Collabedit: Collaborate on a real-time online text document

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 10.33.21 PM

One thing I use all the time in my class is an online shared document editor. My preferred choice has been TitanPad and will probably remain that way for most things in my class. Sometimes a simpler text pad is all that is needed and Collabedit may be just that tool. Collabedit is a simple realtime text document creator that doesn’t require any registration. The ability to invite others to join, edit, and download text documents make this a nice backchannel discussion tool as well. Here is how it works:


  1. Go to Collabedit and click on ‘Create a New Document’ and you will be taken into the edit mode of a new document.
  2. You will be asked for a name the first time. Type in your name and hit enter.
  3. Beside the title on the top left, there is a small box with 5 letters and numbers. Click on this box and a dialogue box will pop up. Type in a new name and hit enter to change the name.
  4. On the right side of the page, there is a drop-down menu labelled as ‘Programming Language’. Since this is a tool that is often used for computer programmers, there are a number of programming language types listed. For a simple text document, choose ‘plain text’ at the bottom of the page.
  5. In the edit box, type or paste your text. There are line numbers shown beside the line after a hard return.
  6. At the top, click on ‘download’ to download a text document to your computer.
  7. Also at the top, there is a link for ‘invite’. Click on this to get the URL that you can share with others. They will be able to edit the document as well.
  8. Also at the top is ‘history’. Click on this to get a timeline of the document. Move the slider back and forth to see the changes. Click on the left pointing arrow to go the the start of the document. Click on the play button to see the document form from beginning to end. Click on ‘Edit Document’ to go back to the edit mode.
  9. In the edit mode, click in the box labelled ‘Chat Here’ to post a chat message that will appear in the blue box just above.
While this doesn’t have the feature set of Kl1p, TitanPad, or Google Docs, it is one of the simplest collaborative document tools I have seen. This would be great to use as a discussion document for a project or as a backchannel discussion site during a lecture or conference.

Have you used Collabedit before? How did it work for you? Post your comments below, send me a Tweet at @nathanghall, or email me using the contact form on this website. Thank you.


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