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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    What Happened to Word Perfect?

    I recently came across a very interesting e-book about the Word Perfect Corporation:

    http://www.wordplace.com/ap/almostperfect.pdf

    Back in the DOS days, Word Perfect was absolutely the best word processor, in my opinion. It seemed that every detail of the program -- installation disks, layout of the menus on the function keys, Reveal Codes, printer drivers, etc. etc. -- was well thought out and thoroughly tested, with quality in mind.

    I had Word Perfect 5.0 for DOS with a Daisy Wheel printer. One of my favorite things about Word Perfect was that you could easily make changes to your printer definition profile. I purchased a multi-lingual printwheel and put the codes into Word Perfect to print all of the special Spanish characters -- upper and lower case accented, tilde, umlaut; as well as the upside down question mark and exclamation point.

    Printing an accented lower-case letter was easy; you would print the letter, do a backspace, then print the accent. However, it was more complicated with an accented upper-case letter: you would print the letter, do a backspace, change the size of a line, do a reverse line feed, print the accent, do a forward line feed, and change the size of a line back to the normal size. It was really cool to watch the daisy wheel printer do all of that for accented upper-case letters!

    The only problem I encountered with this process was with an upper-case N with a tilde above it. Somehow the tilde would lock the printer or do other weird things to it.

    I really loved doing Word Perfect 5.0 on my original IBM PC with 640K of RAM and a 20 meg hard drive. It ran like a champ, which it was in every way.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2015-12-16 at 11:48.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    This is where in a play, a literary device is used where one character asks the previous speaker, "Why are you telling us all this?" It helps to move the plot along...
    BATcher

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  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Because I think it's really sad that such a great company like the Word Perfect Corporation, and such a great product like Word Perfect, ended up dying on the vine, because Novell had no business buying WPC for $850 million, and as a result getting themselves off of the track on networking. Novell lost their dominance in networking, and they lost their shirt on the WP deal, because they had no clue how to manage a retail product like Word Perfect, when Microsoft was breathing down their neck on both networking and "office" software.

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    WordPerfect is alive and well under the ownership of Canadian firm Corel, which also has PaintShop Pro and WinZip. I have WP X3, X4, X5 and version 12 on each of 3 Windows 7 and 10 Desktops and a few Notebooks.

    I got my first computer in '92 with Win3.1 on MS-DOS 5 and WP5.1 for Windows, took a class at the college for WP 5.1 for DOS, quite valuable to me ever since.

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    Many years ago the company I used to work for let each employee use the word processor, spreadsheet, etc. that they had become comfortable using. For most that was mainly WordPerfect and Lotus 123. Later on came the combined office suites like Lotus SmartSuite, Microsoft Office, and Corel Office.

    As the company grew they put all the PC's on a LAN and an Administrator was designated. This guy was a Microsoft educated tech who convinced the owners to standardize on MS Office for everyone. The edict came down and everyone complied as directed. It made sense in a way but two of the women who did all the executive typing kept their WordPerfect because the bosses liked the way it looked, and how fast the women were with it.

    Many companies probably did this and followed the bouncing MS ball. I personally liked Lotus SmartSuite and never had much need to use MS Word until much later on.

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    We currently have a situation where we have one employee who has been allowed to continue using WordPerfect, whereas everyone else (about 50 people) is on Word 2010.

    Were this employee to leave, we would have the situation where all her WordPerfect documents would be difficult to access, let alone update, and that is a business risk.

    In this circumstance, standardisation is essential, however much it offends someone's preferences.
    BATcher

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    Quote Originally Posted by CEScott View Post
    Many years ago the company I used to work for let each employee use the word processor, spreadsheet, etc. that they had become comfortable using. For most that was mainly WordPerfect and Lotus 123. Later on came the combined office suites like Lotus SmartSuite, Microsoft Office, and Corel Office.

    As the company grew they put all the PC's on a LAN and an Administrator was designated. This guy was a Microsoft educated tech who convinced the owners to standardize on MS Office for everyone. The edict came down and everyone complied as directed. It made sense in a way but two of the women who did all the executive typing kept their WordPerfect because the bosses liked the way it looked, and how fast the women were with it.

    Many companies probably did this and followed the bouncing MS ball. I personally liked Lotus SmartSuite and never had much need to use MS Word until much later on.
    The first part of this speaks to a large part of the reason for .pdf files, common format for wide-flung company offices.

    The last sentence reminds me I still have Lotus SmartSuite 96, 97 and 98 discs, have 98 on one Notebook. I got into Lotus having first needing 1-2-3 then a friend got the suite with AmiPro word processor which later became WordPro.

  9. #8
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Bill Gates has been quite the Pied Piper over the years, and in my opinion that is a huge reason why his software came out on top of other, better software.

    There's still no Reveal Codes feature in MS Word. Reveal Codes was/is one of the most useful features in Word Perfect. It sure would be handy in Word, which sometimes has a mind of its own. For example, if you start a numbered list in Word, it is very hard to break away from it and do a section which is not auto-numbered. In fact, the only way I've found to do it is to put some blank lines after the numbered list area, then set that area as a numbered list. Then, to stop auto-numbering, use the down arrow key to get past the numbered-list area. Without first adding some blank lines AFTER the part you plan on doing a numbered list, you're stuck with auto numbering from that point forward in the document. With Reveal Codes, I could delete whatever code is causing auto-numbering to continue, and I could then stop Word from auto-numbering.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    To stop a numbered list in Word, simply press return two times.

    Jerry

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    To stop a numbered list in Word, simply press return two times...
    Better to change the paragraph style.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  12. #11
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Why? Hitting return twice changes the paragraph style back to normal.


    Jerry

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Why? Hitting return twice changes the paragraph style back to normal...
    Suit yourself, but I'd rather be in control of paragraph styles.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  14. #13
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    WP did/does tabs really well, especially right justified. Having to set a tab style in Word is just painful.

    cheers, Paul

  15. #14
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    WordPerfect suffered from a lot of problems. The transition to Windows was rocky and WP 6.0 in particular was a mess in terms of quality control. It didn't help that the company (I believe it was the dying days of WordPerfect Corp.) denied most of the problems. What really got the user base angry was they were caught slipstreaming fixes into the product, without changing the version numbers or acknowledging the patches. Novell got that bit under control and WPWin 6.1 was dramatically improved.

    Then Corel bought the product but they struggled to market against the other suite offerings. Corel really only had a word processor, spreadsheet, and drawing program. They had no database, no e-mail (I don't believe Corel ever bought GroupWise). They did eventually get a presentations program but it was always a weak offering.

    Of course the IBM SmartSuite didn't fare much better.

  16. #15
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    Bill Gates has been quite the Pied Piper over the years, and in my opinion that is a huge reason why his software came out on top of other, better software.

    There's still no Reveal Codes feature in MS Word. Reveal Codes was/is one of the most useful features in Word Perfect. .
    Yup +1
    The first S/W I actually bought was WP in 92 or 93. They had a presentation at the county center. Come to think of it I also bought a Presentation program I never even installed.
    David

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