Thursday, February 16, 2006


TheLibrarianInBlack found a new online program a couple of weeks ago that willtransform your Word Docs into PDF and vice versa, and I went to try it out. not only imports files in one format – html or .doc, for example – but it willthen export them in another format, like PDF. One of my current projects atwork involved a 400+ page Word document that we have printed annually; thisyear, our printing company told us – after we formatted, printed, saved, andhad the thing in the envelope to mail out – that they wanted it in PDF thisyear. So I thought “Hey! I can try out ZohoWriter!.”

So I created a free online account (note: this is still a Beta version) and got started. The first part of our 'book' is an 3 page Word doc, so I imported that. In about 10 secounds, I was staring at it in a WYSIWYG editor. So, it's not as clean as it was originally. Lots of extra spaces had gotten imported - somehow, the one line that I skipped between sections became three.  I exported it as a PDF - very easy and painless: two clicks and you're finished. When the PDF popped up, it almost looked beautiful. Everything had the correct spacing, the font was perfect...but it had problems with dashes. this: -- became this: รข€“

Not good. Since I was looking at a list of subject headings, every single line had dashes in them. The preview screen showed up fine, but once the PDF was created, it got a little messy. Interestingly enough, when I exported it as a .Doc instead of a PDF, the same problem happened. All my dashes disappeared.

I moved on to importing a PDF to try and export it as a document. After ten minutes, the one page PDF still hadn't imported, and I gave up.

So why in the world am I writing all of this about something I'll probably never use? Because it does have some cool stuff. ZohoWriter does more than change files - it also stores them. So if you need some storage while working on something - like a story, maybe? :) - and you don't want to carry disks, or thumb drives around, this will work really well.

You can also post to your blog (if you use Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, or TypePad) through it, which I find very cool. That's one of my favorite features of Flickr. Online programs that let you post to your blog without having to go to the blog's website is very handy. Supposedly, that's what I'm doing right now. I guess I'll find out when I hit 'publish.'

Update: It publishes, but spacing gets a little messy. I fixed some of the words that got squished together, but left others in. Still, when I'm at work, this will come in handy since Blogger is blocked from me!


Silma said...

If you don't want to spend money on Adobe Acrobat, you might want to try PrimoPDF. It's a nice software and it's free. You open the file you want to put in PDF, and then in your computer choose "print," but instead of your regular printer, you choose "PrimoPDF" and it turns your file into a PDF file. I've used it and I'm happy with it.

wthenrest said...

very cool. I will try both of these out. Thank you for the information.

arvind said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Arvind said...

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for trying out Zoho Writer & writing about it here.

We sure will look into the formating issues you have mentioned.

Your feedback is much appreciated.