Editorially – An Elegant Markdown Online Editor For Collaborative Writing

By . Filed in Tools

As writers for print make the transition to becoming writers for Web, they come across many writing apps that (try to) cater for both mediums yet fail to provide all the necessary tools that are actually required. Well, that is about to change. Let me introduce to you a new, reinvented way to write, share and collaborate on your web projects using Editorially.

Editorially is a minimalistic text editor that spares you the bells and whistles and lets you get down to just putting your ideas onto paper. You can write on it like you do on your word processor then export the final result in HTML, as well as work simultaneously with your editor, colleagues and/or clients.

Writing Distraction-Free

When you are in Editorially, most of what you see is plenty of whitespace for you to scribble on. No toolboxes, no formatting guides; all that matters is you and what you want to write. That said, there are some great traits hidden away in a sticky bar on the top of the writing space.

Hidden in fluid and simple drop-down menus are your tools to do things like create new documents, save your current version, export your content, talk to collaborators, find and compare current and previous versions and more.

Version Control

A common problem in publishing is the need to work out multiple versions of the same article. Stay on top of all these different versions and stay in control with the timeline.

You can compare old and current versions, which are dated and even attributed to the person who made the changes. Choose to revert to a particular version, anytime you find it necessary. This is a very nice and convenient feature that takes you away from catastrophe of over-riding versions and changes.

Collaborative Writing

You can invite fellow Editorially users to work on the same document at the same time. Assign roles – reviewer, editor, owner – to make things much, much easier to manage or improve on.

  • Reviewers can read comment and chat.
  • Editors can read, chat, comment re-name and edit.
  • Owners can do all the above plus delete, invite and so on.

Even better, discuss the post right outside the writing space with the built-in chat with text highlighting support to get colleagues all in the same page.

Writing With markdown

Another way Editorially makes writing with it simple, is the use of Markdown. Rather than use tags, formatting on Editorially is done with hashes, asterisks and brackets.

Here is a cheatsheet of the formatting used.

To get the final copy in HTML form, just export the content when it is done. Cick the gear icon in the middle of the bar to reveal the option to Export. You will also find a handy word/character count.

Advantages

  • True distraction-free editor
  • Chat with your co-workers fast and easy
  • Compare past and current writing; revert if necessary
  • Collaborate, edit and write with multiple people at the same time
  • Save your versions and changes with notes and mini-popups
  • Easily export to HTML for publishing

Disadvantages

  • No import or export to other services like Evernote, Google Docs and so on
  • HTML exports are still a little buggy with double asterisks and bullet lists (do check before you publish)
  • You cannot customize the editor styles
  • Timeline of versions does not include images yet

Conclusion

I believe Editorially will help many people improve their writing efficiency and increase their productivity. Editorially is still in private beta and they are still ironing out the creases as we speak. Sign up at their site to get an invite (although I have a couple more to give away). While we’re on that subject, check out 6 Rules To Getting The Perfect Format.

Author:

Dylan is a web developer and designer. He loves to work on WordPress and share his knowledge with other developers. He is the Editor-in-Chief of ThemeCrush.

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