Writing an Article? Try an Online Word Processor

"Who needs Microsoft Word anymore?" is the question that the creator of AjaxWrite is asking. Why do you need to pay $ 400 if you can get the same basic functionality for free?

Writely and Ajaxwrite are just 2 of the free online word processors that have been in the news recently:


Writely is very stable, secure and easy to use, it was bought by Google last month for $ 5 million and it was temporarily closed to new registrations until they migrate data to Google servers. If you already have a Writely account, you can invite up to 20 new users (similar to Gmail).

Writely keeps the documents online but you can export them ("save as") to your local hard drive. The interface is similar to MS Word, even the old Windows/Word keyboard shortcuts still work (Ctrl+C, copy; Ctrl+V, paste). Documents can be accessed from any computer with internet connection.

Writely is very well suited for scientific collaboration since it allows several authors to write an article at the same time. No more emailing back and forth different versions of one Word document.

I have used Writely since 11/05 and it works well for me. All my blog posts, articles, and study protocols (without HIPAA identifiers) are written with it.


No registration is required for this online word processor which works only with Firefox for now. AjaxWrite looks almost exactly like a 1997 version of MS Word and it saves the documents to your hard drive (no online storage).

Meet Ajax Write. GigaOm.com.
Bye Bye Microsoft Word, Hello ajaxWrite. MichaelRobertson.com.
Web 2.0 Watch: ajaxWrite by Michael W. Muchmore.
Now, Free Ways to Do Desktop Work on the Web. NYTimes.

1 comment:

  1. Another Online word processor comparable to Writely is Zohowriter.However none of these online word processors support bibliography managers like endnote which is very important for manuscript preparation. Hence if you are comfortable with CVS it is probably the best way for efficient collaborative writing and version management. There are a few free cvs servers like www.freepository.com

    Bell Eapen