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How to Collaborate on Documents online

It’s not a must for a group to work on same PC or send emails back and forth working over the same document, but you can collaborate with other people over the Internet online. You can even edit the documents in real time working simultaneously.

Google Docs is a recommended collaboration solution, and several of us might have already worked on it. Besides Google Docs, Microsoft’s Office Online has also gained real-time coauthoring, and you can also try it.

Google Docs

Google’s office suite Google Docs, like most Google services, is a free app you can access in your web browser. The files created in Google Docs will be saved to Google Drive and are linked to your Google account. They are easy to share with other people, as the files are online instead of on your PC, and Google controls the document allowing the people to give access to others.

For opening Google Docs for collaboration, Go to Google Drive Website and sign in to your Google account. Click on create options and tap the type of document you want to work on, for further creating a new document. It also lets you open the existing document stored in Google Drive or upload a document from your PC and share it. You can check to see who has the access the particular document.

Enter the Email addresses of users who you want to collaborate to work on the specific document, and they will have the edit permission option by default. But you can also restrict the users only to view or comment on the document with “Can view” permission.

Once you share the document to a group of users, they will receive an email by default, with a link to the document so they can edit it along with you. You’ll see the changes when you return to the document later. You can see the multiple text entry cursors when multiple users collaborate on the doc. Google also comes up with a chat feature to talk to coauthors of doc. Check the shared with me category in Google Drive, to view a list of documents shared.

Microsoft Office Online

Microsoft’s Office Online is free, web-based version of MS Office which lets you access in your browser. However since it’s a web app, it’s not the full MS Office and is limited in its features. Though you can collaborate with the desktop versions of MS Office, it doesn’t offer as mature a collaboration solution as Google Docs

For installing Microsoft Office Online, you need a Microsoft account, and this save your docs to Microsoft’s OneDrive file storage service.

Go to Office Online site and open your app of choice or you can Go to OneDrive site and open the document. Click the Share button at the top of the page, once you open the document. You can select FILE menu on the ribbon, Share and Share with People options. Enter the Email addresses of users who you want to collaborate to work on the specific document and grant the permissions. You can let them edit the document, view and collaborate. Once you share the document to a group of users, they will receive an email along with the link to your document.

Though there are other techniques and ways to work on the same document, Google Docs and Office Online both make it simple and effective to work on the same documents in real time over the Internet.

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