Buzzword is abso-friggin-lutely gorgeous. Seriously. I learned about Buzzword when I heard that Adobe bought the company developing it: Virtual Ubiquity. After spending a good bit of time using Buzzword, I may never use Microsoft Word or Google Docs again. (Check out these screenshots.)
Adobe was smart to pick this company up. It’s a fantastic use of Flash technology and could prove to be an incredible asset to Adobe’s burgeoning line of online applications (Photoshop Express, Premiere Express). Microsoft has already announced that they would be offering an online, ad-supported version of Word soon; and Google has been offering Google Docs – which includes a word processor, spreadsheets and presentations. Not having used Word Online (or whatever Microsoft will call it), I can’t comment on how it will look, but I can say that Buzzword is light-years beyond Google Docs word-processor.
- THE GREAT
- Simple, streamlined interface.
- Beautiful fonts – Adobe Garamond Pro, Courier Std, Cronos Pro, Minion Pro, Myriad Pro, News Gothic Std, and Tekton Pro. (Thanks, Adobe!)
- THE GOOD
- You can easily save your file for offline use. Current formats supported include Word (.doc), XML and Rich-Text (.rtf).
- Everything is web-based, so you can access your documents from anywhere.
- You can share any documents you create with other people and you can control whether they can be a co-author, reviewer or a reader. (Unfortunately, other people need to have a Buzzword account.)
- THE BAD
- Requires Adobe Flash. But seriously, who doesn’t have Flash at this point?
- Still in Beta. You have to have an account in order to do anything with the service.
- Can’t save files as PDFs (which seems like a no-brainer…) (Though, if you have Acrobat installed as a printer, you can always print the documents as a PDF.)
- No style support. (Thanks Will!)
- Other minor issues:
- No HTML export. (Admittedly, this might be a good thing.)
- No support for Open Document Format (ODF).
In short, even though there’s still some work to be done, Buzzword is the best web-based word processor I’ve ever used. If you’ve never heard of it before, you’ve heard of it now. Head on over to Buzzword.com to sign up for the chance to get a beta invite.
P.S. In case you’re interested, I typed up this review in Buzzword and printed it to PDF to show you how the output looks: Buzzword Review PDF