Co-authoring in SharePoint & Why Check out a document is necessary in SharePoint?

In this article I will discuss about what is co-authoring in SharePoint & why we require to check out a document in SharePoint. SharePoint is the platform where multiple users can work on the same document at the same time.Co-authoring in SharePoint helps multiple users to access a document or edit a document simultaneously.

So let’s get started.

What is Co-Authoring?

Co-Authoring can be defined as several people working on a document at same time. This helps organizations to remove barriers to server-based document collaboration without any server setup which improves user experience & provides consistent access to up-date versions of documents.

What is Required to Co-Author a document?

A )The following locations requires to store a document for co-authoring:-

  1. SharePoint Online.
  2. SharePoint Server.
  3. One Drive for Business.
  4. One Drive Consumer.

Note:-In SharePoint Online co-authoring is enabled by default.

B) Co-authoring Supported apps:-

  1. Excel mobile apps and excel 2016 with O365.

Word and PowerPoint on all devices and versions more recent than Office 2010 that supports co-authoring.

C) Files to be co-authored:-

The following four files can be co-authored:-

  1. Word
  2. Excel
  3. PowerPoint
  4. OneNote

Visio
D) Permission Levels:-

For co-authoring a document users must have permissions to access & edit the documents.

How Co-authoring Works with Word & PowerPoint in SharePoint?

  • Co-authoring With Word Document

The following steps illustrate how to co-author with word documents:-

a. Create a team site as shown below.

Co-authoring With Word Document.png

b. Upload the word document as shown in the below screenshot:-

word document.png

c. Open the document in word which you saved & leave it open. Refer below screenshot:-

Word Documents.png

d. Open the same document from another computer which is having office 2013 as well. The below screenshot shows the person editing the document. Here it shows Swati Smita Biswal is the editor of the same document at the same time.

Document Edit.jpg

Notification always appear on the upper right hand corner when another user edits the document at the same time.

  • Co-authoring with PowerPoint

The following steps shows how to co-author with PowerPoint:-

a. Upload the ppt to the SharePoint team site created as shown below.
upload PPT.png               b. Open the ppt and leave it open. Refer below screenshot:-

Open PPT.png                  C. Open the same ppt from another computer .The below screenshot shows the person editing the document. Here                          it shows Ambuja Kulkarni is the editor of the same ppt at the same time appears on the top right corner.

Demo PPT.png

  • Co-Authoring with Excel

The following steps shows how to co-author with Excel Web app:-

a. Upload the excel sheet to the SharePoint team site as shown in the below screen shot

Excel demo.png

b. Open the excel sheet and leave it open. Refer below screenshot.

Excel sheet.png

C. Open the same excel from another computer .The below screenshot shows the person editing the document. Here it shows Ambuja Kulkarni is the editor of the same excel sheet at the same time appears on the top right corner

Excel.png

When edits made to excel cells they happen live & changed cells will be highlighted.

  • Co-Authoring with One Note

Co-Authoring in OneNote works both with browser editing & native application. Notification will appear on the top right corner same as word & excel when another user edits at the same time. This works same as word & excel co-authoring.

Co-authoring works with visio same as with other word/excel/one note.

Check out a document in SharePoint

Check Out in SharePoint Stands opposite to Co-Authoring. Check Out in SharePoint restricts multiple users to make changes/edit the document at the same time. This prevents other users to make any changes in the document until the user check the document back in.

Benefits of Check-Out a Document

The following shows the benefits of Check out a Document:-

  • Helps to find out who is currently editing this document.
  • Control Version Number with each save.
  • Allow only one user to edit the document at a time unless it is released by the user.
  • While the document/file is checked out the changes made by the user are not visible to the others.
  • This prevents conflict where multiple people want to edit the same piece of content at the same time.

How to check out a Document

Document checkout enables the user to check out from the document automatically. Below are the steps for check out a document:-

a. Go to the document library & select the respective document library as shown in the below

Sharepoint Library.png

b. Select the library and click on library settings from the top as shown in the below screenshot

Sharepoint docs.pngSharepointDocs.png              c.  Select “Versioning settings” as shown in the below screenshot:-

Sharepoint docs settings.png            d. Select require check out option to “Yes” & click ok:-

Sharepoint.png

What Happens when a document is checked out?

When a document is check out other user will able to view only the document in read only mode as shown in the below screenshot. User will not be able to edit the document.

Microsoft Online.png

So in this way we can implement Co-authoring & Checkout in SharePoint.

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