Review - Turbo Calc V5.0
Pauli Porkka pporkka@iki.fi

PRODUCT NAME

Turbo Calc V5.0

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

Professional spreadsheet program.

AUTHOR

Michael Friedrich

LIST PRICE

DM 199

SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

HARDWARE

At least a few MB of memory and CD-ROM Drive for CD-ROM installation

SOFTWARE

Amiga OS 2.0 or newer

COPY PROTECTION

None

MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

Amiga A4000/030/25Mhz, 16 MB FAST, 2 MB CHIP
AmigaDOS 3.0
1GB hard drive
2x CD-ROM Drive
NEC 3D MultiSync, Screen resolution 800x600

INSTALLATION

Uses standard installer program. VERY easy to install. Just pick a drawer to install to and you are done. Four (4) different languages are supported: English, German, Italian, French.

REVIEW

Being a user of TurboCalc since version 2 the usage is as straightforward as can be imagined. The same look and feel as in the previous v4. But lets go back to the basics for the readers who haven't used TC before.

TurboCalc is a professional spreadsheet program which doesnt have be shamed of its major counterpart in PCs namely Excel. TC is formed of a sheets (there can be several of these in one folder). In fact you could say that TC goes from simple 2D (rows and columns) to third dimension that of sheets. In one sheet you indeed have conventional rows and columns. To these columns and rows you can enter values and formulas how to count the values. This is the same as in every spreadsheet program out there. From the one sheet concept spreadsheet programs started to move on to third dimension which added several sheets to use from. The multi-sheet feature is infact quite handy since you can place lots of data like macros, seldom used data and graphs to a different sheets away from the actual 'user interface' sheet which is mostly visible to the user.

TC features all the basic features of spreadsheet program for editing: Copying, pasting, clearing. All the usual attributes like fonts, colors, frames and stuff. To support these basic attributes TC also includes context menus which popup from for example when you select a whole row, column or a single cell. This speeds up editing a lot removing the necessity to jump to normal menus everytime you need some basic option. TCs sheet has a toolbar for speedy access to different functions. You can freely edit the toolbar to suite your particular needs of functions. You easily remove and add buttons to the toolbar from list of available functions.

For the modern touch the HTML export was added to the TCs v5. You can save the sheet to a HTML file which contains a TABLEs to reflect the row/col nature of spreadsheet. Only thing I missed was the ability to save as HTML only the selected portion of sheet. Now it saves the whole sheet. Ofcourse this can easily be circumvented by copying a portion of sheet and pasting it to another one and then exporting that as HTML. You can also import from Excel's 5 and 7 version sheets. I didn't test this one, so I cant say how it works. Apparently imported sheet's original outlook may change if some exotic features of Excel has been used on the original.

TC can also be used as simple database program with its database commands. You can search and filter data on given parameters quite easily. For simple use like keeping address registry of business partners or something like that this might become very handy.

If you need graphical presentation of your data just select from loads of different graphs which are quite common to all spreadsheet programs. Pies, bars, lines and areas and ofcourse 3D versions of these are readily available. I liked the feature being able to create graphs to seperate windows or to be able to place them on the actual sheet. Both methods are usefull, placing graphs to a datasheet gives you some cool presentation sheets and on the other hand keeping graphs on their own windows gives you more space to work with. Ofcourse you can also save the graphs to IFF files to export to other programs and maybe to a WWW page too.

DOCUMENTATION

Provided as on-line amigaguide help. Context sensitive helps provided in just about everywhere. Seperate amigaguide help provided for OS2 users. This help doesn't use OS3 amigaguide specific formatting codes.

LIKES

Quite fast, easy to use. Good online help provided.

DISLIKES AND SUGGESTIONS

Very minor. Author contact information wasn't available anywhere, atleast I couldn't find any. On the other hand technical support is provided via distributors so that pretty much covers it.

BUGS

None found during frequent use.

CONCLUSION

Excellent product. Does what it claims to do and excels in it too. Is sufficiently fast and therefore doesn't leave you hanging. This is just the kind of products from which you can clearly see that product has been done by professionals.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Pauli Porkka 1997. Originally written for Amiga CD-ROM site http://www.iki.fi/pporkka/main.html. This article is in Public Domain.
Feel free to publish anywhere with original copyright notice.


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