Docstoc releases Docshots: A pop-up document viewer

The new service puts little pop-up previews on linked up Web documents.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

Docstoc has a new service for site owners that makes Web documents more readily accessible. Called Docshots, it presents any linked document in a pop-up viewer that site visitors can read without leaving the page.

If you've ever seen the pop-up thumbnail previews from Snap.com, the idea behind Docshots is the same. You simply hover your mouse over the link and the viewer pops up. Presumably the people visiting your page won't leave and forget to come back if they can read it right there. It also cuts down on any embedded Docstoc Flash viewers that can slow page load times.

To install Docshots, site owners must drop in special code into the body of their site's template. Once it's been added, the tool goes live on all your pages, both new and old. Like Snap's previews, links that have been given the Docshots treatment get a little orange page logo beside them to let you know it's not a normal URL.

While convenient, this new service isn't something I'd put on my own blog. I find Snap's preview service distracting, and with Docshots it's not just a site thumbnail--it's an entire document. I will give a nod to its simplicity though. It's a noble attempt at trying to rid Web pages of embedded Flash documents--something that unlike videos, are hard to enjoy when not viewed in full-screen.

Here's a demo of how it works: