Document collaboration means several authors work on a document or collection of documents together. They could be simultaneously co-authoring a document or reviewing a specification as part of a structured workflow. Document co-authoring means working on a document simultaneously with one or more users. There are different methods of document collaboration and co-authoring that gradually involve more structure and control around the document collaboration experience. A good way to help you decide which document collaboration method and product is right for you is to envision your options along a spectrum of choices.

The document collaboration spectrumSemiformal co-authoring: Multiple authors edit simultaneously anywhere in the document. Examples include: recurring minutes, brainstorming sessions, and reference material for OneNote; and team-developed financial models, budgets, and asset tracking lists for Excel.

Formal co-authoring: Multiple authors edit simultaneously in a controlled way by saving content when ready to be revealed. Examples include: business plans, newsletters, and legal briefs for Word; and marketing and conference presentations for PowerPoint.

Comment and review: A primary author solicits edits and comments (which can be threaded discussions) by routing the document in a workflow, but controls final document publishing. Examples include online Help, white papers, and specifications.

Document sets: Authors start workflows on an entire document set or individual items within the Document Set to manage common tasks such as review and approval.

For Co-Authoring to work:

All Office Online Apps are built for Co-Authoring and thus the document libraries are automatically defaulted to enable Co-Authoring on Documents. Some users might however change these defaults.

The pre-requisites:

For More Information:

Document collaboration and co-authoring: