Sharing Options in Zoho

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Here’s a question (with variations of it) we get from the first-timers of Zoho.

I have a document/spreadsheet/presentation that is to be emailed every time to a ‘prospect/client’ or to my ‘boss/peers/co-students/teacher for review’. In the former instance, “I don’t want the doc to stay in my prospect/client’s inbox (as documents soon become obsolete)”. And in the latter instance, “I and my boss/peers/co-students/teacher end up having multiple versions of the file, adding to my/their email clutter”. How can Zoho help me here?

Well, this is one of the fundamental problems solved by Zoho. Let’s say you have a .doc or .odt file. You have a few options in Zoho that would make things easier for you.

  • Import your document into Zoho Writer
    • Share it by giving the email addresses of your prospect/client, boss,peers, co-students or teacher. They will receive an email with a HTML link (URL) which they can click on to view the document. They can edit the document too, directly inside Zoho Writer if you have given them proper permission
    • Make the document public (if it doesn’t contain anything confidential) and give the URL to anyone who would like to view it.
  • Upload your document to Zoho Viewer. You get a URL which you email to everyone concerned & they can view it. Use the Zoho Viewer option judiciously – there’s an option where you can choose the URL to expire after a certain time period

Here’s a short screencast (our first attempt. bear with the video/audio quality please!) explaining the above options. For better clarity, view the video in Full Screen mode.

There are other advantages too.

  • No compatibility issues that come with using different types and versions of desktop software
  • You can keep updating your document and the latest version’s available for your prospect, client or whoever you want it to be viewed
  • Live collaboration is possible – you and your collaborators can work on a document or spreadsheet in real-time
  • And, you can chat too (using the embedded Zoho Chat)

Use Zoho. Say NO to email attachments.

Zoho for iPhone – Redesigned

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We just rolled out a new design for Zoho on iPhone. You can play with it @ (or The new design introduces a tabbed interface for navigation between Zoho Apps. Currently, Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show & Creator are supported in this new interface. We plan to add more apps and more functionality to this new version.

Once you login, the Zoho tab shows the recent 5 documents from each Zoho app. You’ll be able to view your personal and shared documents under the respective application tabs.

We are looking forward to your feedback on this new redesign.

Attach purchase order, expense receipts and other supporting documents with your invoices

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We are happy to announce the support for attaching documents while sending your invoices. Now you can attach your purchase order (PO), expense receipts and other supporting documents with your invoices.

How to attach documents?

You can attach documents while sending the invoice to your client. It is like attaching documents to your e-mail.

  1. Click on the “Send” button in the invoice details page.
  2. In the “Send Invoice” screen that comes up, click on the “Add” link in the attachment window to add your attachments.

Look at the image below for details:

Attaching PO with Invoice

What Next?

We will be enhancing this feature further. Instead of searching and attaching the documents while sending invoice to your client. We will give you options, to attach documents to the invoice as and when they are ready. Say for example, you will be able to attach an expense receipt to an invoice upon incurring that expense. While sending the invoice, the documents will be automatically attached to the invoice; of course you will have the option to remove the attachments.

Hope you find this feature useful. We would like to hear from you, feel free to share your comments.

Check into this feature by signing into Zoho Invoice now.

Happy invoicing,

Centralized Document Management with Zoho Projects

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As a project management tool online, Zoho Projects is a nice solution for teams working collaboratively on projects.

A project typically will have a good many files associated with it and what better way than to have them all maintained & managed at a central place. In Zoho Projects, each project has a Documents tab which lists all documents/files uploaded by its project members.

Zoho Projects’ integration with Zoho Writer and Zoho Sheet helps a lot too. You can open .doc, files in Zoho Writer and .xls files in Zoho Sheet directly. This eliminates the conventional way of working with Office documents – download them first to your desktop & then opening them using a desktop based software.

And here’s more. Once you open & edit such files in Zoho Writer or Zoho Sheet, you can save them back directly inside Zoho Projects’ Documents module! Add to this, the versioning support that the Documents module of Zoho Projects offers, you have a good, centralized document management system in your hands.

Try Zoho Projects now for your project and document management needs. We would be glad hearing your feedback.

Copy Database, HTML Import, Intelligent Chart Creation and Themes support in Zoho DB & Reports

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After the recent Zoho Sheet Pivot Table support which is based on Zoho DB & Reports, we have rolled in good set of useful features into Zoho DB & Reports. I have summarized the important ones here below. 

Copy Database:

With the new Copy Database feature, you easily create a copy of an existing Zoho DB & Reports database. This feature provides an option to make a copy of the database with or without existing data. If you copy without data, then only the tables and report definitions are copied. If you copy with data, then all tables, reports along with existing data in the database would be copied.

You can make a copy of a database following the steps given below:

  • Go to “Existing Databases” section in the home page
  • Under each database that is listed you will find a “Copy” link
  • Click on the “Copy” link for the database that you wish to copy
  • It will popup a dialog where you could provide the name and description for the new database that is to be created
  • Check/Uncheck the “Copy with Data” option depending on whether you would like to make a copy of the database with tables, reports and existing data OR just the tables and reports definition alone

Copy Database

With this option you could also copy any of the demonstrative Sample Databases that is provided by Zoho DB & Reports.

HTML Import:

Zoho DB & Reports now supports importing HTML table contents into Zoho DB & Reports. This enables importing data in any HTML table into Zoho DB & Reports as you import CSV data. The HTML file should contain at least one Table inside it for importing.

You can import data from a HTML file through any of the following means:

  • Copy/Paste the HTML code into the “Import Wizard”
  • Load a HTML file from a local folder
  • Load a HTML from any publicly accessible Web URL

More intelligence & convenience for designing Chart/Pivot/Summary views:

So far, while designing chart or pivot or summary view, you had to drag and drop fields listed on the left to the right-side design area and construct the view. Now we have provided checkboxes to just select the fields that are to be used to design the chart. This is apart from the existing drag and drop support.

Zoho DB & Reports intelligently identifies the appropriate position to place the selected field in the design area. Also as another step of intelligence, Zoho DB & Reports even selects the right function to apply on the field which is added to the design area.

Just Click

Filters & Search across all tabular views:

Filters and Search (Quick Filter) was introduced into Zoho DB & Reports in one of our previous update. It was initially supported only in Tables. Now you could do Quick filtering across all table based views in Zoho DB & Reports. This includes Tabular Views, SQL Query table and tables shown for displaying View Underlying Data in Charts, Pivots and Summary Views.

Color your Zoho DB & Reports interface with Themes:

Zoho DB & Reports now supports themes. You could apply the theme you like by choosing the “Themes” menu at the right top corner of the screen. Currently we have only two packaged themes available (more to come very soon….). The theme you choose will be set to your preference and applied across logins. I guess you would have already noticed that the snapshots embedded above in this blog post were all taken with our New Blue Theme.

Keep track of the  Zoho DB & Reports Feature Trail to know about all the features that are rolled-out into our service regularly. Try out the new features and let us know what you think….

Quality Products, Low Prices

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My favorite grocery store is Trader Joe’s. As I was waiting in line at the cash register today, I saw this message, handwritten on a black board:

High quality products
Ridiculously low prices
But talk is cheap
We invite you to shop and compare

Normally this kind of thing would sound, well, a bit cheesy. But at Trader Joe’s it somehow fits perfectly, because they actually live up to it, day in and day out. I am always surprised by the quality of the goods on offer there, and the prices at which they are offered. And they consistently come up with surprises, making it even fun to shop there – I say this as a person who absolutely hates shopping.

They are such a unique grocery store that they even have a fan site, – when was the last time you heard of a grocery store with a fan website?

At Zoho, our guiding philosophy has been “Quality products, Low Prices”. Trader Joe’s has been a continuing inspiration, every time I shop.

Maximizing the Zoho Writer Editor

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Here’s a query we often get from our Zoho Writer users :

How do I increase/maximize the editing (working) area in Zoho Writer? (or) How do I make Zoho Writer behave like a desktop word processor?

You have quite a few ways to get more writing area.

  • The left/right margins are 10% each by default. Minimize them (you can easily drag them) to get more space
  • Click on the Maximize Editor icon writer-maximize-editor.jpg , found next to the Delete button at the top-left of the Zoho Writer toolbar. You will find the left panel that lists your documents give way to more editing area. You can click on the same icon (which is now Minimize Editor) to return to the default editor.
  • Click on Options -> View Buttons. You can uncheck some of the button groups that you don’t typically use. This depends on your word processing needs. Or, you can click on Options -> Settings and uncheck the Show Toolbar option
  • Click on the F11 button (for both Firefox & IE). This will result in the tool & menu bars at the top / bottom disappear and the screen area getting larger
  • Use Mozilla Prism. Since each web application runs in its own window, Prism mimics a desktop-like experience. You can combine Prism with the above options to get more screen area

Want to tell us more on ways you are using Zoho Writer? Please feel free to leave your comments.