What is SharePoint Co-Authoring? How-To Guide?

What is SharePoint Co-Authoring How-To Guide

SharePoint is becoming highly popular for its support of collaboration for work. Aren’t lives stressful when you lose an important document?  You might feel the waste of all the time and efforts you invested in that document. In such a case, you need to have a thorough SharePoint guide that provides you with an effective solution. 

It might be a real nightmare to deal with this type of situation, so Microsoft brought in the co-authoring feature.

What is Co-Authoring in SharePoint?

It is a formal name for multiple users that collaborate on the same document at the same interval. Co-Authoring enables you to work with your colleagues on the documents simultaneously. Everyone has the right to view the updates in real-time and access across all devices from the web and mobile versions. 

SharePoint co-authoring enables multiple users to edit the document and collaborate in real-time. In SharePoint Online document libraries, the co-authoring feature is enabled by default. When multiple users edit a single document, the changes will be reflected in the document for everyone, which is known as co-authoring. 

How does Co-Authoring work in SharePoint online?

Just go into the document library in SharePoint Online and edit the document. If you are working on Word Document, choose your doc, click on Edit Document, and choose Edit in Browser or Edit in Word menu items. 

This you require for SharePoint co-authoring are:

  • A shared storage space like SharePoint or OneDrive 
  • Applications that support co-authoring. PowerPoint and Word support co-authoring on all versions and devices. Users get support in Excel mobile apps and the latest version of it. 
  • You need to find a co-authoring-friendly document like modern file formats like .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx. 
  • Edit the permissions for co-authors to provide access and edit the documents. 

Once you are in the edit mode of the document and allow co-authoring, it will help other partners work on the document. SharePoint also displays people editing the document and indicates where they are currently working on the document. 

How can you enable SharePoint co-authoring?

This is a default feature in SharePoint that is always enabled that helps you to work on files simultaneously. 

1. Word

These are one of the most commonly used files. When multiple users are editing the document simultaneously, they are capable of viewing who is currently working and seeing the changes. Let us look at the process of co-author in the word documents:

  • Create a team site 
  • Upload your word document 
  • Open the document in the Word
  • Now open the same document from another device. This will display the person editing the document. 
  • There will be notifications in the upper right-hand corner when other users are editing the document at the same interval 


2. PowerPoint

This is similar to Word, which also displays who is working on the document and the changes made. Look at the below procedure:

  • Upload your PPT to the SharePoint team site 
  • Open your PPT and leave it open 
  • Open the same PPT from another device. You will be able to view the person editing the document.

When you use PowerPoint, this notification will be displayed at the top right corner of the page near the Share button. 

3. Excel

Using Excel in SharePoint for co-authoring is supported in Excel online and the desktop app. When users edit in the Excel spreadsheet, the cells are highlighted and provide the user’s name making the updates. Let us see the method to co-author in Excel:

  • Upload your Excel sheet to the SharePoint team site 
  • Please open it and leave it open 
  • Open the excel sheet from another device. The editor of the same excel sheet will appear in the top right corner

What is the importance of document co-authoring in SharePoint?

In SharePoint, you and your co-workers can work on file types like Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. This increases productivity and provides effective solutions. This will avoid confusion while handling multiple versions of the same document. 

SharePoint also allows you to make changes in the document when you are offline. But you will no more be able to view other people editing the document and their differences. Once you get back online, your modifications will be updated if there are any conflicts in the documents, you are prompted to sort the complications. 

Who can co-author SharePoint documents?

The permission level set for SharePoint co-authoring is the major factor deciding users who can edit and access the files. It is easier to set different permissions for each user in SharePoint. Files in OneDrive need to be explicitly shared with users who require to co-author the document. 

It is vital to have smooth project management to ensure everything runs smoothly. SharePoint provides soft project management tools that offer multiple features and functionalities. Even with the older versions, you can create, upload, and modify the documents, but they might not possess support for co-authoring. If you edit the document in Office 2007, it will be locked for other users. It is recommended to begin your co-authoring journey with Office 2010 or a newer version for the best experience. 

How can you disable co-authoring in SharePoint?

To enhance the server’s performance, some organizations will prefer to disable co-authoring documents. There are three methods to get this job done:

  • Use the group policy to disable the co-authoring functionality from the client-side 
  • Go to Microsoft Powershell and set the DisableCoauthoring server property
  • You can also configure the Check out settings from the document library 

Now you have a good insight into disabling co-authoring in SharePoint. 


With this SharePoint guide, we hope you have a smooth journey to handling co-authoring and building a strong connection in the organization. So make live edits and update the documents together.