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Virtual offices

Virtual offices
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First Published: Wed, Feb 28 2007. 12 28 AM IST
Updated: Wed, Feb 28 2007. 12 28 AM IST
‘Working online’ with documents, spreadsheets and presentations has hitherto been restricted to sharing documents. But now, you can actually create these documents online and even store and share them easily.
ThinkFree.com is a free service that lets users create MS Word-compatible documents, MS Excel-compatible spreadsheets and MS PowerPoint presentations completely online.
The service offers two versions in each of the programs—Quick Edit and Power Edit. Quick Edit is best when making a basic document or spreadsheet that needs to be shared immediately. But it is also possible to create documents with complex formatting and ones that are more than just a bunch of words strewn together! The interface is very similar to MS Word and your familiarity with keyboard short cuts and commands can also be used well. In short, it works and looks almost like MS Word!
The same holds true for the other two programs as well, just that it’s a little tougher getting used to slight slowness in response when saving or executing a command. That of course, stems from the fact that the program is entirely online and your connection may not be the fastest. Loading times are quick especially if you choose the Quick Edit option, but for Power Edit, be a little patient since it needs to run Java Runtime Environment.
Other extra features include the option of publishing a file to your blog as a blog post. But with most online blog editors offering rich editing options, one wonders why anyone would use this to post to their blog. Well, the option is available!
ThinkFree.com is just one of many such services available. Others include Ajax 13 (http://ajax13.com/), Google Spreadsheets and Documents (http://docs.google.com) and Zoho Office Suite (http://zoho.com). Each has its advantages, but ThinkFree imbibes the best of all these and then some more.
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First Published: Wed, Feb 28 2007. 12 28 AM IST
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