Online Word Processors: Zoho Writer Reviewed

Each week, the Education Techie reviews tech tools that can help students and teachers. This week and next, the Techie is reviewing word processing tools. Today's review: Zoho Writer. Schools offering Microsoft Office degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

logo, zoho

What Is It?

Like Zoho Notebook, which I reviewed as part of a series on notetaking tools, Writer is one of many online apps offered by Zoho. In Writer, as in other Zoho products, you can collaborate with other users by utilizing the program's built-in chat function. If you are going to be using Writer as an individual, you can sign up free of charge. Zoho charges businesses and other organizations based on how many users will be using applications.

screenshot, online word processor

The program's interface is straightforward, and users are given a variety of controls that are easy to understand. When you start the program for the first time, an orientation document appears onscreen to help people new to the program understand how to use it. The program's setup and controls feel similar to a traditional word processing program, and standard features, like text formatting, headers, footers, footnote insertion and spell check, are included.

Other features include the ability to share and collaborate on the document with other Zoho users. You can also tag your documents for easy organization. Unlike some other online word processing programs that I reviewed, this program enables editing in a page view, so users can better control the look of their documents.

What Makes It Cool?

In addition to offering integration with other Zoho apps, like the Notebook, this program has a few unique features. Though the Writer app is available online, you can install the Google Gears browser extension to view and edit up to 25 of your latest documents while offline. Any changes you make are automatically synced when you regain Internet connection. Another plus for Zoho Writer is the fact that the program facilitates collaboration, not only through other Zoho apps like Chat and Meeting, but through comments.

What Are Its Drawbacks?

I don't think Zoho Writer had any serious faults. The only drawback I can see is that some users might not like the fact that the security of unsaved work is contingent upon an Internet connection, but this would be a problem with any online word processor. Plus, Zoho periodically saves your work automatically, so lost contet might not ever be an issue. All in all, I think this is a pretty good program, especially since most students and teachers would be able to use it for free.

Where Can I Find It?

This link will take you directly to Writer. If you want to learn more about all of Zoho's features, click here.

This is the first in a series of review of word processing tools. The Education Techie will continue to review online word processors this week and next. Come back to read more!

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