This morning, popular web-based Zoho Writer (just one of many applications in the Zoho Office Suite) received a pretty major update. To refresh your memory, Zoho Writer is a full-featured online word processor. One of its best features is simply the fact that they offer real-time collaboration so that multiple users can be editing one document. Many people love using their service because they offer both online and offline editing, all thanks to Google Gears. Below you’ll find a quick run-through of what’s new:

  • Docx Support: As many of you know, Docx is the new file format (What is a .docx file?) introduced in Microsoft Office 2007. Zoho Writer now allows you to export any of your documents as a .docx file.  At this point you can’t import those files, but the option to export them is one step in the right direction.
    docx support
  • Thesaurus: If you want your vocabulary to be expanded a bit, you can use the Thesaurus in Zoho Writer. It’s got 10 different languages that you can choose from and accessing the Thesaurus is as simple as right-clicking on a word.  Languages that you can choose from include:
    English, Czech, German, Greek, French, Irish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Slovak
  • Enhanced support for Endnotes/Footnotes and Headers/Footers: if you include an endnote, footnote, header, or footer in a document, and you export the document, the format will be retained properly.
  • Groups: Previously anytime that you wanted to share a document amongst a group of people, you’d have to enter in all of the recipient’s email addresses.  Now all you have to do is create a group of your friend’s email addresses so that you can quickly share documents. This new feature is especially useful to those of you who share documents regularly.

Overall, the feature we’re most impressed with is the Docx support, simply because it means that they’ll likely have the option to import those files sooner rather than later. Zoho has a long ways to go before they’re able to knock Microsoft Office off of its pedestal, but these changes bring them one step closer and certainly make their loyal users happy.