Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

ajaxWrite – a Microsoft Word Lookalike Online Editor

Category: Showcase

So you’ve been wanting to get in on the online word processing craze that’s been happening, but you don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve looked into a few but haven’t felt comfortable with any yet. Well, the ajaxWrite project is looking to change that. They offer an online editor that has the look and feel of one of the most popular desktop word processors around the world – Microsoft Word.

ajaxWrite is a streamlined word processor, comparable to Microsoft Word. To keep the program lean, we left out some obscure advanced features; you’ll find the functions you use most often, right where you’d expect them to be. (We’re still working on the spell checker.) You can import and export documents in all popular formats, including documents with graphics. The save function lets you save your work to a drive on your computer. Also, since you run ajaxWrite from your web browser, it is platform independent and can therefore be used with any operating system.

I gave it a shot, and it seems to work pretty well – no lag on the functionality/menus or when it comes to editing. Importing a simple Word document went just fine, but I think they’re stil working on the parsing for larger and more difficult files – my browser froze up when I tried to “Open” the file. Speaking of browsers, this one’s only for Firefox users – sorry IE users. There’s something interesting about a Firefox-only implementation of a web app mimicing a Microsoft application.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 9:41 am

2.9 rating from 48 votes


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The idea screams “Microsoft come buy us” :D

Comment by alex — March 23, 2006

Looks like a pretty nice application of XUL (presumably why it won’t work in IE, etc.) Standard widget rendering and built-in behaviours are always a good thing! :)

Comment by Scott Schiller — March 23, 2006

When I tried it I found it took alot longer than I would have liked to load (not the 6sec they claim) and when I attempted to save my very basic document it died everytime.

Sorry writely wins hands-down…

Comment by Aaron Bassett — March 23, 2006

Microsoft developped XAML while the Mozilla XUL was already feature complete a long time ago.

I’m glad to see developers using XUL (like they did for ajaxWrite) instead of XAML.

Yes, XUL-based apps will work only in Mozilla-based apps, like Firefox. But Firefox runs on Linux, Mac and PC.

Comment by Jacques — March 23, 2006

Holy crap this thing takes a long time to load…. nearly 2 minutes to finally see their sample document. I’m on a T1 too… yuck!

Comment by Ryan Gahl — March 23, 2006

…after it finally loaded, clicked “file > open” and gave up after that dialog took another 30 seconds to load…

Sorry, it’s just not good. Why is this an article? Shouldn’t these things be evaluated as being **GOOD** before an entire article is wasted on them?

Comment by Ryan Gahl — March 23, 2006

Actually, the first time I loaded it up this morning (about 30 min before I wrote the post), it did load up in the “6 seconds” mentioned.

I wouldn’t jump to conclusions that it’s the application when it’s probably the server load. It’s also been mentioned on:

and has made it to the popular page:

Think there might be a tiny bit of load on their servers?

Comment by Chris Cornutt — March 23, 2006

This is Simple&useful tool, but very slow.. Google should buy this :)

Comment by Azer Koçulu — March 23, 2006

[…] There’s buzz over at Memorandum about the launch of ajaxWrite. Some good and some not so good. […]

Pingback by Ramblings of a Short Man » Blog Archive » ajaxWrite: what about IE? — March 23, 2006

I wonder what is the deal with creating such an app as ajax software when doing such a sing in java would create a much better result. What is the buzz about all this Ajax about? I would really like to know, this comment is in no way intended to be a flame.

Comment by Stefan Mokros — March 23, 2006

Sweet webapp, but rather slow and a very bad signal to send out to the world.I’m a Mac based developer. Years ago everybody (not only those who work on a Mac or any other Unix system off course) was complaining about websites that would only work in Internet Explorer on Windows. Now the new trends are webapps and websites that only work correctly in Mozilla/Firefox. Apparently developers can afford this now that so many people have switched, but this switch in terms of behaviour is rather hypocritical.In a couple of years the market shifted, an now so many developers are doing the samething they cursed Microsoft for a couple of years ago. If you really care about the health of the web, you do all that’s in your power to give everyone the best experience possible, not just lock groups of web users out. Don’t come complaining when the market might shift again in a couple of years.

Comment by Bert Fonteyn — March 23, 2006

Lame, I’ve seen javascript blog HTML editors with a lot more functionality than this. Besides a half-assed attempt at opening .doc files, its not very impressive.

Comment by Eli — March 24, 2006

[…] The much-publicised AjaxWrite is only the beginning for Michael Robertson’s push into Ajax. Further to the release a couple of days ago, here’s some info on their plans: But ajaxWrite is just the start. We have a library of applications we have been working on to replace most of the standard PC software titles. Every week we will launch a new sophisticated program on Wednesday at 12:00 PST on These programs will push the boundaries of what people believe is possible today with web-delivered software. These programs look and operate much like their traditional software cousins, but are cross-platform, loaded dynamically, and are available to users at no charge. I’m convinced if you try a few of these products you will understand how the software business will fundamentally change. […]

Pingback by Ajaxian » An Ajax App Each Week — March 24, 2006

Not impressed… its like FCKEditor, except with less functionality and a half assed Word parser builtin. Can you even define an A4 page? The pages seem to go on endlessly.

Comment by WeeJames — March 24, 2006

yahoo: Results 1 – 10 of about 31,400 for ajaxwrite
google: Your search – ajaxwrite – did not match any documents.

Comment by mike — March 24, 2006

For quick and dirty word processing, it is great. I loaded several different times, most were less than 5 seconds. That is as fast as Word loads locally on my system. Maybe folks should stop complaining about how slow a free app loads, especially when it their system/connections. Anyway, I can’t wait to start using more web delivered apps. Its nice not to have to worry about licensing and loading.

Comment by AustinSlacker — March 24, 2006

[…] [via Ajaxian] uses XUL and therefore requires Firefox. Very impressive though! You can also bookmark this on or check the cosmos […]

Pingback by .: On Tokyo Time :. » Ajax = no installation — April 12, 2006

Sweet blog very intersesting

Comment by computer repairs bournemouth — August 27, 2007

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