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ShareSync: Co-Authoring In The Office Plugin

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Co-authoring is fully integrated into the Office plug-in and supports Word, Excel and PowerPoint file types. Co-authoring notifies collaborators about who else is working on the same shared document.

The feature automatically locks/unlocks files when editing to eliminate conflicts. The first user to edit a file becomes the Master.

The Master will be able to save a file both by pressing Crtl+S or clicking Save. Other users will see the pop-up dialog.
If you choose to click the Save link instead of the Save As button the document will be saved anyway but in this case a conflict copy is created with an extremely high priority. 

Save attempts by other collaborators are intercepted in the following ways:

  • When Master collaborator updates a file while others have the file open:

If a user tries to save the file in this situation, the notification is shown:

  • When a user is working with a file which he or she has View permissions for. 

If a user tries to save the file in this situation, the notification is shown:

  • When a file is locked by someone.

There are two options available for users: Save As only or Save As and Force Unlock. It depends of level of permission. For Owner and Co-Owner permission user can both Save As and Force Unlock. For Modify permission it is only Save As.

Important Notes

  • User can see themselves in Co-authors pane sometimes, and it is by design. For instance this can happen when a user opens the same file from two different machines.
  • Master editor role is lost when a user is disconnected from the Internet. The new Master editor will be assigned to the person who has been editing the file longer than others. 
  • When a user saves a locked file no notification is shown.
  • It is possible for a user to see multiple notifications, for instance a user has View permissions (1) for a locked file (2) which was updated while the user was reading it (3). In such cases we have a hierarchy of notifications, and for any combination the user won’t see more than two notifications.

Known Issues

  • When two users open a shared PowerPoint document, they will see that both of them are editing without reading status. 
  • If a user closes a document, Word suggests to save the document before closing. If the user selects Don’t Save the plugin will still ask about saving the file.
  • If a user has an Excel table in a PowerPoint document, upon opening the document the user will see a notification about updating links in the document. If the user accepts it the file will be opened in Excel twice during a short period of time. This causes blinking of the user’s name in the list of other co-editors. 
  • If the Preview tab is used to open a document (for example, in Explorer), the file will be marked as Reading, and this will be cancelled only when Explorer is closed.
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