One of the most powerful features of Office 2016 is the ability to collaborate with others. Collaborating with Office allows more than one person to work on a file at the same time. All parties see the changes as the other collaborators make them. This is a welcome, long overdue addition to the Office suite.
Adding collaboration tools to Office moves the Microsoft productivity suite up a notch, bringing it head-to-head with the likes of Google Drive and Google Docs.
Being able to edit a document with team mates and seeing the changes in real time requires some setup. With a few easy steps, your team can start collaborating with Office.
First things first. You’ll need a cloud storage account to be able to share your document. Office is aligned with OneDrive. You can also use other cloud storage services like a SharePoint folder or a ShareSync folder (more on this in Part 2).
To begin collaborating, create a new document or open a saved document. Click on the Share button on the menu bar. Enter one or more names in the Invite People box, or choose team members from the Address Book. You can include a personal note it. When you’re ready to start, click the Share button. You’ll be asked to save your shared document. Choose OneDrive. Once your document finishes uploading to OneDrive, you’ll see the list of people you’ve invited. The people you’ve invited will receive an email with a link.
If your collaborators are using OneDrive and Office 2016, you’ll see their edits in real time. Changes will display in a color and the editor’s initials are visible.
You might not see changes in real time if your collaborators access your shared document in a different way, such as the online version of Word. In this case, check the bottom of the window. If changes are available, the status line will display updates available. Refresh the document by clicking that text, and your collaborators’ changes will appear.
You can manage the permissions of your document in the Share pane. Right-click on someone in the list of collaborators. You can remove them from the document completely or change their level of access. Also, when you’re done sharing, right-click the link in the collaborators list and choose the remove option.
We’ve covered the basics. You’re ready to start collaborating in Office 2016. In Part 2, we’ll discuss how to share a document using other cloud storage.