Zoho Writer 2.0 launches with fresh look

Refreshing
changes don’t come often. Today, we are launching a new major version of our word processor – Zoho Writer 2.0 – with a fresh and elegant user interface & significant improvements. This important upgrade comes with hundreds of improvements, mostly on the user interface.

While there are many changes in the interface, the core frame remains the same with document listing on the left, editor on the right, the ability to open multiple documents as tabs etc. But then, every part of the interface is now enhanced.

Note: When you open the new version, we highly recommend you to do a SHIFT+Refresh to make sure the app works well.

The new ‘MenuTab Interface

In our previous version, Zoho Writer’s core functionality was available as links and buttons in three rows. As our features grew over the past three years, the number of buttons increased which made it difficult in finding the right button.

We completely redid the toolbar and introduced a new interface which we call as ‘MenuTab‘ interface. At the high level, this MenuTab interface categorizes the features as
tabs based on functionality. You’ll notice tabs for ‘Format’, ‘Insert’, ‘Review’ etc. But the key here is the ability to use these tabs as Menus. If you are used to using Menu’s in traditional software, you’ll feel right at home. If you are used to using Tabbed interface you find
in many web applications, again, you’ll feel very comfortable.

This MenuTab interface also allows us enough space to explicitly mention what each button does – both under the tab as well as under Menus. This was not the case in our previous design where you had to rely on tool tips.

You’ll also notice that the commonly used features like Save, Undo/Redo, Cut/Copy/Paste etc are grouped together beside the MenuTabs so that you have access to these always.

Moving forward, we plan to standardize on this MenuTab interface for other productivity apps from Zoho. Additional details on MenuTab are available here.

Sidebar Enhancements

The sidebar for Zoho Writer was also improved significantly. You’ll notice that this new sidebar will now be consistent with the sidebar of Zoho Sheet. The new sidebar has features to multi-select documents and perform actions. The icons beside the document name shows if the document is shared or public. We also included Search in the side bar and enhanced the overall functionality.

There were several other enhancements to the application in Header/Footers, Page Views, Collaborative Editing (available at bottom right corner), inclusion of Word and Character count in status bar, improved page layout etc. I could go on, but I’ll let you discover the goodies in the new version.

If you use our offline version, the interface will now be consistent with this new version.

Here is a screenshot tour of Writer 2.0

Changes to Zoho Writer also mean that these changes will be reflected
to all applications using Zoho Writer. These include internal Zoho Applications like Zoho Notebook, Zoho Business or external partner applications. If you integrated Zoho Writer using the API, you’ll have access to this new version with no changes at your end.

All the documents you create in Zoho Writer will also available in Zoho Docs as well, if you prefer managing all your documents in folders.

There were three goals that were considered when we designed this user interface.

  1. We want to make the user more productive
  2. We want to make the user interface consistent with other Zoho applications and
  3. We want to refine the application with attention to the detail.

We believe we achieved all of these in this version. But then, as we all know, there is always room for improvement. We’d love to hear your feedback on this important update.

Update:
We wrapped up the call discussing about the release.

The slides for today’s call are available here.
Audio recording can be downloaded from this page.

44 Replies to “Zoho Writer 2.0 launches with fresh look”

  1. there is no doubt that today Zoho is the best webbased office application loaded with all modern features.

  2. there is no doubt that today Zoho is the best webbased office application loaded with all modern features.

  3. I think you have a winner here.
    Only proposal is to have one menu where I can gather all kinds of buttons – like today – called in a Quick menu. The others are more drill down menues.

  4. I think you have a winner here.
    Only proposal is to have one menu where I can gather all kinds of buttons – like today – called in a Quick menu. The others are more drill down menues.

  5. @philipsim : The remote editor that we provide as part of Writer APIs has undergone a makeover and is sporting a look and feel, similar to the one that we have for our online writer 2.0 editor.@Itto : We will provide a couple of options in the MenuTab itself for changing language direction (RTL/LTR). It will be made available in our next update.Thanks,
    Ahmed
    http://writer.zoho.com

  6. @philipsim : The remote editor that we provide as part of Writer APIs has undergone a makeover and is sporting a look and feel, similar to the one that we have for our online writer 2.0 editor.@Itto : We will provide a couple of options in the MenuTab itself for changing language direction (RTL/LTR). It will be made available in our next update.Thanks,
    Ahmed
    http://writer.zoho.com

  7. The RTL support is not as it should be.You should address that. Make it just like Word – 2 Direction buttons.

  8. The RTL support is not as it should be.You should address that. Make it just like Word – 2 Direction buttons.

  9. Will these changes carry over to the remote API version, and if so what is the timing on that?

  10. Will these changes carry over to the remote API version, and if so what is the timing on that?

  11. Love the change, looks very fresh and clean. I’ve spread the word to my friends – some are slowly converting 🙂 Still waiting for search in Notebooks though

  12. Love the change, looks very fresh and clean. I’ve spread the word to my friends – some are slowly converting 🙂 Still waiting for search in Notebooks though

  13. josephlpw,We have removed the insert layer feature with this update. The reason being, it tends to mess up certain complex documents by not maintaining its position where it has been inserted.As a work-around you can use “Insert Table” option without borders.Thanks,
    Ahmed

  14. josephlpw,We have removed the insert layer feature with this update. The reason being, it tends to mess up certain complex documents by not maintaining its position where it has been inserted.As a work-around you can use “Insert Table” option without borders.Thanks,
    Ahmed

  15. What happen to the text layer options? I can’t find it on the new look…Its the icon found left to the spell check button at the old interface.Pls assist.
    Thanks!

  16. What happen to the text layer options? I can’t find it on the new look…Its the icon found left to the spell check button at the old interface.Pls assist.
    Thanks!

  17. Wow, impressive! I was using Google Documents for the longest time but I’ll be switching to Zoho.

  18. Wow, impressive! I was using Google Documents for the longest time but I’ll be switching to Zoho.

  19. Ok I found the information; Zoho Writer imports html, doc, docx, sxw (Open Office), odt, rtf, jpg, gif, png and text files, with a 10 MB maximum file size.

  20. Ok I found the information; Zoho Writer imports html, doc, docx, sxw (Open Office), odt, rtf, jpg, gif, png and text files, with a 10 MB maximum file size.

  21. Wow! This really looks beautiful. Nothing to envy to an offline processor. Thanks.Moris

  22. Wow! This really looks beautiful. Nothing to envy to an offline processor. Thanks.Moris

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