Act 3--featuring mail merges made easy

Several long-awaited features will make their appearance in Act 3.0 for Windows 95, Symantec's next release of the popular contact management package.

When Symantec unveils the new version of its top-selling contact management software--Act 3.0 for Windows 95--early next year, users will discover several long-awaited features.

One will let users work in their preferred word processor and merge letters and documents directly into Act 3.0 so they will no longer have to export individual files for mail merges.

Users will probably applaud the move by California-based Symantec to bypass Act 3.0's built-in word processor, described by some as only "functionally adequate".

Act 3.0 splits the difference between a major revamp and modest product tweaking.

The release spices up the report generator by adding sub-total results, statistics functions and sorting capabilities. This will help users integrate reports and figures from disparate sources and save time transporting them to other applications.

Even with the new bells and whistles, users will still have to wait for Symantec to include in Act the tool that lets them combine data from different databases into a central scheduler--thus preventing them from having to go into each of their separate calendars to see what they have to do that day.

Act 3.0 was due out in November, but due to some work to be done on compatibility with Windows NT it probably won't be ready until December.

Stephen Hassell, of Auckland-based Symantec distributor Sealcorp, says he expects Act 3.0 to be available in New Zealand in February.

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