Sharing Files to Edit and Update with other Users
Co-Authoring is an enterprise-level feature that will require licensing in order to be accessible. The feature allows the user to invite others by email to make edits or changes on a file together. This feature will require accessibility to the User’s Office 365 OneDrive and NetDocuments account to function.
In our current netDocShare version, co-authoring is only available on SharePoint Online. Support for On-Prem and external apps such as .NET app are planned for future releases.
The file types that can be Co-Authored are currently limited to the following extensions:
This is because we use Microsoft online application service to have a co-editing environment. Therefore, only files that can be used with Microsoft online are Co-Authorable. Only modern formats including .docx, .pptx, and .xlsx file formats are supported. You can’t Co-Author with Office 2007 or earlier format, rtf or other formats.
The prerequisites to begin Co-Authoring are:
- NetDocShare Enterprise license is activated
- User has access to Office 365 OneDrive and can use Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- Selected file in NetDocuments must be checked in
- Selected file in NetDocuments must not be version-locked
If the file is checked out to another user, the feature will not work. However, the feature does work and is available if the file is checked out for the user themselves.
Setting up Co-Authoring in netDocShare Webparts:
To add the co-authoring feature to a new or existing webpart, we must edit the webpart configuration. Users can apply the CoAuthoring feature in the following 2 methods to Config Setting:
- Manual JSON: If you are used to inputting JSON config objects into SharePoint’s property pane “Enter your Webpart Config here:” (Ensure “coAuthoring” is included to the list for “contextMenu”, the term “coAuthoring” is highly sensitive to spelling and letter case. Please apply identical to the following example.):
“contextMenu”: [ “coAuthoring” ]
- Config Builder: Simply select Co-Authoring (Ensure “Co-Authoring” is selected as part of the Context Menu options):
1. In the drop-down menu of selected file, click the “Start Co-Authoring”.
2. Enter Email in label “To” and click “Add” button. User can enter multiple emails in the field but must be separated by semicolon “;” and without empty spaces. Remember to click “Add” (or press Enter) after entering an email or else it will not be added to the list of recipients below the “Enter Email-ID” field. Please enter valid email address in the field or else a message “Please enter a valid email address.” will prompt when the user tries to proceed to Start Co-Authoring. Validated emails will appear below the “Enter Email-ID” field and will not be editable but can be removed by clicking the “x” besides the email.
Note: Upon opening the Co-Authoring modal, the Co-Author initiator’s NetDocuments email will automatically be prepopulated below the “Enter Emails” field.
Example: firstname.lastname@example.org has been pre-populated in the sample image below. You may choose to remove the email by clicking the “x” icon besides the email. However, trying to “Start Co-Authoring” with only the prepopulated email will not work and a message will suggest user to “Please add another email besides your own”.
3. Enter Comments as necessary (Optional). This message will appear in the email that is sent to the selected users to start co-Authoring.
4. Click “Start Co-Authoring”.
Successful display of Start Co-Authoring will show the Co-Author Icon between the file name and version number, and sets file status to checked out:
Opening the document via Co-Author Icon:
The authorized users (initiator and Co-Author recipients) with access to the document can click the Co-Authoring icon and it’ll open a new window for the document via SharePoint OneDrive. Hovering on the icon will show the hyperlink.
The document will open to show preview of the document on a new browser tab and user can choose how to Edit the document in the “Open” at the top left:
- “Open in Word Online” will open a new document in a new browser to edit
- “Open in Word” will open the Microsoft Word application from the user’s local
Note: If the user choose to option “Open in Word”, please ensure the local Microsoft Word Application is connected online and with the proper user account.
5. The file will get uploaded to OneDrive in the background and shared with the list of co-authors. The application will automatically create a folder called “NetDocShare” in the user’s OneDrive which will be used for sharing purposes. Recipients will receive the email with the content sample below:
The comments that the user entered previously in the Start Co-Authoring modal will be displayed above the file, for this example you’ll see “Please review SIPC by tomorrow, thanks”
Co-Authoring invitees that opens the document from their email (example above) will open a new browser to edit the document in the browser.
Note: Please note the Co-Author initiator’s email domain may be a factor whether the receiver will either receive the email in the Junk or Spam inbox or not receive at all. An example is a sender email domain ending with “OnMicrosoft.com”, the receiver may receive email in their Junk or Spam inbox the first time or possibly not receive the invite email to CoAuthor. If the case of not receiving the invite email, it is best suggested to contact Microsoft OneDrive support to troubleshoot.
6. Recipients can click “Open” to access the file being shared on SharePoint’s OneDrive. Multiple Co-Authors can make edits and changes as desired, even simultaneously, but it is crucial that every person who has access to the file closes the file after making edits and changes or else an error will prompt when the user who initiated the Co-Author tries to End the Co-Authoring. However, there have been many confirmed cases of people closing the doc properly, but OneDrive still thinks the doc is open by someone. If that’s the case, ignore the alert that warns you to close all documents.
User can know the file is in Co-Authoring on the NetDocuments website. In the selected file’s profile attributes, the “Comments” will have “Co-Authoring;”.
7. Once a CoAuthor starts authoring, this activity will be captured in the history of the document in the NetDocuments
Please ensure all users who participated in Co-Authoring have closed the file from SharePoint’s OneDrive when Co-Author initiator is attempting to End Co-Authoring.
1. In the drop-down menu of selected file, click “End Co-Authoring”
2. The file will get downloaded from OneDrive and be uploaded to NetDocuments. Next, the file will be updated to Checked In on NetDocuments and deletes the file on SharePoint’s OneDrive. Lastly, the profile attribute for Comment will be cleared of “Co-Authoring;” to empty.
3. Successful End Co-Authoring will increment the file version to a new version number and changes file to Checked In (without the checked-out icon).
4. Once a CoAuthor ends the authoring, this activity will be captured in the history of the document in the NetDocuments
1. Co-Authoring is supported for SharePoint Online (not supported for SharePoint On-premises)
2. Co-Authoring is supported specific file types (docx, xlsx, and pptx)