Online productivity apps firm Zoho today launched a new version of its flagship Zoho Writer word processing tool, featuring what it claims are major enhancements to the user interface to boost staff productivity.Zoho Writer was the firm's first offering when it launched in 2005, and competes in the small to medium sized business market with Google Docs and others, as well as offline rivals such as the near ubiquitous Microsoft Word.The main new feature in Zoho Writer 2.0 is an updated menu tab interface. Raju Vegesna, the firm's evangelist, explained in a blog posting that the number of features and buttons on the site had grown over the past few years, making it difficult to find the right tools.The new interface features tabs categorised according to functionality, each dropping down to reveal the appropriate menus."If you are used to using menus in traditional software, you'll feel right at home. And if you are used to using a tabbed interface that you find in many web applications, again, you'll feel very comfortable," Vegesna wrote.Zoho has also enhanced the sidebar to include search functionality and the ability to select multiple documents and perform actions. The icons beside the document name will also now show whether the document is shared or public.Other features include collaborative editing, word and character counts in the status bar, and improved page layout."Zoho Writer 2.0 represents a major overhaul of our user interface," said Vegesna. "We set out to improve user productivity, finetune the application, and establish a consistent user interface across the entire Zoho suite. We believe we achieved these three goals in Writer 2.0."
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