The World’s Greatest Classic Books
The World’s Greatest Classic Books is Corel Corporation’s CD Home new and improved edition of Library of the Future (World Library, reviewed in Vol 1, No 1). It was an impressive CD-ROM back then, but Corel has added some excellent new features which make zipping around the 3500 included works even easier. The interface is terrific. You can scroll through tabbed catalog lists arranged by Author, Subject, or Title; each catalog has a drop down list that will help narrow your search (all Female Authors, for instance, in the Author catalogue or Magic in the Subject catalog). Searching is made even easier with the Find and Find Wizard catalogs. The weakest catalog is Portfolio, which contains a small number of videos, pictures/drawings of authors, and illustrations. You can annotate anything, anywhere, and you can also highlight text in different colors. Very neat. And unlike most multimedia titles, when you maximize the viewer application, the text expands to fit as much screen real-estate as you have available, which makes it much more comfortable to read text on screen. Any time you change the size of the application box, or close the “catalog” lists, the text automatically expands to display at the largest possible size. There’s also a clever and adjustable automatic scroll button, which allows you to sit back and read at you own pace. Once activated, the rate of the scroll can be adjusted up or down. Printing allows you to print the book, a range of pages, the selection, any annotations, or you can save text to the clipboard by clicking on the Word Processor icon. If the content of the CD-ROM was garbage, of course all of these features would be pointless, but fortunately the selection of work is first-rate. You’ll find all of Shakespeare, lots of Twain, Dickens, Swift, Tolstoy; historical documents like The Gettysburg Address, Magna Carta, The US Constitution; religious works including The Koran, The King James Version of the Bible, and on and on. Finally, you have instant access to The American Heritage Dictionary for word definitions. No question – you get a lot of bang for your buck with this package. A techie note: If you search the CD for a word, say leather, it will list all works with leather and move to the first. But it isn’t clear how to jump to the next hit (in a given topic or in the next). It turns out it’s the Windows standard key, F3, but this isn’t on any dialog or menu. It’s documented in the Help file.
– February 1996