WordPerfect Office X4 Versions
Just like Microsoft Office, Corel’s WordPerfect Office X4 suite has a number of different editions, each one targeting a specific audience.
Professional Edition – This is the most complete of the WordPerfect Office X4 editions, and it’s really intended to attract the “power-users" out there: developers, programmers, and businesses. One of the most noted features of this bundle is the inclusion of Paradox, a powerful database application that’s still the software of choice for a large community of programmers.
In fact, since Paradox is not available as a standalone product, there are a number of developers who purchase this bundle solely to obtain Paradox. The one application that is strangely absent in the Profession Edition is WordPerfect Mail. The full price of this edition is $399.99, and upgrades are available for $259.99. (Compare that to the list price of $679.95 for the Ultimate version of MS Office 2007.)
Standard Edition – Probably the most common version of the office suite, the Standard Edition includes almost everything found in the Professional Edition excluding Paradox, of course. The main applications of this package are the latest versions of WordPerfect, Quattro Pro, Presentations, Lightning, Visual Intelligence, and WordPerfect Mail.
The full price for this version is $299.99, and the upgrade from previous releases of the suite is priced at $159.99. Both the Standard and Professional Editions can be licensed for business use.
Home and Student Edition – The biggest differences between this version and the Standard edition are the absence of the Mail application and lack of advanced PDF editing tools. You can still create your own PDFs, but you won’t be able to edit those created by others. If you have no interest in this capability, and most home users probably don’t, you can save quite a bit by picking up this edition for $119.99.
Family Pack 2009 – This edition of the WordPerfect Office X4 suite is more geared toward casual home users who aren’t likely to be creating massive research reports or performing detailed statistical analysis. It only includes dumbed-down versions of WordPerfect and Quattro Pro, but it rounds off the package by throwing in basic video and image editing tools that aren’t part of the other three collections. The retail price of this bundle is $89, and it’s actually one of the best deals on the market today for families looking to pick up a collection of software that can do a little of everything.
WordPerfect Lightning is probably the least well-known application in the WordPerfect Office X4 suite. Although very different in design and nature, it is Corel’s alternative to Microsoft OneNote. Lightning may not have all the capabilities of OneNote, but I’ll confess that I like it better for its intended purpose of taking notes when researching or surfing the web.
The navigation panel for Lightning is long and narrow, making it the perfect sidebar tool to use alongside any web browser, word processor, or other application. It doesn’t compete with other programs for much needed desktop space, and when you do need to open a new note or document, the workspace appears on your screen as a floating window, so you still won’t have to worry about the navigation panel getting in your way.
In comparison to the colorful, “busy" user interface of OneNote (which is actually quite appealing to many users), Lightning is unobtrusive and hides itself very well in the background, waiting to be needed. Even nicer, when you do want to copy something from one of your notes into a document, Lightning doesn’t “force" you to choose WordPerfect. You can just as easily bring your item into a Microsoft Word document without any fuss or muss. This is one handy little application that has found a permanent place on my desktop.
Other Applications in WordPerfect Office X4
Although Lightning is an excellent utility, it’s not the major reason for purchasing the WordPerfect Office X4 suite – it’s more like a nice little bonus. The three heavy hitters in this bundle are definitely WordPerfect itself, Quattro Pro, and Presentations. In the following articles of this series, we’ll take a look at each one of these, in turn.