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.
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:
Indeed, when an old format file(SheetToGo, WordToGo, etc) manages to stick around somehow; DocumentsToGo 9 refuses to open it:
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:
However, clicking the file browser button in the bottom tool bar opens the new file manager view:
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…
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):
SheetToGo also got the new look – and it also inherited the TrueType font system covered above. This image shows the clarity problem:
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:
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:
‹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:
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:
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:
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:
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!