HackPad API: A Handy Tool For Document Collaboration

Candice McMillan, July 1st, 2013

HackPadTaking notes, sharing thoughts with a team or others who may be interested, bouncing ideas around or working on quickly getting a job done; all these things are so easily accomplished with the help of a live group word processing tool. HackPad offers just this. It’s a lightweight collaborative tool that allows users to invite other users and edit documents in real time. What’s even better is that the availability of the HackPad API means that it’s possible to integrate this functionality into other sites.

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HackPad has a pretty simple interface. Users log in with their email address, Facebook or Google accounts and can immediately start creating and editing documents (referred to as ‘pads’). Once a user has invited others to collaborate on the document, those participating users will appear on the right hand side of each page, each being assigned with a unique colour bar to identify who is doing what. All live edits are in real time. The pad can only be seen by those who have been invited and issued with the link and any changes that are made when a participating user is not connected will be emailed to them directly. In addition, HackPad supports to-do lists as well as rich media if a user chooses to drop in links from supported sites.

HackPad provides two APIs; a REST API and a JavaScript embedding API. The REST API allows users to create pads, list pads, search pads, get content in and out of pads, as well as inspect the revisions of a pad, whereas the JavaScript API makes it possible to integrate HackPad directly into a third party site. API Documentation is available on HackPad’s website.

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