I'm the creator of this site (Grammar Gang). I'm also the founder of Codeless, a long-form content creation company that's been featured in The New York Times, Business Insider, The Next Web, and hundreds more.
We produce around ~100 long, in-depth articles each month. So we're relying on these tools on a daily basis. Here, I break down the good, bad, and uuuuuuggggllllyyyy.
Latest posts by Brad Smith (see all)
- “F-You, Pay Me.” How to Get Paid to Write - May 16, 2019
- The 7 Best Writing Tools to Write More, Faster, in Less Time - April 17, 2019
- Why Most Freelance Writers Shouldn’t Waste their Time with Pinterest - February 9, 2019
Most of the writing tools I tested in the last few days were paid. And even if there were any free tools, they lacked many key attributes that their paid counterparts were offering.
But if there’s any tool out there that provides you the same qualities of a premium writing software without costing a penny, that would be Zoho Writer.
And to be honest, it won’t be an exaggeration to call it a better alternative to many prominent word processors whether it is MS Word, Libre Office Writer or Write App.
Now, I’m sure you might be wondering; what made me say so? What’s so special about this app?
Well, go through the following section and you’ll know why.
Zoho Writer Pros
When you try a free tool, your expectations are always low. But Zoho Writer was a different case.
It surpassed all my expectations and went above and beyond to make itself a one-stop shop. Here is a detailed breakdown of the sections where it passed the test in flying colors.
#1 Clear and crisp interface
This is the first thing you notice when you open the app – a blank page with some menu on the left side with the option to create a new document on the top right corner.
All you need to do to get started is, click the blue button on the top right corner to create a blank document and start typing.
#2 Collaborate with writing partners
The collaboration feature of Zoho Writer impressed me the most. You can invite your friend or colleague to work on a project, and both of you can edit the document at the same time.
Similarly, you are free to share your writing with whoever you want and get feedback from them or even start a dialogue with the person who left the comment.
#3 Wide range of export options
Zoho Writer provides one of the broadest range of options when it comes to exporting your files as different formats.
It supports docx, RTF, txt, HTML, ODT, PDF, and ePub format for e-readers. Besides this, you can also add the WordPress integration that allows you to post your content to WordPress or bloggers pages directly.
#4 Work with all the devices
Zoho Writer is one of the very few softwares which is compatible with all the different types of devices under the sun.
It has desktop apps for Mac and Windows and also offers dedicated phone app for iOS and Android. Apart from this, you can also download Zoho Writer as a Chrome and Firefox extension.
#5 Storyboard and templates
There’s a long list of integration options available with Zoho Writer and one of them is ‘Notebook’. It lets you take notes and script your ideas quickly.
Zoho Writer also boasts the broadest template collection among any writing app I tested to date (even more than Google Docs).
There are dozens of templates ranging from resumes to business letters, screenplays to press releases and what not.
You name it, it has it.
#6 Dedicated writing assistant
Zia is the AI-powered assistant that Zoho added to Writer to provide better writing experience to the users. It’s like a built-in grammar checker tool that evaluates your whole document for contextual grammar, readability, and writing style.
And the best part is, it works silently in the background and checks for any error automatically. For example, as soon as I copy-pasted a few paragraphs, it started flagging errors like this:
#7 Cloud synchronization
When it comes to providing a complete experience to the users, Zoho Writer leaves no stone unturned. And a befitting example is synchronizing your files with your respective cloud storage service.
Sure it doesn’t have its own cloud space to offer, but you can integrate Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, Evernote, or OneDrive to store your files in the cloud automatically.
#8 Create and save versions of content
Versioning is something that you don’t usually expect to see in a free tool. But as I mentioned earlier, Zoho Writer is a different case.
When you click on “File” in the top left corner, you can point the “Create a version” option in the drop-down menu.
It allows you to lock the current version of your copy before making any changes to it so that you can still come back if you don’t like the changes.
#9 Organize content is a few clicks
I was also damn impressed by Zoho’s ability to organize content. Under it’s navigation bar, you can see the whole outline of your content.
So, click on any heading or sub-heading and it takes to that part straight away.
Though, you can’t interchange sections by drag and drop like Scrivener, you still have the good ‘ol cut and paste option open.
Zoho Writer Cons
Zoho Writer is impeccable. There are zero flaws with this service. I don’t know about Yuri Boyka (any Undisputed series lover, here?) but Zoho Writer is the most complete software at the moment.
Zoho Writer pricing plans and payment options
Zoho Writer is available for free. And by free, I mean absolutely free, not even any hidden cost.
Do I recommend Zoho Writer?
Yes, yes, yes. There’s no reason I will deny using this app or not suggesting it to others. It has everything that you could find in a typical premium writing app, and it can work on any device regardless of the operating system.
And above all, it’s is 100% free. So you don’t lose anything.