Every mobile user needs a document tool — it's part and parcel to business. If you take a look at the offerings on the Google Play Store, you'll find plenty of options. But if you're looking for a user-friendly document editor that can sync with your Zoho account, look no further than Zoho Writer.
This free Android app offers the following features:
- Formatting (font type, size, and color; bold, italic, and underline)
- Creating hyperlinks
- Adding comments for text and bookmarks
- Paragraph spacing
- Word count
- Inserting images (camera and gallery)
- Creating lists
- Cutting/Copying and pasting
- Unlimited undo/redo operations
- Creating tables with built-in themes
- Creating documents offline and syncing later
- Moving documents to different services (drag and drop feature)
- Built-in freehand drawing tool
- Converting text to speech and speech to text
- Zooming in and out of document content
- Sending documents via email from the Dashboard
- Connecting to cloud storage services: Zoho Docs*, Google Drive, and Dropbox
- Supporting multiple document formats (doc, docx, rtf, odt, txt, html, and PDF)
When you add an easy-to-navigate interface to this solid feature list, you have the makings of a very fine document editor. With that said, let's install and use Zoho Writer.
* Note: In order to sync with Zoho Docs, you need a Zoho account. To sign up for an account, open your browser (either on the desktop or your tablet) and point it to the Zoho web site. You can sign up and use Zoho Docs for free.
The installation of Zoho Writer is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on your tablet
- Search for "zoho writer" (no quotes)
- Tap the entry for Zoho Writer
- Tap Install
- Tap Accept
Once the installation is complete, you should find the launcher for Zoho Writer on your home screen or in your app drawer (or both). Tap that launcher, and you're ready to go.
Because you can also work offline (saving your files to your tablet's memory), you don't have to sign into your cloud services. To that end, you won't be automatically prompted to log into an account on the first run. When you do open Zoho Writer, you'll be presented with a feature slideshow; you can tap through that or skip it — there's nothing new to learn.
From the Zoho Writer Dashboard (Figure A), you can create a new document, create a new folder, connect to your cloud service, open documents from your device, create a document from a template, and search for documents.
Zoho Writer running on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Note.
To create a new document, do the following:
- From the Dashboard, tap New File
- When the keyboard app opens (Figure B), begin typing your document
- Format and insert as needed
- Tap the document name drop-down (upper left)
- Tap Rename
- Give the document a new name
- When ready, tap the Save button (top right corner)
The above file will be saved to the local memory of your device and can be accessed from the Zoho Writer Dashboard.
You can also push that newly created file to your cloud service. Before you do that, however, you have to connect to that service. Let's connect to the Zoho Docs cloud. Follow these steps:
- Open the Zoho Writer app
- From the Dashboard, tap Zoho Docs
- Enter your Zoho account credentials when prompted
- Tap Login
Now that you're connected to your Zoho account, follow these steps to push the newly created document to your Zoho Docs cloud:
- Tap on Home
- Tap on the document you want to push
- Tap the Push To Cloud button (Figure C)
- Tap Zoho Docs
- Wait for the document to finish uploading
From this same window, you can push to any of your connected cloud services.
There are many tricks and traps with Zoho Writer — it's just a solid tool for the creation of documents. Yes, it's a one-trick pony, but it executes that trick very well. Give Zoho Writer a try and see if it doesn't become your go-to writing tool on your Android tablet.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.