Use a Word Processor in the Cloud

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with genealogy. If you are looking for genealogy-related articles, you might want to skip this one. However, if you would like to learn of a cheap and very secure method of using applications in the cloud for word processing purposes, this article may be of interest to you.

If you already have a word processor installed in each of your computers and are happy with your present choice, you probably will want to skip this article. However, if you do not have a good word processor, or if you want to look at other possibilities, this may be the article for you.

Akshata Shanbhag has written an article in the Make Use Of web site that describes seven word processors and one text editor that are cloud-based, powerful, and are available free of charge for personal use.

If you are presently using Google Docs or Microsoft Word Online or some other cloud-based word processor and are frustrated by your program’s lack of some features you want, this is the article for you. If you need a better word processor for sharing documents with co-workers or with family or even with genealogy society members, this is the article for you. If you want a good word processor for a Chromebook, an iPad, or an Android tablet computer, this is the article for you.

The article describes Microsoft Word Online, Google Docs, Zoho Writer (my favorite), Pages for iCloud, Quip, Dropbox Paper, and OnlyOffice word processors. He also mentions Writer, a text editor. Most of them require an Internet connection but none of them require any software installation in your computer. (Zoho Writer and one or two others will also work without an Internet connection.) Best of all, these 8 products are FREE for personal use. You can easily use any of them when using a borrowed computer, such as the one at school, at the office, in a library, or in an Internet cafe. With no software to install, all you do is open a web browser, go to a specific URL (web address), and start using the word processor of choice. All of these products will work on Windows, Macintosh,  Chromebooks, Linux, iPad, Android tablets, and any other computer that includes a modern web browser.

I first started using cloud-based word processors when I purchased a Chromebook several years ago. Later, I used them on an iPad. I like the Zoho Write word processor so much that I now use it for almost all my writing chores, even when using the Macintosh system on my desk. I rarely use Microsoft Word these days, even though it is installed on the same computer. Someday I will replace this computer with a new system. When that day comes, I probably will not obtain a new copy of Word or any other word processor. I will simply use cloud-based word processors.

To be sure, the online, cloud-based word processors usually do not have all the features of Microsoft Word. Then again, I find those “extra features” are things I never or rarely use.

While I like Zoho Writer, I am also impressed with OnlyOffice. You might prefer that one or one of the others listed in the article. Since there is no software to install in your computer, it is easy to check out all of them to see which one you prefer.

You can find Akshata Shanbhag’s article, The 8 Best Free Online Word Processors, at https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/6-more-fresh-free-online-word-processors/.

One Comment

Love all the tech articles too, though many may skip over them. My only issue is, and has been at least for the past 10 years, I do not get reliable high speed internet where I live. Going with Dish because I’ve tried three other ISPs here means that for the first two weeks of the month, my internet speed is fast enough to use cloud computing, so that’s when I try to do most of my research and downloading (like from newspapers.com).

Then, when our speed is only marginally faster than dial-up, I use the programs that live on my desktop to do my work. If I had to use cloud computing during the last two weeks of the month, I’d grow old waiting. Ancestry and Family Search are nearly impossible to access at that time.

All in all, I’m envious of people who get more than 18mb speed (the highest I have EVER gotten), and it’s often well under 1mb.

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