Zoho releases Writer 2.0 with new tab-based UI

Web-based word-processing app gets a tab-based user interface designed to help make users more productive

Zoho has given its Web-based word-processing application a makeover with a new version that features a tab-based user interface designed to help make users more productive, the company said.

Zoho Writer 2.0 features what the company is calling a "MenuTab" interface, which provides drop-down tabs as menu items at the top of the page. The tabs have the titles Format, Insert, Review, Share and Views, and their respective drop-down menus allow users to execute commands based on each category.

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The 1.0 version of the application had a menu toolbar across the top of the UI, and as the company included new buttons of functionality in the toolbar, it got "cluttered," Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist, said on a conference call Thursday. "Enhancing the productivity of the user" was the main goal for the UI changes, he said.

Before-and-after screenshots of the Zoho Writer UI are available on a company blog. The MenuTab appears to be a cross between the new UI Microsoft put into its Office 12 product and page tabs that are found in most modern browsers.

Aside from the MenuTab changes, the new UI has the same basic setup of the old one, with a list of the user's documents on the left-hand side of the UI and a larger document view on the right.

Vegesna said the UI changes in Writer 2.0 apply to both the online and offline versions of the application.

Zoho Writer is just one of a host of Web-based applications the company offers to rival traditional software from much larger competitors like Microsoft and SAP, and Web-based apps from Google. Zoho offers nearly 20 Web-based applications -- some free for personal use, while business applications require a fee -- and continues to make improvements to its portfolio.

Last week Zoho added single sign-on support for its CRM application, a move that provides the capability across its entire suite of programs and sets the stage for tighter integration between the modules, the company said.

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