Tuesday Tech Talk with Michael Duncan: Oct. 29

Host: Michael Duncan

Producer: Tanya Mok

Assistant producer: Jasmine Pazzano


By Michael Duncan

Ryersonian Staff

Your Office 365 trial has ended and going through Blackboard to access Ryerson’s Google Docs is a chore.
You’ve downloaded a word processor for your phone, but  no one wants to write a 1,000-word essay with a touch keyboard that features bizarre word prediction.
While office suites have never been sexy, free things are.
Here are three free solutions to your word processing needs.

Zoho Docs

If you’re not a fan of Ryerson’s route to Google Docs, or the apps, then Zoho Docs is your friend. It’s online so you’re not going to have to worry about what type of computer you use, and there are mobile apps for both Apple and Android. If you’re a longtime Microsoft Office user, you’ll notice the layout similarities between Office and Zoho. When you sign in all the applications, including file sharing, are in one location, so you can ditch the USB stick.


Libreoffice is a solution if you’re not willing to pay yearly for Office 365, or you’re still running Office 2007 and it tries to correct futuristic words like Internet and wiki. You can download Libre for both Mac and Windows, and there’s no sign up. Libre is a full office suite and it rivals the options of the more popular programs. It’s also advertised as operating in over 100 languages. If you’re worried about privacy and storing files online, then Libre is your off-line solution.


On the surface, Etherpad seems like a basic text editor. At first you might notice what seems to be a lack a features. Under the surface Etherpad is an online real-time editor, meaning multiple users can be working on the same document simultaneously. It features a sidebar for chat, so it’s great for working on a coding project or a group essay with members who can’t attend. The service is hosted online and is completely free so you won’t be limited by budget or device.

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