Monday, December 20, 2010

The 12 Days of Techmas - Day 11: Primarypad

Primary pad (aka. Etherpad - RIP, Titanpad,, is a collaborative tool that can be used for many purposes. It is a web-based word processor that allows real-time collaboration. Many people can simultaneously type and create a document together. Each incarnation of Primarypad has slightly different settings. For instance, Primarypad allows up to 5 simultaneous users at one time.

Security isn't generally an issue because you can create custom URLs which the general public would have a very difficult finding. To do this, simply type in your custom URL at the end of the URL (see below where I've typed in gsd 2011).

As long as no one has used this custom URL in the past, you will be prompted to create a new pad. To share your pad with others, simply copy the URL and email it to them by selecting "Share this pad" and then "send an email invitation."

In the pad, there is a main window where the document is created. Each user gets a different color of type making it easy to distinguish who is doing the writing. In the bottom right corner there is a chat window where participants can chat about things not directly related to the document.

When you are finished you can export the pad in a variety of formats, such as a Word file, for later viewing. You don't need to export the pad, however, as it is stored in that URL forever (unless the site disappears).

Go ahead and give it a try here:

TOMORROW: VOICETHREAD! Don't miss the final day!


  1. PrimaryPads are only stored for 30 days on public accounts. Schools can sign up to get more features such as collaborative painting. It's also worth checking out the time slider which plays back how a document has been created!

  2. Great. Thanks for the heads up, John. I wonder about the Primarypad knock-offs and how long they last...