You’ve been collaborating on a Microsoft Word document with someone else for years. Since Word 2010, if the file is stored somewhere like OneDrive or SharePoint, you’ve shared the file with the people you want to collaborate with, and it’s in .DOCX instead of .DOC format.
The Share button in the top-right corner of the ribbon shows which other people are working on the same document as you, and colorful flags with their initials show where in the file they’re making changes, so not everyone is trying to make the same change on the same page. same time. Microsoft calls this co-creation.
TO SEE: Microsoft Office Professional 2021 for Windows: Lifetime license (TechRepublic Academy)
Text editing conflicts can lead to confusion and lost work
Older versions of Word lock the entire paragraph that each person’s cursor is in to prevent overwriting, but while you can see where someone else is typing, you might still be able to change anything that interferes with what they’re working on — and if one of you is working offline, both of you can change the same sentence in different ways.
If you’re using Word on iPad, two people can edit the same section at the same time, but the document won’t be saved until you decide on the Conflicts tab about any changes that clash.
If you make conflicting edits in Word on the desktop while you’re not connected, you’ll see a OneDrive sync error when you go back online and tell you to open the document and resolve the conflict (your changes will be saved to a local copy of the document with your computer’s name appended). If it happens while you’re online, you’ll see an error bar in Word telling you that your upload failed and Autosave has stopped working – and you’ll no longer see new edits from other people on the document, so if you keep working you’ll hit only further behind.
Anyway, resolving the problem meant specifying your own changes (choose Ignore Changes), saving a local copy of the document – or temporarily copying the contents to a blank document – and then redo all your edits, either by scrolling through the document manually or using the comparison tools on the Review tab of the ribbon.
Sometimes you will see a Resolve button on the error bar that lets you go through all the conflicting changes as if you were using Track Changes and accept or reject each one. That usually means someone who was editing the document didn’t have AutoSave enabled in the first place, but it can actually be easier to fix because it makes it clear where the problems are.
Resolve collaboration errors
The new way to recover from these types of edit conflicts rolled out in recent releases of Office Insider (version 2208 and later versions of the Beta Channel) also allows you to view conflicting changes without appearing as an error or prompting you for multiple to make changes. documents so you can copy and paste what you’ve already typed once. Instead, the yellow notification at the top of your document prompts you to review conflicting edits, and they appear as tracked changes – but the author appears as Microsoft Word rather than one of your colleagues.
- Click View Changes and you will see the conflicts highlighted in the document. You may need to enable Show Markups or select All Markups under Track Changes on the Review tab of the toolbar to make them visible.
- Or you can use the Accept and Decline navigation buttons in the Changes drop-down list to navigate through and handle each one.
However, make sure you’re not working in an offline copy of the document while you’re editing, so everyone can see your edits as you work and you get the edits they make live in the document.
Sometimes you’ll see that you and another author have made different choices, such as using a word or number for a song or updating a reference with more recent information. Other times you’ll find that text you added to the document has been removed – not because someone else removed it on purpose, but because Word couldn’t upload it and sync the document; in that case, rejecting the change will revert what you added without all the extra work of copying or retyping.
You may also see a Refresh button on the toolbar indicating that a newer version of the document is available; this means that there is a problem with your network connection, but you have not made conflicting changes. While Word can’t automatically update the document with other people’s changes, you don’t have to change your own work.
There may be times when Word closes suddenly, reopens, and tells you the document has been updated. . Think of it like Word hitting the refresh button without asking – it’s annoying, but it saves you from having to make conflicting changes decisions later because you’re not working in an older version of the document.
Co-authoring in Word, SharePoint and OneDrive
If you use Word on the web, a mobile version of Word, or the desktop version of Word 2016 or later, changes are saved automatically and you see each other’s edits more or less in real time, as long as you all have Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Someone using an older version of Word or not having an Office subscription will need to click Save to sync their changes and see yours.
Likewise, multiple people can edit the same Word file at the same time if so stored in SharePoint Server. When one person saves the file, everyone else working on it is notified that there are new edits that they can view immediately or wait for later.
It’s the same experience as if you were working on a document stored in OneDrive or OneDrive for Business when you’re not connected: you can keep editing, and when you go back online, other people in the document will be notified of your changes. and you’ll see a notification for any edits they’ve made. You also get a notification that someone made changes when you reopen a document that has been edited since you last worked on it.
Sticking to Word on the web, you can share and edit documents together when they’re stored on services that can handle co-authoring, such as Box, Dropbox, or Citrix ShareFile, and depending on your storage service plan, you can may not require an Office subscription. Box and some other services also let you co-author on iOS; with Dropbox it also works on Android. But you can’t collaborate on documents stored on Google Drive in Office on the web or on any other device.
If you can’t get co-authoring to work, there are a few things to check, starting with whether you are online. Very long documents, documents that have been left open for a very long timeGroup Policy, document permissions, master documents, in-document macros, ActiveX controls, and OLE objects can all block concurrent editing.
The most common problem is conflicting changes, that is, when two authors make different changes in the same section. These Word co-authoring updates that notify writers provide a more seamless way to approve or reject changes and automatically refresh the document, reducing confusion when multiple people are working on a document.
Read more: Quickly rearrange pages in Microsoft Word (TechRepublic)