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Palm Office Suites
Posted Feb. 2004 by Tanker Bob -- Page 3, continued

QuickOffice Premier 7.1.57 from Mobility Electronics

Mobility Electronics markets a number of Palm applications. QuickSheet began as one of their early staples back when it was made by Cutting Edge Software. To start down the suite road, they acquired the rights to a Palm doc editor called Smartdoc--probably the best in its class back then. QuickOffice grew from those humble beginnings to a full-blown suite today. Today, Quickoffice is a Mobility Electronics product.

QuickOffice consists of three separate apps. Each has an identical opening file screen. A toolbar at the bottom provides access to standard file functions. The icon on the far right selects the file type displayed--QuickOffice or MS Office format. All parts have corresponding menus in their MS Office counterparts for easy management of synced documents. Rather than one conduit for the entire suite, QuickOffice uses three separate conduits-one for each app.

QuickWord grew out of Smartdoc. Yes, it will import MS Word documents through its conduit, but doesn't support graphics. Tables come through fine. QuickWord reads and edits native MS Word files with no problems, including tables, but doesn't display pictures. When these files first open, QuickWord starts in a non-edit mode. Unique to this review, QuickWord supports importation, creation, and operation of hyperlinks. Unlike WordToGo, unsupported formatting on the handheld is not necessarily preserved on the desktop. QuickWord handles fonts using FontBucket.

Documents created in Quickword cannot duplicate complex features like tables. Essentially, QuickWord added text formatting to the doc editor, along with spell checking and a thesaurus. A unique feature in Quickword allows it to capitalize the first letter after punctuation. This had to be provided in the app since it had to replace the native Palm text fields as discussed in the review's intro. None of the other word processors here that replace the Palm fields would do that. CES licensed the spell checker and thesaurus from DDH Software, just as Blue Nomad did for WordSmith. All normal text and paragraph formatting, bulleted and numbered lists, etc., can be accessed from the icons on the toolbars, including text and line colors as well as bookmarking. There's even a tool for teleprompter style scrolling.

QuickSheet proudly displays its lineage as a stand-alone application. While it had no problem importing MS Excel workbooks without embedded charts, it also would have no difficulty in creating those same sheets on the Palm. However, it stripped embedded charts during conversion both on the desktop and on the PDA. It also wouldn't display charts embedded in native Excel format.

Similar to QuickWord, QuickSheet put all common formatting on the bottom toolbar, including text and line color. It supports f(x) insertions with helpful hints that the user replaces with actual data. In an attempt to be more Excel-like, QuickSheet sports large graphical row and column labels, but they take up considerable room on the screen. Whereas other spreadsheets could display four columns of data on identical spreadsheets, QuickSheet could only display three columns. Sorts are limited to single columns. Fonts cannot be selected for size, only type. The zoom function determines the text size in the display.

QuickSlide imports PowerPoint presentations from the desktop, converting them for use on the PDA. Native PowerPoint slides cannot be viewed on the handheld. Slides can include charts and/or pictures thanks to a picture viewer included with QuickOffice. However, that viewer doesn't work with the other parts of QuickOffice. QuickSlide features three views: chart, slide sorter, and notes view. Slides can be zoomed in or out for optimal view.

At $39.95, QuickOffice Premier covers the MS Office programs in one package. Total RAM hit on the handheld amounts to just over 2MB without the examples.

Pros:
Handles the entire MS Office suite
Nice spreadsheet
Hyperlink and table support
Native Word and Excel support
Good spell checker and thesaurus

Cons:
Doesn't support pictures/graphics in QuickWord
Editing on Handheld cannot duplicate imported documents

 

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