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WordPerfect X6 Review

The Bottom Line

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Having exclusively used WordPerfect X6 for a month now, I can see pros and cons to the software. However, my overall review is extremely positive. I like the depth of tools available for word processing in WordPerfect. It seems that everything in WordPerfect goes just a bit deeper then other word processing programs.

I think WordPerfect is one of the two best tools on the market for working with long, complex documents. It is not surprising that WordPerfect is used primarily by Lawyers, Government Agencies, and Writers.

Usability Pros

The biggest pro, at least in my mind, about WordPerfect has always been it's Reveal Codes. These codes reveal ALL of the formatting in a document, not just a few like Microsoft Word. As a matter of fact, having trained Microsoft for 15 years, the single most asked question by former WordPerfect Users is "where's my reveal codes?"

Another pro with WordPerfect is Macros. Not only can you create quick, 'on-the-fly' macros, you can also record complex macros, record macros to used in a certain template or to interact with another program, like Quattro Pro. However, the best macros are called Shipping Macros. These macros are predefined and built to make word processing easier. Some predefined macros are saving or closing all open documents, converting end notes to foot notes, sending a WordPerfect outline to a presentation, and new for X6, applying Bates Numbering, Printing Current Page, and Revert to Last Saved to revert your document to the last saved version. All the shipping macros are found on the Shipping Macros toolbar.

One of my favorite features is Make It Fit. With the single click of the mouse, I can make my entire document fit perfectly on the page. That means that I do not have to futz with margins, indents, and white space. It just fits.

Special Interest Pros

I would not do this review justice if I did not mention how perfectly WordPerfect works for legal documents. WordPerfect is the only software that contains robust legal tools, such as the Pleading Expert Filler to complete pleadings, and a Legal toolbar that streamlines workflow, provides access to adding Bates numbering, creating lines pleading pages, and more.

Redaction is another tool that WordPerfect corners the market on. Users can search text and apply redaction to sensitive data. This places a black bar over the sensitive data. The document can then be saved as a PDF, Word document, or WordPerfect document, locking the redaction in place. Users cannot remove the redaction in the secondary document.

Any aspiring authors out there? Anyone looking to get an eBook published for use with Kindles and other devices? A new feature in Word Perfect is the eBook Publisher. You can pay for an eBook editor to format and publish your work of art for you, or, for about the same price, if not cheaper, you can purchase WordPerfect and do it yourself.

Cons

Honestly, the only WordPerfect con that I have is it is not snazzy. Now I know, some of you will LOVE that feature. Word Perfect does not do anything for you, it lets you be in control.

How can that be a con? Well, it will not automatically number lists for you. It won't capitalize the first letter of sentences for you, and you can forget about having your misspellings underlined. So yes, WordPerfect lets you be in control; however, some automation saves time and frustration.

The other un-snazzy part of WordPerfect is the user interface. Maybe I am jaded by the Microsoft Ribbon, but the toolbar icons are not the most intuitive and the menus are jammed with features. Now, this CAN be a pro - you can always find what you need in a menu instead of hunting through various ribbons.

Also, some keyboard shortcuts are not industry standard. Many are, but there are features that do not have keyboard shortcuts, such as Repeat and Hyperlinks, and some tooltips that do not display the keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are classified as macros, which can be confusing to new users.

While WordPerfect has improved the compatibility with Word, there are still some usability issues. Users can change the file type from a WordPerfect document to a Word document; however, it is clunky. Instead of choosing a Microsoft .docx or .doc file type, users have to choose which version of Word to save the document as. That would even be ok, but there are 14 different choices. Do we really need to save documents as a Word 1.2/1.2a file? Maybe there is an industry need, but I found the choices confusing.

Wrap-up

All in all, I enjoyed my month of using WordPerfect. And in the interest of full disclosure, I originally started my word processing career using WordPerfect and had a tough time adapting to Microsoft Office. With that said, I had an equally uncomfortable few weeks trying to relearn WordPerfect. For those of you going to law school or studying to be a paralegal, or any readers who are trying their hand at writing the next great novel, WordPerfect is the perfect tool for you.

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