I realize that a blog post about Writely.com document sharing at this point is not exactly breaking news but Writely is such a great online tool that I thought it deserved a post. If you haven’t tried Writely yet, you should. In a nutshell, “Writely is a web word processor that provides simple and secure document collaboration and publishing on the web using only the browser.” Writely is perfect for anyone who needs to collaborate on just about any type of content.
Using Writely is simple and should be intuitive for anyone familiar with current word processors. First, you create a document either by typing it in Writely, or by uploading an existing Word or OpenOffice document, HTML, or text file. You then use Writely like a standard word processor to format text, add tables, images, etc. Then, when you are ready, you can share your document with others by sending an email invitation to your online document. When another person starts editing the same document, a small notice appears in the browser. Changes between users are automatically synchronized every few seconds and Writely maintains a history of all document edits. When you are finished, you can download the document in a number of formats including MS Word, OpenOffice, and RTF, post your document to a blog, or simply make it publicly viewable on Writely.com.
The Writely service is free and the developers (Upstartle) plan to maintain a free base version of the application moving forward. Screenshot below. Give Writely a try. I am sure you will find it useful.
P.S. – For the web development crowd out there, Writely is one of the first truly inspired AJAX based applications I have seen NOT written in Ruby on Rails. Written in ASP.NET? Perhaps that’s what Upstartle means by “beta”? (Oh, settle down, Microsoft guys. Only joking. ) It must have taken a long time to write in .NET though. (Again joking. Please no hate mail.) 😉