by Steve Bennett
Those who think there aren’t many tricks left to teach the Palm organizer should take a look at enotate. At first blush, enotate seems like a wacky idea but play with it for a few minutes, and you’ll see it’s a brilliant idea. In a nutshell, enotate allows a Palm device to be connected to a PC as a real-time digitizer pad for freeform drawing or annotating Microsoft Office documents.
At the most basic level, enotate turns the Palm into an electronic sketch pad for a PC. Place the Palm into its cradle and launch enotate on both a desktop and a handheld. The image will be automatically transferred to the PC, where it can be viewed and saved in common graphic formats (JPEG, GIF, and others). Any markings appear in real time on the PC.
The truly knockout capability is the full version’s ability to annotate Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (97 or 2000) documents and presentations. Enotate places a new menu item on each of these programs, so comments can be added from within the Office applications. Load a Word or PowerPoint file and a portion of it will appear on the handheld. Navigate by dragging a box around your PC screen. Edits and changes can then be inserted into the document, as if writing on the paper version. The notes are saved within the Word or PowerPoint file.
Graphic files and photos can also be loaded and annotated in the same fashion via a handheld. When it’s finished, it can be saved on a PC or sent as an e-mail attachment (same for annotated Word or PowerPoint presentations). The enotate PC software can automatically launch your MAPI-enabled e-mail client.
A shareware version is available, but it’s a bit of tease, since it doesn’t allow users to edit Word or PowerPoint files. If you’re just looking for a simple digitizer pad and want to use your Palm as a means of keeping electronic handwritten notes and sketches, the freeware version is a great tool. And, a blast to use!
MANUFACTURER: Informal Software, Inc.; 408-845-9490; www.informal.com
PRICE: $49.99 (full version)
PROS: Terrific concept; well-executed; excellent online documentation
CONS: Currently only supports Palm, IBM WorkPad, TRGPro