Zoho Writer gets Upgrade

zoho-writer-logo 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.

ZohoWriter-Pagination

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.

ZohoWriter-PageSetGen 

The Header Tab is used to add a header to the left, middle or right section using a drop-down menu.

ZohoWriter-PageSetHdr

The drop-down menu is the same for the Headers of Footers.

ZohoWriter-PageSetHdrOpts

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.

ZohoWriter-PageSetFtr

Spell Check

ZohoWriter-SplChkNow included is spell check for 43 different languages. Click the ZohoWriter-SplChk-button button to initiate spell check or click the down arrow to display the language drop-down menu to select the language.

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.

ZohoWriter-SplChkHighlight-1

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)

Bonus Features

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.

Summary

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.

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8 Responses to “Zoho Writer gets Upgrade”

  1. teeni Says:

    Wow – this looks like a great tool. I love how it has so many great word processing features but for online use! Because you know how we hate to give up any functionality we’ve gotten used to. 😉 I agree it would be nice to edit in that view mode you showed. Maybe they will get to that. One can hope anyway. I almost wish I had a reason to use this now.

  2. Thomas Says:

    teeni – You know you want to give Zoho a try, it’s free too! They have a full suite of online tools, Writer, Presentation, Spreadsheet, the cool thing is, that you can allow others to view your workspace, for real collaboration.

    I have been a fan of Zoho for quite a while, besides having a solid product, they are a great group of people.

  3. Arvind Says:

    Thanks as always, for taking note of the latest Zoho Writer features and the elaborate review, Thomas!

    Your suggestion to include the “Add to Dictionary” and “Leave it as-is (all)” options to the spell checker is well taken. We will be having these features in a future update.

  4. Thomas Says:

    Arvind – Keep up the great work at Zoho, you guys do a great job! Your statement

    “Your suggestion to include the “Add to Dictionary” and “Leave it as-is (all)” options to the spell checker is well taken. We will be having these features in a future update.”

    is one of the reasons I really like Zoho, you are very responsive to customer feedback.

  5. Arvind Says:

    Thanks, Thomas!


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