Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Coauthoring and Simultaneous Editing
Word 2010 is up to speed with how people write in the 21st century. Now you can
write and edit documents collaboratively—in real time—over the company network.
Note: Real-time collaboration works only for desktop versions of Office 2010. The Windows Live version
of Office Web Apps, which lets you store files on the Web and access them from anywhere, allows
realtime, collaborative editing only for Excel workbooks. For Word documents, only one author can work on a
document at a time. See Chapter 31 for more about using Word on the Web.
If you’re collaborating on a document—say, a report for work or school—you
probably divide up the workload among your coauthors. For example, you might
volunteer to write the introduction and background, while Sara tackles research methods,
and Jim compiles the results and writes a conclusion. In the past, you might have
passed around the document by email, checked it out one at a time from a central
file-management repository like SharePoint, or worked on separate versions of the
document and merged them later.
But if your organization has Office Web Apps set up on its own SharePoint
servers (or a Microsoft-hosted subscription version of SharePoint), you, Sara, and Jim
can all work on the same document at the same time. You’d sign into the network
and open the file as usual. If Jim does the same thing, he opens the same document
you’re working on. When that happens, an icon appears on the status bar, showing a
couple of people, and a message appears to tell you that someone else is also editing
the document. Click the message balloon or the icon to see who else is working on
Tip: When Word displays the names of the other authors currently editing the document, you can contact
any of them right from Word. Hover the pointer over a person’s name, and a box opens with ways to
contact that person. Click the email icon to send an email, or sign into your favorite instant messaging
program to send an IM or call.
As you work, you can see which paragraphs the other authors are working in; when
an author edits a paragraph, Word labels that paragraph with his name in the left
margin. (The other authors see the same kind of label on the paragraph where you’re
working.) You don’t have to worry about showing your coworkers what a lousy typist
you are, though. Even though Word shows other authors where you’re working, it
doesn’t show your actual work until you save it.
When you or another author saves a file, Word notifies everyone with an update in
the status bar. The next time you save the document, those changes appear in your
copy. That way, you’re not distracted by what others are doing while you’re in the
middle of working.