547 Project II

Evaluation of Word Processors

Paula Cooper (cooper) Homepage , Mail
Jeanette Long (long) Homepage , Mail

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction

  • System Requirements
  • Formatting
  • Multimedia Capabilities
  • Inserting Object
  • Backtracking
  • Tables
  • Footnotes and Endnotes
  • Spell Checkers
  • Grammar Checkers
  • Help
  • Extra Features

  • Conclusion

    Executive Summary

    Word processors are a common and necessary office tool utilized by the majority of businesses running today. This report focuses on the evaluation of two such tools, Microsoft Word 6.0 (MS Word) and WordPerfect 6.1 (WP), the two leading edge word processors on the market today. This evaluation concentrates on the features that would be most important to current business members using word processors for reports, presentations and advertising. These features were compared by attempting everyday tasks in each word processor to test areas such as typography, multimedia capabilities, spelling tools, grammar tools and help facilities.

    Microsoft Word seems best suited for textual documents such as reports and memos. It has superior spell checking facilities which allow for easy backtracking and optional application of corrections to identical words. While both word processors permit mass undo/redo of actions, MS Word stands out with its better action descriptions and multiple undo/redo facilities for drawn items. MS Word is also stands out with its support of editing by other users through its ability to overlap graphics and text and allow in-line annotations that are both textual or audio in nature. Finally, MS Word excels with its Style Gallery feature which gives users templates for nice document design.

    WordPerfect is acceptable in most of the same areas as Microsoft Word is, but not necessarily to the same degree. WordPerfect's main strong points, beyond the capabilities of Microsoft Word, are its graphical facilities. Unlike the simple drawing facilities in MS Word, WP provides several more drawing tools such as Bezier curves, polygon generation and arrow creation. As well, it provides special effects such as embossing which can be applied to images, allowing for much more professional looking images to be created. WP also provides TextArt for forming words with eye-catching shapes. Additionally, audio files can be incorporated in WP documents, demonstrating the focus on multimedia. WordPerfect also surpasses MS Word's help demonstrations by providing "coaches" which successfully lead users through their own specific tasks.

    Both applications are easy to use and contain all imaginable features that a user might desire. Microsoft Word excels in the area of text based document creation, especially for use in writing reports and memos. WordPerfect is nearly as good as MS Word for text document creation, but is especially geared towards documents for presentations and advertising in which visual images are key, easily surpassing MS Word's capabilities.

    Next: Introduction

    Table of Contents