WriteBox: Online Text Editor That Connects To Dropbox

writebox icon   WriteBox: Online Text Editor That Connects To DropboxEdit any text document in your Dropbox from any browser, for free.

Writebox is an online text editor with an extremely simple interface. Even better: you can connect it with your Dropbox account to edit any file you store with that service. Every keystroke you make is saved, instantly, and you can sync the changes with your Dropbox at any time.

Being able to directly edit files in your Dropbox is useful, especially if you’re using a public computer. Instead of downloading, editing and re-uploading a file you can make changes directly from the browser. Earlier this year I pointed out TextDropApp, a program that did largely the same thing but is now a subscription-based service. A commentor on that article pointed out Writebox, so I thought I’d share it with the rest of you.

Writebox is very easy to use: you can basically start typing and save you’re file when ready, or open a file you already have.

Using WriteBox

Getting started couldn’t be simpler: just head to write-box.appspot.com and start writing. (There’s a Chrome App if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.)

You can start writing whenever you want. When you do you’ll see an extremely simple user interface:

writebox main   WriteBox: Online Text Editor That Connects To Dropbox

As you can see, there’s not a lot here: it’s basically you and your writing. If you’re looking for advanced features and formatting you won’t find them, but it’s perfect for a few quick edits or distraction-free writing.

At the bottom of the window is your line, word, and character count. A toolbar can appear at top if you move your mouse there. Click the gear on that toolbar and you’ll see a few settings:

writebox tools   WriteBox: Online Text Editor That Connects To Dropbox

There’s not much to tweak: you can change the font, the width of the editor and turn off the statistics. But customization isn’t the point of an app like this – editing text is.

When you’re ready to save, you’re going to need to authorize Writebox to access your Dropbox. You’ll see the standard warning:

writebox authorize   WriteBox: Online Text Editor That Connects To Dropbox

The app will have access to your entire Dropbox, which is part of the point: you can use the app to edit any file in your Dropbox. I couldn’t find a privacy policy for WriteBox, but you can get in touch with the developer on Twitter if you have any questions: @kazuhiroshibuya.

Once you’ve authorized you can save your file anywhere in your Dropbox:

writebox save   WriteBox: Online Text Editor That Connects To Dropbox

Loading also uses this simple file browser. You can open any text file, regardless of whether or not it has a “.TXT” extension – a nice touch for Linux and Mac users who don’t necessarily use file extensions for text files.

Conclusion

I love simple apps that do one thing well, especially if they integrate with Dropbox. WriteBox is certainly that.

It’s not for everyone: the total lack of formatting may turn some off. But if you just want to quickly get an idea to your Dropbox it could work. If you use text files for a significant portion of your work, however, WriteBox is a must-have webapp. That’s how I work, so for me this tool is perfect.

But I want to know what you think. Is WriteBox useful for you? If so, what are you using it for? Let me know in the comments below, along with recommendations for other web-based writing software. I love learning from you guys.

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9 Comments -

Tanguy Djokovic

would it be possible to have multiple people writting at the same time on a paper? I’m a student and I often though about it, if I made a public folder with for examples the notes I take from my classes and people could imporve the raw notetaking as I’m typeing from my computer

Quin

You’d be better off using Google Drive for collaborative editing.

GodSponge

I use Epistle on my android devices. I’ve never had any need to edit text documents online… If I need that I just use google docs to start with.

Rigoberto Garcia

Thanks Justin, I will test it…

Gian Singh

like tanguys idea of multiple people editing at once

Justin Pot

I don’t think that will be possible using Dropbox anytime soon. Best to use Google Docs for that.

Karen Beck

Well, another online document editor which actually doesn’t provide you with proper editing opportunities.
http://teamlab.com has introduced a better (or probably the best) solution for online doc editing in its suite, integrated with dropbox as well.

Justin Pot

Interesting: I didn’t know Teamlab had a document editor. I’ll have to check it out.