Google Docs has a new validation option that spreadsheet jockeys are going to appreciate. You can now give cells prerequisites, so that you or other users must fill them in with a certain type of data. It can also be set up to provide instructions that pop up as soon as someone starts entering data--similar to what's available in Google Docs' form tool and in Microsoft Excel. Both options can be set inside of the data validator that shows up once you've selected a cell or range of cells.
Over the weekend, Google rolled out a brand-new look for its Spreadsheets tool by adding a simplified toolbar to the top of the page, much like the one Google Docs received back in late March. The change is twofold: one to better organize all the various bits and pieces that had turned the tool into something resembling an airplane cockpit, as well as ready it for additional features.
All this isn't just cosmetic ,though; Google says overall speed has been improved, too. One of the things that's kept me away from using it all these years is that … Read more
Google's Documents and Spreadsheets service went down for approximately 45 minutes earlier this morning.
The service, Google's online productivity suite, went from having some features not working, like the log-out button and the document creation drop-down menu, to coming up with a 404 page.
The downtime calls into question the importance that online Web applications play in business use, as well as how Google's free document services have come to replace software solutions such as Microsoft Office for some users or teams that use Google's real-time collaboration features.
As a reminder, outages for Google Results should … Read more
The underappreciated Web spreadsheet EditGrid is getting a useful and cool new feature: built-in lookups to online resources. For example, if you want your online spreadsheet to display the current stock price of a company, or maybe its site's Alexa rank, you can now easily code that into your formulas.
Other functions give you data from the CIA World Factbook (natural gas reserves in Thailand, anyone?), baseball stats via Strikeiron, TechCrunch's Crunchbase company database, and other interesting info. If you want to get fancy, there are also functions to pull data straight from Web pages.
All the data … Read more
Corporate Wiki software company SocialText is adding a spreadsheet to its wiki product. The new feature, SocialCalc, allows users to collaborate on spreadsheets the same way they do in the company's text-based Wikis. The product is based on Dan Bricklin's open-source Wikicalc.
For spreadsheet jockeys this is both good and bad news. On the positive side, SocialCalc spreadsheets inherit wiki-style revision tracking, which is an automatic audit trail that will arguably be even more important on spreadsheets with financial and other hard data on them than it is on text-based wiki pages. "There's no inherent audit … Read more
Sun Microsystems has released the first beta for OpenOffice.org 3 for Windows and Mac. The new version of OpenOffice, which is a popular open-source competitor to Microsoft Office, looks to offer users improvements on every component from interface to features to behavior.
OpenOffice now natively supports OS X, so Mac users won't have to install the X11 module before running the suite. Full Vista support is also included in the beta, and didn't cause any problems during light testing. Notably, OpenOffice 3 includes filters for the new Microsoft Office document formats such as DOCX and XLSX as … Read more
Google has broadened the number of online applications that people can use offline, adding spreadsheets and presentations to the mix.
However, unlike with word-processing documents, spreadsheets and presentations can only be viewed, not edited, according to a post by marketing manager Andrew Chang on the Google Docs blog Friday. That's still useful, though. Chang gives the example of giving a slide presentation without having to worry about network access.
The offline access uses the Google Gears technology the search engine giant introduced in 2007 as an open-source project.
Google is trying to take on Microsoft with its online software, … Read more
Security researcher Bill Rios reported Monday that a cross-site scripting (XSS) attack against Google Spreadsheet could have exposed all of Google's services. XSS can occur whenever a legitimate site accepts input from the user but does not filter that input properly and could allow the injection of potentially malicious instructions. In this case, however, once an attacker gained access to any xxxx.google.com site, they would have access to other Google services, such as Gmail, Docs, and Code.
In an e-mail to CNET News.com, a Google representative confirmed that the flaw as described by Rios has been … Read more
On January 2, 1978, Software Arts was founded by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston to create an electronic spreadsheet. In June of 1979, the product of their collaboration, VisiCalc, made its official debut, and the personal computer was transformed. VisiCalc has faded into software history, but it was the clear ancestor of Microsoft Excel.
In this Super Techies interview, I chat with Dan Bricklin about software innovation past and present. Bricklin discusses how he dreamed up the idea for VisiCalc, his excursion into handwriting applications for the tablet PC, and his current role as the inventor of WikiCalc, a collaborative … Read more
Google on Wednesday unveiled Gadgets for Spreadsheets in Google Docs, allowing people to create graphical representations of data in spreadsheets and publish them on Web sites.
For consumers, this means they have a dozen or so new ways to look at data in their spreadsheets. Google has put up a gallery of specialty gadgets to choose from. They include gadgets to display data on a pie chart, map, time chart, funnel chart, Gantt chart, pivot table, and on a heat map if it's geographical data. You can even create interactive charts like those used by Google Finance and for … Read more