Writely: a guided tour

by Giles Turnbull

You may have noticed that a week or so ago, Google announced yet another purchase - that of online word processor Writely. Then it promptly closed the service to new users, which was a bit of a disappointment if you wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.

Luckily for me, I had an existing Writely account, which means I could still log in and enjoy the service. So here's a guided tour (biased somewhat in favor of Mac users because, well, that's what I use).


2006-03-22 13:32:34
I think my biggest worry about such a service would be the terms-of-service agreement. I'd hate to store my work there only to find out that it had become property of Writely. I don't think Google is at that level yet but it's worth keeping an eye on.
Solveig Haugland
2006-03-22 14:15:06
Nice review! I've been wondering about Writely ever since OpenOffice got snubbed by Google ;> . (Still have my fingers crossed for something with those two.) I really like that Writely is simple--there's a lot of people who just need the 20% of features.
2006-03-22 14:29:08
The FAQ says explicitly that Writely won't work in Safari. They blame Safari's lack of "design mode", but Safari does support "contenteditable" (which I believe is the Mozilla name for the same thing, editable DOM elements.) There are a number of bugs in that feature in Safari 2.0, though.

I'd rather have a real (WYSIWYG) wiki, though, like JotSpot. Isolated documents aren't useful enough.

2006-07-26 21:55:28
i've been lovin writely ever since i got my mini back in sept! i think you're on the "money" in regards to keeping the baseline basic - a free version for the millions of users that don't use word for more than err - processing words!

in response to your 2nd bullet for paranoia - i would say it would be empowering to plan your life in such a way where you gave yourself space for such downtime. now that said, I would love to see a one-button export of all my documents to a zip (much like wikispaces.com does) or a way to sync with a folder on my local machine, rendered documents - now this may very well be a pro feature!

2007-02-01 06:35:16
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