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Documents To Go Sheet: Excelling at Spreadsheets Print E-mail
Written by Richard Bloor   
Thursday, 08 September 2005
Documents To Go delivers Word and Excel file editing and PowerPoint viewing for UIQ phones. In our second look at DataViz Documents To Go, we examine its ability to display and edit spreadsheets on a Sony Ericsson P910.

In our first review of Documents To Go, we looked at this application's ability to edit Word documents on a UIQ phone. In this follow-up review, we look at the second of the three document types Documents To Go can handle, namely spreadsheets.

Although Documents To Go Sheet appears as a separate application, it delivers an identical file list screen to its Word stable mate. The file list includes features to open, create, copy, move, delete, rename or send files; along with options to sort the file list and view files by category. As noted with Word, a facility to sort files by date would be a useful addition. Sheet also incorporates the same powerful search that allows text to be found within file names and file content, which it does with remarkably efficiently.

The file list screen also offers quick links to Word and Slide, a brief set of help files and the ability to zoom the list font through three levels.

On opening a file, Sheet's screen displays the content of the spreadsheet above a cell edit window and a shortcut toolbar. Basic display options are limited to the usual Documents To Go three level zoom. The sheet is navigated using either the on-screen scroll bars or the Jog Dial, which scrolls through the rows in a column.

Unlike Word, an opened spreadsheet is available immediately for editing (rather than requiring an edit mode to be selected). Sheet certainly excels here with its range of edit and format options.

Creating and editing formula is done in the cell edit window. Obviously if you have an encyclopedic knowledge of Excel formula you can simply type them in, remembering that Sheet supports 111 built-in operators. For those who do not carry this knowledge, Sheet includes an fx button that allows operators to be selected and pasted into the formula. There is also a quick sum option on the toolbar.

Where Sheet encounters a spreadsheet that includes functions it does not support the sheet is made available in a read only mode. This is presumably to ensure that there are no holes in the promise of DataViz's InTact technology, of which more later.

Features to perform actions such as inserting sheets, rows or columns are available both from the menu and pop-up menus. The pop-up menus obtained by tapping on the row or column headings include options to freeze the pane (but only on the selected row or column), return to the first (home) cell in the row or column as well as select and then insert, delete or hide a row or column.

Similarly, the intersection point on the title rows provides quick access to find, home (cell A1) and the format sheet option.

The find option provides features for searching in either the current workbook or all workbooks in the sheet.

The format sheet options allow the sheet to be renamed and sheet protection to be turned on or off.

Equally powerful are the cell formatting options. Spread over three tab pages they cover number format, font and alignment. The number format capabilities include the main format options (only accounting, faction, special and custom are missing) with additional features, such as thousand separators or date formats, shown for each format style as they are selected. The font options include all the common font and text style features along with color and the cell lock options. Alignment is the most limited feature, offering simple horizontal alignment options.

One of the key claims made by DataViz for Documents To Go Sheet (and Word) is that their InTact technology means that documents edited on a smartphone return to the PC application with their content and formatting unaltered, except of course where it has been explicitly changed on the UIQ phone. For the spreadsheets we edited while preparing this review the claim certainly held true. Formulas, formatting, pivot tables and graphs (which Sheet does not display) stayed intact during round trip editing.

Documents To Go Sheet is certainly the most powerful Excel compatible editor currently available for UIQ devices. The one feature missing feature which would be nice to have is support for charts, but aside from that Documents To Go should satisfy most on-the go spreadsheet requirements. The interface is well thought out and pane freezing provides a very good method for minimizing some of the ergonomic issues associated with navigating a spreadsheet on a small, portrait screen. InTact technology means that editing can be undertaken with the confidence that, back on a PC, the spreadsheet will remain correctly formatted and usable. While the absence of more advanced operators will limit its use for more specialist calculations, day-to-day business spreadsheeting should be handled with ease.

Documents To Go is part of the Documents To Go for Symbian UIQ suite available for DataViz's web site or Handango for $49.99. Customers using a competitive Office solution can qualify for special limited-time upgrade pricing of US$29.99. Contact DataViz for more information or visit www.dataviz.com/intact.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 11 October 2005 )


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