The nature of documents has changed completely, but the way most of us understand them has not. When we think of the word “document” most of us simply think of words on a page; however, when we create a document using a word processor, what we see is essentially the surface of the ocean. We are not always cognitively aware of the fact that the print preview of the page, we can see is only the outer façade of an interior architecture comprised of complex and intricate code.
We’re not just pushing paper anymore; dealing with digital documents can be complex. We handle multiple file formats and need to convert them back and forth. We keep track of dozens of individual files layered with hidden information and need to use it to our advantage. On top of that, we need to know whether important files have been manipulated or altered, and if so, see what changes have occurred. As professionals who send and receive a multitude of digital documents every day, each of us should wonder, “do I have easy access to the tools I need to process and send files – in the right formats – with complete confidence in the security and of the accuracy of our information?”
Metadata simply means “data about data”. It’s the underlying information meant to help us keep track of our files. Most of us, however, are unaware of the enormous amount of hidden metadata built into our files. Metadata can be as basic as author, date created, date modified, and file size – but it can also be far more detailed, covering specific modifications, copyright notices, locations, and even personal details about the author(s). Professionals who deal with all kinds of electronic documents (no matter the industry) need to understand in what contexts metadata may be harmful to privacy or security. Metadata in contracts, for example, could influence the outcome of major business negotiations and transactions.
Speaking of contracts, how can you ensure the signed agreement you received matches the agreement you sent out? You could comb through every jot and tittle with a fine-tooth comb; yet, missing one altered word, or symbol, could change the terms and conditions of an entire contract and cost you or your business a hefty sum. You might have access to comparison software in your home office, but can you quickly compare and share that time-sensitive deal during a flight, a long commute, or at a hotel?
Secure Effective Mobility
As the world has grown increasingly mobile, so has the need for an easy-to-use, secure mobile solution to quickly process important documents. Luckily, Litéra has been working hard to meet that need with a readily accessible reality. It’s called Litéra LiVE™. I recently met with a Litéra development guru, Ian McCormick, and asked him to tell me all there is to know about the service.
Question: What is Litéra LiVE™?
Ian McCormick: Litéra LiVE™ is a universal mobile subscription-based platform that allows you to easily perform professional-grade document comparisons, clean potentially harmful hidden metadata, and convert document formats to PDF. It’s a mobile professional’s productivity tool bag readily accessible from any device, whether you’re using your office desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
Q: Can you tell me more about the features?
IM: Here are some of the initial Quick Tools features at a glance:
- Professional Document Comparison
- Compare plain text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- Modify Output: Redline or Tracked Changes
- Intelligent Table Comparison (e.g., embedded tables in Excel spreadsheets)
- Compare Comments
- Compare image changes
- Identify moves, additions, deletions, and modified changes
- Compare Headers and Footers
- Detailed Change Reports
- Complete Metadata Cleaning
- Preview, analyze and clean metadata from Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, images and ZIP files before document disposition
- Intelligent Find & Replace removes sensitive data such as Social Security numbers or credit card information
- Simple PDF Conversion
- Convert any document to PDF
Q: What do I need to use Litéra LiVE™?
IM: Simple. All you need is a device with:
- An Operating System
- Internet Access
- Internet Browser
- HTML5 Support
- Chrome 35 and later
- Internet Explorer 9 and later
- Firefox 32 and later
Q: Do I need to install anything on my system?
Q: Who might benefit the most from using Litéra LiVE™?
IM: Anyone who deals with documents regularly and needs to ensure the accuracy privacy and security of their documents, with the ability to convert to PDF. Off the top of my head, I would say lawyers, paralegals, copy editors, journalists, teachers, students, administrators, secretaries, anyone in sales, etc.
Q: As a mobile platform, how secure is Litéra LiVE™?
IM: Litéra LiVE™ is very secure. The website is HTTPS secure, and we keep the server up-to-date with the most current encryption technology. Furthermore, the platform encrypts, secures, and clears everything it processes. In the immediate future, the platform will clear all information automatically after 24 hours, but the user will also be able to clear information manually after receiving back their processed documents.
Q: How easy is it to use?
IM: Ease-of-use is one of the main benefits of Litéra LiVE™. It is designed to be a mobile convenience for professionals who need a quick and easy solution to clean, compare and convert their documents.
Q: How much does it cost?
IM: We currently offer a 14-day free trial of Litéra LiVE™ so anyone can have the opportunity to “test drive” the service, so to speak. We always want to make sure that we are adding value to the lives of our clients. We want those who subscribe to get a feel for how valuable the service will be for them. Once the free trial is up, users will have the option to subscribe annually.
Q: Are there other services comparable to Litéra LiVE™ in today’s marketplace?
IM: A few services attempt to do the same type of work that we’re doing, but they mostly overcharge you for something that does less than half of what we’re offering through Litéra LiVE™. I’ve seen one document comparison offering in particular, with a nicely designed UI [user interface], but the quality (technically speaking) isn’t nearly as good as ours. They also require you to install a desktop product in order to drive the service online. We’re not asking for that. What makes us truly global is the ability to access Litéra LiVE™ from any platform because we’re not installing and storing information on your devices.
There are of course other enterprise solutions out there, but this is the first truly mobile platform to make enterprise level tools easily accessible to anyone, anywhere, on any device. I’ve also not seen many other services like this that are available as a membership-based subscription, and the ones that I do know about don’t offer half of what Litéra LiVE™ is making available.
Q: Can you tell me anything about what is coming next for the service?
IM: Of course. Litéra LiVE™ is starting with Quick Tools (Clean, Compare, and Convert technology), however, it is going to grow into an even broader service in time as we add new features.
Coming soon to Litéra LiVE™:
- Change-Pro® Mobile App
- Litéra EKTA® Integration – easily view all your documents from one place regardless of where they are stored
- Quick Tools Batch Processing
- Office 365 Application Integration
Q: Thank you Ian for all the great information on Litéra LiVE™!
IM: No problem. I’m glad to help. One last thing, if anyone wants to learn more or try out the service they just need to open up their browser and go to www.literalive.com.
Since the vast majority of us don’t use typewriters or snail mail to create and send paperwork anymore, the two most beneficial things we can do moving forward are:
- Gain a better understanding of electronic documents and how they impact our daily workflow
- Get access to professional tools to help secure, control and format our documents
When we realize the potential risks (and rewards) of working in the era of electronic information, we can begin to leverage the technology needed to secure our information, gain a competitive advantage and achieve monetary success. In the end, that is the goal of Litéra LiVE™, to be the quick, easy, secure and mobile solution for every professional document need, to help you work smarter, not harder, with complete confidence in the privacy, security and quality of your most important content.
Staff Writer – Litéra