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Extending google docs to collaborate on research papers

They're basically online word processors with collaboration features such as clear commenting, but without extra features such as project management tools for teams. Their simplicity and popularity are their greatest strengths, particularly for freelancers and people who collaborate often with others outside of their company. Google Docs Web, iOS, Android Best for quickly and easily sharing documents with other Google Apps users Google Docs is the most popular collaborative writing and editing tool today, with nearly 25 million active monthly users compared to nearly 5 million for Microsoft Word, according to a report from SurveyMonkey.

Because it's so easy to use and automatically tied to every Google account, it's the default word processing app for many individuals.

Google Docs offers the essential features you'd expect of any popular word processor. It excels, however, in its baked-in collaboration features.

Extending google docs to collaborate in research papers

Clear and Easy Commenting: Google Docs lets you comment on any text, image, or other specific part of the page, and highlights the text with comments. These make it easy for both editors and writers to spot parts of the text that need to be addressed: When you scroll through a document, the highlighted text jumps out at you. At the same time, the comments are not inline with the document but off to the side and can be hidden or shown, as well as marked as resolved.

Convenient Suggested Edits Mode: Google Docs' editing mode feature the pen icon in the toolbar at the top right lets you decide whether to directly edit the original document or make all your edits as suggestions. The main benefit of suggestions: Suggestions come with what looks like a comment, but rather than having a "resolve" button, as comments do, they have accept checkmark and reject X mark options.

Extending Google Docs to Collaborate on Research Papers

This is great for editors who want to suggest a change to the text but want to let the writer decide, and for writers to easily see the kinds of changes their editor s typically make for future reference. The downside, however, is that the suggested edits, color-coded and littered throughout the piece, can be overwhelming.

The simple act of deleting a space or adding a comma is called out in green or pink or another color—and that can be daunting for writers who return to find gallons of virtual ink splashed across the page.

If you need to know what's been changed in the document, when it was changed, and by whom, Google Docs makes it easy to find that out.

  1. Compared to the process of exporting my Markdown as rich text, pasting it into Google Docs, and fixing the parts of my formatting that get lost during that process, Dropbox Paper's auto-formatting would save me a bunch of time. These make it easy for both editors and writers to spot parts of the text that need to be addressed.
  2. Free Learn more about the core Dropbox features in our Dropbox review. Dropbox Paper uses a simple approach to sharing.
  3. There are also a few publicly hosted instances of Etherpad you can use for free, such as etherpad. As part of the Zoho Docs suite of apps similar to Microsoft Office and the larger Zoho business apps ecosystem, Zoho Writer stands out for its advanced document access controls.

To revert to a previous version of the document, all you have to do is click the "Restore this version" link. Exporting to Multiple Formats: Unlike many other writing apps that let you export the document only to text or HTML, Google Docs supports exporting your document to a wide range of file types, including Word.

Extending google docs to collaborate on research papers

This makes Google Docs a great publishing tool and allows collaborators to use your document in just about any app they choose. Not only can you share a Google Doc via email or with a link, but you can also prevent people you give editing control to from adding others to the doc.

You can also disable downloading, printing, and copying for those who only have view or commenting access. And for even more control, set an expiration date on a collaborator's access to the doc. This is useful when you want to co-author the file with someone but stop sharing it as soon as they're finished. Google Docs was created with collaboration in mind from the start—and offered real-time collaboration features before Microsoft Word.

You'll need a Google account to use Google Docs with other collaborators, but those you share the doc with don't need a Google account to view, comment, or edit the document. Still, everyone's got a Google account, right?

Extending google docs to collaborate on research papers

With the Google Docs Chrome extensionyou can even work on your documents offline. This is one of the easiest apps to collaborate on a document with. As part of the 28-year-old Microsoft Office suite, which is used by over a billion people worldwide, Microsoft Word has long been the de facto tool for writing and editing at most companies.

It's only in the last few years, however, that Microsoft's free web apps suite, Office Online—including Word Online —became a serious contender to Google's Apps offering. Google Docs and Word Online have similar features—excellent real-time collaboration, version history, and mobile as well as desktop browser access—but there are a few features that might make you choose Word Online over Google Docs.

If you use Office 365, Word Online is a no-brainer for those times you don't have access to the PC or Mac desktop app or you just want to make a quick change to an Office document. It's easy to sign in at OneDrive with your Microsoft account to access your Word docs or create a new one and get right to it.

You'll see the familiar Ribbon user interface and can access the most essential features of the writing app. If someone sends you a Microsoft Word doc and you don't have the desktop app, you can open it in Word Online and expect it to look and function like their version.

Comments extending google docs to collaborate on research papers always just comments when it comes to shared documents. Sometimes they're to-dos, such as "find a better way to phrase this. Advanced Page Layout Tools: Many simple writing web apps give you a default page size 8. But what if you wanted the document to be legal-size, A4, or any other size or in landscape mode? Word Online gives you complete control over page sizing, and easy ways to adjust the margins, indents, and paragraph spacing, so you can build your pages with precision.

Word Online's styles pane makes it easy to apply more than 20 default styles to blocks of text or the entire document. And if you click the Apply Styles option, you have access to dozens of other styles for table formatting, lists formatting, and footer and endnote styles.

Especially when there are multiple people formatting the same document, these pre-made styles help ensure consistency. Skype Group Chats in Word Online: When someone is editing with you in Word Online, you can click the Skype button to start a text, voice, or video chat directly within the document's chat pane.

This requires users to have an Office 365 subscription. Or, if you're away from the document, you can still participate in the chat using Skype on your phone or web browser.

Word Online doesn't have all of the features as the desktop version of Word, but it has all the functionality you'd expect in an online word processor—including strong collaboration and sharing options. Free Want to collaborate on spreadsheets, too? Learn how to use Excel Online to crunch numbers in your browser with our Excel Online review.

Dropbox Paper Web Best for clean, clutter-free writing and rich media support Dropbox Paper is still in beta.

  • You'll see the familiar Ribbon user interface and can access the most essential features of the writing app;
  • Plus, it's easy to reply to comments;
  • However, the beta feels polished and has an elegant, modern design;
  • This makes Google Docs a great publishing tool and allows collaborators to use your document in just about any app they choose.

However, the beta feels polished and has an elegant, modern design. Here are some of this writing app's best features: Dropbox Paper's design is very reminiscent of online publishing platform Medium.

It's clean and uncluttered, with lots of white space to put the focus on your content, rather than buttons and options. The sleek interface makes Dropbox Paper easy to use and encourages you to just start writing.

You can insert just about any kind of content into your document: Dropbox Paper also offers one of the best ways to use images in your document. You can paste two images next to each other and they'll be automatically organized side by side. And if you double-click on an image, it will open in a full-screen gallery view. Instant Markdown and Code Formatting: Dropbox Paper uses rich text rather than Markdown formatting, but it took my pasted Markdown and re-formatted it as rich text immediately.

That was a nice surprise. Compared to the process of exporting my Markdown as rich text, pasting it into Google Docs, and fixing the parts of my formatting extending google docs to collaborate on research papers get lost during that process, Dropbox Paper's auto-formatting would save me a bunch of time. If you prefer to write in Markdown but the final document needs to be in rich text format, Paper is a lifesaver. You can also use Dropbox Paper for writing code. Easy Folder or Documents Sharing: Dropbox Paper uses a simple approach to sharing: It also gives you a couple of additional sharing options: As with Google Docs, you can create folders in your account and share their contents with collaborators.

Or, you can share a single document from within the document editor. You might use folders to keep you work and personal files separate in your Paper account. If you're going to share files with the same people over and over, sharing a folder saves you the time and effort of sharing each new document. In your Dropbox Paper document, you can highlight a particular parts to add your comment to. Plus, it's easy to reply to comments. You'll feel right at home if you've used Google Docs a lot in the past.

The Paper team even threw in some fun stickers to keep comments lively. Dropbox Paper also uses colored names similar to Hackpadbelow to show who wrote what. If you're working on a living document with a team of people, this can be handy when time passes and you can't remember who had which idea. Within your document, you can also use the sign before a team member's name to call their attention to a comment.

Unobtrusive Table of Contents: Dropbox Paper automatically creates a table of contents based on the headings in your document.

Although other writing apps can also do this, it's implemented unobtrusively and automatically here. In other apps, you have to click a button in one of the menus to show the TOC, but Dropbox Paper shows very small lines on the left of the screen that you can just hover over to show the TOC.

It's out of the way when you don't need it, but easy to get to when you do. Linked to Your Dropbox Account: As you might expect, Dropbox Paper requires users to log in with their Dropbox account, so you'll need to create one if you want to use the product.

Paper isn't mixed in with your Dropbox files, but, again, you can link to Dropbox files easily from within a Paper document. The good news is, at least for nowPaper documents don't count towards your Dropbox storage quota. Do note that Dropbox Paper doesn't offer offline access. It's possible Paper will add offline access in the future, but for now you'll need an internet connection to create and edit documents. Depending on your workflow, this could be a dealbreaker.

Free Learn more about the core Dropbox features in our Dropbox review. Etherpad Web Best extending google docs to collaborate on research papers developers who want full control over their tools Etherpad is an open-source, real-time, collaborative writing tool.