DataViz’s Documents To Go always was the most useable office suite for the Palm OS. It didnt always have all the features of the competition(especially MobiSystems OfficeSuite), but was extremely easy to use. Documents to Go 9 is intended to close the gap – lets see how it fares.

Upgrading
When installing DocumentsToGo, you are asked to sync all files to the desktop. In addition, you get the following dialog stating that various file formats are no longer supported. I was shocked to see that GIF was kicked off the list – Kristen from DataViz told me that very few customers used it:
 Documents To Go 9   the review
Indeed, when an old format file(SheetToGo, WordToGo, etc) manages to stick around somehow; DocumentsToGo 9 refuses to open it:
 Documents To Go 9   the review  Documents To Go 9   the review

InTact technology
Documents To Go always lived off its(usually excellent…that is until stuff got 50 pages long) desktop conduit for keeping the file formatting intact. Dataviz’s Intact technology now eliminates the conversion process and the “DataViz proprietary” formats – its all native now. The technology is said to preserve formatting(worked well for me so far) – a detailled test of this can be done on request!

The main screen
DocumentsToGo is a classic Hub – and – spoke style application. The ‘hub’ always was problematic as it only offered a list of files. Starting DocumentsToGo 9 still shows the hub list:
 Documents To Go 9   the review
However, clicking the file browser button in the bottom tool bar opens the new file manager view:
 Documents To Go 9   the review

Word to Go
Word to go is the word processing module of Documents To Go 9. The font rendering seems to be a bit less clear than it was in the last version – apperently, Agfa’s iType font rendering engine uses greyscale “antialiasing” – a technology that does not work together well with my half-blind eye(it prefers black on white text, dont ask me why). Zooming still happens in three predefined steps…
 Documents To Go 9   the review
The main improvements in Word to Go are shown in the menu below – and only Split Screen Moder can actually be used with documents created on the handheld(all other ones only allow you to work with files created on a desktop):
 Documents To Go 9   the review  Documents To Go 9   the review

SheetToGo
SheetToGo also got the new look – and it also inherited the TrueType font system covered above. This image shows the clarity problem:
 Documents To Go 9   the review
SheetToGo’s biggest improvement was the addition of XY-Scatter-Charts. These charts are needed to display the results of some computations. Additionally, charts can now be zoomed in and out in three levels:
 Documents To Go 9   the review  Documents To Go 9   the review  Documents To Go 9   the review
The TrueType support in SheetToGo simply means that the program can display a select few fonts. There seems to be no way to add extra fonts like one can do with MobiSystems:
 Documents To Go 9   the review

‹b›SlideShow To Go‹/b›
SlideShow to Go is DataViz’s PowerPoint component. It also got the new look/feel, and can now edit native ppt files:
 Documents To Go 9   the review
The impressive thing about the rendering is its clarity – look at the following two pictures of a Visio OLE object(great progress from V8, which already was much better than V7) and a slide head:
 Documents To Go 9   the review  Documents To Go 9   the review

Printing
I recently had my Epson Stylus Color 740 repaired for use with the Palm Tungsten T3 – only to find out that Bachmann Software’s PrintBoy can’t print native files:
 Documents To Go 9   the review

Since DocumentsToGo 9 doesnt support the ‘proprietary Dataviz’ files anymore, printing is not possible with it. However, according to Kristen, an update of PrintBoy is expected soon.

Compatibility, memory requirements
We already covered that in our Preview – find it here:
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2006/10/18/documentstogo-9-released-review-coming-soon/

Overall, reviewing Documents To Go 9 was an interesting experience. The design of the program has become much more “business-like” and dark, a thing that I like very much. The file manager – my main annoyance with previous versions – is now integrated; and the suite has become much more usable by that. InTact technology seems to work very well(more tests on request) – if you want to finally ditch your desktop completely, this is the way to go. The other features essentially add tiny bits here and there – but with those features also come problems. Documents To Go 9 no longer has the clearest text of all Office suites, and also lags a bit in landscape mode.

A 14day trial is available here – look at it yourself and tell us what you think!

Related posts:

  1. Documents to Go Version 11 released
  2. DocumentsToGo 9 released – review coming soon!
  3. Documents to Go for webOS delayed significantly
  4. Documents To Go for the iPhone?
  5. Documents to Go hits webOS

13 Responses to “Documents To Go 9 – the review”

  1. I’m interested in further tests of the Intact technology.

    Does Slideshow To Go support full screen view of the PPT file now, without menu bar,… ?

  2. Does Word To Go are able to include image now ? I’m looking for a good onboard text editor that can include image but i ve found any.

  3. If there’s no native DTG format, do the Word .doc files load faster than DTG7?

    T|X’s DTG is awfully slow loading Word files.

  4. No more support for Rich Text (RTF) either?

    OTOH, when has DTG EVER been able to open WordPerfect? My version 8 sure can’t.

  5. Also, is the new file browser built in, or is it just Palm’s Files app (from T5 etc.) now invoked by an icon?

    I can already invoke Files from the DTG v.8 “Open” menu.

  6. Swamp Thing, the File Browser is only in the LD and T5, I think (maybe in the TE2 too?). It is not in the TX for instance.

    So Dataviz included their own file browser, I guess, independant from the device.

  7. “Does Word To Go are able to include image now ? I’m looking for a good onboard text editor that can include image but i ve found any.”

    Try MobiSystems Docs, they are able
    http://www.mobi-systems.com/product-info.asp?ID=136

  8. I should have tried before I bought :(
    It was too big, so I opted to install on SD card; card was not plugged in and the hotsync hung; I had to kill the PC conduit from task manager and reset the handheld. Freed up memory, tried again, hot-sync message that one .prc not installed. Freed more memory and tried again. With 1Mb free, cannot open/view a picture – not enough memory. Freed more memory, opened picture, fatal error – reset. Now have perpetual “Insufficent memory” error; reset required. And so on. I had several fatal errors, and about six or seven resets.
    Caution: If you elect to install to SD card, you might ALSO find them installed in handheld as well – something strange and non-obvious with the installation program.
    Now that it works (I use the term loosely) it is s o s l o w . On my TE (yes, it is a slow device) “- Start Here -.doc” document takes 36 seconds to load!!!!! A tiny text file on the card took 33 seconds to load. The older version I was using was soooo much nicer.

  9. Hi,
    lets get answering:

    a) Full screen is possible on my T3 in landscape mode – works nicely…

    b) Image inclusion is not possible…as said, go MobiSystems on this one

    c) Speed is decent on my Tungsten T3. Did you try overclocking your TE?

    d) WordPerfect was desktop only…

    e) If you find remainders of apps on the RAM, just do Manage Applications from the Menu. I do that on my Treo once a day with DocsToGo8.

    Any more questions?

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  10. For some reason I can not use the file browser at all on my Lifedrive. Everytime I try to do so it gives me an error message:

    Database: can’t open (Dm0206)

    and then a blank screen. DTG will then open with a blank screen and the same message and will not work until I do a complete uninstall and reinstall. I submitted a trouble ticket to Dataviz on Friday but so far no response. I even did a hard reset of my device and then reinstalled. Same problem. Otherwise it seems to work fine.

    This may or may not be related.

    I can not use drive mode on my Lifedrive for the last month or so. It gives me a blue screen of Death in Windows XP and an error about USB. No clue as to what either of these problems are.

    My configuration:

    LD with 2GB SD Card, Sandisk Ultra II.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    BTW, I removed the SD card… And still get the same issue. Likewise, I have did extensive troubleshooting, including the afforementioned hard reset.having paid an exorbitant amount for the DTG upgrade, I am not at all happy I can not use one of the key new features. Other than this issue though, I love the package and even turned down a pirated serial to buy the packaged. Since I sent my report in on Friday, I will wait until monday before I get pissed with Dataviz, but I hope they dont send me the same lame time wasting solution of reinstall, since I have done it 20 times already!

  11. Hi David,
    should I link you up with the press department of DataViz?

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  12. I have the same problem. I installed Docs to Go 9 in my Lifedrive and it was working fine until I clicked on the “toggle view” icon. I got the error message “Database: can’t open (DM0206) and I get that message every time I want to run the application.

    I uninstalled DTG with Dataviz utility and then reinstalled it but it fixes until I use the “toggle view” icon. Please tell me if you know how to fix this problem.

  13. You can’t hold Shift to select text with the keyboard (to highlight, cut and paste, or something like that). You have to touch the screen to select text, which is a pain. Microsoft Word uses Shift to select text, and previous versions of Docs to Go had this feature, so I’m surprised to not find it here.

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