Update: Zoho Workplace: My Favorite FREE Replacement for Microsoft Office

In the August 10, 2017, edition of this newsletter, I described Zoho Workplace, a FREE for personal use cloud-based suite of programs that includes a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation programs. I use Zoho Workplace frequently to write articles for this newsletter, especially when I am traveling and using a laptop or even a borrowed computer, such as in a public library or a hotel’s business center. The article is still available at: http://bit.ly/2x9qrcz.

If you use or are at least interested in Zoho Workplace, you might be interested in Zoho’s latest announcement: an updated version of Zoho Writer (the word processor) that is designed especially for use on cell phones and tablet computers.

Zoho Writer for Mobile is available both for Android and for Apple iOS devices. It isn’t an all-new product. instead, it simply is a new update that has been updated to work better on smaller screens.

In my quick testing this morning, I decided I didn’t want to write a lengthy novel on my cell phone with its tiny screen but use on the cell phone is OK for smaller documents. I then found Zoho Writer for Mobile worked great on an iPad with its larger screen and the optional external keyboard. Many of the on-screen menu options are gracefully hidden so they don’t get in your way when you don’t need them. However, you can pop-up full menus at any time you wish.

Zoho Writer for Mobile is a small app you download and install into your Android or Apple iOS device. It will save your files on Zoho’s private and secure web space or in most any other place you wish, such as in your mobile device’s internal storage or in Dropbox, Google Drive, or other services. You can also send documents by email or to various apps that are installed on your mobile device.

Zoho Writer for Mobile can save documents in a variety of formats, including: Microsoft Word (docx), Rich Text Format (rtf), PDF, Open Document (odt), and as a Web document (html).

The new mobile version still supports most all of the other features in the desktop version. You can join discussions with co-workers who are using Zoho products, even when you’re away from your desk. Add your thoughts to documents, reply to friends’ comments, or just appreciate them by clicking “like.” Work together with co-workers in real time, with instant sync across your devices.

Like the desktop version, Zoho Writer for Mobile makes automatic backups and also will print directly from your mobile device if you have a printer configured on that device.

NOTE: Configuring a printer on a tablet or cell phone is easy to do but many people do not realize that it is even possible. See http://fortune.com/2015/01/27/how-to-print-mobile-device/ for one article about printing from mobile devices and you can find many more related articles with a quick Google search.

If you are not connected to the Internet, your 20 most recently accessed documents will always be available offline for you to view and edit. Obviously, this will only have the 20 most-recently accessed FROM YOUR MOBILE DEVICE. If you accessed a document only from your desktop, it will not magically appear in your mobile device until you access it from that device. If you are leaving on a trip and expect to be offline for a while, you need to first use your mobile device to access any documents you plan to work on while traveling. The documents will then be stored within your mobile device.

All in all, I will suggest that Zoho Writer for Mobile is an excellent tool for the occasions when I need to write something while traveling. If I am at home, I probably will stick with the normal Zoho Workplace version that is optimized for laptop and desktop computers.

You can read more about the FREE Zoho Writer for Mobile at: http://bit.ly/2xpF6zu.


It appears I have to own a domain to sign up. Am I wrong? Or looking in the wrong place?


Will my Office 365 files be available to me if I change to ZOHO? SOunds great. Thanks for the info.


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