Webs, Weeds and Wisdom with Kate Walker | May 17

I never imagined there would be a time when I would question my use of Microsoft Word.

This one program has been essential for all my writing tasks for well over 20 years.

The only time I deviate from use of Word as my processor is when using my tablet. My tablet has replaced a laptop when I’m on the move and as a result I’ve had to use Google Docs.

It’s simple to use, great if taking notes or recording minutes or drafting short documents…. basic sort of stuff!

It just doesn’t, however, have the functionality that Word provides, nor can it provide the level of professional finish I’ve come to expect.

Well, Word might have to move over for a new kid on the block.

Zoho Writer seems to have most of the “bells and whistles”. Its user interface is clean, uncluttered and simple; tool availability is context sensitive.

The icons are to the side of the “page” which allows more of the document to be seen at a time. It can spell check, auto save and keep a document’s history. It allows images to be inserted. It has mailing and reviewing functionalities. Its suite of templates make a professional presentation easy to create. So it has the functionality that I expect from a powerful, professional word processing program.

Yet, Zoho Writer, unlike Word, is not tethered to a particular computer. It’s not installed, so there are no installation hassles.

How come? It’s cloud-based. Use any communication device, yours or someone else’s, anywhere with Internet access at any time.

Excitingly, Zoho Writer seems to offer greater collaboration support than just review functionality. It appears to allow team members to communicate in real time emailing comments back and forth.

Further it has a feature called access receipt which lists those you’ve sent the document to and marks when each one accesses it.

Knowing how slow the Internet can be sometimes I worried that writing large documents would be a slow process.

Not so! The program has the capability to “know” what part of the document you are working on and prioritise and process just that part so that your working experience is fast and smooth. Now that’s smart!

 – Kate Walker


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