Totally crafted in India, the new Zoho Writer is a starkly minimalistic, feature-rich, browser-based free word processor.
Chennai, April 25 2016: Word processors go a long way -- to the pre-personal computer late 1970s. Older readers will remember Wordstar, the first and for long, the best of them all -- till Apple's MacWrite and Microsoft's Word appeared. Today, GoogleDocs, found on Android and Chrome machines is widely used, because it saves you having to buy an office suite. MS Word has evolved into a good omnibus product --but sometimes plenty can be problem: so many menus to drop down before you find your choice of settings... it can be intimidating.
Zoho, the Chennai-based management products company, has won 18 million users worldwide for its desioffice solutions. Last week it completely re-imagined, its word processor, Zoho Writer, for a new era of Net-connected , who want a powerful tool, without all the power visible upfront.
The new Zoho Writer is opens in a starkly minimalistic screen which hides most of the functions: they will pop up if you want them. The Writer lets you choose one of three document stages: Compose, Review, Distribute.
Compose is fairly standard with a wide choice of fonts, styles and graphics. The Review feature is the radical new addition, enabling seamless collaboration on a single document, with easily trackable changes and comments. One neat feature, is the ability to let collaborators, selectively see portions of the document, leaving others visible only on need-to-know.
This is a word processor for an always-on era. Everything is browser-based. You need no storage on your device. Zoho offers free and secure cloud storage for all registered users. And showing sensitivity to the many environments in which people tend to create a doc, there is a Night Mode to view the page in poor light.
To try out the new ZohoWriter, you need to register as a user of ZohoDocs at www.docs.zoho.com. Clicking on the "Create" button lets you start on a new document. You will find a "Try out" button on the top right hand corner. Click on this and you will go into the new version of ZohoWriter which is still being tweaked and refined but ready for you to use. Write on!
-- Anand Parthasarathy