One of the niftier functions of Apple's Safari browser is the SnapBack function. Now a Firefox extension with the same name of SnapBack introduces this feature to Mozilla users and comes with some helpful options beyond the base function of providing a quick way to return to an impermanent bookmark.
Microsoft is stepping closer to providing anywhere access to Office files. The free Office Live Workspace (more here), which lets people share work in Word, Excel and PowerPoint online, is expanding today to invite more beta testers.
You can sign up to try the work in progress at OfficeLive.com, although access may not be immediate. A final version is set for next spring.
When Office 2007 debuted nearly a year ago, it seemed curious that Microsoft offered no easy, one-click option for accessing work from the Web. Meanwhile, Zoho built an add-in for Office 2007, as Google Docs & Spreadsheets and other tools allowed people to share as well as compose work within a browser.
The free, ad-supported Office Live Workspace is a bridge to Office software, not a browser-based replica. Workspace synchronizes changes made to files stored both on a desktop and at Office Live's servers, including Outlook contacts and events. It works with Windows XP SP2, 2003 Server, or Vista with Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox 2 or higher (required for users of Mac OS 10.2 and up).
The online tools preview Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files as well as PDFs, PNGs, and JPGs. Workspace is meant to work in tandem with Word, Excel and PowerPoint XP, 2003, or 2007 running locally on a PC. You can preview, not edit, documents from a browser. Web Notes, on the other hand, do enable the creation and formatting of small text documents online.
Office Live Workspace emphasizes collaboration rather than composition. To share documents with other people, you can send them a secure URL without requiring them to sign in with a Windows Live ID. Everyone with access to the workspace can make and view each others' comments.
Those invited for editing can make changes to the work, as long as they have Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on their hard drive. Office Live Workspace handily preserves the Track Changes feature from Office apps while also keeping five histories of a file. And the Share View screen allows control of another user's PC.
Another desktop component of this service is the Office Live Add-In for Microsoft Office. This is a quick download, although you'll have to restart the system afterward. Once it's installed, a Save to Office Live option will appear under the Office button within Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, with the subsequent dialog box showing your available workspaces.
Workspaces are collections of documents. Ten templates are built to manage a classroom, sports team, travels, job search, household, and so forth. For example, a travel workspace will include an expense report spreadsheet with Word files for an itinerary, packing list, and personal data. You can store a maximum of 500 workspaces containing 500 documents each for a total of 500 MB per account and 25 MB per file.
Office users who learn about these tools are likely to come to depend upon them to stash their work online with a few, quick clicks. Workplaces that use Microsoft's staple software will probably find Workspace a fine collaboration tool that makes it easy to take work away from the office.
This is a well-designed service, but I'd still like something not only to store work, but to let me make edits without opening local applications. What if you only want to correct a misspelled byline in a 20 MB report? You'll have to open Word, since Office Live Workspace doesn't even allow light, text only edits within a browser. I'll continue to lean on Google Docs for that.
Office Live Workspace, by the way, is not to be confused with Office Live Small Business, which offers a free domain name and Web design templates.
Please see more images after the jump.… Read more
As much as I love using Gmail, the Greasemonkey script-based Better Gmail plug-in made my favorite e-mail client, well, better. Integration with Google Reader, colored labels, built-in TinyURLing, and other features really made Gmail that much more useful. Since Google's recreated and upgraded most of Gmail's back-end, those scripts and most other Gmail plug-ins have broken.
To confuse matters, Google is slow in rolling out the new features, so not everybody is using the new interface. If you do have the new Gmail, you can access the old interface Better Gmail 2 v0.1 recreates some of the features in its predecessor, and promises to eventually feature most if not all of the old expanded functionality. For now, though, it's slim pickings.
As we've noted before, Lightning makes Thunderbird soar above Outlook for home use, and places them on nearly equal ground in the office. The latest update includes an overhauled interface with easier-to-use buttons for jumping from your mail to your calendar, LDAP directory support for event invites, and Sun Java Calendar Server support.
Dr. Web helps you minimize contact with unsanitary files before you download them, by scanning them in advance and letting you know before it lands on your desktop if the file has a clean bill of health or if you should put on your biohazard suit before handling the innocuous-looking critter.
This is not new, but I just saw it the other day, installed it, and liked it: Tab Effect. It's a plug-in for Firefox that adds a rotating cube effect to your screen when you change from one tab to the other. So, from a distance, people looking over your shoulder might think you're user switching on a Mac or using a much geekier Linux-based OS. And actually, I find Tab Effects adds a bit of situational awareness to my tabbed browsing experience, since the rotation of the cube matches the direction the new tab is from the … Read more
I'm used to visiting the official Mozilla add-ons site to grab my Firefox extensions, but there's a new option in town for Facebook app-aholics. It's called Rock Your Firefox, and it accomplishes nearly the same thing as does the Mozilla add-ons site, but in a simple Facebook application. Its "killer app" is that it keeps track of what themes and extensions your friends have downloaded and recommend--a process that usually requires nosing around their browsers.
Each add-on has its own landing page, along with a list of people who recommend the application. You can sort … Read more
Surfing the Web doesn't have to be a solitary experience, at least according to Me.dium, a browser add-on that uses real-time data to share information with your friends and the Me.dium community. Today, Me.dium added support for Internet Explorer 7, opening up the "social surfing" experience to a huge new audience.
In essence, Me.dium lets you share as much of your browsing information as you like with either a select set of friends, Me.dium users who are visiting a specific Web page, or the Me.dium community at large. The extension presents itself in a browser sidebar and displays your Me.dium universe, or "your online world." The map is based on your current Web location, your friends' current browsing spots, and your recent Web activity.… Read more
In the spirit of my recently sworn allegiance to the powerhouse add-on Tab Mix Plus as the "best Firefox extension ever," I've created a resource guide for all of the features and options available in the Firefox add-on.
In a nutshell, Tab Mix Plus lets you customize nearly every detail of the appearance and behavior of your tabs without having to get into any of the about:config settings in Mozilla Firefox.
One important note: my Tab Mix Plus guide is based on the default Firefox theme. If you use a different theme, some of the Tab Mix Plus options may be affected. Also, this guide was written using Tab Mix Plus 0.3.6, which is important to note because the add-on does update semi-frequently.… Read more
Nearly every time I meet with a representative from one of the Web browsers, the questions of "Which browser do you use?" and "Why?" inevitably come up. The answer to the first is still Mozilla Firefox, like most people I know. The short answer to the second is "extensions," which is an easier way of saying "more functionality and personal customization."
The follow-up question is invariably, "What's your favorite extension?" and that's much harder, because it's not any one particular extension that makes Firefox great--it's the … Read more