What's New in WordPerfect Office X4
By Laura Acklen
On April 16, Corel announced the release of WordPerfect Office X4, with exciting new PDF features, up-to-date support for the latest file formats, and new web-connected tools. The newest release of WordPerfect Office focuses on helping you do more with words, numbers and ideas. As always, Corel offers a free, no obligation download of the 30-day trial version so you can “try before you buy”.
With PDF readers present on over 80% of the world’s computers, the PDF format has become the de facto standard for electronically sharing documents. WordPerfect Office X4 is the world’s first PDF office suite, with built-in features to import, edit and export PDF documents. Since Adobe® Acrobat® is not required, WordPerfect’s robust PDF feature saves Corel customers hundreds of dollars each year.
The Publish to PDF feature was first introduced in version 10. Since then, many important improvements been made. The latest enhancements are truly exciting and warrant a closer look:
- Import Scanned PDF Files
In an effort to save storage space and money, companies and government agencies are scanning old paper documents, saving them as PDF files and burning them to CDs. In the past, if you needed to reuse that content, you had to retype it. Not anymore! You can now convert scanned image-based PDF files to editable text using new OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. That means, no matter where the PDF file comes from, or how it was created, you’ve got a great shot at getting to the text.
- Add Password Protection
When Corel introduced the ability to open PDF files in WordPerfect Office, it brought to light the fact that PDF files aren’t inherently secure. Savvy users figured out a long time ago that they could repurpose text by copying and pasting from PDF files. With the new built-in password controls, you can add passwords that control who can view, copy, edit or print your work. There are two levels of password protection: open and permission. If you set an “open” password, the reader must know the password to view the contents. If you set a “permission” password, you can control what the recipient can do (see Figure 1). For example, you may want to allow print someone to print the document, but not copy any of the text.
Tip: This tutorial explains in more detail why PDF files are not truly "locked".
Figure 1: The Security tab of the Publish to PDF Settings dialog box has options for assigning open and permission passwords.
- Create Tagged PDFs
Tagged PDFs are an important accessibility enhancement. The embedded tags are used by screen readers, or other assistive technology, to read the document. The tags provide a logical structure that enables the document to be read in the proper order by the screen reader. WordPerfect will analyze the content and automatically apply the tags for headings and paragraphs, tables and images, so they are presented in the correct order, both for accessibility devices, and hand-held devices like PDAs/Blackberries.
- Support for PDF/A
The PDF/A format was developed to ensure reliable reproduction of files for long-term preservation. In other words, you want to be able to archive documents as PDF files that will be readable for years to come. The PDF/A standard was developed so that future applications are able to open the files. PDF/A is a subset of PDF that excludes features that are not suited to long-term archiving, such as external document linking. You can create PDF files that comply with the requirements of either PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-1b.
Note: This is very cool – WordPerfect now automatically opens the PDF file after you create it so you can see how everything looks.
WordPerfect Office X4 is also the first format-neutral office suite, supporting more than 60 file formats including Microsoft® Office 2007 and the OASIS Open Document Format (ODF). In the midst of software developers like Adobe and Microsoft trying to have their file format adopted as the de facto standard format, Corel has maintained a format-neutral position because it represents the best position for WordPerfect Office customers. Now you can forget about file formats and focus on content.
- Support for Microsoft Office 2007 Files
WordPerfect Office X4 now supports the latest Microsoft Office XML (OOXML) file formats: DOCX in Word, XLSX in Excel and PPTX in PowerPoint. After the files have been opened, they can be saved in any of the formats that WordPerfect Office X4 offers, including legacy Microsoft versions, PDF, XML and EDGAR formats (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Documents open in WordPerfect can be saved in a dizzying array of file formats dating back to the early days of DOS applications.
- Support for ODF Files
The buzz surrounding “open standards” and the Open Document Format (ODF) is more than a bit confusing. Press releases look more like technical manuals, which leaves the average user with more questions than answers. To keep it simple – both OpenOffice and StarOffice (and other open-source applications) save files in ODF and you can now open those files in WordPerfect. The documents can then be saved to any of the different file formats that WordPerfect supports.
Note: WordPerfect Office X4 supports legacy versions of Microsoft Office file formats that even Microsoft doesn’t support anymore. WordPerfect Office supports so many different file formats that it is often used as a conversion tool.
With the integration of WordPerfect® Lightning™, the Web-connected digital notebook, WordPerfect Office X4 becomes the first hybrid online/offline suite, combining the best productivity capabilities of the Web with the best of the desktop tools.
Think about your workflow for a minute – do you ever start with a blank page? Or do you spend most of your time reusing content – taking information from one place (the Web, email, documents or other sources) and incorporating it somewhere else? WordPerfect® Lightning™ accelerates these tasks, enabling users to capture, organize, and re-purpose content and images faster and more easily than ever before. You can use WordPerfect Lightning as a notebook, a project folder, and a document viewer, all in one.
- Preview Files
An important feature of WordPerfect Lightning is that it lets you quickly preview WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and PDF documents. From the Viewer window, you can copy pieces of the documents and send them to WordPerfect, the Clipboard, or to a note. And get this - you can view PDF files in 1/8th the time it takes to open them in Adobe Reader (see Figure 3). WordPerfect and Microsoft Word documents open faster in Lightning as well.
Figure 3: WordPerfect Lightning opens PDF files in a fraction of the time it takes in Adobe Reader.
- Create Notes
When you brainstorm for a new project, you need to capture the rush of ideas so you can organize them and come up with a cohesive plan. In WordPerfect® Lightning™, you create notes to hold pieces of information. The information might be a hastily typed list, a quote from a web page, a list of figures from a spreadsheet, several paragraphs from a PDF file, an image – no matter where it comes from, you can drop it into a note. A special Snapshot tool lets you click and drag over anything on your screen to capture it to a note. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can capture images, pieces of Web pages (see Figure 4), charts, sections of Word documents, and so on.
Figure 4: The Snapshot tool can be used to capture content from the Web, with all of the formatting and images intact.
- Organize Notes
This is where you start to pull everything together – in the Navigator, you can drag and drop your notes into the familiar folder structure (see Figure 5). Each folder can hold an unlimited number of notes and you can create as many folders as you need. You can create new folders and move them up and down in the Navigator tree. You can also rename folders, if necessary.
Figure 5: The Navigator window lets you organize your notes in a familiar folder structure.
- Turn Notes into Documents
After you’ve organized your notes into a folder, you can send the entire folder to WordPerfect, where all of the notes are compiled into a document. While Lightning is fine for basic formatting, you’ll want to switch to WordPerfect (or Microsoft Word) for the more advanced editing features.
Tip: You can use Lightning to create blog entries and post them on Wordpress.com, a free blogging site.
The Joyent Connector online application suite is a companion to WordPerfect Lightning. Connector is Web-based software, so there is nothing for you to install on your computer. You simply access it like any other Web site. After you create an account, you’ll have access to these tools:
- Online File Storage
WordPerfect Lightning lets you upload your notebook from the Navigator on your desktop to the Connector online, where you can share up to 200 MB of notes and documents with other online users. Online file storage allows you to access your files from anywhere and collaborate with others more effectively. Connector also offers dependable file backup, so you’re always working with a safety net.
- Online Calendar
A new online calendar helps you keep track of your schedule from any computer. What’s more, you can share your online calendar with whomever you want, so you can collaborate more effectively with others. You can even import calendars from any program that supports the standard iCalendar format (.ics).
- Online Contacts
A new contact management application ensures that your personal and business contacts are accessible to you from almost anywhere, anytime.
- Online E-mail
Your online e-mail includes Spam protection and lets you attach files directly from your computer or existing files you have previously uploaded to Connector.
- Online Bookmarks
This application lets you store Web addresses that you use frequently, so you can easily access them from any Internet-connected computer. As a part of the information you are storing online, you can share the bookmarks with your collaborators.
Corel Visual Intelligence makes it easier than ever to illustrate and analyze complex data, without the need to learn pivot tables and other advanced functions. Using this new tool, you’ll be able to:
- Quickly Add Visuals to Data
When you open a Quattro Pro spreadsheet in Corel Visual Intelligence, the graph that best suits the data is automatically displayed. You can automatically convert live data from the Web or from Quattro Pro or Microsoft Excel into powerful visuals.
- Turn Data Into Insight
Color-coded cells let you quickly identify value ranges, and rich visual graphs help you understand your data better. You can customize your analysis with a series of sliders that let you adjust the range of data being analyzed and visualized (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Using Corel's Visual Intelligence, you can quickly create rich visuals from complex data in your spreadsheets or live data from the Web.
- Explore Your Options with What-if Analyses
Perform "What-If" analyses and share your findings with quickly created charts and slides.
With disclosure of records, and especially with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Freedom of Information Act, the need to generate documents that black out names, addresses, social security numbers, account numbers or other confidential data is becoming more frequent. In response to user requests, a new redaction feature has been developed for WordPerfect Office X4.
You can open any file type that WordPerfect supports and replace sensitive or confidential information with a black bar in a way that ensures that the replaced text cannot be retrieved or revealed in the redacted version of the document. This versatile feature lets you easily search a document for words and phrases you want to hide and automatically apply redaction marks. You can then output the redacted document to DOC, PDF, or WordPerfect (see Figure 7).
Figure 7: After you have redacted a document, you can save it as a WordPerfect or Microsoft Word document or as a PDF file.
Note: WordPerfect Office X4 includes support for both Windows Vista and Windows XP, so unlike new users of Microsoft Office 2007, Corel users are not forced to upgrade to Windows Vista in order to run the latest release of their favorite office suite.
Last, but not least, WordPerfect Office X4 has updated content – 8,000 new clipart images, 175 photos and 900 TrueType® fonts to help you produce polished, professional materials.