DocReader is a Windows application to read Palm Doc-formatted files and unencrypted Peanut Press files on the PC. Note: Formatting is removed from Peanut Press files
Download the program (zipped, 262k)
At the time I wrote this, there were other good Doc readers out there, but most were written in Java, were slow, didn't let you change the font or resize the window, etc. This is a Windows application, that acts like a Windows application. It supports drag-and-drop, printing, and loading/saving Docs or text. It also keeps a list of the most-recently-used documents. You can change the font, the default document directory, colors, and of course the window size.
This is a stand-alone program: no registry changes (by default), no shared DLLs, etc. The only thing it writes to your disk is an .INI file in its own directory (NOT the Windows directory) so removing it is a snap. You can even run it from a floppy.
The source is also available (Delphi 4, zipped, 41k). Of particular interest are the TPalmDatabase and TPalmPDB classes, they may be useful for other applications. Also, the TDocFile class has the compression and decompression code, if you're interested in how it works.
Update: The Franklin eBookMan now supports Doc files! You can send Docs you create to your eBookMan. Check out EbmDoc for the eBookMan!
Suggestions or comments are welcome, email@example.com. The last update to DocReader was in 2000, but I still use it every now and then. But I don't have access to Delphi anymore, so I can only provide limited help.
Memoware: nice collection of Docs
- Memoware: nice collection of Docs
- Palm E-text Ring
- Pyrite Project info on the Doc format
- Plucker: A great reader for the Palm; doesn't read Docs but has utilities to convert HTML, plus it's free.
- Sunrise Desktop: Java-based scooper for Windows which automates collecting websites, converting them to Plucker documents and sets them up to install at next sync. Also supports right-click context menu selection of web pages in IE and Firefox. Freeware, but requires Java.
Some people have reported problems when using DocReader as a right-click option in Windows Explorer. I am running Windows 2000 and have never had any of these problems. Please send me info on your system configuration and a sample Doc if you can't read a Doc file for any reason.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Doc file?
Doc is the quasi-standard format for large text files (like e-books) on the Palm handheld computers.
Why can't I use the built-in Memo Pad for large files?
The Palm's Memo Pad program only holds 4K of data; for the non-tech types, that's about 4 to 5 printed pages. If you want e-books or other reference materials, you won't be able to fit everything you want in a Memo.
What is DocReader?
DocReader is a Windows application to read and create Doc files on your PC. DocReader is not a Palm application; if you download DocReader, you won't see anything new on your Palm.
What do I need for my Palm?
You need a reader application for your Palm. There are several; I use CSpotRun; it's free.
Can I edit the Doc file on my Palm?
I know of one program to let you do this: ZDOCm, maybe there are others?
Is this the same as a Microsoft Word .doc?
No, files created with Microsoft Word have the .doc extension (like Resume.doc), but this is not the same as a Palm Doc. I like to use an uppercase D in Doc to differentiate between Palm Docs and Word documents.
So can I even use Doc files in Microsoft Word? (or vice-versa?)
There is a program called PalmDocs that converts Word documents into Palm Doc format. It installs itself into MS Word 97 or Word 2000. If you don't want to pay for a program to do this, perform the following steps:
- Open DocReader.
- Select File...New and type the name of your new document.
- Open your MS Word document in Word.
- In Word, select Edit...Select All and then Edit...Copy.
- In DocReader, select Edit...Paste.
- In DocReader, select File...Save and save your new Doc file, then select File...Install.
- Hotsync your Palm.
What is a .PDB file? What is a .PRC file?
These are Palm Database files that have been copied to a PC. Many web sites have e-books and other text stored as .PDB or .PRC files, that you can open in DocReader, or install on your Palm. All Doc files are .PDB or .PRC files, but not all .PDB or .PRC files are Docs. If you try to open a file in DocReader that isn't a Doc, you will get a message to that effect.
Can I get more information?
See Memoware's site for additional help, as well as a lot of Doc files.