A couple of recent blog posts from the blogosphere featuring Zoho Writer caught our eye. The first blog post by Joe has 8 nice tips for using Zoho Writer. Sample this :
Modifying Tables – After adding a table to your document, Writer makes it very easy to add additional rows and columns to your table. This is something that I always have trouble teaching others to do. With Zoho Writer, it is just a matter of a click or two and you have made your changes. By clicking on the row or column where you would like to add additional items, you are presented with a right and left or up and down arrow as well as an x. The right and left arrows add a column and the up and down adds a new row. The x will delete the column or row.
And the second one by Andy Merrill compares the various online word processors. Andy writes about Zoho Writer :
To start with it has a very nice interface. They have a couple rows of buttons and drop down options across the top toolbar. Along the left side bar is a listing of my documents . There are options for templates, sharing docs, publishing to blogs, and exporting. They allow you to customize the interface to look how you prefer it. All of these additional options are nice, but what really makes this my preferred online word processor is the simplicity of all of. There are tons of options, but they donâ€™t hit you over the head with all of them (couge*google*cough). The options are there if you need them, but it still has a clean streamlined interface. The more I use Zoho Writer the more I find things I like about it. For example, a lot of the standard Word keyboard shortcuts work. Without even thinking about it I just ctrl+S to save and it saved my document. It has contextual options that show up on the right side of the toolbar depending on what you have highlighted. The whole thing is very well designed and laid out. Documents open in tabs and it is a very quick to respond to commands like saving or creating a new document. In my experience it is faster to load and respond to my commands than the other online word processors. Zoho Writer is in Beta still, but I was looking through their forums and they have a very active team working on peoples questions and issues there.
And he concludes :
Google Docs will probably ultimately become the standard online word processor because they are a heavyweight in the industry, but they really could use the help of a good designer. Even though I’m a Gmail user their interface takes too much effort to use. It is because of the interface that I will be doing my writing with Zoho Writer. It is very well laid out and runs very smoothly. The only issue I ran into with Zoho Writer is that you can’t make folders for grouping documents (or if you can I can’t figure out how to do it). However, it is still in Beta so I sent in a request for this to be added. Still, Zoho Writer is the best choice for what I need.
Thanks, Joe and Andy! About Andy’s request for folders, Zoho Writer has a novel way of using “tags as folders“. May be Zoho Writer will add the ‘conventional’ folders concept in future.
Update : Found a third post by Larry Hendrick just now. Larry writes, “It [Zoho Writer] doesnâ€™t feel like a web-based program. It is much better than everything else I have tried“. More at his post, “10 Reasons to Like Zoho Writer (and more)“.