Applications such as Google docs have been widely approved due to it’s ability of allow numerous persons to work on a single document at the same time, which is known as ‘co-authoring’ a document. Office 2010 has now released an improved feature, which allows co-authoring on Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and OneNote in real time. This not only saves time in each person having to edit, save and send the document and for every person to do the same, it is highly productive and enables a group to work efficiently, being able to see each change as it takes place and work simultaneously.
There are certain pre-conditions and steps to enable this feature on your Office 2010, as outlined below:
1. Firstly, you must either use Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 or have a free Windows Live account to have the capability of co-authoring any document.
2. It is possible to share documents using Microsoft’s online storage, which is called SkyDrive.
3. If you can successfully upload documents on to SkyDrive, it is very easy to email weblinks to people for access to the document. Alternatively you can put it up for ‘sharing’ with selected people, who can get the document from their respective SkyDrive accounts.
4. When every desired person has access to the document, they can simply edit the document and add information from the browser using Office Web Apps or contrarily open it on their regular Office 2010 apps and then work on it.
5. When working on documents that have been shared on or downloaded from SkyDrive, each person is notified if another person is actively working on the document. This shows up on a status bar present on the bottom, which displays the list of active members, their name, e-mail ids, IM’s etc. in case of need of immediate contact.
6. While editing the document it is important that you save whatever changes you make as you make them, only then will it show up for the others working on the same document. (Not only do the changes successively show up on individual copies of the document, they also synchronize with the copy on the server online).
It is important to remember that, though every co-author is authorized and able to make changes to the document, it gets permanently saved on every copy only when the primary author reviews and accepts or rejects the said changes.
More information regarding how it works, the full feature set and how to manage controlled sharing is now available on http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-word/archive/2009/09/09/co-authoring-in-word-2010.aspx
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