Practical Uses of Zoho Sheet

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Dmitry Buterin makes a very good point that adults, like children, learn by watching others. He extends the analogy to web-applications and mentions about Zoho Sheet too.

He writes:

Using online office applications is still very much a novelty. Thus, many users might not be asking themselves “Do you have feature X?” or “Which online app has more features?” but rather “How the heck can I make practical use of this in my life?”

The websites for Numbler and Zoho Sheet websites provided no obvious clues about what I could do with their products.

Now, that’s absolutely right. The idea is new. So there has to be a “How the heck can I make practical use of this” list with every Web-Application. We regret that the clues are not obvious. But some users have put to use their imagination and have come up with great uses for Zoho Sheet. (Yeah, well there’s this child-like excitement when someone does something as cool as these, you know)

That aside, here are some practical or everyday uses of Zoho Sheet:

(1) Help your child with seventh grade Geography homework on the topic of, say, “losses due to various natural disasters” while you are away from home.

(2) You can put up a comparison for the prices at various hotels in your city and share it with your friend who’s planning to visit your city shortly. And to provide a visual clue, you can draw a chart instead of several rows of numbers. If you think, “What’s good about that?”, there’s no need to have any spreadsheet installed on your (or your friend’s) hard-disk. (Ok, this was inspired by Zoli’s hotel room bill sheet)

(3) Manage your expenses every month. You can create a sheet for the first month allocating percentages for various expenses and clone the sheet for calculating the same for every month.

(4) Not-so-much-of-day-to-day-use, but an excellent example where complicated formulas were involved : Ismael Ghalimi’s Navigation Log for Cross Country flights.

There are no limitations for day-to-day uses of Zoho Sheet. As with any web based service, it is entirely upto the user’s needs and imagination. And as Mapz mentions, some thirty minutes of ‘fun-work’.

Zoho CRM : User Review at

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It has only been a few days since we released Zoho CRM 5 & it is nice having this as the first review at :

A feature-rich and advanced web-based CRM program.

17-May-2006 10:54:09 PM
Reviewer: kjknight3

Pros: If you’ve used, you’ll feel right at home with this CRM program.

Very nice user interface, with a few customizable skins (wouldn’t mind a few more choices however). For 1-3 users this is a free program. Over that and it is fee-based. This program has any feature you could want, and then some.

Fortunately, if you click on the Help link, you’ll be treated to a very comprehensive training guide.

Cons: That’s the only problem, it’s got so many features that you’ll need some experience to realize all the functions. If you are a novice with it, you might feel overwhelmed. Stick with it.

Using the help/training guide will get you thru all the features and functions, but take some time to learn and get comortable with it. It will pay off.

Link to the review.

Insert Rows, Fonts, Import CSV and more

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We have put out an updated version of Zoho Sheet with support for the most requested feature – Insert Rows and Columns. You can now Insert or Delete Rows and Columns. If you want to insert multiple rows, just select that many rows and click on the “insert rows before” / “insert rows after” buttons on the toolbar. Same goes for columns.

Zoho Sheet Toolbar

We have also added the ability to specify the Font to be used for each cell and its size.

You can now import CSV documents too in addition to MS Excel and OpenOffice Calc documents.

The Save As option can be used to save a copy of your file and work on the copy.

Sheets in a workbook can now be reordered by dragging the sheet tabs around.

All sheets in your account now have a Permanent URL which can be bookmarked using the right-click popup menu. You can even open them in a new browser window / tab by right-clicking on it and selecting the “Open in New Window / Tab” option. Well, this is an obvious functionality of Web 1.0, which often breaks when AJAX is used extensively.

Apart from that we have done some fixes and enhancements. More info at

Keep sending us your feedback to support (at) zohosheet (dot) com or use the Feedback link at

ZohoCreator: You can change ‘Field Type’ now.

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In the continuing series of highlighting a ZohoCreator feature every week, ‘Field Type change’ is one of the most useful feature which we released yesterday. Yes just yesterday!

Coming to the point, Till now…if you had ‘Picklist’ as the field type for Friends Category and you wanted to change it to ‘Checkboxes’. You did not have any choice but to delete and add it again. Sema kadiya irukkum ( means “painful” in madras bashai).

But now you can change the field types as you like. Edit field configuration and select the desired field type from the ‘Field Type’ picklist. Done.

We hope you find this feature useful.


WIMP/Folders Vs Search/Tags

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Have been following an interesting thread by Nick Carr, Rajagopal Sukumar & Sadagopan among others. Nick Carr came up with

What Microsoft is trying to do with its new Duet partnership with SAP – provide a user-friendly way to tap into data from a complex enterprise system – Google is trying to do on a much grander scale. It wants to be a front end for everything. One wonders if the big application providers will really want to forfeit the user interface – and the power it represents – to Google. One also wonders whether they’ll have a choice

Rajagopal Sukumar supports Nick saying,

We have been using  WIMP as the User Interface design strategy since the days when Xerox Parc and Apple Macintosh pioneered the GUI and subsequently made ubiquitous by Microsoft Windows. As everyone will attest software development costs time and money, so my argument has been that by  eliminating development on the Read part of the application, we can save time and money.

Now, there is a new twist to this strategy and that is Search. I think Search will make the WIMP interface obsolete for basic Information Retrieval/Foraging purposes.  Of course, for more advanced information retrieval applications you will use business intelligence tools.

But Sadagopan (and Vinnie Mirchandani – see the first comment of this post) are of the opposite opinion. Sadagopan asserts,

Google’s application centered interfaces are not that great – for example , its do not sort when you can search philosophy with Gmail is not exactly a great hit – I suspect that with my limited experience of using it, I end up spending more time in accessing information – this when I use my mailbox to 20% of its capacity.

In Zoho Writer, we try to capture the best of both worlds. While we have tags & the unique ‘Search based UI navigation‘ (where you can search/use features from a search box), we plan to come up with folders for organizing documents as an extension of the current ‘tags as folders‘ concept too. We tend to side with the Google way of doing things though & would not want features to be hidden within heirarchial menus.

For the power user in you – Zoho Planner API

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The success of GMaps says it all. APIs allow users to come up with their own applications creatively. Many Zoho Planner users have been asking for an open API for quite some time now & the Zoho Planner API has just been released!

With the Zoho Planner API, you can get all the info related to your Zoho Planner account & use it elsewhere to create interesting mashup applications. We believe the API will be a useful add in exploiting the power of Zoho Planner.

Check out the Zoho Planner API now. Do tell us what you think of the API & ask if you need anymore.

Note: A point worth remembering – we offer an unlimited Zoho Planner account for Free.