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9/96 Reviews SW: Info Accelerator 4.0

Listing of September 1996 Reviews

Slick PIM Slips Comfortably into Your Apps

By James E. Powell

Baseline's InfoAccelerator always speeded customer contacts. The new version, Info Accelerator 4.0, greatly enhances your ability to make those contacts.

Among the most welcome changes: the vastly improved user interface with Office- and PerfectOffice-compatible toolbars, pop-up tips and a cleaner, 3-D look. With an add-on Network Server License, IA can be networked.

The program's calendar now offers a yearly view with important days highlighted, and it can include a customer's name and address in an appointment. You can prioritize and roll over items from your To Do list to another day, exclude weekends and sort events by any criteria. There are dozens of new print options, too.

The address book can now store 10 telephone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses per record, and you can search by any field. The Notes feature can be used to store the time, date and duration of incoming or outgoing phone calls. Lookup is fast and flexible, though building a list of contacts is unnecessarily complex.

IA already worked exceedingly well with Word, WordPerfect and Ami Pro, adding its own menu options to these applications. Now, using it to create a quick letter or fax is slick indeed: The program automatically inserts the date, name, address, salutation and closing; it also stores the time, date and description of any document you create in that contact's Notes section.

Baseline wants IA to be your phone book for all applications; it cleverly adds buttons to key dialog boxes, letting you request addresses without changing tasks. You simply click on the button and add contacts from the IA lists; the program adds them to the proper spaces. Quicken, QuickBooks Pro and TimeSlips are the first to be supported this way, with 50 others to follow.

There are lots of nice shortcuts. You can insert common phrases ("Was busy," "Schedule lunch with" and so on) in the calendar or phone book. But there's still room for improvement. IA limits you to 20-character entries in each of the 100 user-definable fields, and it doesn't highlight conflicting appointments. In addition, its import utility is powerful but can be somewhat confusing to use.

Despite these flaws, users who spend their days immersed in a word processor will find IA 4.0's integration terrific. If you work with Quicken, QuickBooks or TimeSlips, you'll be in heaven.

--Info File--
Info Accelerator 4.0
$99.95; upgrades, $59.95
Pros: Word processor integration; performance
Cons: Cumbersome list builder
Platforms: Windows 95, 3.1x
Disk Space: 4.5MB
Baseline Data Systems
800-429-5325, 310-214-8528
WinMag Box Score: 4.5

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