Corel Refreshes WordPerfect, Draw

The WordPerfect X3 word processor allows two-way interoperability with PDF files.

“We can pull PDFs into WordPerfect. Before, people could use it to create PDFs, but now it&'s two-way,” said Jason Larock, product director at Corel. Microsoft has made much of its promise that Office 12 documents can be saved to PDF format, but that statement came only after much public agitation about Microsoft formats. Office 12 applications will not be able to do two-way PDF interoperability, however. Office 12 isn&'t due to launch until later this year.

Larock said Ottawa-based Corel will support the nascent OpenDocument format if customers demand it.

WordPerfect Office X3 also adds a new e-mail client and allows users to save documents without metadata, an increasingly important factor in a security-obsessed world. Previously, third-party products have been used to strip out metadata, which could show earlier versions, author information and other details that document creators might prefer not to show.

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The company remains an “innovative and entrepreneurial business partner although it is different than it was 10 years ago for sure,” said Harry Zoberman, executive vice president of ASAP Software, a large-account software reseller in Buffalo Grove, Ill.

WordPerfect, which Corel acquired several years ago, still retains a following in legal firms and in government agencies.

Zoberman said it appeals to large government institutions—he estimates 40 percent of ASAP&'s Corel business is to users in the public sector.

Corel also wants to garner partners in the white-box community, those who want a cost-efficient alternative to Office as well as VARs and other resellers. “Having alternatives is important, we believe, as the industry continues to consolidate. On the Draw side, there&'s [the newly merged] Adobe/Macromedia and Draw, and on the Office side, there&'s Microsoft and Corel,” said Patrick Morley, Corel&'s executive vice president sales and marketing for the Americas.