e-platform for the Faculty of Humanities



4. Etherpad

Etherpad is a new editor in CommSy9. It allows multiple authors to edit texts collaboratively and simultaneously in real time. Each author is assigned a different text color. These colors are not visible in the saved version of the text, but you will see them when you open the entry for further editing. Etherpad also features a chat and a version history. This allows you to view older versions of the entry and restore them if necessary. This chapter explains the functions of this editor.

Activating Etherpad

You can only use Etherpad in the “Materials” rubric. When adding a new entry, you can choose to use Etherpad instead of the regular editor. This setting cannot be changed later.

Fig. 11: Activating Etherpad


The Etherpad editor has considerably fewer formatting options than the classic editor (highlighted in Fig. 12 [1]). If you need more than the most basic formatting options (bold, italic, bullet lists, etc.), you should use the default editor.

Tip: Once the collaborative phase has finished, you can copy your text and paste it into a new entry with the regular editor. This will allow you to apply more advanced formatting options.

Fig. 12: Etherpad overview

Authorship colors

Each author is automatically assigned a color when he or she starts writing. You can change your color and display name (in Fig. 12 [2] on the far right). This menu also allows you to see who is currently working on the text. The authorship colors are not included in the saved version of the text, but they become visible when opening the entry for further editing. Click the button “Clear authorship colors” (eye symbol) to hide the colors in the editor.

Version history

Use the “Timeslider” button (the clock symbol in Fig. 12 [2]) to access the timeslider function. Older versions of the entry are automatically stored here. To save a version manually, click the “Save revision” button (the star symbol in Fig. 12 [2]). These saved versions will be marked with a star in the version history (Fig. 13). Use your mouse to na
__title__ vigate within the timeslider. The oldest entries are on the left. Click the “Playback” button to view a chronological slideshow of all older versions. You can also jump back and forth. The “Return to pad” button will take you back to the editor.

Fig. 13: Timeslider (version history)


When multiple people are editing an entry in Etherpad, they can use the integrated chat for discussions. The content of the chat does not show up in the version history later. You can find the chat window on the right side of the screen, at the bottom of the editor. In the settings menu, you can expand the chat permanently.