Jun 8 2009
In the spirit of reviewing online resources to share documents, I came across View Docs Online. This has an advantage over other document sharing services in that you don’t have to download the document in order to see it. Just upload the file and it can be viewed online.
It has the same user experience flow as the recently reviewed Files Over Miles. The user browses to the file, uploads it, and it returns a URL. In this case it directs you to that URL, which can then be passed along to those you’d like to share the document with. View Docs Online is different in that it only allows you upload viewable documents. Go figure. This includes anything from MS Office, Open Office, text files, etc.
Let’s say you’re a business owner or consultant making a sale over the phone. The conversation reaches the point where you want to discuss the contract specifics. You can upload the contract, send the URL to the client, and then everyone involved can look at the same document in their browser.
Overall I found View Docs Online to be useful. It will receive a sanctimonious nod and induction into my ever growing tool set. The functionality I really wanted it to have, however, was the ability to edit the document and have those changes reflect on everyone’s screen. It uses a third party tool called Scribd to convert and display its documents, which doesn’t appear to have this option.
If you want the real time edit functionality, a few competitors exist, including Google Docs. The only drawback to G-Docs is the lack of immediate gratification. It takes longer to sign in, upload and convert the document, and then adjust the sharing settings. The upside is that the document will then be saved in the Google account and available for future access.
I’ll still give View Docs Online full marks for creating a simple tool to quickly share a document online. If I’m looking for the quickest way to get a document in front of someone’s eyes, it definitely fits the bill.
SlapBack: Thanks for your review. I’m sorry but for the moment there is no plan to introduce the possibility to edit documents in View Docs Online. Maybe in the future, but there is no plan yet.
I agree. Unless Scribd comes out with this functionality it’d be a major redesign of the product to implement.