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Software Publishing will use its intelligent formatting technology to give users of the upcoming Office 97 a way to convert text to graphics.

Software Publishing will use its intelligent formatting technology to give users of the upcoming Office 97 a way to convert text to graphics.

The company (SPCO) is adapting the intelligent formatting engine from its ASAP WordPower presentation graphics program to create ActiveOffice for Microsoft Office 97. ActiveOffice, a plug-in tool that will ship separately from the Office 97 suite, will allow users to create charts, graphs, and other visual tools using highlighted text or data in Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Exchange Mail.

For example, a user can highlight a column of numbers in Excel and instantly convert them into a pie chart. ActiveOffice will appear in the interface of the four programs as a button that calls up tool palettes.

A beta of ActiveOffice will be available from Software Publishing's Web site in early October. The product will ship for an estimated price of $50 when Office 97 ships in the fourth quarter.

Microsoft also recently licensed Software Publishing's ASAP WebShow, an Internet presentation viewer, to bundle as an ActiveX control with Internet Explorer 3.0.