Thursday, September 4, 2008

Zoho Writer: Using online apps

For some reason, my first few attempts at using Zoho Writer were bombs. I couldn't figure out how to get a new document started. Even though I was clicking the New button, it didn't work right.

However, anything I'm trying to do online while at the REF desk is likely to blow up. All those pesky customers interrupting. (See "Customer Service for Curmudgeons.")

Having now gotten a document started, I think I'm going to like this. I'm a bit wary of saving my stuff online...but, of course, all my blog posts are online...including the blogs you folks don't know

embarassedHowler Monkey


Let's see what it does with images.


A lot of trial and error here, trying to figure out how to get the image where I want it on the a way that makes the text wrap to the left of the image.

However, being a trial-and-error sort of person, I've gotten at least some of it figured out.

That, by the way, is perhaps the key criterion for success using computer applications—especially online apps. You have to be willing to figure a lot of it out for yourself. In other words, you have to spend a LOT of time...a lot a lot a lot...playing around, goofing around, trying this and that and the other.

It's not for the timid...or the impatient.

But, as I used to tell the senior citizens to whom I was teaching Beginning Computers ages ago, "You can't break the hardware or the software unless you really know what you're doing. The worst that usually happens is you lose your work and have to start over."

I'm going to try one other toy for the moment. I put an anchor up at the start of this post. If you click the word "anchor," it should take you back there.

Now let's see if I can publish this to my blog.

Hold onto your hats.....


PS: WOW! I'm impressed! It did pretty well...although, once I saw the blog post, I had to come back to Zoho and edit the size of the image. The big plus was, I could click Publish again and get the option of updating the post I had already published.

I like it!

One complaint so far: If I use Zoho in 800x600 pixel resolution...which I need to use in order to read text on a screen...the popup editing windows overlap the edge of the screen, and I CAN'T USE THEM!!! This is a major pain, because I have to toggle back and forth between 800x600, which I can see, and 1024x786, which I need in order to use the popups. Grrr....

PPS: Another couple of problems:

  • When Zoho Writer publishes to a blog (i.e., translates into HTML code), it reads each keyboard Return as a paragraph break. That means if I do Return + Return, as I normally would to put a blank linke between paragraphs in a MS Word document, I get two blank lines in the HTML. has to remember the formatting differences between word processing and HTML coding.
  • Even though I've saved this document in Arial font in the Zoho Writer, when it publishes to my blog, the font isn't saved. I get Times New Roman instead.
  • As you will have noticed if you clicked on "anchor," the link didn't take you to anchor but, instead, to the login for my blog.

All this means that one may still have to clean up coding in a Zoho document after it's published to a blog.

Still, the app is probably worth it, since one doesn't have to carry around a flashdrive or get be at one's own PC to work.

PPPS: There's another excellent app I've mentioned elsewhere: Great for publishing Excel spreadsheets.

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