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Suites for the Sweet: WordPerfect Office 2000 - page 2

Moving a Long-Established Suite to Linux

  • May 18, 2000
  • By Brian Proffitt

Let's face it. Spreadsheets on the Linux platform have been a bit dismal thus far. StarOffice has its StarCalc but it is the weakest link in an otherwise strong office suite.

Corel has raised the standard here with Quattro Pro. Of all of the apps in this suite, I liked this one the best, mostly because I'd been a bit disappointed in the past with Linux spreadsheets.

Quattro Pro provides users with a powerful financial tool. How powerful? Try the ability to hold 18,000 spreadsheets in a single Quattro Pro notebook, with each sheet having the ability to hold one million rows and 18,000 columns. That adds up to 324 trillion cells of data. Clearly, Corel is positioning this as a business application.

Like the other WP2000 apps, Quattro Pro also uses RealTime Preview to help users format data. There are a number of other tools to format the spreadsheet, including SpeedFormat, which can apply a predefined set of 25 formats to a given cell or range of cells.

Quattro Pro does come with a lot of pre-made business and home templates for notebook files, managed by PerfectExpert, WP2000's version of a Microsoft Wizard. All of these templates provide solutions to real financial questions and use Corel's PerfectScript in the background to run. Users can access these PerfectScript macros themselves and add to their functionality.

If you're a financial geek, you will love the new Dynamic Cross Tab Reports, which let you analyze tabular data in rather creative ways. This feature is similar to MS Excel's pivot table feature, only a lot more intuitive. Pivot tables used to give me hives, but this Cross Tab reporting feature was a lot easier to follow.

Quattro Pro files can be opened cross-platform in Windows, and QP can read and save in Lotus 1-2-3 and Excel formats. Quattro Pro can't export files to PDF format, but it can export to HTML documents, which is a really great way to create complex tables in for Web pages.

All considered, users of Excel and 1-2-3 would find this application an easy transition to make.


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