I have not written about the Zoho online office applications lately, but that does not mean they aren’t doing anything interesting. Zoho just rolled out a major upgrade for Zoho Writer.
One of the benefits of using web-based applications is that updates can be rolled out without any interaction from the user. All the user has to do is access the application and start using the new features. The new features included in this update:
- View Content in Page Format
- Support for Headers and Footers
- Spell Check in 43 languages
- Bonus Features
In his post Zoho Suite Gaining Muscle, Zoli of Zoli’s blog, mentions the following in response, to a study by Burton, about features lacking in Web-based applications:
In fact, Zoho delivers most of what the Burton study considered missing features outside Documents, in the areas of spreadsheet(Sheet), presentation (Show), custom business applications (Zoho DB & Creator) , web conferencing (Zoho Meeting), and wikis (Zoho Wiki).
Summary of Burton survey from InfoWorld article Google Apps no match for MS Office, report says.
View Content in Page Format
Zoho Writer now has the ability to view pages in an actual print page layout format. It is really helpful to display your content in written page layout. I see this as a great start to this functionality, but I have to agree with Kristin Nicole in her post Zoho Writer Gets More Professional on Mashable when she expresses disappointment that you aren’t able to edit content in this view.
Select the Page View option, to view content in a page display format. Click Edit to return to edit mode.
Support for Headers and Footers
Zoho Writer now has the ability to add headers and footers to your documents. This feature is a must for any type of serious business use. Page Setup is used to set up and configure headers and footers. Bring up the Page Setup window, by clicking Page Setup.
The General tab is used to select options such as font, size, color, margins and paper size.
The Header Tab is used to add a header to the left, middle or right section using a drop-down menu.
The drop-down menu is the same for the Headers of Footers.
The Footer Tab is used to add a footer to the left, middle or right section using the same drop-down menu as on the Header tab.
As a Technical Writer I type a lot, so I appreciate spell check. If a word is identified as misspelled, it will be marked in red and underlined. Click the word to bring up the spell check word correction menu.
As much as I write, and have to use odd technical jargon, I would like to see a couple of options added to this menu to make my life a little easier.
- Add to Dictionary
- Leave it as-is (all)
Several additional features are touted on the Zoho Writer blog
- Improvements have been to made to Import/Export of .doc files.
- The documents that you make as ‘Public’ can now be downloaded & also sent to your friends by email in different formats. Also, whenever someone comments on your public document, you’ll receive a notification mail informing the same.
- Zoho Writer is now available in Chinese too, taking the tally of UI language options to 11.
I am continually impressed by the functionality of Zoho applications. This updated functionality for Zoho Writer is a welcome addition, and makes this online suite of utilities that much more full featured. As a writer I would like to see the following improvements made:
- Page View – I want to be able to edit content in the page view format.
- Spell Check – I want to be able to add words to the dictionary and have a leave it as-is (all) feature, so I don’t have to accept each word individually.
If you have not tried Zoho online applications, I suggest you should give it a try. I think you will find that Zoho has the features and functionality that you want in an online office collaboration suite.