Office 2010 – Co-Authoring 21st century documents

Every small business owner has his or her eye trained on the economy. Amid positive signs that the Great Recession has ended, entrepreneurs everywhere are watching for optimistic indications that consumer spending has increased and that business is rebounding. Yet people are hesitant to invest in software’s and tools to ensure smooth functioning of their businesses. There is a new term doing the rounds in the IT space and that is the “21st Century Documents”. So what are these documents?? 21st Century Documents are simply documents that look professional, i.e. they look like someone with design skill created them, i.e. they have more formatting applied to them than just bold, italics, and underlines. Office 2010 brings the ease of authoring 21st Century Documents with a great amount of ease and co-authoring is just one of them.
In the newly launched Office 2010 software and its online counterpart, Office Web Apps, there’s a feature called “co-authoring” which lets multiple people edit the same file at the same time. This feature in true sense defines 21st century document collaboration.
In traditional collaboration, documents were shared via e-mail attachments. Tracking versions and edits from multiple authors is difficult and time-consuming for users. E-mail systems have to contend with storing multiple copies of the same document, not to mention increased network traffic as documents are sent repeatedly. Co-authoring addresses these issues by making it possible for multiple users to work on a document, at any time, without interfering with each other’s changes. This approach streamlines many common document-collaboration scenarios.
Co-authoring is currently available for the following:
  • Word 2010
  • PowerPoint 2010
  • OneNote 2010
Co-authoring is easy to use from the end user’s point of view. When a user wants to work on a document in he or she merely opens it, as usual. If another user already has the document open, both users are able to edit the document at the same time; access to the document is not blocked and no error appears
For example:
  • Two or more authors are working on different parts of a composite document. While one author works on his section of the document, another author can work on hers, without either interrupting their work.
  • Several authors are working on a composite slide show. Each author can add slides to the presentation and edit them, instead of working in isolation and trying to merge several documents and make them consistent all at the same time.
  • A document is sent out to several experts and stakeholders, each of whom has some edits or additions. No user’s edits are lost, because they are all working on a central, server-stored document.
In Word 2010 and PowerPoint 2010, saving to a document notifies other users viewing the document that there are new edits. Those users can refresh their view immediately to see those changes or continue their work and refresh later to see the latest edits. The authors can also see one another’s work, and everyone knows who is working on the document. With OneNote 2010, shared notebooks enable users to share notes seamlessly. When a user edits a page of the notebook, those edits are automatically synchronized with other users of that notebook to ensure everybody has a complete set of notes. Edits made by multiple users on the same page appear automatically, enabling near real-time collaboration. Versioning and other shared features in OneNote make it possible for users to roll back edits, show what edits are new, and determine who made a specific edit.
So why wait switch to Office 2010 and start authoring “21st century documents” J