October 11th, 2006 by Keith

Writely – Google Docs & Spreadsheets

Posted in Fun Stuff, Linux, Mac OS, Site News, Software Companies, Solaris, Web Apps, Windows

The renowned Writely, an online word processor has now officially known as Google Docs & Spreadsheets. And Guess what, I am actually writing this post using Google Docs & Spreadsheets, and then having it published directly to this site using XML-RPC functionality. After all the blabbering, how much do you understand what I am actually doing.

Simply, it means that without having to log into your blogging site, e.g. WordPress, Drupal, or any sites that supports Blog API, users can directly compose and publish them off from Google Docs & Spreadsheets, which is extremely fast, quick and easy. Moreover, the layout viewing of what you have typed is simply ease to your eyes.

Besides that, Google has Spell Check functions at the bottom right of the page. Anytime, users can just check the spelling mistake easily. (I can’t help to think of this particularly word; if you have the word “Google” in the text, the Spell Check will highlight it and claims the word is a spelling mistake). Unfortunately, there is no spell-as-you-write function, despite most of the embedded engine is ajax.

As it is meant for writing Word documents (with limited functionalities), some of the tools, such as Bold, Underline, Italic, HTML links, image insert, and more, are available as well. This simply makes writing a blog far easier than one would think of. If you feel writing in Rich Text format may just mess up your blogging code, there is an editable HTML format, which you can just write them as you want them to be shown on the site. However, when publishing you might find it difficult to categorise your post.

After testing it myself, it seems to support most of the Blog API, such as MetaWeblog API, Movable API and Blogger API, some of the sites, it particularly supports WordPress publishing very well. Unfortunately, when I tried to do that with Drupal, it does not turn out well. Nonetheless, I am very impressed with Google’s effort to refurbish Writely into a much useful web application. I certainly hope to see that with other Google apps too. The only drawback I can say from here is, you’d probably need internet access to use Google Docs & Spreadsheets, otherwise, it is a very useful application, and it can be accessed from any computer, running any operating system, as long as you have supported browsers installed.

Link to Google Docs & Spreadsheets

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