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What's new in Ellipsus

We want to make it easier for writers to collaborate at all stages of work, from writing to editing and beyond. Sounds simple enough, right? In reality, it's a big, complicated goal, with a never-ending list of problems to solve and things to build.

Back in August, we started inviting writers from around the world to write in Ellipsus. It’s always nerve-wracking to show what’s essentially an unfinished draft to the world … what if people don’t get what we’re trying to do?

But the reception so far has been awe-inspiring. It’s gratifying to see that there’s interest in what we’re building, and every question, comment, and bug report you’ve shared has made a material difference in making Ellipsus a better writing tool.

Let’s take a look at some of our recent updates.

Written by
  • Kate Donahue
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Making writing more intuitive

“Ellipsus inspires me to write more,” as one beta writer put it. Now, we can’t say that any one tool will make you a better writer, but it certainly helps when tools work with you to bring out your best ideas.

Building a text editor from the ground up is a challenging endeavor. Since the start of our beta, we’ve worked to balance table stakes improvements (Hurray for text indenting!) alongside features that make Ellipsus accessible and delightful.

Go dark (or light)

The Ellipsus text editor offers a minimalist experience that puts the full focus on your words. While many writers enjoyed the paper-like aesthetic, others clamored for dark mode. In November, we added a dark mode option, allowing writers to choose between a paper-white or ink-black editor that’s perfect no matter what time of day (or night) inspiration strikes.

Write anywhere

Despite our early expectations, many of you are already writing with Ellipsus on mobile! A full-fledged mobile app is still a ways off, but your enthusiasm for sneaking in edits in a break room or while tucked under the covers inspired us to make sure the mobile web app was a little more polished. Now, you can write, format, comment, chat, and even merge on the go.

Real-time collaboration meets version control

We want to make it easy for anyone to write together. Since entering beta, we’ve focused on introducing new ways for writers to write, edit, and share feedback.

Share view-only links

Sharing should be seamless, and sometimes it’s easier to post a doc in a place where you’re already collaborating, like Discord or WhatsApp. With Ellipsus, you can copy a link and paste it anywhere to give anyone read-only access—no account needed.

Search engines never index links you share—they only go where you share them.

Invite editors to collaborate

Give individuals access to your document, enabling them to create drafts where they can offer revisions or expand on an idea. You can see when you’re in the same draft and even write together. Then, when you're ready, you can compare and merge changes.

We’re proud of the flexibility we can offer today. Still, we plan to go further and offer crystal-clear privacy settings and a full accounting of draft and document changes (and who made them) to promote the best co-writing experience on the market. Watch this space.

Collaborate on your terms

Of course, collaboration isn’t limited to reading and revisions. There might be a flurry of questions, a volley of what-ifs, or even dialogue you need to roleplay. This can happen in real-time or async, and we want Ellipsus to champion both workflows.

Chat in docs and drafts

During early user research sessions, we learned many writers toggled between their text editor and Discord to write and collaborate. While there’s lots to love about Discord (we even host our community there), a fragmented workflow inevitably leads to friction. This insight led us to bring chat not just to documents, but to each individual draft to keep conversations focused, relevant, and in context.

Comment on individual drafts

Hosting fluid discussions in chat is great, but sometimes, you want to share feedback on a specific line of text. For that, we have comments. Editors can highlight a selection of text in any draft to leave specific comments. Commenting is one of the latest features we’ve shipped, so it’s still on the simpler side: You can create, delete, reply to, and resolve comments. But soon, you’ll be able to filter comments and focus on the feedback that matters most.

The road ahead

Several near-term and mid-term feature areas are top of mind for the Ellipsus team. In addition to tending to our text editor (lest you think we don’t plan to add paragraph spacing or customize fonts), we’re working on:

  • An easy-to-navigate version history: Writing is rewriting. And rewriting. And sometimes reverting. We want to make it simple to see who wrote what, when they wrote it, and when drafts were merged. And, of course, if you want to go back in time to pick up on a past narrative thread, we want that to be simple, too.
  • A much-improved merging experience: Today, merging in Ellipsus is pretty simple. You can view your draft alongside the main document, compare changes, and merge. In the future, we want to make choosing which changes to merge easier so you can merge faster and more frequently without accidental overwrites.

Get involved with the beta

As mentioned, building something this ambitious takes time. More importantly, it takes feedback from people equally passionate about writing. Each week, we invite batches of writers to explore Ellipsus and share their input. To join the beta, fill out a short survey. See you in the draft!

Join the beta

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