Co-Authoring In SharePoint And Why Check Out A Document Is Necessary In SharePoint

In this article, I will discuss co-authoring in SharePoint & why we need 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 the 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 Requirements to Co-Author a document?

The following locations require storing 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.

Co-authoring Supported apps
  1. Excel mobile apps and excel 2016 with O365.
  2. Word and PowerPoint on all devices and versions more recent than Office 2010 that supports co-authoring.
Files to be co-authored

The following four files can be co-authored:-

Permission Levels

For co-authoring a document, the 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,
    1. Create a team site as shown below.

      SharePoint

    2. Upload the word document as shown in the below screenshot,

      SharePoint

    3. Open the document in word which you saved & leave it open. Refer to the below screenshot,

      SharePoint

    4. Open the same document from another computer which has 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.

      SharePoint

      Notification always appears in the upper right-hand corner when another user edits the document at the same time.

  • Co-authoring with PowerPoint
    The following steps show how to co-author with PowerPoint,

    1. Upload the ppt to the SharePoint team site created as shown below.

      SharePoint

    2. Open the ppt and leave it open. Refer below screenshot,

      SharePoint

    3. 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 in the top right corner.

      SharePoint

  • Co-Authoring with Excel
    The following steps show how to co-author with Excel Web app.

    1. Upload the excel sheet to the SharePoint team site as shown in the below screenshot.

      SharePoint

    2. Open the excel sheet and leave it open. Refer to the below screenshot,

      SharePoint

    3. 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 and at the same time appears on the top right corner.

      SharePoint

      When edits are 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 in the top right corner same as Word & Excel when another user edits at the same time. This works the 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 from making any changes in the document until the user checks 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 to check out a document:-

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

    SharePoint

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

    SharePoint

    SharePoint

  3. Select “Versioning settings” as shown in the below screenshot,

    SharePoint

  4. Select the Require Check Out option to “Yes” & click OK.

    SharePoint

What Happens when a document is checked out?

When a document is checked out, the 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.

SharePoint

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

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