Did you know that multiple people can work together at the same time as a co-author on a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation? If you have access to OneDrive or SharePoint you and colleagues are ready to get started as document co-authors. Office has functions that allow you to make comments, track changes, as well as activities for creating quality documents. Co-authoring is simply having several people work on a document at the same time.
When you’re using SharePoint or OneDrive for storing your document, Office allows a group of people to edit and revise the document in real-time. When you and your colleagues are and you are ready to publish, there’s no need to copy, paste, and reformat from multiple documents. You are really finished and ready to publish! By working together in real-time, you can see where everyone is and what they are typing. It is as though they are sitting with you in your office typing on your keyboard at the same time you are.
There are two ways to co-author documents that are supported in Office:
While each approach lets multiple people collaborate and work together on documents, there are a few differences between them.
Regular co-authoring is when you and others work on a document simultaneously, and not block each other. As others work on the document you can see which paragraph they have temporarily locked as they edit. You can see who is working on the document by looking in the Collaboration Corner.
You will see an Updates Available status message when new changes are made by others. When the document is saved, you see the changes made by others. The document is refreshed with changes that others have saved since the last time you saved the document.
Real-time co-authoring is when two or more colleagues can type at the same time and automatically see text changes as they happen. You can see the cursor location where someone is typing and what they’re typing as they are editing. The location and text of the colleagues appears on the document very quickly, with formatting following shortly thereafter.
To co-author a document, it needs to be stored in one of the following locations:
For real-time co-authoring of documents, they must be stored in the cloud. So, real-time co-authoring works with OneDrive or SharePoint Online, but not SharePoint server. You cannot co-author documents that are stored on your local computer or mobile device.
Unless it’s blocked or turned off by an administrator Co-authoring with Office is turned on by default in OneDrive and SharePoint. You can start co-authoring right away with no need for special configuration or settings.
To co-author with others, you need:
Depending the version of Microsoft Office products you are using the steps to working together on a document may vary slightly but the concepts are the same.
The process for co-authoring documents in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint follows the same save and share steps.