Thursday, 19 April 2012

Open opt (and other documents) online

Recently I was on my works computer, where I have no autority to install anything, and left with urgently needing to open a document that I had saved on some of my online storage space. There was one slight problem: I had saved the odt version of my file to the cloud space and this PC runs windows XP and office 2003. This was a problem as I urgently needed the file and none of the computers at my workplace have anything other than windows XP and ofice 2003. My first thought was to try Google Docs, but they failed to open the odt file either.

But help was at hand in the form of a very handy website called View Docs Online this allowed me to view, print the file and convert it to a pdf file without the need of any account sign up or installation of software. Although you can view, at present it doesn't allow the user to edit the documents, but to be fair this is an online viewer, not an online word processor. It allows text to be selected and copied

There is a catch with this though: be wary over what you put on, make sure there is nothing that is confidential or important information. This is similar to posting on a url shortening service (like tinyurl or, once it is on there you are free to share the url with the rest of the world. But this can be turned into an advantage as it allows the users to share their documents with people on social networks (Diaspora,, Frienica etc). It does allow you the option of deleting the document, but I am never convinced as to how effectively items are removed from a server, I prefer to have control and know that my information is safe.

It allows a 'sign in' feature via Facebook, this allows the user to sort their saved documents. But this is a shame that it must be through Facebook only, as not everybody can take advantage of this, a local account and login would also have been a nice option.