Zoho Writer

Zoho Writer is an online, colloborative, Web 2.0, AJAX based word processor. It has been around for a while, but I just got the time to check it out. I had been using Writely for about 6 months and was impressed with it. However, Writely could not successfully post my documents to blogs. Understandably, my Blogger account has been upgraded to the new Blogger Beta but posting to WordPress from Writely also failed.

So I decided to find out an alternative and landed on Zoho Writer. I discovered that it was a set of services that included an online spreadsheet, presentation tool, chat tool and a PIM. Thats a complete set of tools for everyday use.

Zoho Writer was neat and clean to start with. However, I did not receive the confirmation email even two days after registering. My account would be closed if I do not confirm my email address within 7 days. On to the functionality, the app was a breeze to use. Images, emoticons, links, tables, and standard formatting options are available. I felt I had a nice replacement to my WordPress editor coz,I did not have much formatting choices with that editor.

Using Zoho Writer, documents can be shared with others, emailed and exported in a variety of formats including OpenDocument and PDF. Another nice feature about Zoho is that it maintains a history of changes to the document. Documents are autosaved once in a couple of minutes. However, the biggest advantage it has over Writely is that it can have multiple documents open as tabs. How convenient that would be when working on multiple things!

Inserting images into documents is as easy as it can get, but once an image is uploaded, the entire app becomes sluggish making it very difficult to work. So I have decided that I will upload all the images after the editing is complete. Tables too can be easily included in documents and nesting tables is also simple.

Overall, the experience looks very positive and better than what I had been used to. Finally, I tried publishing this post from Zoho Writer and it looks good. (Edited from within WordPress:A lot of words were combined after publishing. May be they thought we did not want that extra space between our words!)

I had a look at other tools as well, though I did not dive into the details and they all look equally good. A single sign on is provided to sign into any of the services and further simplifies the overall procedure to create documents

Zoho Writer

Click for a larger screen shot


3 responses to “Zoho Writer

  1. Bala, sorry about that confirmation mail part. Can you mail us at accounts[at]zoho.com, the email ID that you used while registering with Zoho (Writer)? We will check whether we have sent the mail or it got lost somewhere on the net/landing up in your spam folder etc.

    About the words getting combined, it happens sometimes. Since you are a tech guy (saw that in your About page ;-)), let me explain a bit. Zoho Writer treats \n (the new line character) differently from . The new line character isn’t taken into account when it gets posted as a blog. We are analyzing why this happens and will have a fix soon.

  2. oops the line “Zoho Writer treats \n (the new line character) differently from .” is actually to be read as

    Zoho Writer treats \n (the new line character) differently from the br (break) tag in HTML. The WordPress comment box has this bug of dropping ‘less than’, ‘greater than’ symbols.

  3. Arvind, thanks for clarifying. About the email, I checked my spam folder and did not find anything there. I will email to the address you have mentioned. I do plan to try out other Zoho products and will surely write about them in the coming days.

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