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August 19, 2013 / carlispina

Editorially – A New Tool to Create and Collaborate on Documents with Markdown

Editorially LogoEditorially is a new tool that aims to make it easier to create and collaboratively edit documents that will display perfectly across various web-based platforms. While many CMS platforms seek to address similar concerns through a WYSIWYG interface, often the code generated by these platforms is not proper HTML which means that it will not display in the same way if it is exported to another platform. The alternative is generally to write documents using a markup language, which adds additional complications as it requires the writer to write out all the opening and closing tags. Also, most platforms for HTML authoring make it difficult to collaborate effectively with others. Enter Editorially.

With Editorially, there is now a platform that is focused on allowing users to collaborate on documents written with Markdown, a shorthand way of writing HTML compliant documents. The interface is focused on the writing process without any distractions. In fact, the entire menu is confined to a small, uncluttered bar at the top of the page and the rest of the browser window is devoted to the writing space. Despite this minimalism, the interface is nevertheless good for both those who are already familiar with Markdown and those who are completely new to it, as it offers a cheat sheet in the menu bar that details all of the pieces of Markdown that users are likely to need. While the platform is ideal for creating new documents, users can also import a variety of file types, including .txt, .md and .markdown. And, once a document is created, it is easy to share it with collaborators. The tool also includes several options on the right side of the top menu for collaborating on documents that are in process. The first button allows the document’s owner to share it with others. The next button allows users to write general comments on the document as a whole. And, the third button allows users to highlight specific sections of the document and then start a discussion on those particular aspects of the document. The interface also includes a timeline view that makes it easy to move between versions of the document whether to see what changes have been made or to rescue content that has been accidentally deleted. Once a document is complete, exporting the document as both a .md and a .html file requires only a single click. Editorially is a nice new option for those who write in Markdown frequently or who create documents that are intended for multiple online platforms. Currently it is in private beta, but I have some invitations available, so feel free to contact me if you are interested in trying it out!

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