Software Review: Corel WordPerfect Office 2002

By J. A. Hitchcock
as it appeared in the July/August 2001 issue of Link-UP Magazine

Unlike a lot of people, I use Corel for my word processing, grahics, presentations, spreadsheets and database creation. Why? Because I’ve had consistent good luck with the programs Corel puts out and it doesn’t eat up a lot as much space on my hard drive like that *other* product does.

When I heard WP Office 2002 was coming out, my first thought was, “What? No WP Office 2001?” Corel skipped a year in developing and naming their latest version of WP Office - from WP Office 2000 to 2002. Why, I don’t know.

Even though I already had WP Office 2000 on both my desktop and laptop, Corel sent me the full retail version of WP Office 2002 Professional Edition (it contains as extras Dragon Naturally Speaking, which is voice-to-text software, and Paradox 10, which is a database program and one I definitely wanted). Because of this, I had to uninstall WP Office 2000 (recommended in the installation instructions).

I did this, scanned my hard disk in both my desktop and laptop, optimized my drives and made sure everything was hunky-dory before installing WP Office 2002. My laptop was a cinch to install onto and I had WP Office 2002 up and running in less than a half an hour.

It was when I installed to my desktop that I had problems. I installed using the Custom Setup, since I don’t use every program in the package, but did the same exact install as the one on my laptop: Corel Wordperfect, Presentations, Paradox and Dragon Naturally Speaking (along with their accompanying programs, such as Bitstream Font Navigator and DAD, a Desktop Application Director, which sits in your system tray).

Everything went well until it came time to restart my desktop. Upon restart, I got a pop-up window stating that the Windows registry wasn’t correct, it would repair itself, then restart the computer *again.* Okayyyyy.

The computer restarted fine. I double-clicked on one of the programs, WordPerfect and was informed by another pop-up window that it didn’t install correctly.

I popped in the WP Office 2002 CD-ROM again, ran setup and clicked on “Update Components” and watched as it reinstalled pretty much all the files it supposedly already installed. I was pretty confused.

The desktop restarted and the BSOD appeared (that’s Blue Screen of Death, for you newbies). The windows error was a long combination of numbers, letters, and colons. This was not good. I hit the ENTER key and nothing happened, so I restarted the desktop *again.*

This time everything came up fine and I ran Norton Utilities. There were 328 errors in the registry. Yikes! I fixed those and found out WP Office 2002 still hadn’t installed correctly. I began to think of what programs on my desktop were different from my laptop and it hit me - I had ZoneAlarm installed on the desktop, but not the laptop. I unistalled ZoneAlarm, updated the WP Office 2002 files, restarted and everything was fine.

Now, WP Office 2002 works like a charm. The layout in each program is basically the same, although it seems to run faster overall, no matter which program you run. Some of the new features in each program are:

WordPerfect 10
Advanced page layout and formatting with Cascading Style Sheets for converting WP documents to the Web, a definite plus!
Reveal Codes allows you to double-click on a code to made changes without having to directly back into the document - this was a big beef of mine in previous versions
Variables in documents (such as dates, names) can be set so that when they’re changed, the document will be automatically updated so that all the dates, names, etc are changed
When making a table, if you like a cell in one table and want to copy it to another, all you have to do is drag it to the new table - very nifty!
Merge is much easier to use, the ruler is enlarged and redesigned, and you can now select whole sections, chapters, volumes in a document to edit quickly.

CorelCentral (a new e-mail application), lets you manage several e-mail accounts at once and offers encryption for those e-mails you want to keep private. It also includes a spellchecker and a proofreader, a calendar to manage and schedule appointments, and the ability to manage and create SQL and Paradox databases (great if you have a small to mid-sized business).

CorelPresentations now has MacroMedia Flash capabilities, allowing you to publish your presentation (slide show) on the Web in minutes (very cool!)
MP3 and WMA audio files are now capable of being compressed so that they take up much less space than they did in previous versions of Presentations, especially if you publish to the Web You can now print a presentation from any computer or printer, even if they don’t have the fonts installed, all due to Bitstream technology, which is part and parcel of the WP Office 2002 package.

Quattro Pro 10 (spreadsheets)
Autoscroll has been added so that you can zip through spreadsheets faster than before When you create multiple rows, QP10 automatically figures out how high each row can be
The Cross Tab tool is the best yet - it allows you to condense your spreadsheets into a cohesive package, even if you have hundreds of rows of information
Create a chart in three very easy steps by selecting the data range from your spreadsheet, press the QuickChart button, then click on the spreadsheet. The chart automatically appears or you can specify how you want it to look

Paradox 10 (databases)
Scan images directly from your scanner or digital camera for a fast database (very helpful for those who sell a lot on eBay or take loads of photos and need to keep track of them) If you have multilingual projects, Paradox 10 can handle it, even making changes for you as you go.

A nice new feature is CorelConnector, which connects you directly to their web site for fast support, updates, and more, *without* closing the program you’re in. So, if you’re having trouble with Presentations, you can go to the Corel site in a few seconds (if you’re already online, or it will dial you in to your ISP) and get the answers you need.

WP Office 2002 is truly a step above the previous version, and that was pretty good. If you have WP Office 2000, upgrade; if you use something else, seriously think of switching over to WP Office 2002, whether it’s the Standard Edition or this one, the Professional Edition

Corel WordPerfect Office 2002 - Professional Edition (click on Products)
Full price $489.99
Upgrade $249.99

Standard Edition (includes everything above except for Dragon, Paradox 10)
Full Price $389.99
Upgrade $149.99

J.A. Hitchcock is a regular contributor to Compute Me. Visit her web site at

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