Mac users should already be familiar with ClarisWorks. Now the Windows 95 crowd can reap the benefits too. The latest version, ClarisWorks 4.0 Internet Edition, combines Web page design with its all-in-one productivity package. It also includes a word processor, spreadsheet and graphics capabilities. One of the main benefits of the program is its ability to switch between each of the three components within the same page–without launching a separate application.
ClarisWorks’ design is especially geared toward novice computer users. Claris Home Page 2.0, included in this version, makes designing Web pages easy for people who don’t know how to code them. There’s no need to learn HTML, although experienced Web designers will find frames, tables, HTML editing and multimedia plug-in support at their fingertips.
Perhaps the most beneficial feature of the ClarisWorks Internet Edition is its relatively compact size. Many full-blown office suites such as Microsoft Office and Word Perfect Suite can take up to 250 MB of your hard drive, while ClarisWorks requires a meager 51MB for a full installation. As for cost, Microsoft Office 97 retails for around $599 while ClarisWorks is only $100. Unless you absolutely need the features of a true office suite and have the hard drive space, consider this alternative.