A while back I reviewed TextFlow, an Adobe AIR application that allows you to establish a collaborative document editing workflow quickly and easily, without messing about with servers or larger enterprise solutions. Recently, the folks behind TextFlow introduced a version with editing in the browser, so people don’t have to have AIR installed to join in and collaborate.
I liked the original version of TextFlow, but it ended up not being very useful precisely because no one I wanted to work with was particularly interested in having AIR installed on their machines. Not that they were actively against it, either, just that they didn’t feel it was worth the bother for just this app (obviously I’m not talking about TweetDeck or Twhirl users here!). Now they can edit documents directly in their browser via a private link, so they don’t need to mess about with AIR to help out with the collaboration.
It’s a very nice update, but it leaves me wishing that I didn’t have to kick things off using the AIR application to begin with. Regardless, that’s just what I did to test the web-based version. If you’d like to try it out, TextFlow offers a Test Drive which has the same functionality.
All you have to do to share your document from within the AIR app is add members to your group in the “Share” sidebar, and then click “Share” whenever you make changes that you’d like distributed to all parties.
Anyone on your list receives a unique URL that will load up a TextFlow editor instance right in their web browser. It has all the same features as the document editor of the AIR app, but your collaborators won’t need to download anything and can get to work or see your revisions right away.
Even if you took a pass on TextFlow the first time around, it might be worth another look now that it’s largely platform independent. And it’s still free for the Personal edition, though a Professional license will cost you $99.
Have you tried TextFlow? What did you think?