HypereiDoc is an XML based framework supporting distributed, multi-layered, version-controlled processing of epigraphical, papyrological or similar texts in a modern critical edition. Such studies are typically based on independent work of philologists using annotation systems like the Leiden conventions. Current initiatives like TEI and EpiDoc have definitive limitations both in expressional power and the way how individual results can form a cooperative product. The HypereiDoc framework provides XML schema definition for a set of annotation-based layers connected by an extensive reference system, validating and building tools, and an editor visualizing the base text and the annotations. The framework makes scholars able to work on the same text in a cooperative and distributed way. Our framework has been successfully tested by philologists working on the Hypereides palimpsest.

File formats are compatible at different levels with currently used systems: The XML definition is a legitimate extension of TEI P5, and makes it possible to add sophisticated annotations to existing TEI compatible filesets. Compatibility with the new (P5 based) version of EpiDoc can be reached through a 'flattened' format. For various reasons, HypereiDoc is able to generate such a plain TEI snapshot of the information contained in the different layers.

Typeset output is created through LaTeX using the ledmac macro package, and in that sense HypereiDoc provides an editor for ledmac files.