OneDrive allows multiple people to work on Office files at the same time. There are multiple ways to collaborate, using the web portal, the desktop application, or both.
OneDrive on the Web
Working on documents through the web portal is seamless, showing where other cursors are in real-time and updating edits with minimal lag time. Simply open up the document in your browser through the web portal – when another person opens the same file, you will be collaborating.
If multiple people open a file in their browser through the web, they will have the option to chat. Simply click on the red-colored “C” icon in the main menu next to the Share and Comments buttons. [ Screenshot ]
Go to location will indicate where they are working in the document or click Join group chat to send a message. When you send a message, the recipient will receive a notification: [ Screenshot ]
They can then click respond to begin chatting. [ Screenshot ]
Desktop Application – depends which version
Two people who have a file synced to their local OneDrive application can open the document locally and still be editing the document in real-time together. The functionality that is available depends on which version of Office you have installed.
If you have Office 365 Pro Plus installed on your computer, you have access to chat with other collaborators on the desktop application. The functionality is very similar to the online version of Office used through the web portal.
Office 2016 and earlier
Chat is not available in earlier versions of Office.
When collaborating with the desktop application, the program will lock sections for editing, save the changes, then sync the saved changes with the cloud, which then updates for everyone else. There can be some lag time in seeing updates. [ Screenshot ]
Office 2016 will indicate who else is working on the document, share the document, and set permissions by clicking the Share button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen: [ Screenshot ]
Web and Desktop Application
Two or more people can open up the same document through the web portal and through their local Office applications at the same time.
Chat only works for online Office apps or local Office 365 applications.
Comments work in all versions.
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