Doingtext.com is an online text collaboration tool that allows multiple users to access the same text editor and make changes and add comments to a document. Registered users can create a document and simply share the URL with others. They can then edit the document without having to login, although the original user can password-protect the document. The editor is based on a line-by-line format, with each line having a number. Comments can be made about each line out to the side, where they do not interfere with the text. A complete history of revisions and comments is kept throughout the life of the document.
A document is called a “Discussion”, and users can easily share the URL of a document, download the document or view the history of a document directly from the text editor. Each line is numbered, and comments to that line have the corresponding number. The history shows who edited the document and when, and shows the comments they added when they edited the document. The site also supports messaging between registered users, and each user has a profile. Mobile support for the text editor is provided as well. Documents can be exported as plain text or as PDF files. The editor is capable of using a simple text formatting language called Textile, which supports bold, underline, insertion of pictures, etc. There are only a few commands to learn in the Textile language.
Germany-based Doingtext.com was launched to the general public in April 2009 by Upstream Agile GmbH. The site has undergone steady growth since launch, and new features are still being added. The site has an Alexa page rank near the 600,00 mark.
Competition to Doingtext comes from TextFlow and DocVerse. TextFlow offers importing and exporting of MS Word format documents as well as text documents. DocVerse is designed specifically for collaboration with Microsoft Office documents, rather than just MS Word. Doing text can import RTF and text documents, and export to formatted text and PDF.
The Doingtext site has a Web 2.0 look and feel. The site is free of clutter, and the user interface is very intuitive. There is a minimum of links shown on each page, and there is a convenient top menu bar for navigation. Links on the navigation bar include Home, Messages, Account, Guides (complete help section), Contact and Log Out. The site is very responsive, with page loads happening almost instantaneously. The text editor is very responsive, much like a dedicated desktop application. File uploads and downloads are quite responsive as well.
Registration is not required to try the text editor on the site, but is required in order to invite collaborators or message others. Registration is free, and the registration process simply asks for username, email address and password. Validation of the email address is required. A free account is limited to 3 private discussions and 2 collaborators.
Several levels of paid memberships are available – Micro, Small, Medium, Large, and Really Large. The number of private discussion for these membership levels ranges from 12 for Micro to 400 for Really Large. The number of collaborators ranges from 4 for Micro to 100 for Really Large. All membership levels allow for an unlimited number of public discussions.
The Doingtext website is recommended to anyone who has a need to collaborate with others on a text document. The site makes online collaboration an easy process, as there is a very minimal learning curve required to use the site. Users requiring import and export of MS Word documents should consider TextFlow or DocVerse.