dropbox paper
Screenshot of Dropbox Paper. To use it, one needs an invite.

Dropbox  on Thursday took the wraps off Paper, its new collaborative editing software, building on the company's acquisition of Hackpad, which led to the introduction earlier this year of a beta product it then called Notes, verge.com reports.

Verge.com was given an opportunity to access the beta and has tested out the making of documents, adding coments and using some exciting animated stickers. The product is being officially branded as Dropbox Paper and the beta test is expanding significantly, endgadget.com adds.

Paper, says verge.com, is 'an elegant place to write'; it avoids the clunky Microsoft Word-like menus and toolbars of Google Docs in favor of a Medium-like plain white page. Tap the blue "create" button inside Paper and the cursor hovers in a title field labeled "Give me a name"; type a few words and your document is named. Tab down to "and start writing" and you can begin your work.

"By default, no formatting tools are evident — as on Medium, to bring them up, you first have to highlight text. From there, you can turn your text into a headline, a list, or a to-do, verge.com says. endgadget.com adds: "From a text perspective, Paper is quite basic; there's only one font and three sizes available. You can do your basic bold, italics, underline and strikethrough formatting and format text into a block quote, but that's about it."

Dropbox says that the purpose of Paper was to keep the focus on sharing ideas rather than formatting.

Paper handles rich media very well and one can embed YouTube videos and SoundCloud files by pasting in the URL or accessing a menu that lets you add rich media by tappng a "+" button. This may well be a killer proposition.

One can invite others to work on one's document and it makes collaboration easy. Privileges and capabilities can be allotted to friend and colleagues. Paper, verge.com says, feels "fast and smooth' on desktops but the mobile app needs fine tuning. 

For now, Paper is a web-only app that you can access through your Dropbox account, although the company says it'll have a mobile app ready to go when the product comes out of beta, adds endgadget.com.