined "bullet or number" styles to other parts of your document, QuickFonts which shows the last 10 fonts used and shows them as they appear in your document, Make-It-Fit which shrinks or expands a document to fit a given number of pages. Graphics can be imported from virtually any bitmap or vector format or scanned in and be transparently converted to GIF or JPEG. And then of course there is the Internet Publisher.

The Internet Publisher is one-click away from any of the 3 core applications, WP, QP, or Presentations; it includes a Web Page Expert Wizard, which assists in creating and editing Web pages and documents. No knowledge of HTML code is required. It also searches and retrieves your bookmarks, locates your Netscape browser, and automatically launches to the site of your choice, all from the core applications. (If you don't have Netscape, as noted above, you can load it and AT&T WorldNet from the CD-ROM. It's not automatically loaded with the rest of the suite.) Internet Publisher converts WP documents, QP notebooks, or Presentation slide shows to HTML or from HTML back. Corel's Barista technology allows saving any WP document as a Java applet so formatting appears in any Java Browser.

It should be noted here that when I launched Internet from any of the 3 core applications, my Netscape browser was accessed, even though my Internet provider is AOL (In my setup, Netscape doesn't access the Internet directly. I launch it through a TCP/IP connection AFTER connecting with AOL). So, take it literally that your Netscape browser will be accessed, even if maybe you do not want it to be (although I suspect most of you do). I asked support about this and the answer is that the suite was written to support AOL 2.5 16-bit or lower, not AOL 3.0, which I, and probably most AOL users, have. There is a work-around for this when using QuickConnect from DAD (described below), but I couldn't get it to access my AOL 3.0 directly from one of the applications. Incidentally, this situation and "fix?" are discussed in Corel's Customer Support Knowledge Base on the Net at Just click on the product type, in this case, WordPerfect Suite 7 and enter the search argument you want help with.

The Internet can also be accessed as above from the QuickConnect launcher, which is one of the Desktop Application Director's (DAD) 10 button launchers loaded in the taskbar system tray on bootup. The others are WP, QP, Presentations, the unified Address Book, QuickFinder, Envoy, CorelFLOW, QuickTasks, and QuickFinder Scheduler. These are very handy one-click items and eliminate the need for shortcut icons, reducing desktop clutter.

Envoy is an electronic document package which is available throughout the suite to publish files for stand-alone viewing that can be transmitted electronically and viewed by anyone even though they don't have the software package that created them.

CorelFLOW is a flow-charting and business graphics application, and QuickTasks is something else again! Talk about help! WordPerfect Suite 7 comes with 61 tasks that can be automatically performed by the touch of the mouse! And you can add to these by creating your own using PerfectScript, which is a collection of intelligent macros, integrated across all core applications. Tasks that come with the package include items such as creating Web pages, business cards, balance sheets, publish documents, and most anything you can think of. Also, QuickTasks can be updated by downloading new ones from Corel's Web site.

Quattro Pro 7 can now link any cell to an Internet file -- Web, FTP, HTTP, or Gopher and receive automatic updates of stock quotes, exchange rates and more. It has more than 100 new @functions taking it to nearly 500 in total to give more analytical power, 50 chart styles, an enhanced Formula Composer, 30 pre-formatted templates, and QuickFill fills in sequential or repetitive data.

Presentations 7 has new ActionLinks to move from a slide to an Internet site, converts slide shows to HTML format for fast, easy publication on the Net, Object and bullet animation and more than 50 Transition effects, including Fade, Roll, and Spiral Away to text, graphics, and slides. Files can be imported from Microsoft PowerPoint, Lotus, Freelance Graphics, and Harvard Graphics files and slide shows can be built directly from Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Word or Lotus Word Pro.

Sidekick and Dashboard are part of the bonus application package and are loaded separately. Sidekick is a versatile and powerful Personal Information Manager (PIM), with calendars, appointment schedulers, cardfiles, etc. Dashboard likewise is versatile and powerful, but is a program launcher and desktop organizer. There are so many shortcut ways to launch programs, it's a matter of taste, but Dashboard deserves your attention, since it also does a great job of compacting many indicators and launchers in a small space on your desktop. Both are from Starfish Software.

QuickView Plus is a must have. It's not loaded from the menu like the other applications, and it can be overlooked which would be a shame. To quote Inso Corporation, its provider, "it transforms the Quick View feature in Windows 95 from a convenient utility to a powerful productivity tool"... and you can believe it. It'll view and transfer all types of files between applications and supports all the popular word processing, spreadsheet, database, presentation and graphic files, and over 200 file types. You'll never use PKUNZIP or your Gif Viewer again. Yep, it lets you look at all files in a ZIP file and extract all or part of them, if desired. Click on Extract and it says "Where To?". As I said, a MUST HAVE!

Each application in the suite is a full 32-bit program designed for Windows 95. It will only run on Windows 95, not 3.x or NT.

It is not necessary to remove older versions of the other applications (for example, WordPerfect 6.1, Quattro Pro 6.0, or PerfectOffice 3.0) before installing Corel WordPerfect Suite 7. The Setup program for the suite does not overwrite or remove pre-Windows 95 versions of these applications. As a matter of fact, any WP 6.0 or WP 6.1 toolbar, menu, or keyboard settings default templates found are preserved in WP 7.

There is an exhaustive manual on line for each application, called The Reference Center. Other than a half inch thick clipart manual with thumbnails of all clipart, the suite package comes with only one 384 page manual, appropriately named "Quick Results", which is also on line. Organized around tasks instead of applications and loaded with screen shots, it does a good job of showing how to get things done. With all the help on line, I found the book adequate for its intended purpose.

Speaking of help, I didn't mention the "Ask the PerfectExpert" part of the Help section and you guessed it, it's integrated across the suite. You just ask your question in plain speaking language and generally get an answer. In addition to descriptions of Help search topics, it also includes a "Show Me" tab. When clicked, you have a choice of either an audio demonstration of the subject selected, a walk-through guide, or it'll do the task for you. You then just sit back and watch the show. (Not literally, but almost. On most subjects you need to "fill in the blanks" when prompted). Also, when in trouble, there is a TroubleShooting section of Help that covers 50 subjects, which I found to be very helpful.

To run the applications in Corel WordPerfect Suite 7, you need the following:

  • Personal computer with 386DX processor (486 recommended)
  • Microsoft(R) Windows 95
  • 8 MB RAM (16 MB recommended)
  • Hard disk space:
    • WordPerfect Suite: 119 MB (Typical) - 273 MB (Full)
    • WordPerfect only: 64 MB (Typical) - 173 MB (Full)
    • Bonus Applications: 56 MB (Typical) - 69 MB (Full)
    • VGA Graphics Adapter and monitor
    • Mouse

In addition, there are 210 Mb of clipart and 39 Mb of photo files not included above. Can you believe it? It's comprehensive, powerful, flexible, and has many other attributes, but a small footprint is not one of them! The CD-ROM disc has 630 Mb on it.

For your information, I captured the following display while installing the core applications suite:

 Corel Envoy 7         7.22 Mb
 Corel Presentations 7        17.56 Mb
 Corel Quattro Pro 7          21.34 Mb
 Corel WordPerfect 7          25.69 Mb
 Corel Solutions              12.62 Mb

 Reference Center              0.06 Mb
 Optional Shared Components   31.09 Mb
 Required Shared Components   20.47 Mb
                             136.06 Mb

Interestingly, after install, which also includes the basic applications group (but obviously not the 249 Mb of clipart and photos), my corel directory and all subs show 162.5 Mb.

In summary, I'm impressed. Corel WordPerfect Suite 7 is self-contained and does everything seamlessly, with a minor exception or two. Integration between the 3 core applications and the Net works great and the utilities are top of the line. But probably best of all are the improvements in the core packages themselves, particularly WordPerfect. Try it and I think you'll agree "WordPerfect is Back!" I just wish toll- and-charge-free support came with it. Everything but the sales number and Internet addresses is a toll and/or charge. Oh well, it's a sign of the times.

Corel WordPerfect Suite 7
Corel Corp.
The Corel Bldg.
1600 Carling Ave.
Ottawa, ON K1Z 8R7

800-77corel (800-772-6735); 613-728-3733, ext. 3000
Fax: 613-761-9176

CD-ROM prices: (As of 1/24/97)
List Price: $279; upgrade from any WordPerfect or competing product, $99. Street prices are about $30 - $40 less for list and $8-10 less for upgrade.

Incidentally, CD-ROM prices for Corel Office Pro 7, which adds Paradox database 7 application, GroupWise e-mail client, and InfoCentral 7 PIM, to the WordPerfect Suite 7, as of 1/24/97 are: $499 and upgrade is $249.

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