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Cutting Edge Software
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Palm Infocenter.com Bottom Line:

The Price:
  • Quickword: $20
  • Quicksheet: $30
  • Quickoffice: $40
The Pros:
  • Basic synchronization with MS Word
  • Free upgrade to next version
  • Handy features like autoscroll, word count, bookmarks, and find and replace.

The Cons:
  • No formatting (Bold, Italics, etc.) Syncing with a MS Word doc removes all formatting from the Word doc, too.

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*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms

Quickword 5.0
Ed Hardy (ed@palminfocenter.com)

Quickword is based on SmartDoc, a Palm DOC reader that Cutting Edge has been selling for a long time. In fact, Quickword essentially is SmartDoc with a conduit added to sync with Microsoft Word documents.

Unfortunately, Quickword has the same limitations as all other DOC readers when it come to formatting; there is no way to make words bold, italics, underlined, or anything else. Cutting Edge is working on this but they are running into one simple problem: the DOC format itself has no way to do text formatting. In order to add this, future versions of Quickword will have to come up with a new document format, though I am sure they will continue to be backwards compatible. They'd be fools to cut their users off from the thousands and thousands of books already available in Palm DOC format.

The Conduit
The major new feature of Quickword is its conduit with Microsoft Word. This takes the form of a drop-down box in Word itself. Basically, the process is that you open or create a Word document, then use the conduit to save a copy in Palm DOC format. The next time you do a HotSync, the document will be moved onto your Palm, where it can be edited. If you HotSync again, the version of the document will be changed to match the version that is on your Palm.

This is where Quickword's big limitation becomes blindingly clear. If you have formatting in the Word document and sync it with your Palm, that formatting will be removed. When you for set a document to be synchronized, Quickword asks if you want to create a copy just for its use. If the document has formatting you don't want to lose, you need to hit "yes".

Quickword only synchronizes the actual text of the document and up to 25 bookmarks. Objects, pictures, tables, database links, inter-document links, and ActiveX links are not transferred.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I said, the developers are already hard at work on the next version and they are promising "basic" formatting capabilities. They also promised that the next version will be a free upgrade to all registered users of the current one.

There is no Macintosh version of the conduit.

The Palm App
The Quickword application on the Palm is simple and straightforward and has all the features you'd expect from a basic doc reader, plus a few more. I'll quit bringing up the lack of formatting abilities now. I've beaten that topic to death.

The main window you see when you start the app is a listing of all the DOCs on your Palm. To the right is the size of the file and to the left is a small icon called an "Action Icon". Clicking on this will let you perform quite a few actions on the file without having to open it, like beam it, or compress it, or even print it if you have PalmPrint. It also shows which file was the last one to be opened. Like just about all Palm apps that deal with multiple files, Quickword lets you organize your files into categories. In the upper right corner is a drop-down box showing what category of DOC files is being listed. To open a file, you can either tap on its name or tap the New button at the bottom of the page.

Once you have a file open, you will see a small pencil next to the document name at the top of the screen. Tap to toggle whether the document is editable. If the pencil has a line through it, the document currently is non-editable. You may want to keep the document non-editable if it is just for reading.

In the middle of the screen is the contents of the file. This is where you read or add text. Along the bottom of this screen you will see four buttons. The Done button saves and closes the file. The Details button opens a pop-up screen where you can name the file, see how many characters and words it has, mark it as private, mark whether to backup the file when HotSyncing, mark whether to include this file when doing Global Finds, and delete it. The third button is for doing find and replace. The final button has a small arrow on it that will auto scroll through the document for hands-free reading. In the lower right corner is a small triangle that, when tapped on, lets you add and edit bookmarks that let you save your place in a long document.

You can also set preferences for the entire application. When a file is marked non-editable, tapping on the top or bottom of the screen will move you forward or backward in the file. The Preferences screen lets you control exactly how this works. You can change whether a tap moves you only one line or a whole page and much more. You can also set how big to make the font for all your documents here. You can't set this for each document; all of them have to be the same. You can set all your text to left or right aligned and whether to under line your text like Memo Pad does. At the bottom of this page you can see where you set whether new documents that you create are compressed, whether to scan for bookmarks whenever you open a document, and whether to allow Global Finds to all your documents.

The Palm app is well designed and easy to use. I've used some DOC editors that put about a dozen small icons on the text viewing screen that really clutter up the interface. I'm sure there are some people who love this but I'm not one of them. Give me a simple interface every time.

Quickword is a decent DOC editor and probably worth the $20 it costs, if just for the conduit. As a comparison, PalmDocs is a piece of shareware that converts Word documents to Palm DOC format and puts them on your Palm, but it also costs $20 and doesn't come with an editor. But I'm really looking forward to the next version of Quickword and its text formatting capabilities. I haven't a clue whether Cutting Edge will raise the price for the next version, but if you go ahead and buy Quickword now, you'll be guaranteed to get that next version for a mere $20.

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AvantGo Formatting

renaissance59 @ 11/20/2000 3:32:03 AM #
This review hasn't come out right in AvantGo. The 2 columns and graphic don't work.
RE: AvantGo Formatting
Admin @ 11/21/2000 1:30:05 AM #
thanks for pointing the bug out. I fixed the problem.

------
Ryan
PalmInfocenter webmaster
webmaster@palminfocenter.com

Quickword

Spell @ 11/20/2000 12:20:54 PM #
I just upgraded my Smartdoc to Quickword and I'm loving it. I'm not as interested in formatting as others seem to be, but the effortless flopping between Word and doc format is a big plus. Before, I was using a converting program and Smartdoc, so the upgrade was a welcome addition to my mobile editing arsenal.

After trying out several handheld editing programs, I recommend Smartdoc, now Quickword, to all of my friends as a straight forward, sleek editing program.

MiniCalc vs. Quicksheet

Larry @ 11/20/2000 3:46:47 PM #
Plan and simple MiniCalc from Solutions-In-Hand beats Quicksheet no questions asked. Try reviewing something that really works
RE: MiniCalc vs. Quicksheet
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2000 1:27:29 AM #
can you provide more details on why you think minicalc is better? :-)

RE: MiniCalc vs. Quicksheet
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2000 11:34:52 AM #
Pretty Off Topic, if you ask me. The story's about Quick_WORD.

Megadoc vs. Quickword

Benjamin @ 11/21/2000 10:20:05 AM #
Ok, first off I haven't tried Quickword, but I've tried Smartdoc and LOVE it. In fact, at the moment Smartdoc is my default word processor on my Palm IIIxe. However, with that out of the way, I have to say that Megadoc has a TON more to offer than QW. I am quickly converting to MD because of its ability to read PDB, DOC (Palm AND Word), RTF and HTML. MD also comes with a conduit albeit not so slick as a built-in one. MD also supports limited formatting such as multiple font sizes and bold type (using Palm's 4 Built-in fonts) along with left, right and center justification. Even the modified kayboard that overrides the Palm standerd keyboard is slick resembling the KeyBHack style keyboard with both letters and numbers visible at once!

MegaDoc may be a little bulky compared to QuickWord, but its features seam to blow it away! Oh yeah, one more thing that MegaDoc has over QuickWord and many other word processors - you can have TWO DOCS OPEN AT THE SANE TIME!!! How cool is that?!

RE: Megadoc vs. Quickword
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2000 6:38:58 PM #
I have downloaded a trial version of Quickword and have had some difficulty syncing a newly created document to MS word.
I have also tried Documents to Go and I was really impressed. Esp. with it's ability to maintain formating features like bold and Underline. It however, is really pricy!

I am about to purchase Quickword, but I have heard good things about Megadoc. I have however, had no luck in finding it online. Where might I get more info. on this app. Thanks

RE: Megadoc vs. Quickword
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/21/2000 7:26:44 PM #
Megadoc can be found on PalmGear. Some other full-featured word processors are in the development stages and I expect to see them out before the end year so Quickword and Megadoc will have some stiff competition.

Good idea.

Eston Bond @ 11/22/2000 5:27:54 PM #
Microsoft's big push with the Pocket PC is the seamless integration with Microsoft Office. Touch/) for the Palm. The final verdict is that this is a step (should I say leap) in the right direction, but I would like to see formatting. Great software to show Palm's competitive OS.

Capability to print docs with the PALM using Quickword????

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/23/2000 1:07:47 PM #
Hello All,

Has anybody tried to print docs with Quickword?

Does it work? Is there any software out there that does?

I would like to print factsheets/bulletins on demand when mobile.

Thanks


RE: Capability to print docs with the PALM using Quickword????
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/13/2000 8:47:54 AM #
Well, I've done it - by opening the document in TealDoc, and printing using TealPrint.

Ah well. Maybe PrintBoy does a better job, but I didn't have much luck getting it to work, way back when I tried it.



RE: Capability to print docs with the PALM using Quickword??
Ed @ 12/13/2000 9:24:45 AM #
If you own PrintBoy, you can use Quickword to print your Doc files.

---
Plenipotentiary
Palm Infocenter
RE: Capability to print docs with the PALM using Quickword????
Cutting @ 12/20/2000 12:38:34 PM #
Either PalmPrint from Stevens Creek Software, or Printboy for Documents will allow printing of Quickword documents. currently, PalmPrint is supported from right within Quickword using a pulldown menu option.

Mike Compeau
Cutting Edge Software, Inc.

QuickWord vs SmartDoc

I.M. Anonymous @ 12/19/2000 10:47:07 PM #
I was a loyal user of SmartDoc and recently upgraded to QuickWord. There are a couple of features that fell by the wayside that should have been carried over:

1) In SmartDoc you could leave the program and return and the last document would appear with the cursor right where you left it. With QuickWord once you re-open the file it does have the cursor where you left off reading but the program comes up in List mode only with your last read file closed.

2) But worst of all is that the font size icons used to appear at the bottom of the opoen document page but have now disappeared in QuickWord. It now takes two commands to reach the change font size commands (and with no shortcut key available either). I believe that there is room for them to return and if enough people request it they may reconsider.

That's it.

Steve


RE: Quickword vs SmartDoc
Cutting @ 12/20/2000 12:29:14 PM #
I was puzzled to see Steve's post related to Quickword and "reverting" the view back to List view. This has not been my experience with any of the versions I have installed in the past 4 weeks (and there have been a couple of incremental changes made to the app over that time). I'd suggest that after you attempt to reproduce the problem, if you see it still behaving in this way, try redownloading and reinstalling the app.

As for your comment on "burying" the font choice for viewing. We hear you. We have a few "features" we're working on that may become clearer in time.... Stay tuned-- we aim to delight you.

Mike Compeau
Cutting Edge Software


Not short cut key support

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2001 11:18:05 PM #
I have QuickOffice and really like it with one HUGE exception. QuickWord does not support the
copy/paste short cuts from a keyboard (even notepad supports these with my Targus). Over
all it meets most of my needs and I really look forward to further development, but short cut key
support for copy/paste off of a keyboard is a MUST. It's great not to have to lug the laptop
around and wait 5 mins for it to start up, instead I just whip out the keyboard and start typing
on the Visor and let the document sync up later.

Quickword to PocketMail

I.M. Anonymous @ 10/16/2001 2:35:54 PM #
I am interested in whether with Quickword I would be able to type my message in Word on
my laptop, hotsync it directly to my PocketMail app on my Palm IIIe and /or IIIxe.
I can presently hotsync from my laptop to my MemoPad on my Palm IIIe then cut and paste
to Pocketmail app for transmission. The problem with this is that the clipboard on the IIIe is too
small and requires several cut and pastes to do the job. I am presently in the process of
replacing the IIIe with an IIIxe and may be able to do better if the IIIxe has a larger clipboard,
but I would like to be able to go directly to PocketMail from my laptop. Will Quickword allow this?

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