Home Zoho Writer Adds Offline Support

Zoho Writer Adds Offline Support

There are two seemingly divergent themes in the Web Office world currently: 1) office software is increasingly heading online, in the form of products like Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Zoho and ThinkFree; 2) web apps are increasingly adding offline functionality. The reason for the ‘bob each way’ is that broadband service is not yet ubiquitous or entirely reliable. So you may want to do some word processing on the train, or in a cafe that doesn’t have wireless (believe it or not, in my part of the world that is the usual scenario!).

Enter Zoho Writer‘s offline support, just announced tonight. Note that it is read-only for now, but Zoho plans to make it ‘read/write’ in 3-4 weeks. Interestingly, it was built using Google Gears. Users have to install Google Gears to use the offline functionality – it works on Firefox (Windows and Mac) and IE. Perhaps this will compel Google to offer offline functionality for Google D&S, because as yet it doesn’t have it. ThinkFree however does have offline support in ThinkFree Premium.

How it works: a new link called ‘Go Offline’ is now available in Zoho Writer. By default it downloads 15 documents (private and shared docs), which can then be viewed offline. You can download more documents if needed. Zoho Writer enters the offline mode by redirecting to http://writer.zoho.com/offline. Clicking on ‘Go Online’ takes the user back to the online version.

Also being launched tonight is comments within Zoho Writer. Comments can become discussions within the document – another example of blogging influencing office software.

Here’s a video showing the new functionality:

Disclosure: Zoho is a R/WW sponsor

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