PROS / Corel Home Office has all the features needed in a home office software at a very reasonable price.
CONS / It is not as widely accepted as Microsoft Office.
VERDICT / To save money and still get all the great features, Corel is the best product out there.
As a cost effective alternative to some of the more costly home office software suites available, Corel Home Office is hard to beat. Word processing, spreadsheet editing and presentation software are included in the Corel Home Office package. We were impressed with Corel Home Office’s user friendly interface and compatibility with other home office software programs. For combining an appealing price tag and essential productivity tools in an easy-to-use software suite. While some of the features are not as advanced as Microsoft Office, Corel Home Office easily edged out the competition for our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award. Home users and students alike will find Corel Home Office to be an indispensible tool.
Word Processing Features
The Corel Home Office word processor’s name says it all—Write. Write is a straightforward program that makes an ideal platform for writing term papers, professional-looking resumes, letters, memos and just about any other document imaginable. Corel Write includes requisite features such as spell check, grammar check and automatic typo correction. With full support only for English, French, Spanish and German, Corel Write’s native support for foreign languages is somewhat limited.
Corel Write’s interface is organized in an intuitive fashion that will be comfortable to anyone with even the most basic experience with Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. As we would expect from any competent word processor, Corel Write supports images, charts and tables. Its formatting options make common tasks like pagination, resource citation, hypertext and footnotes easy one-click operations.
Corel Write includes some great features which are not found on other home office software packages. These features include things such as the ability to change the color of your workspace, page and tool bar. Corel also makes it easy to create brochures and pamphlets with a column section in the tool bar.
Corel Write lets you open and save Microsoft Word documents, making it easy to transfer any documents you need. When you transfer the Word documents, the original format will also be transferred. However, once the file is transferred it can be difficult to get it back to Word again.
Because Corel Write files are not universally supported and often result in unsightly formatting errors when opened with Microsoft Word or other word processors, we appreciate Corel Home Office’s PDF converter. Saving a document as a PDF file ensures that you evade formatting errors and preserve the professional appearance of resumes, papers, budgets and schedules.
Compared to Microsoft Office Home and Student edition, the only feature Corel Home Office is lacking a note taking application, but frankly, we don’t see any problem with organizing notes as ordinary documents. As far as keeping track of the many numbers in life, Corel’s spreadsheet application, Calculate, provides the feature set necessary for balancing a personal budget or executing complex statistics operations. Corel Calculate supports macros and allows you to create graphics that visualize data for presentation. For sharing documents, we love the option to save Calculate spreadsheets as either XLS or PDF files. You can also open and save Microsoft Excel files and charts in Calculate and save the files as a Corel file.
Corel Show is the presentation software included in Corel Home Office. The program is basically a re-skinned version of PowerPoint, which is certainly not a complaint. Show includes a huge variety of transition effects, graphics, charts and other doodads useful for livening up a presentation. You can import and save presentations into PowerPoint formats too, which eliminates virtually all compatibility issues you might encounter with professors, colleagues or bosses.
Corel Home Office excels at opening file formats from other programs including, most importantly, Microsoft Office. In addition to compatibility with standard DOC and XLS document and spreadsheet formats, Corel Write is capable of opening DOCX and XLSX files with a free add-on provided by Corel. We consider this to be an indispensible feature of good office software because Microsoft Office is increasingly becoming the standard format on both the college campus and in the workplace. A chink in Corel Write’s armor concerns the open source word processor, Open Office—Write does not support the OpenDocument (ODF) format.
Corel Write supports DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, HTM, WRI and other common text and document files.
Corel Calculate supports XLS, XLSX, WK, DOC, TXT, CSV along with standard spreadsheet and template formats.
Corel Show saves and opens PPT, PPS, PPTX and PPSX files.
Corel is a large organization with a dedicated support staff. They provide telephone and email support, but frankly, this will not be necessary for the overwhelming majority of technical issues because Corel’s FAQs, forums and support information address issues ranging from format compatibility to serial number issues.
For the college student or home user, Corel Home Office provides the essential tools needed in home office software programs for everything from research papers to monitoring household expenses. We are particularly impressed with Corel Home Office for including such extensive third-party file format support. Its competitive price tag, up-to-date software and solid customer support network make Corel Home Office worthy of any savvy consumer’s attention.