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Writeboard

If Writely is a take-along lunch, Writeboard is more like a banana in your pocket. That’s because this utility is not a word processor, but rather a collaboration tool, a kind of fast-and-easy board for tacking up the latest version, asking for feedback, and incorporating comments.

Instead of uploading your file, you create a "writeboard" for others to view (see Figure 4). A blank screen pops up, and you paste in the text you want to share.

Figure 4

Figure 4 After you create a writeboard, you paste in text.

When I say that in this application basic word-processing tools are minimal (see Figure 5), I mean that none exist in any reality plane I recognize.

Figure 5

Figure 5 Formatting options in Writeboard are token.

Consequently, a formatted document pasted in from Word looks a lot like it would in WordPad (see Figure 6). No headers, no footers, no fonts, no images. You get Courier text. Numbers are retained, but their formatting is idiosyncratic.

Figure 06

Figure 6 A formatted Word file (left) pasted into Writeboard (right).

As a collaboration tool, though, this application functions well. My favorite feature is a dandy comparison that lets you see version changes from your collaborator (see Figure 7).

Figure 7

Figure 7 An option lets you compare each version to the previous one.

This utility is handy for thrashing out a draft to be exported as a .TXT or .HTML file, but the lack of formatting means it’s not a choice for final print presentation. Think of it as "WordPad on the web" that opens your files to share with anybody you invite, and you’ll have a good idea of what it does. Users occasionally swear that they would rather use WordPad than Word. If such is your eccentricity, this is the app for you.

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