Tools for Writing Offline

Zoho writer

You’ve tackled the relatively small task of devising an editorial calendar for your blog, and know where to find research sources. Now you need a good tool to compose articles with. Well if you spend any significant part of the day without Internet access, the Zoho Writer application now works offline. Type up your documents offline, then synchronize with your account when you have Internet access. What could be easier?

Well, that’s the idea, anyway. For now, the offline version only allows reading of documents, not writing. They’re getting to read/write offline, but it’ll be about another month. You will also need to install a browser plugin that works with IE 6+ and Firefox 1.5+ (including Mac).

I use ZohoWriter every day, but mostly for the word count feature, not for actual composition of an article. It can, however, substitute as an free alternative to Microsoft Word. And it exports to HTML format.

For documents, I prefer to use OpenOffice. For blog posts, I use an older version of the PFF (Performancing for Firefox) extension, now called ScribeFire). This PFF/ ScribeFire is incredible because you have the option of running it (1) in a Firefox tab, (2) in the bottom pane of your Firefox window, or (3) in a separate window. If you’re careful, you can run two instances. Just don’t edit the same file in two places or you’ll be crying.

Note that ScribeFire 1.4.2, released in early August, supports Firefox 3. However, one blogger claimed that it does not seem to post to WordPress blogs. I have not tested it yet as I have no plans to swith from the old PFF version. So if you’re running an older version of ScribeFire or PFF, you might want to do a bit of research before switching to a new version.