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New All-in-One Mobile Document Viewer

Cerience Corporation today announced the immediate availability of its RepliGo document mobility software. RepliGo converts MS Office documents, Adobe PDF, Web pages and other document types into replicas of their original documents for viewing and printing on Palm OS devices.

The Windows-based software combines the power of several individual software applications into a single solution that allows users to have anytime, anywhere access to virtually any type of document. RepliGo’s document understanding technology allows for quick transformation of PC-based documents into mobile documents that maintain their original look and feel when viewed on a handheld device.

RepliGo preserves the integrity of the original document and incorporates features like advanced zooming and text wrapping, which eliminates the tedious horizontal scrolling typically needed to read documents on small screen devices. All content such as fonts, charts, graphics, images, and tables can be viewed.

Lynn Formanek, co-founder and president of Cerience, explains, "By preserving the content and layout of the original document, our users will have greater ease of use." Formanek adds, "A tremendous amount of engineering and testing has gone into this solution. We have formulated one of the most advanced approaches to document mobility currently available."

The software allows the same file to be transferred and viewed on Palm OS and Pocket PC handheld devices. It also Optimizes documents for fast decompression and viewing with up to 50% compression over the original file. Document preservation keeps documents looking the same as the original after conversion. Documents can then be stored and loaded from Expansion memory cards.

RepliGo is priced at $49.95 USD with an introductory offer of $39.95 USD. The software is available for a fully functional 14-day trial or purchase at the Cerience Web site.

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Nice

Impartial @ 1/21/2003 5:14:26 PM #
Sounds like Docs 2 Go has a competitor. I haven't tested this yet, but I probably will soon... It sounds good.
RE: Nice
hgoldner @ 1/21/2003 5:29:41 PM #
Why on earth would anyone want a document VIEWER only? Documents to Go, Wordsmith and even Fastwriter have the facility of wordprocessing on the Palm, such that if you have a keyboard, you can work with these documents in their 'native format' and synch them back to your PC.

A viewer only for $49.95? I gotta bridge for sale.

H

RE: Nice
treo007 @ 1/21/2003 5:50:56 PM #
Yea, I've got to agree with H. If this thing had on device conversion it would at least be more compelling and potentially justify the price tag.

RE: Nice
Impartial @ 1/21/2003 6:15:15 PM #
Wait, it CAN'T edit!? I've come to assume that when a "viewer" is announced, you can edit the files as well... Whoops . If it can't, it's not much use except for HTML, I guess, and Isilo/IsiloX does that very well...

Am I helping yet?
RE: Nice
VisorMiser @ 1/21/2003 6:49:41 PM #
50 clams for a VIEWER? NOT!

the VisorMiser
_______________________
Where will ya be when ya get where you're goin'?
RE: Nice
Token User @ 1/21/2003 7:09:02 PM #
You could do similar things with a PDF print driver and a copy of Adobe Acrobat for Palm. It requires installing a print driver and "printing" a file in the required format.

Sorry. If I want viewable, read only files, I'll stick to PDF files.

~ "Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed." - DV ~

RE: Nice
StudentDoc @ 1/21/2003 8:48:48 PM #
Well, I was excited when I saw this so I tried it with several types of documents. It is faster than Adobe Acrobat for Palm for reading PDFs on my Clie 615 but the docs are not nearly as sharp and are a little fuzzy--of course they are a lot smaller, so there are good things as well as bad. The powerpoints are okay--not great but readable. But for docs or especially HTML this doesn't compare to ISilo(ISilo is still one of the best programs I have; if someone has other suggestions, please post).



RE: Nice
cpwoo @ 1/22/2003 7:44:19 AM #
Is there a decent Powerpoint viewer? I own Doc to Go 5, but it is just not usable. In addition, Doc to Go doesn't support 2-byte characters so it isn't worth the money... I will buy any decent Powerpoint viewer that lets me zoom in documents (as some Powerpoint files have rather dense amount of texts)

RE: Zooming PowerPoint file Views? Sure
Cutting Crew 2 @ 1/22/2003 10:51:35 AM #
FYI: Quickpoint (part of Quickoffice Pro) allows you to choose what resolution view you would like on the device: from small (160x120) all the way to 800x600 for on device viewing AND up to 1024x768 (for presenting directly to a VGA projector using Pitch Solo or Pitch for Palm). You can manage your device memory while having FULL fidelity of your presentation viewable, so you don't have text 'moving around' to new places different than on the original slides.

You also can have up to 3 zoom levels available for each slide at the max resolution.

Additionally, Quickpoint provides a thumbnail view option to see the 'flow' of your presentation with four slides at a time.

Mike (with a blatant plug)

RE: Nice
volcanopele @ 1/22/2003 12:21:23 PM #
Thank for the info mike. I wasn't aware of your quickpoint program. while I use other word processing and spreadsheet programs, your powerpoint program looks pretty interesting and I am considering purchasing it.

As far as this program goes, there are plenty of all in one solutions that cheaper and/or provide more features such as editing. If one wants PDF viewing, there is Adobe's viewer. It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it is free. As far as HTML viewing, iSilo works perfectly for me. It provides me with the most options for conversion.

RE: Nice
jbm @ 1/22/2003 5:12:29 PM #
Several reputable programs perform their jobs admirably, as some people have noted, and I don't think RepliGo will replace any of them, particularly for their happy customers.

I think where RepliGo brings something new to the Palm community is in document fidelity. With RepliGo, you have a full, high-resolution version of the original document right there on your Palm. I think there is a class of Palm user for whom that's important, to be able to zoom in and see precisely what that document would have looked like if it were printed.

As for PDFs, the Acrobat -Viewer- is free, but Acrobat is not, and I think you'll find for its capability and ease of use on Palm devices, RepliGo fares pretty well for the money.

Jim Moy - Software Engineer, Cerience
(The views expressed by the author may not represent the views of Cerience Corporation, etc., etc.)

RE: Nice
cpwoo @ 1/22/2003 5:31:25 PM #
I tried QuickPoint. It seems to support 2-byte characters but it crashed mysteriously on my machine... even after 3 attempts to install trial version.

Slow on my m505

anascod @ 1/21/2003 9:33:38 PM #
Downloaded and installed the 14 day trial version. Desktop inteface with my browser and Office was nice. However, the feature I was most interested in was how it renders web pages on the Palm. Very slow, products shows some promise, but I will wait for the next (hopefully faster) release. Docs to Go will work for me just fine for now.

Dave Anasco
"They can have my Palm when they pry it from my cold dead fingers."

ZZZzzz

M1 @ 1/22/2003 5:26:06 AM #
Sorry but this all seems a bit retro & pointless.

Now if this was a native file format viewer I could get quite excited.

I'm waiting for the day my TT doesn't throw a hissy fit after I've downloaded a .doc attachment through Snappermail.

M1

Great Technology

gilbas99 @ 1/22/2003 12:31:30 PM #
This is very interesting. This is the way Acrobat Reader for Palm should work. Plus you can transfer to your Palm anything that can be printed on a PC. And you get a real picture of the original document.
Of course you still have some little things to fix like font sharpness (although in the PocketPC version it's quite readable - must be my Tungsten T high resolution).


RE: Great Technology
jbm @ 1/22/2003 5:35:52 PM #
Thanks for the comments about the technology, we've worked hard on it. The resolution of traditional Palm displays makes the anti-aliasing come out a bit fuzzy. We're working on better OS5 support, and am pretty sure with a Tungsten you will see a cheap/free upgrade path.

Jim Moy - Software Engineer, Cerience
(The views expressed by the author may not represent the views of Cerience Corporation, etc., etc.)

This is actually pretty cool!

jbarr @ 1/22/2003 5:39:11 PM #
No, it's not an editor, it's a VIEWER. And at first glance, it looks VERY promising. I just downloaded the trial and installed it, and it seems very quick and I am amazed at the quality. It simply creates a viewable file by "printing" the document and then creating the image.

I was able to convert several .PDF files and they look great. More testing required! :)

My ONLY complaint so far is that I own a Sony CLie NX70V, and RepliGo doesn't seem to support HiRes+. If it had that, this would be a KILLER program!

hrm..

helf @ 1/23/2003 10:04:47 AM #
If you could edit files it would be great.. but just havign a viewer sucks..

RE: hrm..
gilbas99 @ 1/23/2003 10:44:29 AM #
Which files would you like to edit? Don't you realize the concept behind this? This is a killer app as a viewer. You'll be able to take with you virtually any document you can process in a desktop computer. Imagine the complexity of building an editor for every format on a Palm. Handhelds are about portability and mobility. Actually, the amount of information you edit on a Palm device is very little. And you have pretty good editors for the main formats (DocsToGo).

RE: hrm..
radleyp @ 1/23/2003 12:33:42 PM #
"Killer app", eh? In what sense? I own and use iSilo and WordSmith. What does this add? One thing as far as I can see, the ability to read pdf files, which I rarely use and which can in any case be very hard to read on a handheld screen. Reader/editor/webbrowser/ viewers have been around for a long time now. I can't see anyone, and certainly not me, with what I have been using, being interested, especially at this price.

RE: hrm..
EdH @ 1/23/2003 3:25:32 PM #
Guys, you can view *ANYTHING* that you can print from. Project files, Visio, CAD, Quicken, Money, your news reader, HTML emails, WinZip comments, help files, Illustrator images, your ERP reports, Access reports, etc. No more copying text to a memo or word document to sync over. Just file|Print|Repligo Printer, OK!

RE: hrm..
radleyp @ 1/23/2003 4:48:55 PM #
You really should make clear what this program is not. It is not a substitute for a web browser like iSilo or HandStory, because it can "print" and you the reader can read only what is visible on the screen, i.e. what the desktop can print. With iSilo, for example, you can get to different levels, so that you can view the headline of a story, tap on it, and read details.

So I am now trying to figure out, Adobe documents aside, is this software worth the money? True, the conversion is easier, because all you do is tap on the print icon, and the rest is done for you. Is that enough to justify $50 (now $40)? PDR

RE: hrm..
jbm @ 1/23/2003 6:41:20 PM #
You might be surprised at how readable PDF files are when converted by RepliGo. There are thousands (dare I say millions?) of PDF files that are untagged and are difficult to read without RepliGo's ability to rewrap paragraphs appropriately.

One example of a person who might be interested in RepliGo is a lawyer who has a bunch of faxes with signatures that he wants to be able to look at in great detail. Or scanned, archived documents with notes in the margins that don't translate very well to anything other than a highly graphical format. You can probably think of other people who would have use for a high-resolution document saved to a portable device.

RepliGo's definitely not a web browser. It doesn't follow links, submit forms, etc., and the documents are typically viewed on-screen and not authored for high-resolution printing. But what you see in RepliGo is very precisely what IE or your favorite desktop browser showed you, down to that last little filler GIF that the graphic designer so carefully aligned. RepliGo doesn't do any reformatting or substituting with Palm fonts, what you see is what the app printed.

As I described above, I think where RepliGo will shine is where high fidelity to the original is expected, and desired.

Jim Moy - Software Engineer, Cerience
(The views expressed by the author may not represent the views of Cerience Corporation, etc., etc.)

Why not just print to JPG?

Edward Green @ 1/23/2003 6:36:49 PM #
Unless I have missed the point, why not spend $20-40 on one of the dozen or so shareware virtual printer drivers that allow you to print straight to a JPG, transfer them to your memory card using drag and drop with the hotsync manager and view them with an image viewer you already probably have?

Edward Green
--
http://www.khite.co.uk
RE: Why not just print to JPG?
jbm @ 1/24/2003 1:43:01 AM #
Good question.

Intelligence about the document, for one. The RepliGo format knows where logical chunks of text are found. When you tap on a paragraph, it highlights briefly before going into flowed mode. The text, in its original desktop font and appearance are wrapped for viewing convenience, which is not possible with an image viewer. Images embedded in the document are recognized, and are convenient to tap and zoom into. Just a couple of examples of how the built-in intelligence give meaningful features to the viewer. Give it a try!

Compression, secondly. JPEG, and other graphics file formats are not optimized for typical business documents. The example you gave might produce 100 KB or larger images per _page_ at the resolution levels RepliGo provides. (Of course, depending on the resolution and compression level chosen) and associated with it the problems of manipulating and decompressing them on these limited memory devices. And once you do get it compressed down, you've got all artifacts to read through.

Third, document management. Lots of documents are multi-page. I don't know about you, but I would sure get tired of dealing with all those individual JPEG files, getting them named reasonably, and dealing with them in my image viewer. RepliGo stores multi-page documents logically, like your original document. A related (not so distant) fourth item is integration. You get all this with just a few clicks: hit the convert button; prompt for the name and location of the document; hit your HotSync button; done.

These are roughly in the order that I value the benefits of RepliGo, and I use it personally for pretty average documents and web pages, I think.

Jim Moy - Software Engineer, Cerience
(The views expressed by the author may not represent the views of Cerience Corporation, etc., etc.)

RE: Why not just print to JPG?
Edward Green @ 1/24/2003 1:05:54 PM #
Thanks ... sounds like a good product!

Edward Green
--
http://www.khite.co.uk
RE: Why not just print to JPG?
drw @ 1/25/2003 2:03:21 AM #
Jim, in my zeal to create a paperless life, I have scanned about 10 thousand documents and pictures in the ScanSoft Paperport format. http://www.scansoft.com/paperport/

Would you consider adding Paperport .max viewability?

---
David

RE: Why not just print to JPG?
jbm @ 1/25/2003 4:08:59 PM #
Hey, funny you mention that, I used to work there. No reason why RepliGo doesn't already support .max files as well as any other image file format. If you can print it to the RepliGo driver, you can take it with you on your Palm.

Jim Moy - Software Engineer, Cerience
(The views expressed by the author may not represent the views of Cerience Corporation, etc., etc.)
RepliGo go blank-dark
sonic @ 1/25/2003 10:39:53 PM #
Folks,

Just downloaded the trial version, tried a 10 pages PDF file, but when the document came up, I get to see the front page for about 1-2 seconds, then the whole thing went blank-dark. Nothing else happend thereafter, has any encounter this yet? What could I have done wrong?

Thanks,
John

RE: Why not just print to JPG?
davef @ 1/27/2003 7:40:03 AM #
John,

If you could pass some more specific information along to support@cerience.com, it would be greatly appreciated. We could use a copy of your original PDF and the PDB file that represents the PDF (assuming its not proprietary). Also, your device type, memory available, and any other special programs or hacks that might be running.

Dave Formanek - Cerience

Cannot Select Text

ggeoffre @ 7/18/2003 5:53:03 PM #
About the only discouraging point is that why you are in Flow view, you cannot select the text that you are viewing. I am not sure if RepliGo is 'aware' that text is on the screen, or if it is just an image. I do not mean to edit, but I would like to select and copy. Other than that, it is an ideal document viewer for all of those document formats not suppported by the various office, doc and html tools out there.
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