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

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