Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

You'll Have To Do Better Than That

The explosion of online, AJAX-enabled word processing applications is far from complete. The latest entry is AjaxWrite, offered to you by Michael Robertson (of, Linspire, and GizmoProject fame - or is that infamy?).
Of course I zipped on over and tried out the online app. The web site claims "The look, feel, and functionality of Microsoft Word, in a completely web-based AJAX platform.

[Cue music: Meatloaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad" ]

Definitely the look and feel of Word, but how about *almost* the functionality of Microsoft Word. Sure, this is only version .9, so technically it's still in beta, but this online word processor, like others of its ilk such as Writely, recently acquired by Google, is only comparable to desktop word processing applications like Microsoft Word, Sun's StarOffice, and ThinkFree Office when using the most basic of features.

Can AjaxWrite read/write Microsoft Word documents? Yes. But a quick test showed that there are still glitches with even that basic feature. Images in opened documents were missing, and some of the ordered lists were incorrectly translated. It did, at least, keep intact drawings within Word documents and font translations went well, assuming the loaded document contained only fonts that come with Word.

The default font (Arial 8pt) isn't applied to new documents, and there are no advanced features; just those you'd expect from basically a rich HTML editor: the ability to insert tables, lists, and images, and manipulate fonts.

  • 1