Co-authoring with Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010

I have been playing with the co-authoring function in Office 2010, SharePoint 2010 and the Office Web Apps. Co-authoring allows simultaneous editing of the same document by multiple users. It took me some time to figure out which apps actually support this functionality, because not all of them do.

The following site gives a good overview:

The table below (taken from the article) is a good summary:

Application Server Requirements Common Scenarios
Word 2010 SharePoint Foundation 2010 Any document including proposals, plans, vision statements, minutes, newsletters, and reports
PowerPoint 2010 SharePoint Foundation 2010 Any presentation including training, conferences, post-mortems, product overviews, handbooks, and project status reports
Excel Web App SharePoint Foundation 2010
and Office Web Apps
Any spreadsheet, including team financial modeling, business-to business product line update on a web page, and real-time trading spreadsheet trackers
OneNote 2010 SharePoint Foundation 2010 Any notebook, including recurring meeting minutes, project brainstorming (“group-think”), shared research and reference material, and shared training courses
OneNote Web App SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Office Web Apps  

Office 2010 – where did the “Share” menu go?

In Office 2010 Beta, the File menu contained a Share option, that allowed you to save a file directly to a SharePoint site, or even to SkyDrive.

I was looking for that option in the final release, but could not find it. Well, the Share option is no longer there, but all the functionality is under Save & Send.

It took me a while to figure that out, so I thought I might share it with you.


The ribbon in SharePoint 2010

As you have probably heard, SharePoint 2010 has a total new interface on the user side: it has the ribbon as we know it from Office 2007.

There are a couple of reasons why this can probably become an issue and will require extra training for your end users:

  • a lot of companies are still running Office 2003, and will probably hold on upgrading until Office 2010 is available. These people have never seen the ribbon before!
  • the ribbon is “security trimmed”, but where in MOSS 2007 any option that you did not have access to was hidden, it is grayed out in SP 2010. This gives some very strange results if you only have read access: you get a ribbon full of disabled buttons.
  • Some functions are less accessible than befor, e.g. the content types. It requires some extra clicks to get where you want.


Definitely something to consider when you start planning your end user training!

Windows 7, Explorer view, and opening files from SharePoint with Office applications

I have been using Windows 7 for quite some time now, and one thing that has been bothering me is the performance (euh, lack of performance) when using the Open with Windows Explorer option in SharePoint. Opening it, using it is sooooo slow.

But recently, I read this post of Amanda Perran. The lack of performance seems to be related to a setting in Internet Explorer: under Tools, Internet Options, Connections, LAN Settings, you need to uncheck Automatically detect settings. This magically increases the speed of your Explorer View, but what is even better: drastically decreases the load time of Office documents when opening them from SharePoint.

So this is something every user should know. Spread the word!

Content Types – end user experience

I tried to figure out on our portal how the Content Types and their corresponding templates behave, when using Office 2003 and Office 2007. There are 2 main factors that determine the behaviour when a user selects a content type from the “New” button in a document library: the file format of the template and the version of the Office client:

  File format: 2003 File format: 2007
Client: Office 2003 – client app opens with document based on template– user saves the document– user needs to select the correct content type– user needs to fill in the correct metadata – not supported
Client: Office 2007 – client app opens new document based on template– user saves the document– user needs to select the correct content type– user needs to fill in the correct metadata via the document information panel, if metadata is required. Otherwise: NO metadata!(*) – client app opens new document based on template– document information pannel shows metadata immediately after opening the document– user can fill in metadata in dip and save the doc in one move


(*) You can optimise this via the document information panel settings of the content type: check Always show Document Information Panel on document open and initial save for this content type.

Conclusion is that the user experience is only optimal when using Office 2007 with templates in the Office 2007 format (or what did you expect…)

 Note: Interesting to know that the “Content type” is stored IN the properties of a document template file. If you use a document template file with such information as a template for an OTHER content type, things get very confusing, as MOSS will still prompt you for the metadata attached to the OLD content type!