Office 365

Collaboration in Office—chat with your co-editors in real-time via Skype!

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With the co-authoring capabilities of Office Online, you may find yourself in a OneDrive document with your friends and family at the same time. When this happens, you can now communicate with your fellow editors in real-time via Skype, without leaving the document! We mentioned this in an earlier announcement, and today we are pleased to bring you more details below. Visit the Skype Garage & Updates blog for additional news.

How to get started

By sharing the document you’re working on, you open the door for your friends and family to join in. And while they edit with you, their names appear in the list of co-editors at the top right of the application. Next to the list of co-editors, you’ll see a blue Chat button (shown below). This is currently available for OneDrive files; SharePoint and OneDrive for Business are coming soon.

Collaboration in Office chat with your co-editors in real-time via Skype 1b

Clicking this button slides out the following Skype chat pane. Your co-editors are entered as recipients, allowing you to immediately begin a chat with them. When you send them a message, they get notified in the document.

Collaboration in Office chat with your co-editors in real-time via Skype 2b

Harnessing the power of Skype

You might not be working in the same room with your co-editors, but that shouldn’t slow your progress. So, in case IMs aren’t enough for your communication needs, we’ve included the option to turn your conversation into a group call or even a video chat, using buttons at the top of the pane (highlighted below). This was one of the most requested features on our Word UserVoice forum—thank you for sharing your feedback!

Collaboration in Office chat with your co-editors in real-time via Skype 3b

And of course, no conversation is complete without a smiley or two, so we’ve armed you with familiar Skype emoticons:

Collaboration in Office chat with your co-editors in real-time via Skype 4b

We also provide a variety of GIFs you can send when your feelings transcend words. These can be found via the emoticon selector.

Display your saved conversations

Even after your co-editors have left the document, you can still view your chat contents. Next to the Share button there’s a Skype logo that, when clicked, displays earlier Skype conversations:

Collaboration in Office chat with your co-editors in real-time via Skype 5b

That’s all for now—enjoy collaborating! And when your team miraculously finishes a paper right up against a deadline, try sending the text “(fistbump)” in the chat pane. You’ve all earned it.

—Nikhil Nathwani, program manager for the Office Core team


Join the conversation

  1. Great addition!

    We need Equation Editor inside Office Live.
    Moreover, we need better Equation Editor (Even something like Pro Latex Mode would be amazing).
    We really miss the option to number equations and do stuff can be done on LaTeX.

    Thank You.

  2. Is this for consumer Skype only? or Also within the Office 365 enterprise Skype for Business?

    • Hi there, good question. For now this is for consumer Skype only. Support for Skype for Business is something we’re working on.

      • Please do give Skype for Business some love. That product could be so great, but right now it’s hot garbage. Would love to drop Slack, but Skype for Business needs persistent chat and, frankly, the kind of love you’re giving the rest of the Office suite.

  3. How is this rolling out? Because it is not available on our universitys office365 tenant.

    • Hi Joacim, this feature is rolling out for consumer Skype only. Your university’s Office365 tenant would pick up IM support when we release an update for Skype for Business, which is in the works now.

  4. When will Skype for Business have this kind of integration with Office 365 for business? This feature would be very helpful at our company.

    • Hi Eric, we’d love to provide your company the value of an IM experience within Office. We’re hard at work on Skype for Business support now, and we’ll release a blog post about it when that’s ready.

  5. Office Team, why are you not listening to your user base?

    We want to be able to install Office 2016 with the key only and not with a Microsoft Account.
    Just look in the forum. We have 15 pages of bad comments about that. Could be much easier to just register the key on the web and uninstall/re-install using the same key on the website (key is like an account).

    We also want feature updates, but like a couple of months after Office 365 users (and stop features updates when releasing a new version of Office). Why is it so hard?

    • I agree with Nic727, please bring back the option to activate an OEM copy of Office 2016 without the need for a Microsoft account to be tethered to it. As tech support to SMB’s we are not opposed to O365 (I sell more O365 subscriptions than OEM units) but we know which option is better for our customers. If O365 is the better option then I will implement it. If an OEM copy is better I will recommend it, but this necessity to have a Microsoft account associated with an OEM version is ridiculous.
      I attended a Microsoft O365 presentation yesterday & in Australia the majority of SMB’s fall in the 4 user’s or less category. 500,000 or so businesses. For the majority of these businesses the O365 option probably isn’t the best option & configuring multiple Microsoft accounts for my users is tedious & time consuming.
      Listen to your SMB tech companies & not your marketing executives.

    • I agree. Instead of adding stuff like this, (why more typing when you can just talk?) they should make Office accessible to organizations that need to have software tied to equipment or roles, not people, and who don’t have dedicated IT departments spending hundreds of man-hours managing Microsoft IDs.

      Not to mention a privacy policy that states they will give access to any files or information tied to a Microsoft account to anyone who they have a reasonable belief has authority to access it (like the employee’s ex-wife’s lawyer?).

    • I agree. I get OEM office on all of my Dell Laptops and Desktops and now I cannot tell easily which license is for which pc. just says office installed on 1 pc. on ‘date’. no pc name. I didn’t want to keep creating more live id’s so I tied them all to 1 account. it’s a mess.

  6. thats amazing. This suite is rolled out directly to qualifying customers’ tenants by Microsoft. thanx

  7. Hi Nikhil Nathwani,
    We are operating office365 in our school environment, however we are unable to find the skype add-in in the word/excel as you pointed out. Do you have any timeline when is this going to be rolled out in Melbourne, Australia.
    It’s definitely a wonderful feature not to be missed.

    Appreciate your response.


    • Hi Chris — we’re keen to bring this experience to your school environment. For now this feature is rolling out for consumer Skype only. Your school’s Office365 environment would pick up IM support when we release an update for Skype for Business, which is in the works now. Hoping it’ll be ready this summer, likely end of June.

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