Zoho Writer : Import from Google Docs & Equation Editor (LaTeX) support

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Today’s Zoho Writer update introduces three key functionalities

  1. Import Documents from Google Docs to Zoho Writer
  2. Equation Editor
  3. LaTeX Export

1. Import Documents from Google Docs to Zoho Writer

After we accepted Google and Yahoo! sign-in to Zoho (and Google Apps accounts sign-in), we were asked to implement import capability to Zoho. We have added this feature in this update. And now you can import your Google Docs into Zoho Writer. Here are the steps :

  • Login to your Google Docs account & choose the documents that you need to export to Zoho
  • Click on More actions -> Save as HTML (zipped) to your desktop
  • In Zoho Writer, click on Import -> Import Google Docs, select the zipped file path and click Import
  • All the Google Docs documents in the zip file will be imported into your Zoho Writer account & will be displayed in the left panel

We certainly don’t want to trap your information in Zoho. We will soon provide a mass Export option to take your documents to other services.

2. Equation Editor
As you may know, a significant % of our users are students. We got a lot of requests from this user segment to build an Equation Editor into Zoho Writer. And Zoho Writer has it now.

You’ll see a new Equation Editor icon (last one in the second row of the toolbar) which brings up a simple UI to create your equations. If you are a LaTeX guru, type your equation away and we automatically generate an image of the equation on the right. If you are not a LaTeX expert (like me), you can simply select the equation symbols with your mouse and we automatically build the equation for you. Once done, the equation image is inserted into your document.

After you insert your equation, if you want to make any changes to it, right click on the image and select Edit Equation.

3. LaTeX Export
As you see in the above slide show, we support LaTeX, the document markup language widely used by mathematicians, scientists, engineers and scholars in academia. We have a new option in Zoho Writer under Export, to save such files involving equations in LaTeX format as well.

Try the new features in Zoho Writer now & we will be glad knowing your comments.

Login to Zoho with your Google Apps Account

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We recently added support for logging into Zoho with your Google or Yahoo Accounts. What about Google Apps users?

Well, we support that too. Google Apps users can also login to Zoho with your Google Apps account. For this to work, you first have to login in to your Google Apps account. Here are the steps…

  • Login to your Google Apps Account
  • Go to any Zoho App and select Google Sign-In
  • Confirm that you want to use your Google Apps account
  • Grant Access to login to Zoho


If you are not signed-in to your Google Apps account before signing in to Zoho, Google rightly assumes that your are signing in with your Google account and not your Google Apps account. So you’ll have to login to your Google Apps first before logging into to Zoho.

Now that you can login to any Zoho App with your Google Apps account, it opens up some interesting possibilities. More on that later…

Page Setup & Page View Options in Zoho Writer

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Zoho Writer provides you with quite a few page setup options. For accessing them, click on the Page Setup icon page-setup-1.jpg (third from left, first row of the Zoho Writer toolbar). The pop-up window has 3 tabs marked General, Header & Footer.

In the General tab, you can set the font face, font size, page bg color, top/bottom & left/right margins, paper size, direction (those in the Middle-East can set right-to-left for Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu etc) & line spacing. All these properties can be set for each document by default. And if you want this to be applied to every new document you create, you can check the ‘Make it default for All New Documents‘ checkbox.

In the Header and Footer tabs you can choose what to display in the Left, Middle, Right areas of the Header/Footer sections of a document.

And the icon adjacent to Page Setup is Page View. Use it to see how your page will look while it’s printed – both width-wise & length-wise (where a page ends & the next one begins). The Page View is in Read Only mode currently & we will be extending this option to Edit mode soon.

Use the above options while drafting your documents in Zoho Writer & let us know in the comments below of how it went.

Do Document Formats Really Matter?

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Glad to see Microsoft supporting ODF, PDF and other document formats in Office 2007. As you may know, Zoho currently supports these formats (including OOXML). But then, going forward, do document formats really matter?

We need these formats to exchange files between computers and other users. More and more, we are seeing that the documents are moving online. We truly believe that online applications are the future where you can create and save your content online. When your data is in the cloud, your document is just a URL away. This means, you don’t attach files, you simply share them, online. You don’t need to copy files between computers. They are just a browser away from all the computers. In this pure online model, document formats doesn’t really matter. Even in the offline mode, you don’t really have a document format for browser-based apps.

We are not there yet to ignore these formats. But sure, we’ll get there one day.

Public Presentations in Zoho Show

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Zoho Show lets you view all public presentations in a single place. Public Presentations are the ones either created or imported to Zoho Show and made public by our users. These presentations are categorized as ‘Latest Presentations‘, ‘Popular Presentations‘ & ‘Featured Presentations‘. Of course, you can search presentations based on tags. You’ll find some really interesting material here across different topics.


You can view your public presentations here after you login or @ http://show.zoho.com/public/<zohousername>

If you want to make your presentation public but don’t want to list it in this section, you can do so under the ‘Publish’ Menu with the ‘Remove from Public List’ option.

For every public presentation you have an option to comment, email or embed the presentation. You can also view related presentations or other presentations from the same author.

Use Zoho Show for your Remote Presentations

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Using the web as platform allows for some very interesting possibilities. Like making a presentation to a world-wide audience sitting at your desk. Let’s see how you can use Zoho Show in doing such a remote presentation.

  • In your Zoho Show account, open the presentation that you need to present to your remote participants
  • Click on the Remote button
  • Give the ‘Email addresses of presentation attendees (Remote Users)’ in the pop-up dialog
  • You can set your own custom message for the email that is to be sent to the intended participants
  • Click Send button. The participants will receive your email with a link in it to click on
  • When you are ready to give the remote presentation, choose Start Remote from the Remote menu drop-down
  • The remote presentation gets started & your participants join in by clicking on the URL that got sent in your invite mail

You can chat with the participants in the chat window to the right. There are other options like Show Notes & Share this Desktop (other than the Zoho Show presentation, your whole desktop can be shared, which is done using Zoho Meeting, the web conferencing tool).

Try the Remote Sharing feature of Zoho Show & we will be glad hearing about it in the comments section below.

UPDATE : As always, Zoho fans are more thorough in explaining things than ourselves!

1. Amit Agarwal @ Digital Inspiration points to the advantages of Zoho Show’s remote feature – there’s no limit to the number of participants, you the presenter is always in full-control of the presentation & the participants need not have a Zoho account.

2. Richard Byrne notes that Zoho Show’s Remote feature “doesn’t require any software to be downloaded by you or your presentation attendees”.