Zoho Office Integrates with Google Drive

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Recently we have seen our friends at Google open up their SDK for Google Drive letting third parties integrate their apps into Google Drive. We excitedly pounced on it and we are now thrilled to announce that Zoho Office is now integrated with Google Drive.

What does this mean? To start with, Google users can now open their documents using Zoho’s Writer, Sheet & Show – our word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications. Of course, this integration is not just for viewing your files using Zoho’s apps, but you can also edit your documents and save them back to Google Drive. Better yet, you can also create new documents using Zoho’s editors and save those documents in Google Drive…all without needing to create a Zoho account.

But wait…it gets better. You can even collaboratively work on documents with other Google users, inside the Zoho editors. As all your documents are saved in Google Drive, you have the inherent advantages of Google Drive where your files are automatically synchronized between your various devices.

Taking advantage of all this goodness is actually pretty straightforward. Users just need to install Zoho apps from the Google Chrome Webstore.

Once installed, get over to your Google Drive and click on “Manage Apps” in Google Drive settings menu and check the box next to “Make [App Name] the default for files it can open”. This enables users to access Zoho apps with just a click from Google Drive. In the contextual menu of each document, users will see options to open the document with the respective Zoho editors. Of course, if you prefer to use Google’s editors, that is also possible. Just that you have an additional option with this integration.

If you are trying to create a new document in Google Drive, choose ‘New’ option and you’ll find Zoho Apps under the ‘More’ option. You can edit an existing document by just right clicking on it and choosing the Zoho app.

When you save, the modified document will be saved in Google Drive as a new document, thereby leaving the original document untouched. This new document comes with extensions recognized by Zoho’s apps. For example, a text document, BusinessProposal.doc, from Google Drive, when edited in Zoho Writer and saved, will be saved as BusinessProposal.zdoc in Google Drive. Similarly the extensions for Zoho Sheet, Zoho Show are .zsheet and .zslides respectively.

Collaboration is also simple. You can invite your Google contacts to collaborate on their Google Drive documents and edit them using Zoho editors in real time.  Based on the permissions, you will be allowed to access the document for collaboration.

If you have the Google Drive app installed on the Mac or the PC, you will also be able to access Zoho documents right from the desktop.

To get started, do take a look at the presentation that explains this integration,

We hope you like this integration.  We are excited to bring our powerful Office suite to Google Drive, complementing Google’s applications. As always, we look forward to hear your feedback, questions. We are all ears!!

Update: Our friends at Google gave us an opportunity to share our technical experience about the Zoho Office – Google Drive integration in Google developer blogs. You can take a look at it to know how the integration started, what are all the technologies used behind the scenes etc.,


Faster macros for your spreadsheet!

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We have made a significant update to the VBA Macro Engine in Zoho Sheet. Your macros could now run faster by up to 75% than before, depending on what your macro does.

Try the sample spreadsheet embedded below which uses Macros to generate Vicsek Fractals – a nice recursive pattern. Click on the ‘Generate Fractal’ button in each worksheet to generate different fractals. You can also change the number of iterations on the spreadsheet and generate the fractal again. Use the ‘Click to Edit’ button if you want to change the number of iterations.

Fractal generator using Zoho Sheet.


Learn more about this enhancement on our discussion forum.

Going forward, we will add more features to our Macros functionality
such as User Defined Functions, HTTP requests, and more. Let
us know what features in Macros, you would like to see in Zoho Sheet.

How the UK Govt and a Wildlife Reserve are using Zoho Sheet

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With this post, we’d like to showcase two completely distinct but interesting ways in which Zoho Sheet is being used.


1. Data.gov.uk

Uses Zoho Sheet’s

Online Viewer API
to open public spreadsheet files on the browser.
The UK government had opened up its data for other people to re-use. This is only about non-personal, non-sensitive data – information like the list of schools, crime rates or the performance of your council.

Data.gov.uk
is the first step in creating a network of re-useable government data. It is a key part of the UK Government’s work on Transparency which is being lead by the Transparency Board.
You will find over 5,400 public datasets about how governments spends money. Most of these are in the form of CSV and XLS files. This website uses Zoho Sheet’s 

Online Viewer API
to allow viewing these public spreadsheet files on your browser. Here is an example. Click on the image to go to that website.
When you view these public spreadsheets using Zoho’s editor, you can optionally save the spreadsheet to your Zoho account and do further analysis on the data such as creating Pivot Tables, drawing Charts, using the 350+ formulas available with us, etc. 

2. Darley & Nutwood Local Nature Reserve
Uses Zoho Sheet to create spreadsheets of wildlife registers and publish these spreadsheets online for everyone to see.

darleyandnutwood.org.uk
maintains wildlife registers on Zoho Sheet. This includes sighting of rare and uncommon species of birds, mammals, insects and plants. They are a small group of people from all walks of life having one thing in common: To study and protect wildlife.
Nutwood is a small area north of the city of Derby in central England and it has been designated as a Local Nature Reserve by Natural England. It is owned by Derby City Council who have commissioned the Wildlife Trust to produce a Management Plan recommending actions between 2007 and 2011. A Management Group has been formed several years ago to administer this plan and much has been achieved.
From their website:

If you are a Wildlife Enthusiast, if you are interested in birds, mammals, insects or plants, whether you are a beginner or know quite a lot about it, this may interest you. We have a very small group of dedicated enthusiasts constantly watching and monitoring aspects of the wildlife in our Nature Reserve. I hope you’ve been able to look at our wildlife registers on this site which will give you an idea of what we are trying to do.



We are looking towards expanding the group by getting dedicated local people involved, particularly dealing with insects and plant life on the Reserve. You would not be committed to a particular work program and we would encourage people to develop their own approach with advice and support from the Management Group. You could devote as much or as little time as you wish. Be a wildlife enthusiast!
Zoho Sheet is used to maintain the online wildlife registers. These spreadsheets are then published so that they are available on a public URL and accessible to everyone on the internet. Here is a screenshot of part of the spreadsheet. Click on the image to view the Birds Register spreadsheet on Zoho.

How are you using Zoho Sheet? Do share your story with us by posting a topic at 

https://forums.zoho.com/zoho-sheet/share-your-story.
Follow us on Twitter: @zohosheet


Zoho Sheet page on Facebook: 

facebook.com/zohosheet

New in Zoho Sheet: Insert Buttons, XLSX Support, Time Zone Preference

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Zoho Sheet underwent an update last week with some cool functionality. Here are the new features in this update:

  1. Insert Button:

    Buttons which trigger VBA macros can now be inserted into your spreadsheets in Zoho. This opens up a lot of possibilities to create spreadsheet based applications. We would love to see what kind of spreadsheets you create using this. Here is a simple BMI (Body Mass Index) calculator with buttons embedded below. Just fill in your details and hit the calculate button.

    To insert a button, look for “Insert Button” under the Insert icon (plus icon) on the
    toolbar. You can then assign an existing macro to it or assign a new one by
    writing a VBA macro or by just recording a macro.

  2. Full XLSX Support:

    Earlier we supported import of xlsx files (Microsoft Excel’s file format since 2007). Now we support export to xlsx as well. Our APIs too support this new format.

  3. Time Zone Preference:

    We now respect your time zone preference and display the date and time accordingly. TODAY() and NOW() functions will give out the date/time based on your time zone setting. You can set your timezone preference by clicking on “Account Settings > My Account” link available on the top bar. You can also visit http://accounts.zoho.com and set your preferences which will be used across the various Zoho services.

Apart from the above, there are some enhancements and bug fixes as well. Refer our What’s New page for more information.

PS: Zoho Sheet is now on Twitter. Follow us @zohosheet.

Zoho Calculator?!

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Well, it’s not a new product from Zoho. At Zoho we have a tradition of fun Saturdays. A lot of our products sprung roots from some fun project initiated on these days. A few Saturdays
back, some of our developers in the Zoho Gadgets and Sheet teams wanted to develop a Windows-like calculator for Linux . And then they stumbled on the idea
of throwing more power at the simple calculator. Yes – you got it
right! We now have our own Zoho Sheet as a quick web based calculator. The power added to a simple calculator is mind blowing. Go
on! Do your calculations at a breeze on the web – and if your throw
away calculation is important enough, save it back as a sheet in Zoho
Sheet.

Other than the ‘Export as xls’, keyboard shortcuts and support for more than 300 functions, the biggest
advantage with this spreadsheet gadget is that it doesn’t require a Zoho login. Anyone can use it on the fly. Make it part of your
iGoogle start page and see how handy it is. Get the spreadsheet gadget from here.

Microsoft Excel 2007 (XLSX) Support & Other Enhancements In Zoho Sheet

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Zoho Sheet underwent few updates in the last couple of months after our Freeze panes update. Here are the highlights:


XLSX File Format Support

We recently added support for Excel 2007 file format (.xlsx). You can now import your xlsx spreadsheets to Zoho Sheet and edit them or publish them online. However, exporting to xlsx format is not yet supported. It will come in a future update, after which xlsx files will be supported via our Remote API too.


Collaboration Enhancements

When multiple people are collaborating on a spreadsheet at the same time, we now display who is working on which cell. Each collaborator is given a color code, and we highlight the cell which the user is working on using that color. When you hover the mouse over that cell, it displays the name of the collaborator. We have also fixed certain issues in real time collaboration. 


Cell Comment Enhancements

The cell comments user interface has been enhanced. Some pressing issues in cell comments have been fixed as well.

Apart from the above changes, we have done some performance improvements and bug fixes as well. Refer our What’s New page for more information.