I’m three days into my Zoho experiment and it is going well. I’m definitely learning a lot, enjoying the benefits of web-based documents, and seeing just how seamless a dedicated client like Word is with issues like printing.
I’m finding that it is best to just create documents from scratch in Zoho, rather than messing around with the importer. I just don’t have time to worry with what got converted correctly.
For the most part, working in Writer has been great. There are several things I like. First, I really like the tabs. This allows me to switch between documents relatively easy. There is a downside to the tabs, though – you can’t compare two documents side by side like you can with Word, without opening up seperate browser windows to Zoho. The toolbar does support a maximized option which hides the document navigation pane and top menu navigation, providing more room to work in the document. For UMPC users, that is a very good thing.
Working with the toolbar takes a little getting used to. For example, when I went to create a table, I had to click inside the create table wizard to tell the wizard I was through drawing the table. It took me a couple of tries to figure that out. Fortunately, though, keyboard shortcuts like bold, italics work just like they do in Word. Inserting images and such has been pretty seamless.
Because of the header / footer issues involved with printing web documents, printing a document without web header / footers is a two step process. Instead of just hitting the print button and the document printing, you have to go to page view, click Print as PDF, click Open PDF ( which opens it in your default PDF viewer ), then use the print option within your PDF viewer. A bit convoluted, but it works.
Zoho Writer does have an offline mode which utilizes Google Gears. It works pretty seamlessly through the web browser, and pops up a synchronize dialogue box when offline documents are different than those hosted at Zoho. I’m gonna definitely enjoy using that offline mode. I wish Notebook supported it.
Sharing documents with others comes with options. First off all, you can share a document with someone giving them read or read / write access. The person you are sharing the document with gets an email inviting them to view the document. Second, you can email the document as HTML, PDF, .doc, .SXW, ODT, RTF, or .TXT . The third way is by publishing a document online for all to see. Fourth, you can export the document to your harddrive in the above formats, too.
So far, I’m liking Writer a lot, and could see myself moving to Writer full-time. I just wish the import process were more seamless so I could transition all of my documents there rather than living between local and web mode. Most of my inking is done in OneNote or InkSeine, so I don’t think I’d miss ink in Writer.
As I use Writer more over the next week or two, I’ll provide some more lessons learned.