In a nutshell, collaborative writing is writing done by more than one person. There are benefits and risks of collaborative working. Some of the benefits include a more integrated / co-ordinated approach, better use of existing resources, and a stronger, united voice. For us, the greatest advantage is one of the most transparent. That’s when we need to take colleagues’ views. Sending files back and forth between colleagues is inefficient, causes unnecessary delays and leaves people (i.e. us) unhappy with the whole notion of collaboration.
With good collaborative software, we can share notes, data and files, and use comments to share thoughts in real-time or asynchronously. Working together on documents, images, video, presentations, and tasks is made less of a chore.
There are many ways to collaborate online, and it has never been easier. This article highlights our favourite open source tools to collaborate on documents in real time.
Google Docs is an excellent productivity application with most of the features we need. It serves as a collaborative tool for editing documents in real time. Documents can be shared, opened, and edited by multiple users simultaneously and users can see character-by-character changes as other collaborators make edits. While Google Docs is free for individuals, it is not open source.
Here is our take on the finest open source collaborative editors which help you focus on writing without interruption, yet work mutually with others.
To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 7 collaborative editing tools.
Let’s explore the 7 editors at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, providing a screenshot of the software in action, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, together with links to relevant resources.
|Collaborative Editing Tools|
|Etherpad||Web-based collaborative real-time editor|
|CodiMD||Realtime collaborative markdown notes taking inspiration from Hackpad|
|ProseMirror||Rich semantic content editor|
|ONLYOFFICE||Multifunctional cloud online office suite|
|Firepad||Full-featured text editor|
|CryptPad||Realtime collaborative editor|
|Gobby||Supporting multiple documents in one session and a multi-user chat|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There's tons of in-depth reviews, alternatives to Google, fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.