Palm Infocenter.com Bottom Line:
- If you know Excel, you know Quicksheet
- Sync Excel documents with Quicksheet
- 60 built-in functions
- Pretty good graphing app, too
- Setting up to Sync a bit complicated
- Less-than-stellar Mac Support
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Quicksheet 5.0 Review
Ed Hardy (email@example.com)
Do you eat spreadsheets for breakfast? Is you back aching from dragging a laptop around everywhere you go
so you can access the data you have to have? Or even worse, do you keep having to call someone at the office to look up a simple number? Then Cutting Edge Software's Quicksheet 5.0 will free you from endless
hassles and let you do your job. This is a very full-featured app that lets you take your Excel
spreadsheets with you, edit them on the road, then sync them with Excel when you get back.
After you launch the app for the first time, you are presented a list of example workbooks to show you how it is done. If you aren't interested in these, just select "New" and you are off and running. Your
workbooks can have up to 15 worksheets with 996 rows by 254 columns per sheet which is probably much, much
more than you would ever want on a Palm-sized screen. Quicksheet deals with files in a way very familiar
to all of us. You can open, close, save, and save-as just like you do on your desktop.
The screen for editing worksheets will be familiar to everyone who knows Excel, except the controls are
along the bottom of the screen rather than the top. But still, there is the familiar line where you enter
data and checkmark and X buttons to submit or delete your work. There is also a very handy drop-down box
to let select any of the 60 or so built-in scientific, financial, statistical, date & time, lookup, and aggregate functions Quicksheet supports. To the right of that are arrows to allow you to move around in large sheets. You'll be using these a lot because any spreadsheet worth its salt is going to be much bigger than a Palm's screen. To make the job of moving around easier, you can set a preference that will let you use the Address and To-Do buttons to move you right and left and you always use the Up and Down buttons.
Above the controls is the worksheet itself. You can change the size of columns by dragging the edges and even freeze columns so they always appear on screen. In one of my few peeves with this app, you can't
make a column editable and always on screen. One of the spreadsheets I use is my checkbook. I want to be always able to see the column with the descriptions in it, but if I freeze it, I can't add any new
At the top of the screen on the right is a drop-down box listing the worksheets in this workbook. Next to
it is a handy set of arrows to make switching between adjacent workbooks a breeze.
Quicksheet comes with a conduit to sync your workbooks with Excel's. This is controlled through an application called the Quicksheet desktop that runs on your desktop. In it you specify which Excel files, if any, link to which Quicksheet files. You then use the Hot Sync manager to control whether the two files synchronize, the desktop file overwrites the handheld, the handheld file overwrite the desktop's, or simply do nothing. Having to control this final step through the HotSync manager is bit irritating and you can't set different settings for different files.
To make adding a new spreadsheet to your Palm easier, Quicksheet offers a drop-down box within Excel itself that lets you easily handle this process.
Amazingly enough, Cutting Edge has provided a second graphing application to go with the spreadsheet app. Quickchart lets you look at graphs of your data so you can more easily make sense of it. Quickchart
isn't exactly a stand-alone app; the only way to look at a graph is to open one from inside Quicksheet. Just write a simple function and then double tap on it and a graph with that data will open in Quichchart. You have your choice of line, bar, pie, scatter, and stock charts.
Quicksheet and Quickchart are powerful applications and are chock full of features. While this is wonderful in many ways, if you use it a lot you are eventually going to have to, gasp, read the manual. Or at least look something up in it. Fortunately, Cutting Edge has provided large, comprehensive manuals for both apps. During the installation of the desktop portion both are saved to your hard drive in Acrobat format.
If you really want to get hard core, Quicksheet will let you link to shared Excel files on a network, and
even connect with backend ODBC databases, though I'll admit I didn't try this. But I did move them over to Flash memory with JackFlash and they seem to be working great there.
Quicksheet does have an Apple Macintosh version but it is a bit behind the Windows one. The latest version for the Mac is 4.1 which means you won't get the Quicksheet Desktop app and the sync with Excel is still being tested. Also, there is no ODBC support.
Work doesn't just happen in the office at a desk any more. It happens in conference rooms, at client's,
and God help us, on the Interstate. If you can't wait to get back to the office to access your
spreadsheet data, Quicksheet is perfect for you. You won't have to lug that heavy laptop around anymore, either. Quicksheet reminds me of using the early versions of Excel before it got all bloated with
features almost no one wants. It does pretty much what you need and not any more.
Cutting Edge Software is an advertiser with the Palm Infocenter.