Zoho just released what I believe is the most useful thing that they have to offer. It is called the Zoho QuickRead extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer. When I first saw the name of the extension it definitely struck some interest but I wasn’t sure what it was for until I started to read more about it.

Basically it allows you to open a text document, spreadsheet, or presentation from within your browser without ever downloading a file to your computer. You don’t have to signup in order to use the service and there are no ads or anything shown. Here are the file extensions that it supports:

  • Documents:  .doc, .rtf, .sxw, .odt
  • Spreadsheets: .xls, .csv, .sxc 
  • Presentations: .ppt, .pps, .sxi

I took a few screenshots so that you can see what it looks like:

The picture below is of the menu that you receive when you right-click on hyperlink to a supported file type. This is a link to the file that I tested it with but the extensions only adds the right-click menu option that corresponds to that file type (ex. you won’t see the Zoho Writer option when clicking on a PowerPoint file, instead you’ll only see the Zoho Show option).

Zoho QuickRead

The file that I linked to above is a little bit large so give it a little time to open (10-15 seconds for me):

Zoho QuickRead

You can actually click here without even installing the extension to see the document because the right-click menu options essentially link to a URL. That way you can get a really good idea of whether you’ll actually use this service.

It was really nice to have the ODT file open in Zoho Writer and what was even better was that the document filled the full screen. I also noticed the Edit link in the upper-left corner. After I clicked on the link it changed the display so that I could actually alter the document:

Zoho QuickRead

After you get done editing the file you can post it to your blog, print it, or save it as a wide range of file formats. For this ODT document that I opened I could save it as a DOC, PDF, HTML, and more.

I don’t use Zoho’s products that much but I do prefer them over their competition like Google Docs & Spreadsheets. This extension saves me some time and hassle so I’ll definitely be keeping it!