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Conversions Plus 3.5
by Rick Smith (April 1996)

If you are changing from one brand of word processor or spreadsheet program to another, it is desirable to have all your data in the format of the new brand. Even though many of today's office productivity software can read and even write multiple formats, this takes additional time. While you are rushing to send a proposal, out to your client, is not the time to start your data conversion process. Conversions Plus from DataViz lets you quickly convert between various formats with only a few clicks of the mouse. Instead of simply shoving the text and numbers into another format, it preserves all the formatting including the fonts and styles and can also convert between a variety of graphics formats.

If you are switching word processors or spreadsheet programs, this product is also helpful for training you or your staff during the transition phase as you can easily see how your old documents should look in the new program at the same level they did in your old documents. If they used advanced features in the old one, after conversions, the new document will use these features.

After you change programs and the need arises to get your favorite temp back to cover a staff member's vacation, the temp won't have to learn the new program. You can simply let them use that comfortable, old program and simply convert documents back and forth between the new and old formats. When your staff member gets back, the documents can then be quickly converted to the new format. Since the program is easy to learn, you won't have to train the temp on your time and money.

Finally, if you are a data pack rat that has diskettes laying around in a variety of formats from word processors or spreadsheets from the past, you can now convert them to the format you are currently using.

If you ever have the need to send Macintosh formatted data to someone, you can also use this program to read and write Macintosh files on your Windows PC. There is even a Macintosh version of this program that can read and write PC formatted data. Although file exchange software is resident on the Macintosh, it really doesn't do the job as well as Conversions Plus.

The program has only one main screen that is very easy to understand. It will probably take longer to find the disk, insert it into the drive and click on the file you want, than it will for Conversions Plus to actually convert the file. This main screen is split into two vertical halves with one side of the screen showing potential input files, while the other side displays the destination area. You can click on a single file or a group of files and then press the convert button. The program asks you to choose the specific output format you want. If you have a favorite destination format, the program can be set so it will automatically convert to this desired format automatically, without asking questions, making the conversion process even faster.

Although this program is sold in stores as a Macintosh to PC file conversion utility it is an excellent PC to PC conversion utility that just happens to read and write Macintosh format. I highly recommend it and have carried it on my Compaq Concerto (portable pen computer) for over a year.

Pros

Fast, accurate conversion of both PC and Mac formatted diskettes and removable media

Preview capability of graphics formats.

Cons

Unable to convert to or from the more "ancient" file formats such as (Volkswriter, Nota Bene, DisplayWrite, etc.)

Poor method of file selection, just like Windows File Manager. This is not easy for most novice users. It does have a Select All, so all files within a subdirectory can be quickly selected for conversion.

Copyright 1996 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

   
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