Etherpad, a collaborative real-time web editor

Etherpad is text editing software. Online collaboration for multiple users stands out as a fundamental aspect, with this, the software expands the possibility of developing projects in a more efficient way.

Although there are many similar options today, it is always possible to find highlights in some of them, this is the case with Etherpad. Its operation and installation seek to maintain access to your information with the greatest possible security and even the identity of the writers or collaborators can be protected thanks to the software configuration.


This software appeared in 2008, thanks to its innovative features and functions, it was well received by the user community. As a result of its success, the Google company was interested almost immediately and managed its purchase, which was completed in December 2009 and Etherpad was released as open source in the same month.

Etherpad Features

The highlights of this web application are mainly aimed at promoting collaborative work online, without neglecting the tools used by text editors.

Simultaneous text editing

Etherpad allows its users to create and edit text documents via the web, additionally it is possible to invite several people as collaborators in the elaboration of the text file.

Collaboration can be jointly or individually. The software assigns a specific color for the changes that are made by each user, in this way the work carried out by each one can be identified.

Collaborative Chat

This tool facilitates real-time communication of the collaborators who are working on each text file in the editing process. In this way, it is possible to control and communicate in a timely manner any idea or modification that needs to be implemented.

Security and anonymity

When you access Etherpad, it is possible to configure it so that it does not collect personal information from the writers, except for the IP address, which is a mandatory data. Unlike other similar services, such as Google Docs, where you must log in to access the documents.

Additionally, the software has the option of assigning passwords to documents to increase the privacy of the information.

EtherPad Features

Within word processors there is a set of basic functions that are common to all, however, there are others that make the software stand out compared to the rest. Some highlights are:

Changes made

With this tool it is possible to consult a history of the changes that have been made to the document, in addition, you can navigate over the registered changes.

Import documents

Although it may seem like a strange function for this type of online services, Etherpad has the possibility of importing previously prepared documents, as long as they are in TXT, HTML or its own format.

Save Documents

The process of saving documents, or pads as they are called within this program, is as simple as clicking an icon, it will immediately be stored in your pad library.

Connection log

The software has an access log for all users who enter or leave the editing of documents, this is a security and control mechanism to protect the information contained in the pads.

The initial installation and configuration of Etherpad must be done on a Linux server, which can be a somewhat difficult process for some users, however, it is possible to find manuals to do it. As for everyday use, it does not present any kind of difficulty for any user.

There is no doubt that Etherpad is an innovative tool for telematic work and collaboration of multiple participants thanks to the communication provided by the internet. Expectations are high about the improvements and upcoming developments that apply to this useful application.