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Zen Viewer, great-looking document management for iPad


Zen Viewer is a relatively new app (available on iTunes right now) that offers a fresh take on document filing, viewing and sharing on the iPad. It works with a host of online services, provides many options for file upload and download, and it looks great, too. Right now, it's a buck (US$0.99) It's currently selling for US$2.99, so it's worth a look.

We can start with the way it looks. You can start by "skinning" the app with a variety of color schemes and textures. There are a good number of free selections for download within the app, and more are available for purchase. I had no trouble finding a look I liked within the available free choices. You can also configure the interface in a number of ways, with sliding panels and collapsing sections. You quickly find a layout that works well for you, and you don't have to think about it again.

Getting files to Zen Viewer is easy, whether you want to use iTunes over USB, Dropbox, Google Docs, direct Wi-Fi connection or one of the other available modes. Transferring files back off of your iPad has as many options as well. You can create folders and subfolders to organize your documents, and the search feature makes it pretty simple to skip folder navigation chores. You can also filter your searches to certain document types and file extensions. Moving files around is a breeze with drag and drop and batch actions.

ZenViewerScreenShot2.jpgThere's a preview feature that will show you a thumbnail and the file's available metadata without having to open a file. One more tap, and you have a full viewer. Zen Viewer can natively view most file types, including PDFs, images as slideshows, Microsoft Office documents, Pages and Numbers files, EPUB books and many sound formats. It even has a built-in audio recorder for adding sound notes on the go.

There's a bookmark feature that stores locations at any point in a file and allows you to quickly jump between specific lines in your documents. You can also mark documents as "Favorites" for quick access from a panel of just your starred items. You can also password protect folders for more secure information and documents.

Zen Viewer's interface and capabilities have made it one of my new favorites in this category. There's some stiff competition, but I wouldn't hesitate to suggest that anyone who needs a great solution for document transfer, access and management give it a try. Check it out on the Zen Viewer homepage and grab it on the App Store.

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