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Trellix debuts document tool

The start-up, cofounded by industry veteran Dan Bricklin, launches a document creation tool designed for the Web era.

A Waltham, Massachusetts-based start-up is offering business users a new, Weblike way to create and view documents.

Led by industry veteran Dan Bricklin, Trellix aims to give users a new office application that makes business documents look like Web pages, complete with links and graphics.

Bricklin, co-creator in the 1970s of the first electronic spreadsheet called VisiCalc, said the software addresses the needs of users creating longer documents, such as white papers and user manuals. In the age of email and HTML, those documents are still created the old-fashioned way, by writing multipage documents that usually wind up as email attachments that must be printed out for optimal viewing.

Trellix is the first document creation application created in the Web era with online viewing in mind, said Bricklin, cofounder and chief technology officer. "People now have too much stuff to read and not enough time to read it."

The software lets users create complex documents that can be easily navigated and viewed electronically, either in an HTML format or though a special Trellix reader.

Trellix version 1.0 is currently in beta and available for free download from the company's Web site or for $9.95 on CD-ROM. The full version will debut this fall.

A typical user might include a summary of a business proposal, for example, with links to more detailed explanations or supporting graphics like pie charts. Company officials said they hope the new software will enable business computer users to more clearly articulate their vision through a Weblike interface.

Trellix 1.0 is compatible with current office applications.

Besides Bricklin, Trellix has snagged other industry veterans, including CEO Russ Werner, a former Microsoft and Sybase executive.