Software keeps documents on the go

Road warriors who dislike the bulk of notebooks will perk up when they hear about DataViz Inc.'s latest software.

Documents To Go 4.0 enables users to create, view and edit Microsoft Corp. Word and Excel documents on a Palm Inc. or Palm OS-powered handheld such as a Handspring Visor, IBM Corp. WorkPad or Sony Corp. Clio. And with this new version, users can view Microsoft PowerPoint files (but not edit them).

Documents To Go 4.0 also includes expansion card support. Documents, spreadsheets and presentations can be saved onto MultiMediaCard or Secure Digital media, which can then be used as a miniature floppy disk for sharing. The program supports beaming as well, so you can easily transfer any of your Documents To Go files to another handheld.

In addition to those features, the package contains special viewer programs that compress large Word and Excel documents for quick and easy viewing. An add-on kit contains two additional products:

* DataViz Mail, which allows you to view e-mail attachments on the Palm OS and works with Microsoft's Outlook and Outlook Express and Lotus Development Corp.'s Notes.

* PDF To Go, which allows you to view Adobe Systems Inc. Acrobat PDF files.

With the PowerPoint viewer, called Slideshow To Go, you can navigate your presentation in outline, speaker notes and slide show views. The slide show view includes graphics and all formatting. Take note, however, that this program requires PowerPoint 97, 2000 or XP.

Sheet To Go, the spreadsheet application, is compatible with Lotus 1-2-3 and Quattro Pro in addition to Excel. It supports more than 110 functions, including logical, financial and statistical work. You can create and edit formulas, format cells and recalculate data. Other functions include inserting and deleting rows, columns and new sheets.

One special feature of Documents To Go is its DocSync technology, which allows you to make changes to a document on the handheld without losing original formatting features such as paragraph styles, text boxes and embedded objects.

Those features can't be edited on the handheld, but basic text formatting is available, including justification, bold, italics and underline. Font size also can be changed, but only two sizes are available: small, which translates to 12-point text on the desktop; and large, which translates to 16-point text.

All of the Documents To Go programs are easy to use and intuitive to navigate. They are also fast — we experienced no delays even when viewing PowerPoint files. The desktop software is easy to use as well. To synchronize documents to a handheld, simply drag the file into the Documents To Go window on the desktop. The desktop application then converts the file into Palm-compatible format and synchronizes everything during the next HotSync.

Documents To Go is compatible with Windows 95/98, 2000, NT 4.0 and Me. On the handheld, it requires Palm OS 3.0 or higher, except Slideshow To Go, which requires Palm OS 3.1.

The package is also compatible with Apple Computer Inc. Macintosh systems, although the DataViz Mail feature is not available for Mac users.

Palm will bundle Documents To Go 4.0 free with the purchase of a Palm m500 series handheld. Customers who have already purchased Documents To Go 3.0 or a Palm m500 series handheld can download Version 4.0 free of charge up to 30 days from the date of purchase at www.dataviz.com.

Documents To Go may not deliver a lot of bells and whistles, but it does a simple job — and for some users, a critical job — very well. For those who want to move supported data files to their handheld computer, Documents To Go is a must buy.

REPORT CARD

Documents To Go Professional Edition 4.0

DataViz Inc.
(800) 733-0030
www.dataviz.com

Price and availability: Documents To Go costs $70 and is available from several retail outlets including Staples, Office Depot and CompUSA. It is also available through online resellers, mail-order catalogs or directly from DataViz.


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