Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Buzzword is brilliant

OK, you’re probably sick of me bleating about the shithouse print formatting of Google Docs. Well, I thought I’d tell the world I’ve given up. If I have to create a document for printing I will never use Google Docs again until they get it right.

If you think this means I’m back to Word or OpenOffice, then think again. I’ve been using the Adobe online word processor Buzzword and it rocks! Prints out exactly as it shows on the screen, has a nice intuitive interface and is just a joy to use. In fact I haven’t really found anything to complain about.

Well, they do really need an online view. At the moment, you’re forced to view the document in a traditional page format but if you’re creating documents for online, you just want your words to fill up the screen. Buzzword needs to enable you to toggle between a page view and a web view just as the desktop wordprocessors do. Google Docs needs a page view. But at least now, I’ve got a solution for documents I intend to print (Buzzword) and a solution for my web docs (Google Docs).

That said, I’m finding I’m using Google Docs less and less. We’ve now got Google Sites up and running (the subject of another blog to come) and it just makes far more sense if you’re creating any documents for sharing among a team to create them in a wiki or publishing environment.

I do admit, its far from ideal having my documents in two separate places and it would be even worse if I created more documents that I do for printing. I hope to riff in a future blog more about this, but the online app vendors need to get together and come up with a common file format that will enable me to move my docs around the various services. More than that, I’d like to be able to decide where I host these docs  (say Omnibox or SugarSync) and then just right click and say ‘Open in Buzzword’ or ‘Open in Google Docs’.

The other thing I’ll note in this blog is I think Adobe can represent a real challenge in the online app space. I’m not a big fan of flash for your average website but when it comes to online apps, the technology really comes into its own especially when combined with Air. If Adobe were to pick up a word processing and presentation start-up and quickly tie them together it could feasibly jump ahead of both Google and Zoho in functionality and ease-of-use.

Filed under: AJAX Challenge

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