"The Better Word Processor!"4.5 starson by Argonaut
Pros: You can get to the formatting codes, full featured
Cons: Does not use M/S pre-search disk software
Summary: I don't have much use for anything in the suite except WordPerfect. I've been using WordPerfect since before Windows, when, if you were lucky enough to afford a 4 color screen, the word processor could display a blue or a green background, displayed ASCII characters, there were no fonts except Courier, and laser printers cost a small fortune. I work for a number of attorneys -- WordPerfect is the software of choice for wordprocessing in most offices I've worked in because, in my opinion, it is the better product for the job. It has many features specifically designed for law office use incuding the pleading macro, a toolbar for legal work, and tables of authorities and table of contents designed for legal documents. It may also be because WordPerfect has been around for so long that everyone just migrated without changing. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
When WordPerfect came out, it took over the market. When MicroSoft came out with Word, I had the feeling they did everything they could to make it different from WordPerfect just to use its power in the industry to take over the wordprocessing market, just like MicroSoft did with every other good software idea to come along. (e.g., Mozilla/Netscape, Norton Utilities.) I hate Microsoft's stupid animated paperclip -- it makes me feel like a 7 year old. "It looks like your writing a letter ..." Go away! It was amusing to watch it roll itself up and spit itself through some imaginary pinch rollers when you print a document, but only once. By the fourth time that stupid paperclip reared its animated eyeballs and interfered with my workflow, I wanted to tell MicroSoft to wrap that annoying the paperclip around their cable modems!! I'm an adult!
I have two versions of Word and WordPerfect 5, 7, 8, 10 and 12. (I just threw out 5.2 for Windows and 7 when I moved.) I use the MicroSoft product only when absolutely necessary -- usually because someone else needs the document in that format.
In my experience, Word does one thing better than WordPerfect -- and it is a biggie -- it works with HTML documents better than the Corel WordPerfect. With Word, you can copy an entire page from the Web and paste it directly into Word and it will pull most of the pictures from the Web. WordPerfect does not go and get the pictures. HEAR THAT COREL!?! However, I don't often copy entire web pages into my documents.
The reason I like WordPerfect so much is that it types more like a typewriter. You can set up and use styles if you want, but you can also just hit the tab button to indent the first line of a paragraph. If you want to change the margins for the entire document, you simply change the margins. The rest of the document follows the change. You don't have to change each paragraph.
In addition, you can get to the formatting codes. Hit Alt-F3 and the screen splits in half and displays all of the formatting codes -- bold, underline, tabs, indent codes, line spacing, column on and off, etc. Then you know exactly what you have done and fix and format it easily. This ability has proven useful on several occasions when clients, who insist on using Word for legal documents, cannot cajole Word to put their unruly documents into the format they want. (This is particularly true when using OCR with scanned or faxed documents.) By opening the Word document in WordPerfect, I have been able to use "Alt-F3" to identify the errant codes and quickly repair them. The ability to easily replace formatting codes becomes extremely powerful when combined with global search and replace commands. WordPerfect can then save the document in Word/RTF format with the problems fixed.
Working with columns is also easier. You turn on columns and tell it how many colums you want, set the width of each, and the space between them, and away you go. You have four types of columns to work with -- newspaper, balanced newspaper, parallel and parallel with block protect. It handles columns much better. I've tried the other software, and if you change text or printers, you can never get the columns to line up the way you want it. With Word, each colum change or page change seems to introduce new control codes, and a complete set of formatting, and you can never get it back the way you want it. I once tried to scan in a list of names and addresses which were in two or three columns into Word. Each name and address was placed in its own text box. I could never work with it.
The most prominent change between WP 10 and 12 is the workspace manager which allows you to switch between legal mode, original (classic) WordPerfect 5.1 mode (with the blue screen), legal mode, standard WordPerfect for Windows mode and Word mode. They have also included the ability to publish to Adobe PDF, HTML, and RTF/Word formats.
This is full featured software, and does everything I need. It handles tables, tables of content, tables of authorities, column sorts -- everything I need in a law office. Graphics can be dropped in with a click of the mouse. I'm considered to be almost an expert, and there is a lot I don't know!
Take time to get to know the software and you'll be glad you purchased it.