I will admit that I have been among those who wonder why some lawyers adhere so loyally to WordPerfect. I was once one of them, but I  went with the tide and made the switch to Microsoft Word long ago. Today, however, as I read the announcement of the all-new WordPerfect Office X6 released today by Corel, I wondered anew why we all so quickly abandoned WordPerfect.

You can say this about WordPerfect: It tries harder to meet the word-processing needs of lawyers than any other word processor out there. In this latest version, one of the major new enhancements is the addition of Bates numbering. Now, lawyers can easily insert Bates numbers in WordPerfect documents, individually or as a batch, giving each page a unique, incremental number for quick identification.

I have not tried this new version of WordPerfect. But as I read some of its features, I like what I see. For example, among the new features of this version:

  • Multiple monitor support lets you open as many copies of WordPerfect as needed on separate monitors.
  • Advanced preview lets you preview WordPerfect files in Windows Explorer and as attachments in Outlook without having to open them.

And then there are the features it already had, such as redaction tools; strong PDF capabilities, including support for PDF/A; and, of course, that longtime favorite of lawyers, Reveal Codes.

Within WordPerfect, you can open, edit, and create files in all Microsoft Office formats, including DOCX, XLSX and PPTX, as well as Open Office XML documents.

On top of that, it comes bundled with other useful tools, including Nuance PaperPort 12 SE, for scanning, OCR and document management; and WinZip, for compressing files and email attachments. And, for all you aspiring authors, it now includes a new WordPerfect eBook Publisher for laying out and publishing ebooks.

  • Hi, Bob! Not necessarily a bad play, from Corel.

    Look at it this way. If, as promised, all the word processing apps actually drift to standardized document formats (OpenDocument devices certainly do; Google Docs seems to be; MSFT Word is trying to do so with DOCX; but I am inevitably biased), then choice of tool becomes more like Twitter. You subscribe to a definitive feed / document / source, but you can use a tool of choice, and the tools compete on UI, and extra functions, not on baseline compatibility.

    In that world, we could imagine a new movement like the 1990s “Any Browser” backlash to HTML forking, where modern lawyers wisely adopt a subset of standard features, and consider abandoning cute, non-convertible eccentricities — goofy paragraph formatting tricks, drop caps, overly-fancy tables, over-engineered paragraph numbering — as the obsolete, anti-functional “BLINK” tags of the 21st century.

    I see some of that in electronic court documents too. Knowing that they have to carry over content across systems, high-volume courts (like big-city bankruptcy districts) seem to be moving their rules progressively towards simpler, “plain vanilla,” e-friendly requirements.

    Crossing my fingers.
    Regards, @JamieXML

    (Personally, what *I* still miss about WordPerfect is much more prosaic and retro. Remember the high-speed-typist-friendly use of F1-F10, on the left side of the keyboard, where God intended those keys to live? Which was, what, 20 years and 3 software mergers ago?)

  • I have always been a fan of WordPerfect; and I maintain that for straight-up document production (i.e., a word processor) it’s the best; for posters, art, card, well, that award must go to MSWord. I can’t wait to try out the Bates numbering–thank you for brining it to my attention!

  • I always use Word Perfect and, only when forced, Save As Word. Maybe WP Bates numbering will make more sense than Bates numbering in Acrobat. I’ll be happy to give it a try.

  • C. Anderson

    I have to say, this makes me happy. I stayed with WordPefect because complicated documents just take triple the amount of time and computer space when created with Word. In addition, it literally refuses to allow you to do certain formatting items the way you want. For all of these reasons and more I stayed with WordPerfect and I’m glad.

  • I used to write WordPerfect since version 5.1 for DOS when I’m in junior highschool until writing a thesis for my degree. Today in the office I use a Mac. Just for WordPerfect I use VirtualBox and installed a copy of Windows XP SP3. Other word processor never meets “WordPerfect standard”, as my needs for structured word processing is the stream-formatting architecture.

    Ms Office, NeoOffice, LibreOffice, and of course OpenOffice can’t be compared to WordPerfect’s indents, tab setting, page numbering, line numbering, footnote, flush right with dots, table of content set up.

    Of course it’s not a great features. But WordPerfect made it intuitive. In the other hand, Word make it hard to just set an indentation, since version 6 to 2010. For just setting an indent it could take minutes! It’s hard to correctly write an outline numbering in Word! Footnotes sometimes in not correct page with it’s numbers. Come on, Microsoft!

    WordPerfect is just perfect for writing, really just writing, even it’s thousand pages. But it really lacks of graphics creating. If Corel do some overhaul in WordPerfect, it can have mini-CorelDRAW capabilities built in. Corel has a perfect combination.

    • Gunderson Law Firm

      I have always used Wordperfect but now I have to use Word also and there is no comparison. Word is so hard to do ANYTHING in! I still use the function keys and all those shortcuts are so much better. When you finally figure out a so called “shortcut” I Word it still takes several steps to use it. We are one a very few that still use Wordperfect and those that have always used Word truly have no idea what they are missing