Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Create Office and PDF Documents Online for Free

Office Thinkfree Online is a wonderful website for libraries looking to provide office functionality on their Public Access Computers. In essence, Thinkfree provides three office applications online at no charge: Word, Excel and Powerpoint. You can even save your documents as PDF files, a feature that won't be available in the Microsoft Office Suite until Office 12. All the work is done through a web browser.

Adam Beatty and I signed up for an account to test it out. It is a simple registration process so five minutes later we were using the applications. The service will give you 30 MB of free space to store your documents online, but you can also save to your harddrive, floppy or USB drive. We created a .doc, ppt, pdf and xls files with no issues. We even printed directly to our local printer without doing any special configuration.

The service is provided through java applets that have to be reloaded every time you log into page so if you are limited by bandwidth be forewarned that it might be slow. Otherwise, we found the product to be very good and recommend it to libraries who need an alternative way to provide office functionality to their patrons.


  1. Thanks for posting about this. There's a typo on the link to -- you're missing the 'k'. People can probably figure it out, but I thought you'd like to know.

  2. Thanks for pointing this out. It is now fixed.