Friday, April 6, 2012

Word Processing Programs

As a writer, I depend on having an easy to use word processing program on my home computer. That is why I prefer and use Word Perfect by Corel.

My first computer was the Compaq Portable (portable? That thing weighed 30 pounds!). It was  based on the IBM operating system running DOS, and came with IBM’s Display Write as its word processing program.

My next computer was a Compaq Laptop, and this came with the DOS version of Word Perfect. It introduced me to Word Perfect and I’ve used versions of it since. After the DOS version, came one for Windows, Win 3 and then Word Perfect 7, and finally Word Perfect 12, which I still use. (The latest version is Word Perfect X5.)

There are several reasons why I prefer Word Perfect over Microsoft’s Word. First and foremost, the “Reveal Codes” function. By pressing Alt-F3, the internal formatting codes for each line of text are revealed. In this manner, you can see what codes are being used, alter or delete them and thus make easy and important changes in your document as you go. (Or afterwards, during the editing process.)

The second reason I prefer Word Perfect is the “Publish to” command, found in the drop down box under “File”. With this command, I can take a graph, figure, or table that I have copied from any other word processing document, a PDF file, or a Power Point presentation, and convert it into a “picture”, with a .gif extension, which I can then add to any document (or blog) to which I wish to copy it to. This is done using the “publish to” “html” command.

I can also convert any Word Perfect document into a PDF file, by using the “publish to” “pdf” command.

Thus, I can add pictures or graphics to my documents (or blog) and publish the product as a pdf file for anyone to save and use on their computer.

I also have Microsoft’s Word on my home computer. Since few people have Word Perfect, I’ve found that I need to convert my Word Perfect documents into Word in order for others to be able to open and read my work on their computers. However, because of it’s shortcomings, I rarely use Word as a primary source for my writing.

As some of you may know, I also own a netbook that I use occasionally when I travel. I  have  installed Open Office Documents (, a free word processing program, on it. It looks like Word in use, but stores documents in a strange .otf format, unless you specifically request that it store your document in Word or .doc format. This is what I do, then email the finished document to myself and open it and save it as a Word document on my main computer.(I can then convert it into Word Perfect if I have to do any additional work on it.)

 (I haven’t yet figured out how to install Word Perfect on my netbook, since it doesn’t have a cd drive. Anyone with suggestions?)

I haven’t as yet tried Google Documents, another free word processing program.

So, my recommendation to you, if you do any heavy duty writing (as I do), purchase and use Word Perfect from Corel. (An inexpensive version, called Word Perfect Office X5 Home-Student Version, can be purchased for about $50 at Staples.)

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