ProofHQ puts collaborative editing in your browser, blog

Work together with others on projects and design work with ProofHQ, a new Web-based collaboration tool.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
2 min read

Launching in public beta on Tuesday is ProofHQ, a new entrant to the world of Web collaboration tools. The service is focused mostly on design work, but has been set up to handle nearly every kind of document and illustration format under the sun.

Like Conceptshare, a tool we've raved about in the past, ProofHQ is entirely Web-based, and designed to make collaborating on projects of all magnitudes something that happens outside of your e-mail in-box.

On Monday co-founder and CEO Mat Atkinson took me through the entire process of proofing something among multiple parties. What makes it a standout among some of the competition is its capability to integrate with other tools or workflows you might be used to. For instance, users of 37signals' Basecamp can link it up with their account to help manage proofing jobs in that environment, simply using ProofHQ's editing, revision, and commenting tools while maintaining some of the dialogue, deadlines, and assignment work in Basecamp.

Likewise you can embed items that need to be proofed into your blog or site and have others leave their feedback. Like Scribd your document lives inside an embedded file viewer that runs in Adobe Flash, but when it comes time to propose edits, users can kick over to the full editor. Atkinson said he's already seen some great success with this in the private beta. It's been designed to make crowd-sourcing edits and suggestions a simpler process.

By default users can upload files one at a time. There's also a Java-based desktop applet you can simply drag files over to akin to Box.net's mass uploader. The only thing missing from ProofHQ is some of the real-time collaboration found on some other tools, most notably Octopz. There's no live video conferencing or text chat, although any changes get pushed out to all the other viewers as they're made.

ProofHQ has four different plans, three of them requiring a monthly fee. Each plan includes a certain number of allotted proofs per month (kind of like minutes on your cell phone plan), along with additional amounts of storage for uploaded files. If you want to give it a spin, the free plan will cap you off at five proofs per month, though your colleagues can make infinite revisions.

Editing documents or photos in ProofHQ runs right in your browser with nothing special to download. (Click to enlarge.) CBS Interactive