Why bother with an online word processor? Most writers, myself included, write offline in either Word or some other software, yes, but it’s a good idea to have something in line for special circumstances. If you’re killing time at the library without your jump drive, or if a snowstorm knocks out your power and you have to spend a week camped out on a relative’s couch, for example, you’ll be able to open or create files through their computer…with everything online, so nobody can sneak behind you to read your rough draft.
With NaNo just around the corner, and an upcoming trip out of town, I bought a netbook to help me get my word count in, no matter where I am. This prompted me to look at free online options because the program that came with mine was pretty pitiful.
Zoho Writer has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a quality word processor. Work online and download to your computer later, or use their offline option. It comes with a template library full of cool stuff, too, and it’s totally free.
My travel netbook uses Windows CE, for which word processor software doesn’t seem to exist yet in either the free or purchased categories. And since it has limited memory, Zoho didn’t work very well on it.
Writer by BigHugeLabs.com does the trick. Very basic, no frills at all, but it lets me write online and save my work in progress, which I can easily download to my PC when I get home. It loads extremely fast, even on slow connections. It has a word count feature, lets you customize the spacing and fonts, and you can set the background and font colors to your liking (the default is a nifty green on a black background). And there’s a full screen option for distraction free creativity. Click on ‘Writer’s Block’ in the bottom left-hand corner to open a window for ‘Big Huge Thesaurus’, which looks up synonyms, antonyms, and rhymes to help you find the perfect word. Like I said, it ain’t fancy, but it gets the job done, is free, and is the best option for a word processor for Windows CE.