Paul Wherly

Co-Authoring in Word – why and how

Co Authoring in Word – why and how

I need to prepare a blog on the benefits of IT Training. Why it is a great idea to help staff use their software effectively.  Now I am busy out talking to clients and delivering training, plus I have bespoke courses to design. So I asked Lisa my assistant to work with me on a this blog. Lisa is great at getting the research in and has ideas around how documents should look too. I will be working on my desktop computer and Lisa will be working remotely from home. She will log in to her Office 365 Account and open the document from SharePoint and use Word Online to edit.

So that has dealt with the why, now on to the how.

Step one is to create the document and save it either to OneDrive For Business or to a shared location such as SharePoint. I will save this to my blog folder in my OneDrive for Business. Once the document is saved, I will share it with Lisa. To do this, Click Share in the top right hand corner, add the email address of the person to share with and a brief message. Click Share.Share Document for Co-Authoring



Lisa now pops up in the list of those who can edit the document.


Now let’s go take a look at the email inviting Lisa to share the document. Lisa receives an email with a link to the document which she can open online.


Clicking the link will open up the document in Word On-line.

ShareDoc 4

Lisa cannot edit the document immediately she has the choice to Edit in Word which will open up the full desktop copy of Word or Edit on-line. For this example Lisa will pick Edit On-line.

Lisa now has the same document open in the browser and a notification that Shelley Fishel is also editing the document.

ShareDoc 5

Lisa can now add her comments. Note that Lisa does not need to save her changes as she is working in the browser and they are saved automatically. Back in the document that I have open on my computer, I now have a notification that Lisa is also editing the document.

Here is the document – note that Lisa’s changes have been added and a red flag shows up where she is:

ShareDoc 7

In Lisa’s document on-line there is a green flag showing where she started to edit.

ShareDoc 8

I will now add my note to the document with a thanks and it shows up in real time on-line for Lisa.

ShareDoc 9

We can continue to co-author the document until we are both happy with it and it is finished.

This is a really powerful feature in Office 365. In Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2016 the changes show up on your desktop and on-line in real time. In Word Excel and PowerPoint 2013 there is a short delay, as you must save the document to OneDrive each time you want to upload the changes. You will also see slightly different markings in Office 2013 on a document you are co-authoring.

What do you think about this feature? Is it useful? What could you use it for?

Till next time.

We are currently working with organisations helping them to use Office 365 collaboratively. Do get in touch if we can help your organisation too give us a call on 020 8203 1774

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