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NZ Software Helps Internet Users

People wanting to retrieve electronic files over the Internet might find it easier, faster and cheaper by using new software developed by Onstream Systems Ltd of Wellington. The company's Trapeze Highwire software allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to access and view the documents. "As long as the files have been put into electronic form, this will get them - maps and plans, too," Onstream director David Kelly says.

The company recently sold the software to the copyright holders of a large collection of Irish archive documents. The documents have been electronically imaged, so people using Trapeze Highwire could, for example, track their Irish ancestry. Onstream also won a contract last year to supply elements of the software to Her Majesty's Land Registry, Britain's property titles office, which has records going back centuries.

The office has begun putting many of its archives into electronic files. Other sales have been to local authorities in Britain. The project to develop Trapeze Highwire was assisted by Technology New Zealand, which invests in research into new products, processes or services. Mr Kelly says the electronic files can be of any size - possibly thousands of pages - and the system is designed so users can handle them in manageable chunks, aided by previews.

"People can simply grab thumbnails of the pages they need and drag them into bookmarks, without having to download or view the whole file. It's the only software in the world that allows users to go through a folder of files as if they are physically doing it.

"They can do measurements and print to scale over multiple pages if the user's printer is only a small one. Other systems don't do that."

He says the software speeds up document retrieval and slashes costs because people don't have to convert whole folders of paper documents into electronic form. –

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