Home Reviews Zoho Writer Review: A Serious Competitor to Google Docs

Zoho Writer Review: A Serious Competitor to Google Docs

Plenty of Google’s products become the king on each of the market they play in. On the word processor segment, there is Google Docs as the most popular online word processor. But now, let’s ditch Google Docs for a while to give a way for Zoho Writer, one of the Google Writer competitors.

Haven’t heard about it?

Zoho Writer is a part of Zoho Docs, an online office suite developed by Zoho Corp., a California-based company. Google Docs and Zoho Writer are actually have one thing in common, they are projected to be an alternative to desktop-based word processor like Microsoft Word. Without involving too much debate, many people agreed that Google Docs is more popular than Zoho Writer. But, is Google Docs really a better word processor than Zoho Writer?

In general, the features and capabilities of Zoho Writer are not much different to Google Docs. It also comes with a compatibility with Microsoft Word. You can also add collaborators to work on certain documents together.

There is one thing you can do in Zoho Writer that can’t be done in Gogole Docs. You can directly publish your document to WordPress. Before coming up with a final judgement, following is the in-deep investigation of Zoho Writer.

User interface

The vast majority of word processors, be it web-based or desktop-based, have the similar interface layout with the toolbar located at the top side of the working window. Zoho Docs is trying to become “out the box” by quitting from this grip. You will see no toolbar at the Zoho Writer interface until you block certain words or sentences to make a formatting of them. The toolbar appears as a tiny pop-up. This idea gives more space for your document and you won’t also see too much distractions.

Even so, if you really need the toolbar and more menus, you can also display them. It’s just, they won’t be displayed at the top side of the working window. Instead, the menus and toolbar sets will be displayed at the side panel. As the consequence of this “out of the box” word processor interface, it may takes longer for your to familiarize yourself with Zoho Writer interface.

Document format compatibility

You might be wondering if you can open documents you created with other word processors with Zoho Writer. The short answer is, yes you can. Zoho Writer supports a number of popular document formats like Microsoft Word (DOCX), OpenDocument (ODT) and Rich Text Format (RFT). Thus, Zoho Writer could be a good replacement if you want to migrate from your current word processor. When I tried to open a document I created with Microsoft Word in Zoho Writer, everything went well, including the document formatting.

Available fonts

Word processor is not a drawing tool where you will need a different font style for every project you create. For most people, font style is not a big deal when creating a document. But still, you sometimes probably want to use different font style for the document you are working on. By default, Zoho Writer offers about 21 different font styles. All are basics like Time New Roman, Arial, Impact and Tahoma.

If you need more font styles, Zoho Writer has made it possible. The online word processor offers hundreds of free founts you can add by yourself.

Online collaboration capability

The biggest advantage of adopting online word processor like Zoho Writer is that you can invite your team members to join the document you are working on. This way, you and your team will be able work on certain documents together. Zoho Writer allows you to invite your team via email addresses. When inviting, you can set the permission on how each of your team member can do with the document. Whether you allow them to edit the document or just to view.

In addition, you (and other collaborators) can also select certain word/sentence of the document and leave a comment. Furthermore, Zoho Writer also features an in-app chat, making your real-time collaboration be much more fun and intimate.

Document management

When creating a document using a desktop-based word processor, you typically need to go the File menu to find the Save option. Most desktop-based word processors also come with a “CTRL+S” shortcut to allow you saving the document you are working on. You don’t need to do anything to save your document in Zoho Writer. Your document will be automatically saved to the cloud. Just be sure to give your document a name every time you want to create a new one to makes it easy for you to find it next days.

In order to make your documents be more organized, Zoho Writer also allows you to create folders. The storage capacity you get if you use the free version of Zoho Writer is 5GB.

Zoho Docs also makes it possible if you opt to download the document you have just created to your computer. You can download your document in such formats as Microsoft Word, OpenDocument and Rich Text Format. Furthermore, Zoho Docs also offers a desktop client to allow you syncing your Zoho Docs to your computer so you don’t need to be hassle manually downloading your document to your computer every time done creating a new one.

Zoho doesn’t force you to save your document to its cloud storage service. You are allowed to save your documents to other cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and OneDrive.

Zoho Writer free vs Zoho Writer premium

Zoho Writer adopts the business model widely adopted by online apps, freemium. For the paid version, Zoho Writer offer two packages, STANDARD and PREMIUM. Following is the comparison between Zoho plans.

FREESTANDARD ($5/user/month)PREMIUM ($8/user/month)
Everything in Free +Everything in Standard +
5GB /user100GB /user1TB /user
Desktop sync5GB file upload limit25GB file upload limit
1GB file upload limitPassword protected / expiry linksSupports Active Directory groups
25 collaboratorsUnlimited collaboratorsUnlimited file recovery
Two- factor authenticationCustom brandingTask and reminders
In-app chatUnlimited file versionsTransfer file ownership during exit

Conclusion

Zoho Writer is a great word processor to work on documents online. It’s a great tool if you are looking for a, for instance, Microsoft Word replacement. The wide range document formats compatibility allows you to edit the documents you created with a word processor you used to use. It may will takes days or weeks to familiarize your self with the “out of the box” interface offered by Zoho Writer. Overall, Zoho Docs is a great tool. It’s capable of handling simple document and complex documents. Zoho Writer is a really potential competitor to Google Docs.

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