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Subject:First Report on Corel Ventura 5 From:"George F. Hayhoe III" <george -dot- hayhoe -at- SRS -dot- GOV> Date:Sun, 27 Nov 1994 13:41:00 -0400
I've just successfully installed and run Corel Ventura 5, and I must admit
that I'm considerably more impressed than I expected to be. What follows
are some initial impressions; more details will follow in another message
after I've used the product to do some real work.
First, make sure you've got a powerful machine to run this monster on! My
16 MHz 386 with 8 MB of RAM was not up to the challenge--it took nearly 5
minutes to load the program and 3.5 to load a 30-page chapter file with no
graphics. Fortunately, these statistics provided the oomph to convince my
management to upgrade my team's hardware--so now we've all got 66 MHz 486s
with 16 MB of RAM :) (BTW, on my new machine, Corel Ventura 5 loads in
about 1.5 minutes, less than a third the time required on the old 386
Ventura's interface has been completely redesigned, but if you're a veteran
user of Corel Draw and Word for Windows, lots of the elements of Ventura's
new look will be familiar. Still, I expect a fairly steep learning curve
to get accustomed to the location of commands, etc. Also, the publication,
not the chapter, is now the basic Ventura component. Single- and
multi-chapter publications are supported, and search and replace operations
work across the entire publication. New publication management tools are
also included and should make life easier for those of us who work on large
projects which re-use parts of existing publications.
There are also many more enhancements than I had been led to expect.
(Corel's been running a full-page product feature comparison ad in the
trades and even _USA_Today_ the past month or so, and a glance at this ad
shows that Ventura 5's features beat FrameMaker, Quark XPress, and
PageMaker hands down.) Many color support improvements are included, as
well as local override of paragraph formatting, tabbed dialog boxes, fully
user-definable zooms, a text editor, thesaurus, automatic typo correction
(like MS Word's), standard ANSI Windows character set and Windows
accelerator keys, and much, much more. Best of all, a new utility supports
import of Word and WordPerfect files with style sheet tags intact, as well
as import of and export to SGML (haven't tried these features yet, but I'm
eager to see how well they work).
The online help seems to be very well done and includes a tutorial that
should help users get up to speed on the new version.
As far as I can tell, about the only thing missing is MDI (multiple
document interface--that is, multiple open chapter) support. Also, the
print documentation seems to leave a lot to be desired. Organization struck
me as haphazard, coverage is sometimes superficial, and the index is
I'm looking forward to the usual holiday slowdown in my department to
explore this new Ventura release. So far, I'm as excited about this one as
I was about Ventura 2.0 (now that was an upgrade, wasn't it, Ventura
--George Hayhoe (george -dot- hayhoe -at- srs -dot- gov)
Assistant to the President for Recognition Programs, STC