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Corel Home Suite: Corel Write, Calculate, Show, Photo Album 7 Deluxe & Paint It
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First of all this is NOT a new program, nor is it a Corel developed one. It is a Corel re-branding of Ability Home Office with a couple of other programs thrown in. (Note the "Version 184.108.40.2067" under Help/About.) It is also available from Corel as Corel Home Office with only Write, Calculate and Show.
Since it is a clone of AO, and not a true Corel product, WordPerfect and Quattro Pro are not supported (importable or exportable) formats. Surprisingly, it supports Ami Pro and Lotus Word Pro, but not Lotus 123.
By default the program loads with the ribbon interface. This severely limits the options available to the user. Click on "Options" on the top right side of the screen and choose "Toolbar Mode" and restart the program. Now you have the complete menus and access to many more commands. EVERY PROGRAM WITH THAT D*** RIBBON SHOULD HAVE THIS OPTION.
The Help file doesn't take the ribbon interface into account. I assume this is because AO doesn't have this option and Corel couldn't be bothered to update the Help file.
As a standalone program, it has some nice features, but is limited in what it can do. It also tends to be a bit too buggy for a V.5 program.
Text Boxes: The only text box border is a single line. Other styles are available but do not work. If you insert a background texture into a text box and later change your mind, there is no way to delete it.
There is only one style of column called balanced columns. Unlike "newspaper" style columns, in which the left column fills up before starting on the right one, "balanced" columns have the same number of lines all the way down the page.Read more ›
This version of Corel Write is much nicer. It instantly came up and asked me if I wanted to switch Write to behave like Word, rather than if I wanted to convert my Word docs to WordPerfect). I liked that. It works seamlessly with my Word documents. I can switch back and forth between programs without thought.
I don't do a lot of fancy work in my word processing program. I mainly write books and the formatting is pretty basic. There's absolutely no difference between the pricier Microsoft program and Corel's less expensive one when it comes to manuscripts. Both are solid.
I do some artwork in Word for my mate's business. Eye-catching labels, things like that. I tried it out in Corel Write and, again, it was word perfect.
I see spreadsheet programs like Excel and Corel's clone, Calculate, as mildly magical. (Numbers frighten me.) I don't have a clue how create to create spreadsheets thought I do use one in our business. (Our accountant updates it for me.) Calculate worked just like Excel.
Show seems to be an adequate clone for Microsoft's Power Point, though I haven't created a show with it yet. I'll report back when I do.
While I didn't need the art programs included, I found I really like the simple photo editor; it's always nice to have a quick fix program handy. (Once I get into a real art program, I'm likely to lose track of time - I like that this helps keep me out of mischief.) Also, I've developed a fondness for Paint It!Read more ›
- Corel Home Suite
- Paint it!
- Photo Album 7
Overall, the user interface is very good and the applications are quite easy to use right out of the box. The Corel Calculate and Corel Write programs each uses about 40 Mbyte of process memory which are actually quite efficient. However, the Corel Calculate program seems to have difficulties in opening large excel files (over 5 MByte in size) and the program was either very slow or just hang up. The Corel write works well with Microsoft word files. It comes with quite a few features such as Macros, Thesaurus, and Grammar checker. However, the Grammer checker seems to report grammatical errors which are actually correct.
The Paint it! program is pretty fun to use and it comes with a variety of paint brushes. It also works well with my Wacom tablet.
All in all, I would say this is a good buy if you are on a budget and do not need to work with sophisticated spreadsheets. If you are qualified for the student / academic versions of Microsoft Office, I would suggest to go for the latter.
However, Corel Home Suite just isn't up to par with the company's other assorted great software titles. The best word I can use for the suite is that it is functional and simply "okay." My main problem is that the program basically positions itself as a lighter alternative to Microsoft's Office line of products, yet the options in Corel Home Suite aren't even as functional or versatile as other products you can find for much less, like OpenOffice. I also agree with the reviewers who have complained about the ribbon (versus the more fully functional toolbars) -- the ribbon can simplify things, sure, but it also leaves off a ton of the most valuable or common features (so why even use it?). It's best to turn it off and restart the program.
As far as its individual modules:
* Write is nice, but honestly offers fewer bells and whistles than plenty of other free word processors. It's also a real pain to import or export Word documents -- to do so error-free and with consistency, you'll basically have to save your Word documents in other text formats first. (Yes, this is a pain.) And if you already have Word? Then use that. Write is just really limited.
* Show is all right in a pinch as a presentation option (simpler of course) to PowerPoint.
* Paint It is basically a baby photo editing software that turns one feature of Photoshop (or Corel's own Photo-Paint) -- that of translating photos into different artistic styles into virtually the whole program. It's really pretty limited, and a big disappointment coming from Corel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I find this program passably useful at best. Paint It is the only program I will end up using on a regular basis out of the program.Published on April 5, 2013 by Bailey
If I had many hours to play on the computer, this would have been a great program. I just wanted it for a bit of photo fixing. It was too complicated for what I wanted to do.Published on April 5, 2013 by Suzanne R. Arnholt
There is no comparison to Microsoft Office. I am unimpressed and not a fan. You get what you pay for.Published on March 22, 2013 by MomtoBoys
for under $40, you get corel word, microsoft 2003 and 2007, pdf, etc. whereas microsoft office costs $120+ student version and you get only the current year. Very much underated.Published on February 15, 2013 by Robert Green
Loading this and setting this up on the computer was SUPER easy.
I found it to be User friendly as well. Read more
Corel Home Suite comes with several different programs.
The photo editing software does simple tasks fairly well. Read more
You can't open or create password-protected Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents and some macros won't open. That's all you need to know.Published on June 3, 2012 by Mack W. Jackson
Back around 2000, I was forced to stop using WordPerfect when my workplace entered into an agreement with Microsoft to use them as "the platform. Read morePublished on April 12, 2012 by J. Kelley
I've used MS Office, Corel, and Open Office, and to be honest with you, Corel does quite a bit to try to be a MS Office competitor, and in bugs, it works that way. Read morePublished on February 23, 2012 by Margaret Bonham