Dropbox Paper: All-in-one shared workspace for small teams to collaborate

Dropbox, the free cloud storage service provider has launched a new service called Dropbox Paper. To use this service, you will have to use your Dropbox credentials, since all the created documents will be saved in your Dropbox account, where you can check and share them right from your mobile device, even if you do not have the Paper app installed. Let us check out the features, tips and tricks of Dropbox Paper, which can be considered as a competitor to Google Docs.

Dropbox Paper review

Dropbox Paper lets more than one person to collaborate while working on a single document. This is probably the best feature of Dropbox Paper. For a small team, which want to communicate with each other from a remote location, this can be very useful. All collaborators will get access to the updated document in real-time, but not more than one person can edit the document at a time. This helps avoid conflicts.

Like Google Docs, it is possible to play with some Link Settings to manage your documents’ privacy in a better way. For example, you can let someone check your document or paper, but prevent him/her from editing your document.

This service supports rich media, as a result of which you can insert a video or audio in your document. You can embed add a link to a YouTube video or SoundCloud audio.

As far as Editing capabilities as concerned, you can create bold text, italic text or underline any text. It is also possible to insert a link, create a list, create bullet points, and add a checkbox or comments. All those options appear after selecting a text. For your information, the italic and underline options are not offered in the Menu bar – you will have to use keyboard shortcuts to use them.

The View History feature lets you check document history. You will be able to see the edits and the changes made to the document by all the users.

The Word Count option will let you find out the number of words in a document. You can check the number of characters and emoji.

Print and Download are two other useful options to save the document and use it offline.

You can easily insert a 2-column table in Dropbox Paper. In Microsoft Word, you may have to go through few steps, but Dropbox Paper can do the same in just one click.

You can insert an image in your document. There are two ways to do it. You can upload it to your Paper, or you can fetch an image from your Dropbox account.

How to use Dropbox Paper

To use Dropbox Paper, you need to have a Dropbox account. After logging into the Dropbox Paper website, a Paper folder will be created in your Dropbox account.

To create a new document, click on Create new doc button and enter the title and text as required. You will see a Plus sign that will let you create different types of text or images. Check the following image for reference.

Dropbox Paper review

If you want to add simple text, start typing in the Now write something brilliant box. If you want to add links, comments, bullet points, checkbox or bold, italic, underline any text, you have to select the text to be able to see the options.

dropbox-paper-formatting-options

To add a YouTube video, Soundcloud audio, GIF animation or an image, copy the link and paste it into the given field. The media will be fetched by Paper automatically.

If someone has given access to his/her Paper document, you will receive a notification. All the notifications can be found by clicking on the Bell icon visible on the top right corner of your screen.

It is possible to add Emoji in the middle of the text. But, there is no dedicated button to add them. To add any smiley, type on manually – ed “:)” and you will see a huge list offered as follows:

dropbox-paper-emoji

You can also add a Comment to a part of the text if you need to elaborate on something. To add a comment, select the text and press Ctrl + Alt + M. You will see a field to write your comment. If you want to add a comment to a particular section, click on that section to get the “Comment” button.

Dropbox Paper review

To share a document link with someone or to add a collaborator for your document, you can click on the Share button. Here you will see two options i.e. Link Settings and Copy Link. If you copy the link and send it to someone, he/she will be able to see your document without having a Dropbox account. If you select the People with the link option, anybody will be able to view the document. The Only people invited option offers better privacy since only invited people will be able to view your document. In the latter case, you can invite tose who have a Dropbox account only.

dropbox-paper-link-settings

If you want to allow someone to edit a document, you can select Can Edit option. Otherwise, select Can only comment option.

Here is one drawback. You cannot allow someone to edit the document and allow someone else to view it. There is no option for individuals.

Dropbox Paper keyboard shortcuts

There are plenty of keyboard shortcuts that can help you do the job quicker.

  • Search: Ctrl + /
  • Checkbox: [] + space
  • Mention: @ + name
  • Heading 1: #
  • Heading 2: ##
  • Heading 3: ###
  • Bold: Ctrl + B
  • Italic: Ctrl + I
  • Underline: Ctrl + U
  • Strikethrough: Ctrl + Alt + S
  • List: digit + dot + space
  • Bullet point: * + space
  • Divider: three hyphens

Considering all the features of Dropbox Paper, it does seem to be a powerful alternative to Google Docs, another shared workspace for small teams.

You can get started by visiting its homepage.

Learn how to secure Dropbox account.

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Sudip is a student who loves to engage with the latest technology & gadgets. Apart from writing about all things technology, he is a Photoshop junkie and a football enthusiast.