ComTech: IT Support Stirling

Blackberry Playbook document editing finally sorted

Today is a good day.  I have finally found and app on my Blackberry Playbook that allows me to view and edit documents while still keeping the same format they were sent in.  Before I am told “but the Playbook comes with Docs To Go as standard” I shall explain further. Docs To Go is ok at editing files but I have always found it doesn’t handle formatting very well. Documents saved as .doc or .docx files always seam to look a bit odd (graphics out of place etc) so I decided to have a look in App World to see if anything else is available.  There is.

That app people is Smart Office 2.  Smart Office 2 was originally an Android app which has been ported over to Blackberry.  It isn’t free (£7.50) but in my experience so far well worth the money.


It allows you to open, edit and save any file in your documents along with the ability to access your Dropbox, Google Docs or Box account which is very handy.  Since all my files are stored in Dropbox the ability to access, edit and save them back to Dropbox is great.

The best part however is that the original file keeps its format so when I make up and send an invoice to a client it looks exactly as it should.

If you work on the move and are lucky enough to own a Blackberry Playbook you should seriously check this app out.

About the Author


Hi I am Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows and Linux based IT Support, laptop repairs and computer repairs to both business and personal clients in and around Stirling.

For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website where you will find a list of my services, testimonials, blog and much more.


Open Source Software

Here at ComTech I love open source software.  Not only because it is free but also because it gives the user choice.  Open source software is packed full of features that are usually only found in their more pricey cousins and today we shall explore some of the best open source software on the market.

Word Processing

Love it or hate it Microsoft Word is still the standard for word processing.  Bundled within the mighty Office 2010 suite (priced at £110) everyone thinks there is no alternative.  Enter far left Libreoffice Writer.  Bundled as part of the fantastic Libreoffice suite Writer can open any word document, save documents in .doc format and is just as competent as Word.  There are slight differences in the way the menus work but not enough to distract from the functionality of the program.  Libreoffice can be found at


Like Microsoft Word  Microsoft Excel has been the standard for spreadsheets for a long time.  But again as part of the Libreoffice suite I give you Libreoffice Calc.  Based on the same philosophy as Writer it is fully compatible with Microsoft Excel without having to pay for the licence fee.

Email / Calender Tool

Almost everyone will have used Microsoft Outlook for emails and the reason is it is a cracking piece of software.  But what are the alternatives?  One you should try is Evolution.  Evolution works on both Windows and Linux and is just as functional as Outlook.  It is easy to set up email accounts and saving email settings is just a couple of clicks away.  Overall it is probably slightly easier to use than Outlook and I would definately recommend it.  It can be found here.

Desktop Publishing

The experts choice has to be Microsoft Publisher 2010.  It supports professional colour formats and uses the familiar Office ribbon menus.   It also comes with a wide selection of pre-designed templates which makes it easy to get up and running in no time.  The alternative here is Scribus.  In many ways Scribus is much more powerful the Publisher 2010 however it can be slightly harder to get to grips with but it does include excellent online help and guidance for all levels of user.  It is available for Linux and Mac and can be found at


There are literally hundreds of free antivirus products on the market but the one that stands out and comes recommended by me is Avast Free.  This is a great little program which runs quietly in the background checking your computer with its real time shields and updates automatically.  You do have to register it but the licence is free and lasts for 1 year when you just register it again!  Download it at

Photo Editing

Adobe Photoshop is the undisputed king in photo-manipulation software but as always there is an alternative and this time it comes in the form of Gimp.  Gimp is a credible alternative to Photoshop, with many advanced features and even shares a similar menu layout.  It also comes with support for pretty much every file format you can think of it is a great way of learning the ropes of advanced photo editing without spending any money.  Gimp can be found at

There are many more free alternatives to mainstream software which we don’t have time to explore.  The best way to learn about open source software is use the internet and remember open source can be used for business as well as individuals.  Go learn!!!

About the Author

Hi I am Chris the owner of ComTech. I provide IT Support, Laptop repairs and Computer repairs to both personal and business clients in and around Stirling. For a list of what I can offer you why not visit my website where you will find my blog, testimonials, services and much more.  Start supporting a local business today so I can start supporting you.

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