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Last week the Office Web Apps and Windows Live teams announced real-time collaboration in Word Web App on SkyDrive.
In the hoopla of the announcements, which understandably focus on working in Word Web App, please remember that real-time co-authoring is also supported in the most recent version of the Word desktop application, whether your operating system is Windows or Mac.
Let's say your new PC came with Word Starter 2010. You start a newsletter there, and save it on SkyDrive. You share a link to the other newsletter contributors, one of whom doesn’t own a computer, and the other contributor has a Mac.
The person with no computer goes to the public library, where the computers have the Firefox web browser installed. She opens the newsletter and types her story, in Word Web App. While she’s doing that, the Mac user opens the newsletter in Word for Mac 2011 and adds some graphics. Meanwhile, you want to update the calendar, so you open the newsletter in Word Starter (naturally, this scenario continues to work after you upgrade to the full version of Word 2010!).
Each contributor is notified that the others are working in the document – and where they’re working. That prevents you from stepping on each other’s toes.
When you save your changes, the others are notified that updates are available. When they’re ready to take a look at updates, and when their own changes are ready to share, they save the document, too. Now you’re notified that updates are available, and you can save the document again to see them.
We recently published a new article that provides details for co-authoring in Word Web App and Word. Get collaborating, and let us know what you think.
-- Roxanne Kenison
Can you co-author within the browser for powerpoint and word?