Working on texts collaboratively with Etherpads

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Abbildung 1: Texteingabe und Chat

The Etherpad is a web-based word processor that allows several people to work on a text at the same time. All changes made by individual participants are immediately visible to everyone else, in real time. To create an Etherpad select the button "Add new object" in the course view. There you need to click on the object "Etherpad” (Figure 1).

Functions of an Etherpad

Abbildung 2: Texteingabe und Chat

Each text entry by a member is highlighted with a color assigned to him or her, so it is easy to see who entered which text sections or made changes. Once the text is complete, the colour highlighting can be removed with the button "Clear Authorship Colours" (Figure 2). A chat window allows joint agreements and discussions outside the actual text input (Figure 2).

Ein Chatfenster erlaubt gemeinsame Absprachen und Diskussionen außerhalb der eigentlichen Texteingabe. (Abbildung 2)

Formatting is possible as in other office programs such as Microsoft Word or Libre Office:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Underlined
  • Strikethrough
  • Numbering with numbers
  • Numbering with dots


With the Timeslider, individual editing states can be traced and sections that were accidentally deleted can be restored. The asterisk can be used to add markers to important points, such as the nearing of a deadline.

The version set in the Timeslider can be export/saved in html or text format. It is also possible to mark the text in Etherpad (Ctrl + a), copy it (Ctrl + c) and paste it into a word processor (Ctrl + v).

Abbildung 3: Timeslider-Funktion

Application areas:

  • Joint creation and structuring of texts
  • Editing of a given text, distribution of sections to certain persons
  • Text analysis through underlining
  • Brainstorming
  • Translating texts
  • Video transcription
  • Planning
  • Joint logging
  • Creation of a bibliography/list of literature
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