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Documents To Go Professional Edition 4.0 review:

Documents To Go Professional Edition 4.0

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The Good Synchronizes and lets you edit Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, images, e-mail attachments, and charts between your PC and your handheld.

The Bad Doesn't let you update PowerPoint presentations on the handheld; bundled versions include confusing add-on kit options; expensive.

The Bottom Line Documents To Go is the most complete product available for managing Office documents on your Palm device. It's a must-have for anyone who regularly uses both a Palm and Microsoft Office.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

By Josh Wynd and Rick Broida
(Updated 5/30/02)

DataViz Documents To Go Professional Edition 4.0 integrates Microsoft Office, including Office XP, with your Palm better than ever before. With version 4.0, you can view and edit Word and Excel documents and spreadsheets on your handheld as easily as you can in Office on your desktop. Plus, its newly updated and included add-on kit lets you view PDF files, e-mail attachments, photos, and Excel charts. If you use Microsoft Office and carry a Palm, don't leave home without Documents To Go; it's a decidedly worthwhile investment despite its relatively high cost. By Josh Wynd and Rick Broida
(Updated 5/30/02)

DataViz Documents To Go Professional Edition 4.0 integrates Microsoft Office, including Office XP, with your Palm better than ever before. With version 4.0, you can view and edit Word and Excel documents and spreadsheets on your handheld as easily as you can in Office on your desktop. Plus, its newly updated and included add-on kit lets you view PDF files, e-mail attachments, photos, and Excel charts. If you use Microsoft Office and carry a Palm, don't leave home without Documents To Go; it's a decidedly worthwhile investment despite its relatively high cost.

Pricey proposal
Whether you download Docs To Go Professional Edition or buy it in a box, you'll shell out a surprising $69.95. If, however, you need to access only Word and Excel documents and don't want to view PowerPoint files, you're in luck: DataViz now offers a $49.95 Standard Edition. It's worth noting that many of the latest Palm handhelds, including the i705, the m130, and the m515, come bundled with Documents To Go, as do some Sony CLIE models. However, different models come with different versions, and the price of the add-on kit varies accordingly, from nothing to $29.95. See the DataViz Web site for details.

Options galore, except for presentations
Documents To Go quickly installs its three main components: a desktop application for managing documents, a conduit that automatically syncs documents between your PC and your handheld, and the handheld applications themselves. The main editing app, called Documents, lets you view and edit all document types on your handheld and even beam your docs and a viewer to other Palm users. Don't need to edit on your Palm device? Docs To Go's installation dialog also gives you the option of installing smaller, view-only Word and Excel viewers.

Unfortunately, you can't edit presentations on the handheld, but the Word To Go and Sheet To Go components include extensive editing features. Sheet To Go supports more than 110 functions, from standard arithmetic operators to basic text manipulation, all in a familiar Excel-like format. When you synchronize, Sheet To Go updates your desktop spreadsheets with any changes made to Excel data on your handheld. Plus, thanks to SmartChart, a new tool in the add-on kit, you can view charts and graphs of spreadsheet data.

Weak on Word and high-res screen support
Word To Go's toolbar may not be as sophisticated as competitor WordSmith Pro 2.0's, for example, it lacks font support and paragraph formatting options, but it's a snap to use for basic editing and formatting. We're particularly impressed by Word To Go's ability to render tables accurately; it does a much better job than WordSmith.

Regrettably, neither Word To Go nor Sheet To Go supports the higher-resolution screens of Sony's CLIE series, which would fit a great deal more table and worksheet data on the screen. While we wouldn't be surprised to see high-res support in a future version of Documents To Go, turn to Quicksheet or TinySheet for better spreadsheet display.

As it should for such a pricey product, DataViz offers free, but not toll-free, phone support during weekday business hours. There's also an extensive, searchable knowledge base at the company's Web site. One gripe: it's very difficult to find the right link if you want to send e-mail to technical support.

If Microsoft Office is your bread and butter and you need to work with files on the road, Documents To Go is your best bet for Palm handhelds. It's easy to use, powerful, and worth every penny.

Take me back to the roundup

Sheets To Go maintains all the formatting from your desktop spreadsheets.

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