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Microsoft Co-Editing with External Users

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Egnyte simplifies teamwork by allowing co-editing the Microsoft Office files with users outside of the organization. This article describes Egnyte's file sharing and co-editing and collaboration features with external users and partners. 

Share Co-Editable Links with External Users using Egnyte WebUI

Often, Egnyte users need to collaborate with people outside of their organization who don't have Egnyte accounts. Sharing co-editable links with them makes it easy for such users to quickly access and co-edit files using Microsoft Office Online. Accessing the co-editable links does not require any licensing as it opens via this integration. 

Prerequisites

Create and Share Co-Editable Links 

  • Hover over on the file name or click the checkbox before the file name and click Share
  • Select Share Link from the context menu



  • Click on Change link options.



  • Select Specific Recipients in Who will have access dropdown.
  • Check Allow Co-editing.
  • Enter the email addresses of the non-Egnyte user(s) to share the co-editable links with them.



  • Additionally, the users can choose to allow downloads, notify when the link is clicked, include file name in links, and show the most recent version of the file to the recipients. They can also type in an optional message and choose to receive a copy of the email to themselves.
  • Click Send.



  • The external user(s) will receive an email notification on the given email address with a link to co-edit the file.

Administrators can configure the type of co-editable links allowed for sharing. Click here to know more about these settings. 

Creating a co-editable link that can be accessed by ‘Anyone’ will allow anonymous users to edit the file. Consider using ‘Specific recipients’ option to share the co-editable links. Click here to learn more about sharing links with specific recipients. 

Co-Edit using Microsoft Office Desktop

In certain instances, specific Microsoft features are exclusively available in the desktop versions of Microsoft Office apps. For example, Microsoft Word Desktop allows users to insert a cover page, create bibliographies, and manage citations, among other functionalities not offered in the web version. In such cases, it is advisable to enable users to co-edit the file using Microsoft Office Desktop Apps. 

MS Desktop Licensing Requirements

  • A business or enterprise license is required to open a file in Microsoft Office Desktop.

-Perpetual licenses are not supported such as Office 2016 and Office 2019.
-Microsoft GCC licenses are not supported.

The following steps will allow the Standard Users that have the correct MS licenses to co-edit files on Microsoft Office Desktop applications.

  • Create a Standard User account for an external user.
  • Manage file/folder permissions for the Standard User ensuring they can edit the shared file.
  • To ensure co-editing works seamlessly on the Microsoft Office App, the Standard User will need to setup Egnyte on the Microsoft Office App only once by following these steps:
    • Click Open in the Microsoft App.



    • Select Add a Place. 
    • Choose Egnyte and click Add Manually.



    •  Enter the domain name and click Next.



    • Enter the credentials and click Continue.



    • Click Allow Access to authenticate and provide access to the Egnyte domain.



    • Once connected to the Microsoft Apps, Click Open and select the file to open.

Click here to learn more about co-edit using the Microsoft Office Desktop. 

Limitations

  • Opening a co-editable link will open the file in Office Online for external users. Office Online has fewer features than Office Desktop, and some formatting may not show up correctly when users are collaborating using different versions of Office. Egnyte and our integration with Microsoft Office do not cause such formatting changes, and they occur natively in Microsoft when users utilize different versions of Microsoft Office. If such changes are undesirable, we recommend that all users co-edit using either Office Online or Office Desktop, but not both. translate well between the file versions. These are issues as a result of Microsoft limitations.
  • When an Egnyte user shares a co-editable link, any edits by the external user are recorded in the audit logs as changes made by the original Egnyte user. This behavior also occurs when users initiate a co-editing session directly from Microsoft products (such as when initiating an external co-editing session from Sharepoint), and it is not a function of the Egnyte integration.

Additional Resources 

Configure Co-Editing for Microsoft Office Desktop

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