Posted by: Bob Pfeiffer | June 16, 2009

Documents to Go for iPhone

Dataviz has just announced Documents to Go for the iPhone. I used this application on my Palm units and I loved it. It was very robust and allowed full editing of all kinds of Office files. The simple iPhone version is $4.99 and at this point you can only edit Word files but they are offering free upgrades and Excel editing will be next.  They also offer a version for $9.99 that includes “Exchange Attachments”.

I purchased the $4.99 version and downloaded it onto my iPhone and here is a mini-review.

Overall, it looks really nice. Very professional and easy to navigate. You start off with 2 folders – Local Files and Desktop Files. Local Files are files created on the iPhone that reside only there. Desktop Files are files that reside on both your iPhone and on your desktop and they are synced to be the same so if you change the file in either location, the other will stay the same. I haven’t loaded the included desktop client for syncing so I will have to review that later.

You can view all Office documents including Word (Older versions and 2007/2008), Excel and PowerPoint as well as iWork files, pdf, text files, HTML and various image files. They have sample Word, Excel, PowerPoint, pdf and text docs and they all look very nice. I haven’t imported one of my docs to see how much formatting is kept but in the Palm version they did an excellent job (even better than Microsoft’s mobile office suite). You can view all docs in portrait or landscape.

Creating a document is easy. Just tap the “new document” icon and you are presented with a blank screen and the keyboard pops up. You can edit in portrait or landscape but landscape only shows you a couple of lines of text at a time so it may not be the easiest to navigate even though the keyboard is much easier to use effectively in this orientation. There is a strip along the bottom with icons with the following functions:  Save/Save As, Cut/Copy/Paste, Character Formatting, Paragraph Formatting, Bullets and Numbering, Indents, Search, Zoom, Go To, Undo/Redo, Word Count, File Properties. The strip shows you 5 icons in portrait view and 8 icons in landscape view but you can drag the bar left or right to see the next group of icons. Tapping an icon brings up further icons that give you the choices for that function. For example if you hit the Character Formatting icon, you get 5 new icons for Bold, Italics, Underline, Font Colour, Shading Colour. The only thing that I see missing is the ability to change font size and type.

There is a keyboard button that brings up or closes the keyboard as you desire. You can double tap on a word to highlight it and triple tap to highlight a paragraph. You can also tap and hold on the screen and when the magnifying glass “pulses”, you can drag it to highlight sections of text. Pretty slick IMHO. To save a document, you can tap on the Save icon which allows you to save or “save as” or you can exit the document and it will prompt you to save.

The files list allows you to sort it by File name, Last Modified, Size or Type.  Currently there are only a few settings including the default New File Format (Office 97-2002 or 2007-2008).

This is a good start and based on past reputation, we can expect a lot more functionality including Excel editing and allowing you to add your documents to an email other than using Exchange. Documents to Go for the Palm was a highly rated excellent tool for viewing and editing all forms of Office documents and I fully expect the iPhone version to be as well.

You can find more info on Documents to Go for the iPhone here.


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