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Dropbox adds ability to comment on shared files, working on collaborative editing service

By Koh Wanzi - on 29 Apr 2015, 5:05pm

Dropbox adds ability to comment on shared files, working on collaborative editing service

Users can add comments to shared files in a conversation sidebar. (Image Source: Dropbox)

Dropbox has enabled a new feature that allows users to add comments to files stored on the service, allowing users to have streamlined conversations around the file in question. Previously, Dropbox users who wished to discuss shared files would have to hold their conversations elsewhere, perhaps over email or messaging clients.

The ability to hold conversations in a centralized location on Dropbox is definitely a welcome feature, but it’s one that alternative services have been offering for a while now. For instance, Google Docs allows users to hold conversations in a sidebar, much in the style of Dropbox’s new comment feature.

In addition, Dropbox gives users the ability to simply add anyone into the conversation by typing @, followed by their name or email address. Users don’t have to be existing Dropbox users – they will simply be given a link to the shared file to join the discussion. In case a free-for-all discussion isn’t what you want, file owners will have the option to turn off comments in the Options menu.

The new feature ties in with Dropbox’s integration with Microsoft Office Online, which allows users to edit files directly from their browser via Office Online and automatically syncs changes with the copy of the file on Dropbox. Users can now act directly on comments in Dropbox and hit the ‘Open’ button to begin editing the document in Office Online or its desktop app, facilitating a more seamless collaborative experience.

But that’s not all Dropbox has been working on. It recently launched a sign-up page for Dropbox Notes beta, a new feature that enables multiple users to edit a file at the same time. The screenshot on the page clearly shows an interface that resembles Google Docs, complete with color-coded cursors to indicate your identity and place on the document.

Image Source: Dropbox

The fact that Dropbox seems to be playing catch-up with Google Docs shouldn’t detract from the reality that these are valuable and welcome features. Dropbox is still one of the more popular file-sharing sites, and its users will definitely appreciate its efforts to create a more convenient and collaborative working environment.

Source: Dropbox (1), (2)

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