Dropbox, the popular cloud storage company, has made its new 'Paper' feature widely available for users. An invitation will be required to access Paper, which is currently in the beta stage, Paper is the official name of the 'Notes' feature, which Dropbox quietly launched for a handful of users in April with the aim to take on Google Docs.
The new Paper document collaboration tool is for now limited to the Web only, but Dropbox promises to bring it to mobile devices once the feature retires from Beta stage, the firm told Engadget. The user interface of Paper is said to be simple of a lightweight text-editor, aimed to stand alongside other document collaboration applications such as Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365.
Paper users would get basic features for now. There's only one font in three sizes, along with bold, italics, underline and strikethrough formatting. Formatting text into block quotes is also possible. Project managers will be able to add to-do lists along with checkboxes and can tag people using '@' mentions. Codes are also automatically converted in to clean text. As expected, documents saved in Dropbox can be added in Paper. Simply copy-pasting the sharing URL and pasting into Paper would show up a preview of the file. Google Docs files are also supported on the new platform.
As for media content, simple drag and drop gestures would let users add photos on Paper. Mini galleries can be created, and adjusting or re-arranging images can be done using the drag gesture. Furthermore, pasting YouTube links inside a document would convert it into a full video player. Users can embed audio files and playlists from Spotify and SoundCloud inside a document as well. Not only this but Dropbox has also brought big stickers in Paper that can be used to express user moods.
Since Paper by Dropbox is a collaboration-based document editing tool, there is more than one way to keep track of documents users have created. A quick shortcut is provided to save content and view it along with other saved documents in the Favourites sidebar. When creating a new documents, Paper will prompt users if they have to save the file in a folder or not. A stronger search feature would also be giving results from inside a document. In addition, a Following tab is also present to view the files both shared and kept limited to the user in one single column. The Docs, Folders, Following, and Favourites tabs are placed inside a panel at the right side of the display.
Dropbox has not yet mentioned when it would bring Paper out of the beta stage and officially roll it out to users worldwide. It intends to make the platform more feature rich and stable based on the feedback. Those interested can register to get the beta invites.