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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Collaboration/Shared Document (Word 2003)

    I've searched for shared document as well as collaboration and have found something from 2004 but nothing earlier so here it is. We would like to be able to have multiple people edit the same document at the same time. Each person may be working in the same chapter so a master document will not work. SharePoint (haven't tried 2007 but documentation does not appear to show any changes since the previous version. Same for Word 2007 except for "enhanced" track changes features) doesn't appear to allow this from our attempt to use it and is mainly document management and track changes from what we've seen. OneNote isn't usable for this either from my reading about it. Word 2007 may have added "collaboration" features but it is still one document for one user after which you can "compare/merge" the separate documents. There are some sites out there that say they have collaboration features but they all appear to be the track changes thing also.

    Pointing me to sites/documents to read or an actual way to do this would be great. Otherwise we will muddle through with the current track changes and document control.

  2. #2
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    Re: Collaboration/Shared Document (Word 2003)

    Welcome to Woody's Lounge!

    I don't think what you're looking for exists. If it were possible for multiple users to edit the same piece of text simultaneously, chaos would ensue. If you have subsequent editing sessions (with tracked changes), you can decide what to keep and what to discard, but if on person inserts a word in a sentence while another deletes the sentence, it ibecomes unclear what the result should be.

  3. #3
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    Re: Collaboration/Shared Document (Word 2003)

    I have fought with this problem for years and Word and Microsoft cannot handle it, and neither can Sharepoint (it's so-called parallel review function is merely a parallel notification function, I believe). Track Changes can't handle more than 2 or 3 reviewers without becoming totally confusing. I have found a way to have parallel reviews with multiple people editing the same document, without messing up the original Word doc, but you need Adobe Professional to do it. If this is something that would interest you, reply and I can give more details if you like. By the way, if the reviews are done properly, you can dump the text back into the initial Word document. We don't use this feature because the comments are rarely succinct enough, but it apparently can be done.
    Lesli

  4. #4
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    Re: Collaboration/Shared Document (Word 2003)

    Looking at the Adobe site it appears that their solution is a very expensive one but I would be interested in hearing how that is done. Adobe's site seems to imply that the standard version has this collaboration feature also but you appears to be saying the pro version is needed. That most likely puts it way out of reach for my company. If they did it on a per seat rather than per person basis that might be a different story.

    Thanks for the information. My main wish would be for some word processor to be better than MS Word but can't say that I've found one yet or perhaps it is just that I've used it way too long though it still causes me heart burn sometimes.

  5. #5
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    Re: Collaboration/Shared Document (Word 2003)

    The solution posed by Adobe is not the one I use. We "invented" our own using MS Word and Acrobat 7. Our process is that documents are created in Word, rendered into pdf using Professional, and then they are "enabled" for review for anybody with Reader (which is free). The reviews are done on the pdf doc through comments, strikeouts, insertions, etc., and leaving the Word document clean. All the author's comments are then incorporated into one pdf doc, using a one step process that Adobe has, and either accepted/rejected electronically or from printed copy depending on the preference of the author. Our comments are fairly often the "don't you think we should do this" type, so they are not straightforward accept/reject. You still face the problem of incorporating the comments, but the review process is truly parallel and your document doesn't get scrambled as it does with track changes. I hope you find your solution in finding something else - I wasn't able to!

  6. #6
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    Re: Collaboration/Shared Document (Word 2003)

    PC@SR,

    You can use OneNote 2003 SP1+ to do exactly what you are trying to. The key is that the original version of OneNote 2003 will not work, you have to be on SP1. I say SP1 however it's been a few years since I discovered this feature and so it may be as of SP2 for OneNote that the collaboration feature was enabled but it's definitely there.

    What you do is create a Shared Notebook somewhere on the LAN where all persons who will work on the item can access it either via mapped drive or a UNC (i.e. COMPUTERSHARE_NAME).

    The Shared Notebook feature is really slick and does allow multiple users to access and edit in real-time. Updates made by one are pushed back to all who are accessing the Notebook. Now I've never tried using it with many users, all of my experience has been with just a few users at a time.

    I realize that OneNote doesn't offer the same Rich environment for document work that Word does however if you already have OneNote then it's a solution you can use at no extra cost. OneNote has a 'Send To Word' feature so once you're ready to generate an actual document file you can do so without a lot of extra work.

    If you decide to give OneNote a try, please post back to this board and let us know how it went, what your experience was with using this collaboration feature for many users.

    Hope that Helps!

    Ed Carden
    Software Consultant
    Yardi Solutions Limited
    YSLGuru@Mebtel.Net
    AOL IM ID: YSLGuru

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