Share Documents in Office 2011 on Your MacBook - dummies

Share Documents in Office 2011 on Your MacBook

By Mark L. Chambers

Many Mac OS X applications offer their own built-in document-sharing features. For example, Microsoft Office 2011 for the Mac includes both file-level and document-sharing features. Office 2011 is currently the most popular productivity suite available for Mac OS X.

Document-sharing features of Office 2011

You’ll find a number of commands that help multiple users keep track of changes that have been made in a shared Office document. Probably the most familiar is the Word revision tracking features, but there are others as well:

  • Revision marks: If several users edit a document, how can you tell who did what? By using revision marks, which apply different colors to changes made by different editors, those additions and deletions can be accepted or rejected individually at a later date. In a worst-case scenario, you can actually reject all changes and return the document to its pristine condition.

  • Compare Documents: Using this feature allows you to compare a revised document with the original (if, of course, you still have the original file handy).

  • Comments: Editors can also converse within a document by using embedded Comments. These don’t change the contents of the Word file the way revision marks do, but store commentary and notes in a behind-the-scenes kind of way. (Think of a Mac OS X Sticky that appears within a document.) Again, the author of each comment is listed, allowing for (sometimes heated) communication within the body of a document.

  • Highlighting: You’ve heard the old joke about . . . Well, anyway, a traditional highlighter marker is pretty useless on a computer monitor (leaving a nasty mess for the next user to clean), but Word allows multiple highlighting colors for identifying text. (And for the occasional practical joke, there’s nothing like adding eight different highlighting colors to that important proposal. Just make sure that your résumé is up-to-date.)

File-level sharing features of Office 2011

Along with the document-level sharing commands, you’ll find that Office 2011 applications also offer sharing features that control access to the document file itself. You can add password protection to any Office 2011 document. Follow these steps with a document created within Word, Excel, or PowerPoint:

  1. Choose File→Save As.

  2. In the Save As dialog that appears, click Options to display the Save Preferences pane.

  3. Click the Show All toolbar button.

  4. Click Security to display the Preferences pane.


  5. To password-protect the document, enter a password in the Password to Open field.

    This password must be provided when opening the document.

    If you like, you can enter another password in the Password to Modify field. This second password would then also be required to modify the document.

    Both passwords are case sensitive.

  6. Click OK to save the preference changes and return to your document.

Think of the Protect Document dialog in Word, from which you can effectively write-protect certain elements, as an extra level of security in a multiuser environment. In this Office application, you can protect revision marks, comments, and sections of a document containing forms.

A password can be added if desired. To display the Protect Document dialog, click Tools in any of the Office 2011 applications and choose Protect Document from the menu.