Live Documents: Office for the Internet Generation

Live Documents is the office suite for the internet generation — a set of web-enabled, feature-rich applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations that increase personal productivity and facilitate group collaboration.

This review of Live Documents will take a quick look at the app(s) and some of the neat features it offers.

Overview

Overview

Overview

Live Documents is flexible, reliable and powerful. Live Documents offers better collaboration than Google Docs and is mightier than Microsoft Office in terms of user interface. Live Documents provides a user interface that is similar to Microsoft Office, so some users will likely feel somewhat comfortable with the app to start.

Features

Flexibility: Live Documents gives you the choice and flexibility of creating, sharing and editing documents anytime anywhere — all you need is a browser. Your documents look and behave the same way everywhere and you can confidently share your documents with anyone you choose without having to worry about operating system versions or browser compatibility.

Powerful: Live Documents gives you all the major productivity features of Microsoft Office and several new unique aspects that help you “get the job done“. Live Documents also extends collaboration to new levels with unique features such as granular revision history, seamless co-editing and playback.

Reliability: Live Documents is the only online office suite that offers “non-lossy round-tripping” with Microsoft Office – you can import the most complex Microsoft Office documents into Live Documents. When you export these documents back to Microsoft Office formats, all data, formats and object elements in the original document, including those currently unsupported by Live Documents, are retained as they were.

Familiar: Live Documents user interface is somewhat similar to desktop applications. If you are familiar with Microsoft Office or Open Office, then there is little to no difficulty in using Live Documents.

Live Document Application Usage

Live Documents is free. You can create a document or an excel file or you can make an presentation. The best part is, your file can be shared or you can make it private. Once the file has been saved, it will be saved in the Live Documents cloud.

Step 1: Sign Up

To create a document, you need to log into Live Documents. If you are a new user, all you have to do is click the sign up option and a sign up page will appear. You can either create a new account or sign up using your Gmail or Yahoo mail accounts.

Sign Up / Login

Sign Up / Login

Step 2: Live Documents

Upon successful authentication, the Live Documents loading page will appear. It may take a little time for Live Documents to initialize if you have a slow internet connection.

Loading

Loading

Step 3: Dashboard

Once Live Documents has initialized, the Live Documents dashboard will appear. The dashboard of Live Documents acts as a gateway. From your dashboard, you can create a spreadsheet, document and presentation or import documents from Google Docs or your local computer. On the other hand you can browse through your documents, contacts or alerts.

Dashboard

Dashboard

Step 4: Create New Document

To create a new document, click Create Document from your dashboard. Give your document a name and select the type of document. When all the details are entered press Next.

Create New Document

Create New Document

Step 5: Share The Document

The next step involves setting up the document permissions. You can make your document completely public, i.e. anyone on the internet can view your document; or only visible to you or visible to the registered members of the Live Documents. You can also share your document with specific people. For that you can enter their e-mail address or choose the person from your contact list. Once completed press Next.

Share Document

Share Document

Step 6: Edit Document Properties

First, enter the title of your document and description. Make sure that these two fields are completely relevant to your document. Next, select the category and language. At present Live Documents supports English, French and Chinese. Finally add some tags and press Next.

Edit Document Properties

Edit Document Properties

Step 6: Live Writer

Now the live writer will initialize. Again, this may take some time if you are on a slow internet connection.

Loading Live Writer

Loading Live Writer

Step 7: Start Typing

The user interface will be familiar for anyone who has used a mainstream word processor. It has a typical Microsoft Office kind of interface with some added features.

Begin Typing

Begin Typing

Final Thoughts

Live Documents provides a rich user interface via flash, so this won’t be an app used on certain mobile devices. Although the idea of Live Documents is not new, they’ve made an effort at making their application one notch higher than Google Docs and Microsoft Office.

Editor’s Notes

Would you like to see a full review of Live Documents, perhaps in comparison to current competitors such as Google Docs? Let me know via comment. Thanks!

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