With Office and OneDrive or SharePoint, multiple people can work together on a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation. When two or more people are working at the same time, that's called co-authoring. Unsure what we mean? Check the Microsoft official article.
Co-authoring and UpSlide
UpSlide supports co-authoring within Microsoft Office. As an UpSlide user, you can collaborate simultaneously with your colleagues, and use UpSlide while they are reading or editing the same document. Depending on your Office usage and how many concurrent co-authors you have, you may experience issues with co-authoring. Usually two or three users making simple and infrequent changes works perfectly. This page outlines some scenarios your users may encounter issues.
Recommendations when using co-authoring
- Always have Autosave ON (see how to)
- Limit the number of co-authors where possible
- When an issue arises, please refer to the official article for troubleshooting co-authoring
- Use version history to revert to a working document version if an error occurs
Known issues with co-authoring and automation
Too many users
Coauthoring works best when the number of concurrent author is low. Microsoft states in their official article the following:
"Recommended maximum number of concurrent editors is 10. The boundary is 99.
If there are 99 co-authors who have a single document opened for concurrent editing, each successive user sees a "File in use" error, and can only open a read-only copy.
More than 10 co-editors will lead to a gradually degraded user experience with more conflicts, and users might have to go through more iterations to successfully upload their changes to the server."
PowerPoint, Word and Excel: Programmatically applying many operations at once
This issue is especially prevalent in Excel. Synchronisation and merge issues can occur when two or more users are within a document and any automation tool applies many changes simultaneously (move whole sections, execute macros, apply many formatting rules to a large area instantly etc.). Microsoft implemented co-authoring in a conservative way: often not merging changes automatically, prompting the user to make a choice, or just rejecting them.
Excel: Formatting charts
Synchronization and merge issues occur in Excel when two or more users are within an Excel document and charts are formatted by any automation tool (including UpSlide). Microsoft have acknowledged the bug in how Excel handles programmatic chart formatting changes and scheduled a fix to be released:
- Current Channel: June 2023 (Version 2305)
- Monthly Enterprise Channel: July 2023 (Version 2304)
- Semi-annual Enterprise Channel: January 2024 (Version 2208)
This chart formatting issue affects all add-ins that are programmatically applying formatting which means any COM add-ins or VBA macros will experience the same issue. Chart formatting that causes the issue include: color of various chart components, foreground and background, including transparency and brightness, line formatting (solid line, dots, thickness).
UpSlide chart formatting works flawlessly using the Microsoft Office versions outlined above. Other automation tools that appear to only format charts may be manipulating shapes too and therefore affected by the bug outlined below.
Excel: Adding shapes or elements within charts
Synchronization and merge issues occur in Excel when two or more users are within an Excel document and a shape is added within a chart. Microsoft have acknowledged the bug but as of June 2023 do not have any fix scheduled.
Experiencing other problems with co-authoring?
If you are experiencing issues with UpSlide and co-authoring please contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org