ShowDocument does simple live collaboration

Share and collaborate on documents of all types in real-time with ShowDocument, a free Flash-based tool that's easy to use.

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

If you're in need of a quick and simple way to share a document with a few other people at the same time, worth checking out is ShowDocument. It works with most major file types including PDFs, Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, and text files, and displays them in a simple Flash-based viewer and editor.

Once you've uploaded any file up to 2MB in size, you can mark it up with a pen and highlighter tool, along with a text box tool and eraser. There's also a small chat box to discuss changes, and everyone's cursor is tracked as it moves around.

Everything is delightfully simple to use, although one big problem we ran into with our testing was that anyone can control what's going on. This cropped up the most when one person was making an edit and someone else decided to take the reins and scroll to another slide. Whatever edit that person was making got ditched and there's little else you can do besides yell at them through the chat tool.

Ideally, future versions would allow some sort of presenter/viewer dynamic to keep someone else from overtaking the editing experience. To the service's credit, very few live collaboration tools handle user edit switch-offs with grace.

Also worth checking out is Vyew, Twiddla, Zoho and Yugma.

ShowDocument lets you do quick and easy real-time collaboration with others with no software required. CNET Networks