Redliner: Collaborative Editing Made Easy

logo_175x40If you need to collaborate on a document with someone, you can simply email a Word (s msft) document back and forth, but that can get messy as it’s hard to keep track of the various versions of the document moving around. Or you could use an online document collaboration tool, like Google Docs (s goog), Show Document or doingText. Unfortunately, none of the available online tools tend to have a complete feature set. For example, Show Document can’t be used for collaborative editing, and Google Docs doesn’t have a sophisticated commenting system.

Enter Redliner, a new collaborative live document editing tool that marries an online word processor with a commenting and revision tracking system. It is based on Microsoft Silverlight, and even though it’s only in technical preview, the app is quite impressive. The best way to demo it is to see it in action in a  screencast:

WWD Screencast: Redliner from WebWorkerDaily on Vimeo.

Redliner is powerful, has smart workflow management features, and looks great. For those used to working with Word, its change tracking and commenting system should feel very familiar, which should make it easy to adopt for even the most non-technical of users. I wonder how it will stack up against the live collaboration tools that will likely be built into the next version of Word, but right now, Redliner is definitely worth checking out (a live demo is available) if you often collaborate on documents with your team.

Redliner is currently free during the technical preview period. When the full version is released later this year, paid monthly accounts will become available.

What tools do you use for collaborative editing?