Review of Envoy for Windows

review-of-envoy-for-windows-photoOriginally published on November 4, 1995

If you have ever had the task of editing or commenting you may have had to print it out, edit it and then put in the additions to the original document.

This may have been all right if you are doing a one or two page editing job on a new manual that you are getting ready for publication. But say, for example, you are updating an already existing manual and have to ensure that changes are consistent throughout the document. Say al so that you not only have to cross reference several different sources of information such as legal and technical manuals but you also have to consolidate the different inputs of several colleagues. I had not heard much about Envoy when I installed it on my 486 Laptop but I have come to respect it and be a convert to its helpfulness.

To begin with, to avoid crowding the Hard drive on my computer I keep most of my files on my Iomega Zipdrive. In the past I have had problems with applications I installed in this manner. Either the installation goes roughly or the pointers to the removable Iomega drive confuse e the installation software. I went to File manager in Windows 3.1 and clicked on to the A drive where Envoy Setup file at the bottom of the menu display. I had to look for the setup file, it may be a good idea to rename it so it floats to the top of the file list, call it “asetup” or something.

The program came on one disk and it installed itself onto my Iomega without a hitch. The Button Bar on the viewer could use some variety since the 7 different text and graphics programs supported are represented with the same Icon. But what the package lacks in showroom finish it more than makes for in substance. Envoy supports Corel 4, Excel 5, Framemaker 4, Pagemaker 5, Quark 3 .2, Word 6 and WordPerfect for Windows. As part of the installation process the Envoy Driver installed itself into the Microsoft word printer option list the I had.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it in there and had to only choose it as my default printer to save myself the hassle of always having to go to the setup screen to do so. I printed a 2 page paper to the Envoy Driver which immediately launched Envoy’s viewer and there was my document ready to be annotated and edited. The Button Bar on the top of the page included a number of useful tools enabling me to search for text annotation Zoom in/out. Also included are a several text annotation methods such as sticky yellow notes, hi-liter, hyper-te xt links, bookmarks. Also when several pages are involved are the thumbnail sketches allowing drag and drop annotation and editing. The On-line users manual was accessible from the Icon suite from the Program Ma Manager. The On-line manual is also available once the viewer has launched itself. I found it useful to save it as a text file and get it printed out.

It comes to 19 pages and covers most trouble-shooting scenarios. All in all I found the viewer an excellent addition and something that I would look forward to experimenting wit h further. My next project will be sending the document via modem and Internet to see if Envoy’s promise of collaborative effort holds and the document transfers intact.