Docufarm is an online, in-browser document viewer that I have recently discovered and already find very useful.
Install the Docufarm Firefox extension, and you can click on a link to a PDF, Word, PowerPoint or Postscript file and view that file from within your browser.
The main advantage of the extension is that it spares you the agonising seconds, even minutes, it takes to open an external application such as Microsoft Word or Powerpoint.
All the pages of the document are first presented in a "print preview" sort of format -- i.e. they are laid out, side-by-side, and only large text is visible. Click on any given page and you can zoom in. Admittedly, you will have to wait a moment for the page to come into focus, but it still beats the wait -- and the crunch on resources -- involved with opening an external application on your desktop. See for example this PowerPoint presentation about Google.
The user interface is innovative -- and seems to use AJAX -- but the makers could improve it. For example, I would like to be able to scroll or pan within a page.
Still, if Docufarm's creators continue to iterate this solution (by making it possible to edit text and save documents, for example), I think they will be on to a huge winner.
Tags: web 2.0