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Brought to You By Google Writely

Posted in Google Calendar and Gmail, Technology by engtech on August 29, 2006

I tried Google’s Writely for the first time with the previous post. I’m pretty impressed, so far. It has all the WYSIWYG features I expect after using the WordPress.com blog editor, but doesn’t have nearly the same lag (or the same knack WordPress.com has for crashing if I play iTunes in the background).

It’s a fully featured web-based replacement for desktop word processors (IE: Microsoft Word), and it wins my support if only because it doesn’t insert crap formatting the way Word does. To top it off, it supports directly posting to most blog platforms (including WordPress.com).

It has the essential “raw HTML” toggle that became popular with Dreamweaver. Unlike WP, the box is big enough that the text is editable.

I really like knowing that my documents are backed up off-site, meaning that I can access them from any computer. (As fate would have it, my laptop battery died while I was typing that last sentence). I’ve already experienced data loss with WordPress.com, so having posts backed up in Writely provides a good addition to my backup strategy.

It even supports tags/categories, although in a limited fashion. The auto-post to WordPress didn’t create new categories for me. But I can live with that. I haven’t tried automatic image upload, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t work either.

Update: image upload doesn’t work from Writely.

The preview option lets you copy CSS formatting from your blog so that you can preview your post as it will look like live. It would be nice if they had a feature for copying it automatically.

I’m about to try the collaborate feature with editing a friend’s post on Beats Entropy before it goes public. If that works as smoothly as I expect it to, then Writely will take over as my primary word processor and blog editing software.

Update: Being able to collaborate easily is very cool, but Writely has major issues if you try to publish directly from Writely to your blog. Do not try to use it to replace your primary blog editting tool.

Update2: After further use, I don’t think Writely’s ready for prime-time. It also turns out that the wordpress.com Rich Text Editor has a “paste from Microsoft Word” hidden option that fixes the horrible formatting of Word.

4 Responses

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  1. Tom said, on August 29, 2006 at 9:57 am

    I tried writely with word press and couldn’t get it to post with a headline/subject. Could you?

  2. engtech said, on August 29, 2006 at 5:35 pm

    Yes, the title of your document will be the subject on WordPress.

  3. […] There is no reason to use Word. Google’s Writely is a fully-featured web-based word processor that supports HTML preview and direct publishing to blogs. […]

  4. Mike said, on September 07, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    The title things may not work everywhere. I use wordpress but don’t host on their site. The title of the document doesn’t become the title of the blog post. I have to go into the admin and manually do it. I’m sure there’s some work around but I haven’t bothered trying to find it.

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