in SharePoint 2010

Co-authoring in Office Word 2010

So, you have heard of this wonderful thing called co-authoring in Word/PowerPoint/Excel 2010 and very eager to try it out?


If you have SharePoint 2010 + Office 2010 installed, then you are all setup to try out co-authoring right away! Yes, no extra setup needed! It should also work with SharePoint Foundation 2010.


Before going forward, let me remind you that co-authoring in Word and PowerPoint is only supported in the rich clients which means that it is not supported in the web applications. I haven’t worked with Excel, so not sure what is the story with Excel 2010.


There is only one requirement needed: You need to disable check-out for the document library. This is because, if you enable check-out, then the document gets locked by the user and hence you wont be able to co-author:




Co-authoring Demo

So, here is my first user Dan opening a document from the SharePoint 2010 document library. Another user Kim also opens the same document from the document library. Now, after 30 seconds (that seems to be the refresh time for each change), you should be able to see the user icon appear at the bottom bar of the Word 2010:






Presence/OCS integration is right out of the box!


So, if Kim adds/changes the document, Dan is going to those changes through. You should see something like this:




Once updated, it will show the updated content




If the other user is editing the existing content, you will get notified too:




If users want to chat, they can do so instantly!




Backstage also shows the currently editing people:




When all the editing is done, you can save the document back to the SharePoint document library.

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  1. Unfortunately, I can’t get this to work. The Sharepoint settings are:

    Require content approval for submitted items? No
    Create a version each time you edit a file in this document library? No
    Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited? No

    When the second user opens an item, they get the locked out message.

    Is there anything else I could try to get this working? Some kind of settings on the document perhaps?

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. @Andy – If a user (single user) opens a document from that library, does the document gets checked out?

    You might want to check with a single user whether everything is OK – and then probably try with more users.

  3. Hi!

    It works fine in Word, but I can’t get it to work with Excel…
    My Excel document is in the same library as the word documents.
    What settings should be done to make it work with Excel?