How to Collaborate on the Internet in Word 2019 - dummies

How to Collaborate on the Internet in Word 2019

By Dan Gookin

Most document changes are made sequentially: You write something, save, and then someone else works on the document. If that chaos isn’t enough for you, Word allows you to invite people to edit a document while you’re working on it. This collaboration feature is called Sharing, probably because a better name wasn’t available or Microsoft was pressed for time.

To make document sharing work, save your document to the cloud, or Internet storage. Specifically, the document must be saved to Microsoft’s OneDrive storage.

How to share a Microsoft Word document

After saving a document to OneDrive online storage, follow these steps to make the document available for collaboration:

  1. Click the Share button.
    word2019-share-button

    The Share button is located above the Ribbon, near the upper right part of the document’s window. Upon success, the Share pane appears. Upon failure, you see a prompt asking you to save the document to OneDrive.
  2. Type an email address to invite a collaborator.
    If you use Outlook as your computer’s address book, click the Address Book icon to the right of the Invite People box to automatically add people.
  3. Choose whether the collaborators can edit.
    Choose Can View from the menu, and the people you invite can read the document. Choose Can Edit, and they can make changes.
  4. Type a message in the Include a Message box.
  5. Click the Share button.
    The invites are sent.

Eventually, the recipients receive the email invite. To access the shared document, they click the link in the email address. Their web browser program opens and displays the document. If they want to edit the document, they click the link Edit in Browser. At that point, their web browser displays the document as it appears in Word, complete with a customized version of the Ribbon. Hack away.

How to check updates in Microsoft Word

To determine whether someone has edited your shared document, open the shared document and click the Share button found near the upper right corner of the document window. The Share pane lists all collaborators and whether they’re currently editing. Collaborators who are currently editing show avatar icons to the left of the Share icon atop the document window. If they’re actively editing, you see a color-coded insertion pointer appear in your document, showing where the collaborator is working.

If collaborators have changed the document, save your copy to view updates: Click the Save icon on the Quick Access toolbar, or press Ctrl+S. Any changed content appears in the document with a colored overlay, similar to how revision marks are displayed.

To check to see whether updates are pending, click the File tab, and on the Info screen, look for and click the button titled Document Updates Available.