Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

WordSmith 2.0

Magazine article MultiMedia Schools

WordSmith 2.0

Article excerpt

Company: Blue Nomad, 4 Hyde Street, Redwood City, CA 94062; Phone: 650/361-8367; Fax: 413/740-8375; E-mail:; Web:

Price: $30-single copy price. A free demo is available online.

Audience: Users of Palm or compatible hand-held devices.

Format: Word processing software available only as an online download. No disc versions available.

System Requirements: Use of this program requires a Palm or compatible hand-held device running Palm OS 3.0 or greater, including the Palm III-- VII, m100 series, and m500 series; Sony Che; HandEra/TRG devices; and all Handspring devices.

Also required is HotSync Version 3.0 and a desktop computer. The software will operate with Windows 95 with Internet Explorer 4.0, Windows 98/2000/ NT4 with Service Pack 4 or better, a PowerPC Macintosh running Mac OS 9.0 or better, or RedHat Linux/Intel 6.0 or better.

In addition, the desktop system must have a word processor capable of reading and writing Rich Text Format ("RTF") files, such as Microsoft Word 97 or better, Microsoft Works, WordPerfect, AbiWord, or WordPad. For Linux systems, programs such as AbiWord or Star Office are required.

Description: WordSmith is basically a word processor that overcomes some of the unique problems presented by Palm-compatible hand-held devices. The program includes a Doc reader (electronic books included) and enhanced memo pad.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: I used WordSmith on a new Dell 975 MHz desktop computer and a Palm m105 handheld and assume the faster desktop helped speed up the process. After downloading the program, installation was simply a matter of double-clicking the WordSmith set-up program on the computer desktop and following directions.

The program components are installed on both the desktop computer and hand-held device for information and document transfer. For the desktop installation, I had to consult the manual that accompanied MS Word.

For the hand-held installation, I pressed the Hotsync button and the process was complete. Pressing this button allows data to pass back and forth between the computer and the hand-held device. The handheld sits in a "Hotsync cradle" connected by cable to the desktop computer.

The download was about 1400k and relatively brief. Sample copies can be downloaded and registration codes purchased at later times. The program also can be purchased for download and sent by e-mail. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: The development of this software has focused on making it a more full-featured word processor as compatible as possible with the versions of MS Word used on desktop computers. That presents some challenges.

With a handheld, for example, users don't "click" with a mouse or use a keyboard in the same manner as when working with a desktop. Hand-held device users "tap" with a stylus on various buttons that call up on-screen menus or use a small on-screen keyboard to "hunt and peck" with a stylus as they type or edit documents.

Some of the newer features of Wordsmith facilitate this process and make documents imported from Word (via the Hotsync cradle) more compatible, including the use of full keyboard support. (WordSmith works with the fold-up portable keyboards available for use with handhelds.)

While working with documents in WordSmith, even those imported from Word on the computer desktop, users can cut, copy, paste, multi-paste, select all, undo, redo, find, use bold, underline, italicize, and much more. …

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