Dropbox Announces Paper, A Google Docs Competitor

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Dropbox is going head-to-head against a very popular web app, Google Docs. Dropbox Paper is a collaborative document editing platform in your browser. It lets you edit a document in real time with your Dropbox contacts. Here’s how it works.

Paper users can create a document and type text right away. Compared to Google Docs or Quip, it has very few rich-text editing features. If you want to format your document, you’ll have to use another word-processing app. In some ways, this is reminiscent of Etherpad.

What if you want to add images and videos? You can browse your Dropbox and add a Dropbox link directly in the document. Paper will automatically change these links into images and videos. It also does the same with other web content, such as YouTube videos, SoundCloud songs and more.

You can write todo lists, @mention people in the document to notify them when you need someone else’s feedback and also leave comments next to a specific paragraph.

Our own Sarah Perez first reported the existence of Project Composer back in March. It’s the result of the acquisition of HackPad. Some ProductHunt users could even use an early version of the product.

I called Paper a Google Docs competitor, even though it seems quite different with the smart embeds and mostly plain text approach. It looks like a white board more than a document creation platform. But then again, many Google Docs users already use the service to quickly draft something.

So it’s unclear whether Google Docs users will switch to Paper to do something they can already do with Google Docs without the nice embeds. Paper isn’t available just yet. You have to sign up to a waiting list first.

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