CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Tech Industry

Microsoft tool adds interactive touch

Microsoft offers a new authoring tool for its office productivity suite that allows users to add interactive features to documents giving them Web page-like pizzazz.

Microsoft has launched a new authoring tool for its office productivity suite that allows users to add interactive features to documents giving them Web page-like pizzazz.

Vizact 2000 allows users to create HTML documents or enhance existing documents in Microsoft's desktop productivity applications, like Word and Excel.

Vizact is based on the HTML Time specification, which was sponsored by Microsoft, Macromedia, and Compaq Computer. Using this protocol, design elements--such as a headline or chart--could disappear or appear after a specified time interval.

"No scripting knowledge is needed to add these features to the documents," said Karl Jacob, product unit manager for Vizact.

Jacob said the new tool lets users control when elements such as text, pictures, audio, and video appear and disappear, allowing users to use space in the document more efficiently and allowing users to cut down on "information overload."

Vizact will also be compatible with Office 97 files, according to Jacob.

For example, Vizact 2000 users can add a feature called interactive bullets to transform a lengthy, two-page list of products and descriptions into an activated page that is half as long.

Another feature, called table highlights, makes table data easier to read by highlighting the row and column beneath a user's on-screen mouse pointer.

The automotion feature uses motion to attract readers' attention to key points. Predefined paths help users get started, or they can record their own paths.

Microsoft has posted a free preview of Vizact 2000 on its Web site. The preview expires on July 31, 1999. Priced at $149, Vizact will start shipping in August.