Posted by: patenttranslator | July 24, 2013

WordPerfect Is Alive and Kicking and in Many Respects Beats Microsoft Word Hands Down


In a previous post, I was wondering what was the difference between having to pay protection money to a bagman who works for Tony Soprano, and having to pay, every year, again and again, 100 dollars to Microsoft for the current edition of Microsoft Office.

As most people know, Microsoft Office 2013 is no longer sold as software that you buy and own. Instead, what they now sell is a temporary license that must be renewed every year at the full cost of the original price for software that will work only on 1 computer. So if you use it for example for 10 years, Microsoft will deftly transfer 1,000 dollars from your pockets to their pockets rather than only the money corresponding to the one-time charge of a measly 100 dollars as was the case up until now. If you have 3 computers at home as many people do, Microsoft would legally steal 3,000 dollars from you based on this ingenious strategy …. provided that hapless Microsoft Office users will put up with this greedy scheme that is based on Microsoft Corporation’s insolent and warped, monopolistic vision of the world.

One way to deal with the unbridled greed of Microsoft is to switch to “free office” software, which is what my son did several years ago. That is what he is using on his Mac now, and he will probably never need to buy anything from Microsoft. Two free office software applications are available, one at, and one at

Another option is to go back to WordPerfect Office, which is what I did.

I am writing this post in WordPerfect which I purchased last week from Amazon for a whopping 48 dollars, including the shipping cost. WordPerfect Office (the edition “for students”) can be installed on 3 computers, possibly more than 3 because WordPerfect does not force new users to “authenticate” the product online once the correct installation code is entered during the installation.

In fact, just because you have legally purchased Microsoft software does not mean that it will continue to work even on a computer on which it has been authenticated or preloaded.

When I attempted to wake up one of my computers last year from the infamous “Microsoft’s blue screen of death”, I got a message that I was using an unauthorized copy of Windows and after many attempts to revive the moribund hardware sentenced to death by the Supreme Court of Microsoft (there is no appeal against this court), I had to junk that computer, which I bought a couple of years prior to its untimely demise courtesy of Microsoft at BestBuy, although the cost of Windows was of course included in the price that I paid for that computer.

Unlike Microsoft Word, which is incredibly counter-intuitive, WordPerfect seems to be anticipating what it is that I want to do, just like a well behaved, intelligent doggie is supposed to do. When I save a file, it is saved automatically in Microsoft Word (.doc) format. I can open it in MS Word format by simply clicking on the file, or in WordPerfect format if I open WordPerfect first.

Although I was using WordPerfect from 1987 until about 2004 when I finally made the switch, kicking and screaming, to Microsoft Word, in the meantime I have forgotten where some of the commands, such as insert hyperlink, are located in WordPerfect.

No problemo. I simply open the file in MS Word, insert the link, and then open it again in WordPerfect. It will probably take me a week or so before I become a proficient user of WordPerfect given that for the last 10 years I was a captive user laboring on the Microsoft Word plantation.

I was already able to solve several annoying problems that seemed unsolvable with Microsoft Word. One of them has to do with a weird font in some of my blog posts for which I am apologizing here as some readers already complained about it. Another one was a very complicated table in which the words became haphazardly truncated. There was no cure for the MS Word-inflicted mutilation – until I recreated the table in WordPerfect.

The thing is, although I always write my posts in the Times New Roman font, on one of my computers Microsoft Word converts it to an ugly, really horrible font. I have no idea why and because unlike WordPerfect, Microsoft Word lacks the “reveal codes” feature, I was unable to figure it out. It must be something in the initial setting of Microsoft Word, but fortunately, I don’t have to worry about the invisible traps hidden somewhere in the bowels of Microsoft Word settings any more.

The WordPerfect Office Suite that I bought for less than 50 dollars came with several other free applications: Paper Port Scanner, Presentations, QuatroPro, WordPerfect Lightning, most of which I will probably never use. It also included a trial copy of Corel PDF Fusion, which I may or may not decide to buy at some point.

The WordPerfect program that I have now opens PDF files automatically and gives me several format options for saving a WordPerfect file in a different format. However, saving a wordprocessed file in PDF format is not one of them. I would have to buy Corel PDF Fusion, again for about 50 dollars, to be able to do that. But since I have a standalone version of the Adobe Writer software, I don’t need this feature especially since I can also use the software that came with one of my printers to save files in the PDF format.

What I did need was something that would convert, as flawlessly as possible, PDF files in different languages to files in Microsoft Word or another word processing format, and the same software that came with the same printer actually does that – not quite flawlessly, but it is good enough for most purposes. I bought an Adobe license (which cost 20 dollars and I am able to use it on every computer) for converting PDF files to Microsoft Word files, which is very handy for example when I need to estimate the word count for a potential translation project.

The problem with the Adobe software is that this software only makes it possible to convert PDF files to a Microsoft Word format in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian or Japanese, and I often need it also for conversion to other languages. This week, for example, I needed it for Korean and Polish (and my Samsung printer’s software did convert it quite well).

I saw on blogs that many translators swear by the Abbbyy Fine Reader software for this type of conversion, so I downloaded a free trial copy of it. But it does not seem to work for conversion of PDF files to Korean or Polish. All I got was a graphic file, not a wordprocessed file, I am not sure why. So instead of using ABBYY fine reader, I am using my printer for conversion of PDF files to MS Word files in different langages.

Most of my customers are law firms, and it so happens that twenty years ago, most of my customers were using WordPerfect.

Here is to hoping that a few years from now, most of my customers will be using WordPerfect again, while Microsoft Word will be used mostly by stubborn Microsoft Word diehards who don’t mind being taken to cleaners by Microsoft, repeatedly, year after year, for every computer they have.

I think that the best way to fight the strong-arm tactics of Microsoft that remind me so much of Tony Soprano is to the following:

1. Download both a free (such as OpenOffice) and a cheap (such as WordPerfect) replacement for Microsoft Word,

2. learn how to use the basics of both of these programs and stick mostly with the application that you like the best,

3. while keeping an old copy of Microsoft Word on one computer to check documents for seamless compatibility before they are delivered to customers who still use only Microsoft Word.


In 2014, about 6 months after I wrote this post, pointy-headed wise men in Microsoft decided that MS Word customers who have been sentenced to renting this software in perpetuity from Microsoft would be henceforth allowed to use this software on up to 5 computers!

They are so nice to us, aren’t they? Although I wonder why. Was this the plan from the beginning, or did Microsoft change the rules because there was a mutiny in the air?

We still will have to pay for the software (which used to be something that we owned once we paid for it) in perpetuity, year after year to Microsoft because they really need our money every year, but now we can install it on more than 1 computer.

God bless their generous hearts!!!


  1. Great Stuff! I’d like to entirely dispense with MS. Hopefully it’s only a matter of time:)


    • Great. Great! GREAT! Thanks. Thirty years ago, i, too, used WP in law firms! Imagine. Last week i bought an entire set —IN.THE.BOX. from a local thrift store for one dollar. I didn’t know if i could use it or not, but i knew i had to have it.

      I’m just wondering about uploading ebooks, as i write… but thanks again.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for your enthusiastic response Sandra! Nice timing too – I found it right after I’d finished a job just before 4 a.m. Central European Time 🙂


  2. Amen to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I probably won’t be the only one to point out that your maths are a bit off. When you pay your $100 for an office licence you can use it on five different computers (PC and Mac), making the price as low as $20 a pop rather than $300 for three. And after tax deductions you are looking at less than a dollar a month per computer! In any case, as the market currently stands, there simply is no realistic alternative to Office for professional translators.


  4. That’s not what I heard, unless you are talking about Office 365. Office 2013 only has 1 license per 1 computer, the sales clerk at Best Buy told me the same thing.

    See also this link:

    If you are right, it sounds like Microsoft was already forced to change its policy because too many people got mad.

    But I think that you are wrong because the answer to the question on

    “Can I install Office 2013 on two different PCs?”


    “No. The license is for one PC.”

    But even if you were right, why should I pay every year, year after year, for something that I already paid for?

    There are several excellent alternatives to Microsoft Office as I pointed out on my blog, better and much cheaper than what Microsoft is trying to sell us.

    I will use WordPerfect instead. Once you pay for it, it’s yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Limited licenses have always made me very nervous. They all should be single-user forever licenses, not single-computer/ limited time licenses. I need to be able to switch instantly to another computer running all my needed software. Hard disks and motherboards do fail, people… and usually when a deadline is looming. And software does get corrupted, especially Microsloth’s software. Plus archiving is a nightmare if the original software has “expired”. I actually work in old Word 98/mac (same format as Word 97). If anything goes wrong, I just dump the old copy and drag another copy onto a functioning hard disk. No problem having multiple copies stashed on different computers. No software police at my door. And the old Word is better and faster than the Word 2008 I have on a newer computer just so I can save those ridiculous docx docs in Word 97 format as needed. Microsloth tends to get worse with every upgrade.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Microsloth tends to get worse with every upgrade.”

    No doubt because they believe that they have a monopoly on word processing software and all kinds of other software.

    Time will prove them wrong. Monopolies often don’t last very long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, Steve, empires usually last several hundred years. Monopolies last quite a while, too.

      We wish that they’ll be gone soon, but they stay usually while we are still alive. However, people are always glad to see one of the 10 Indians gone instead of seeing one of the 10 Big Brothers gone, because it hurts when one of the latter is gone while nothing happens when one the former gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Modern empires don’t last that long anymore.

    The Soviet empire lasted only a few decades and it collapsed within my lifetime. I gave it about 30 more years in 1981, and it collapsed in 9 years.

    I believe that the American empire is on its last legs too now and that the country will return to what its founders wanted it to be relatively soon, although it may not be within my lifetime as I have been hanging around here on the blue planet for quite a while now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just purchased a used lenovo Y410p for
    $469.99 at and I recommend it. It was basically new;
    no scratches or anything. They ship worldwide for
    free and they accept Paypal. It’s the best deal I’ve found for
    this gaming laptop.


  9. […] Since I bought WordpPerfect X6 8 months ago as I wrote in this post, I was able to put it to good use. Although I still use MS Word (Office 2003) for just about anything that requires me to write, I often start writing in WordPerfect first to make sure that there will be no nasty surprises later, like messed up pagination, or a nasty font on my blog once the thing is posted. I also sometime use it to remove a problem from MS Word which is invisible and unfixable by design within the MS Word software, but which can be fixed easily once the codes are revealed when the file is imported into WordPerfect. […]


  10. New to the conversation, but not Wordperfect. Started with 5.1, the dominant word processor of its day. DOS, of course. The early 16 bit versions like 6, were a bug lover’s paradise. By WP Office 2000, things were good in that regard. Along the way, upgraded (always cheap CD’s on eBay!) to 12, and now 14.

    I have LibreOffice installed on my computer “just in case.” I spent a year or more using Write, buying help books, but I just don’t have the LO gene, I guess. And it’s kinda slow, although huge improvements over predecessor (also buggy) Open Office. I really tried to not be judgmental, tried to separate my WP procedures from my not getting LO.

    A year ago I went back to WP. Ah…………

    Still, I do not understand how WP stays in business. Clunky old help screens, no alternative OS’s, not WPD readers like you can get for MS Word, Excel, etc. And each upgrade usually doesn’t amount to much. Save your money and wait. Upgrades seem to have more to do with what new whiz bang program they want to introduce, like Lightening, or a partnered one. (Lightning was GREAT! Kinda like Evernote. True to Corel/WP form, web storage gone in a year or so.)

    BTW, if you want to use DOC or other formats as default, WP will always ask on exit if you want it saved as WPD or DOC. I just discovered you can turn this off in Settings. Maybe now I’ll use DOC.

    So for now, it’s WP all the way.


  11. “Still, I do not understand how WP stays in business.”

    Having as a competitor clunky and extremely expensive behemoth called MS Word must be a huge help.

    Since we would now have to pay for a license for MS Word every year, it really makes a lot of sense to buy instead a cheap replacement product like WordPerfect every five years or so (the upgrades are generally not worth it) and simply save files in MS Word format and never to pay greedy Microsoft bozos another penny.

    Plus, despite the warts pointed out in your comment, WordPerfect does have a few really good features that MS Word lacks, such as easy PDF conversion and reveal codes.

    To some it up, the most important advantage of WordPerfect is that it is not MS Word.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I really don’t know what you’re talking about. I bought MS Office 2013 last year and only had to pay once and don’t need to pay every year. The package is fully bought.

    You are probably mistaken by Office 360, wich IS a per year license. But then I think you need to add to your story that you always get the latest updates during the time you have the license as well.

    Also, like said by another visitor; the statement on the price you write about isn’t right. If you can install a package on 5 pc’s, ofcoarse you don’t need to pay 5 times the amount a year, but only 1.

    It seems like you didn’t check your things before writing this blog and although I don’t like a lot of MS word features myself and agree that MS Office in some ways work counter intuitive, this blog seems more like a MS Office bashing thing than a straight comparison. On the other hand, everything in ms office is configurable, so these options I don’t like (mostly automatic correcting) are all configurable to the way I like it (setting them off).

    And then, in my opinion, there is one very important NO-s to buying WordPerfect or using the free office versions to me:
    The rest of the world IS using MS Word. So if you are writing about the need to have some MS Word software running somewhere to check if the compatibility is right the workflow seems very strange to me. And you need MS Word still. So why not just use MS Word? This seems like fooling yourself.

    It’s like doing graphics. Ofcoarse as a professional you could make graphics in Paint or some Corel product. But whole industry uses Photoshop.
    Same with MS Word. Why use Wordperfect and save it to doc, if you’re not sure if the result is always right?

    Another thing is the price. You talk about 50 dollars for Wordperfect. Thats Wordperfect only plus some trialprograms you don’t need and never use.
    I paid 100 euros for the FULL office package (that’s about 130 dollars). For that money you get MS Word, Excell, MS Outlook and some other industry standard products. I think in comparison that’s way cheaper than 50 dollars for only some wordprocessor.

    So for me as a private and professional user there is no real compatitor to MS Office and I think it’s great that there is one standard that whole the world is using. Makes life a lot easier!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 1. I am talking about 1 year subscription plans for MS Office. Check your information.

    2. “So for me as a private and professional user there is no real compatitor to MS Office and I think it’s great that there is one standard that whole the world is using. Makes life a lot easier!”


    That’s why 1-party states have always been so successful, and why monopolies by one company in the market always lead to low price and excellent service, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. your son got it right:
    good, scriptable text editors (free)
    pdf to html conversion utilities with options to conserve/ignore layout, keep/ignore/change page break. (free)
    good word processors that can import html and export both .pdf and legacy .doc formats. (free).

    Since 2006/7 it has all been free.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Patent Translator, you are fighting an emotional rearguard action. I’ve been using WP since the 5.1 DOS days, currently running X4. I am on your side, but I know and accept what the office suite realities are. I’ve forayed into Abi Word, Open/Libre Office, no thank you.

    Despite some others being impressed with some WP features, I’ve never known one person, in real life or online, to switch from Office to WP. The MS takeover is a done deal. It’s business.

    Despite Apple’s efforts with their products, Google Doc, and Libre Office, it’s a MS Office world. The cloud only makes it more so. One’s free 15GB OneDrive account gives FREE basic composition of all the important Office tools. Yes, formatting is not up to say, a fancy newsletter, but for a lot of work, all one needs. And if you open a DOC, XLS, or other Office format from within OneDrive, perfect translation.

    Office 365 may be a Soprano extortion in your view, but even for a non-user like me, I think it’s a very good deal if one, indeed, uses Office, especially on multiple devices. For that $10/mo, you might get up to TEN devices on the account, with a total of 5TB of storage. And you never have to upgrade. It works perfectly on iPhone, Android, and as one would expect, Windows Phone (what I use.)

    WP has been on life support for longer than I expected it to last. New versions typically throw a product or idea that they bought into from outside, and see what sticks. (Answer: Usually nothing. Remember Barista?) I have no idea who buys WP. They made forays into LInux and Mac, but dropped them. They never even had the bright idea of offering up a WP viewer even for PC, let alone Mac or Linux. I’m talking pre-PDF days for native WPD files. And PDF conversions ain’t perfect anyway.

    Let’s love our WP until it fades into tech history. But railing against MS and Office will not prolong its life or prove you right.


  16. “Patent Translator, you are fighting an emotional rearguard action.”

    I am not fighting a battle. I understand the importance of saving one’s energy for battles that are worth fighting, and Microsoft is not worth it.

    I am just telling people about alternatives, and one of them is WordPerfect, which in my opinion works better than MS Word in many respects.

    I recently purchased a new PC and installed both WordPerfect Office software, which I purchased last year, and MS Office, which I purchased in 2003, on the new PC.

    I was not surprised that WordPerfect was installed without a problem, but to my surprise, MS Word installation from the old CD disk was also approved by the almighty Microsoft Corporation.

    This, along with the fact that Microsoft has already significantly lowered pricing for its various MS Office variations, is to me evidence of the fact that Microsoft is aware that its monopoly position is on shaky ground and that it has an uncertain future because people do have alternatives, such as free offices suites and WordPerfect.


    • As I noted, I’ve been promulgating WP for close to twenty years. No one has jumped on board.

      I think the only real viable option is Libre Office. Full featured, updated every six months.

      Scrivener is THE program to use for writing a book and publishing. A generous 30 days of use, not calendar, to try, and then only $40 to buy. PC or Mac.

      One of the mysteries of the “alternatives” community is the lack of an Outlook equivalent. Oh, sure, you can buy a translator and run WINE if you use Linux. Big “If’s.” I’ve never used Outlook for email, but it’s Contact and Calendaring system is the world standard. Loved it for years. If your phone, smart or otherwise, can connect to a PC for synchronizing contacts and calendars, you can be assured it will work with Outlook. And a fair chance of nothing else.

      I stopped using Outlook on my PC when I got my first Windows Phone. Much to my chagrin, they no longer offer a USB sync option, no more Nokia Suite. Well, MS has beaten me into shape and I now live with it.

      You’re supposed to do it all through a problematic Hotmail Synch program, blah blah. There are several good proprietary programs at reasonable cost, $25-$50.

      However, for us contrarians, Mozilla Thunderbird with it’s Lightning and similar plugins is beautiful! Free, of course. All any person or small business would need. LookOut Lite. You can even set appointments to the minute, unlike OL’s still only every 30 minutes.

      (Speaking of Lightning, how long did Corel support that same named product and its online storage? The Higgs Bosun comes and goes faster.)


  17. Late to this party. I haven’t used WordPerfect much for the last ten years, but I definitely miss it. (For various reasons, I don’t have much choice but to use MS Word on a daily basis). WordPerfect’s ‘reveal codes’ feature was a huge advantage.
    Having said that, Microsoft probably would argue that the yearly fee covers ongoing support for MS Office and upgrades.
    Not sure I buy that argument (pun intended).


    • It’s not an argument. It does. Which considering what stand alone Orifice costs on just one machine, Office 365 is a hell of a good deal. If Office comes out say, every three years, and you can buy the latest and allegedly greatest for $300 for one machine, three years of Office 365 costs the same or less, is on a continuous upgrade, comes with unlimited cloud storage, and you can use it on five devices.

      If one has the Office needle stuck in one’s arm, what’s not to love?

      No, I’m not advocating for Office. I only ever used it for Outlook’s Calendar and Contacts functions. Due to a number of reasons, I don’t even use it for that anymore. Mozilla Thunderbird with Lightning and other related add on’s fulfills the same functions for me.

      All my normal word processing is WordPerfect 14, I open other document types in LibreOffice, and use Scrivener for writing books. Awesome and inexpensive, BTW.


  18. @ Mike

    If buy Wordperfect Office for about 50 dollars (Student Edition) you can open a Word document in it and use Reveal Codes to see the problem in your Word document.

    You may remember that Wordperfect used to provide support for free and at an 800 number until Microsoft nearly drove it out of business by preinstalling it on every PC, the same way Explorer drove out of business other browsers.


    • Steve, I’m so glad you linked back to this post, because I’d missed it. It’s good to know that WP is still available, *and* that it saves as .doc. I believe I’ve heard that certain UK patent firms still use it! I’ve lost count of the amount of (chargeable, of course) time I’ve wasted on Word documents trying to work out what is wrong with the formatting, and wishing for Reveal Codes, because that way I could probably do it virtually instantaneously. I’m still currently working on Office 2003, which is fine for everything I need (well, as fine as Word is ever likely to be), but have been wondering what would happen when I eventually do upgrade. Now I know I still have some options 🙂


      • I too use MS Office 2003 and I don’t intend to upgrade, ever, because I am not going to pay Microsoft every year for the same thing that I already bought from them long time ago.

        I actually start most documents in WordPerfect and then save them later as a .doc file before opening it in MS Word so that I would not have to try to figure out where is the code that sets whether it is single-spaced or double-spaced, or why is the pagination screwed up, etc.

        I usually complete most of my documents in MS Word, but I use WordPerfect to supplement Microsoft features that are difficult to access in Word and easily accessed in WordPerfect. Special characters, for example, are counter-intuitive and take forever to find in Word, while I can always for some reason always find the character that I am looking for right away in WordPerfect.

        You can also save documents in PDF format with WordPerfect Office, it has a useful scanning tool, etc.

        I paid 48 dollars for WordPerfect Office a couple of years ago, and it was money well spent.


  19. When I bought my X4 on eBay for about $35 maybe four years ago, there were lots of WP discs for sale with serials. Now, all I find is one X6 and lots of WP 6, 7, and 8 for prices to laugh at! Wow, upgrade to 8 for only $50! On floppy disks……

    I think one of the stupid things that Corel and predecessors did, or more accurately, didn’t do, was offer a WP viewer. I’m thinking back before PDF became a default universal file format, which still is a minor PITA. And, RIP, Barista!

    To this day, you can download free MS doc readers for all the products. Perhaps ten or twelve years ago, if you were wanting to share WP documents with someone on a regular basis, a viewer would have been perfect. No need to have both WPD and PDF files.

    The fact that there is a total dearth of later WP versions on eBay indicates to me that WP is dead man walking. The interface is just as it was many years ago, it doesn’t do anything that Orifice or LibreOffice does (other than be more intuitive to use!)

    I could be taken as a troll, perhaps. No, just a realist.


  20. […] driven underground after many years of almost complete domination over the word processing masses. The WordPerfect religion is not quite dead yet, although it is moribund. WordPerfect and several open source software suites, in particular OpenOffice and LibreOffice, […]


  21. Thanks for the article. I’ve been using WordPerfect for about 20 years. I tried using Word for about two years. Unless and until Word has a “reveal codes” function (which may be impossible due to copyright/trademark) I will never use Word. Until Word stops thinking it’s smarter than me about formatting (automatic indents, automatic outlining – almost impossible to override) — life is too short to deal with it.

    I certainly understand the “fighting a losing battle” argument — yes, almost everyone else uses Word. So what? I can open Word documents either with my WordPerfect or with my cheapie student version of Word if forced to. When I want to share a WordPerfect doc with someone else I either Save As Word, or just turn it into a PDF.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I really enjoyed your article. I started with Wordperfect in the early 90’s and only used Word when a client insisted, I considered them Ludites because WP is more intuitive. I still use WP Office X4 and it has served me well for almost 20 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I use Wordperfect Office X7. I start documents in Wordperfect and then convert them to MS Word. I saw the new version of WP Office X8, “Student Edition” at Staples for 50 dollars yesterday. Unlike MS Word, you can install Wordperfect office on all of your computers and used it for as long as you want.


  23. […] which I bought for less than 50 dollars several years ago as I wrote in a post on my blog called “Microsoft Is Alive and Kicking and in Many Respects Beat Microsoft Word Hands Down”, you actually own the WordPerfect office for as long as you care to use it, the way things used to […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: