Co-editing with Microsoft Office Desktop connects Egnyte to Office 365 to allow multiple users to edit a document simultaneously using the Office desktop software. The collaborative editing can be used only with Microsoft Word™ (*.docx), Excel (*.xlsx, *.xlsm), and PowerPoint (*.pptx) documents. 

 

Requirements

Before you can use collaborative authoring with Microsoft Office, you need:

  • Microsoft Office Business License - Users of Egnyte must have an Office 365 account that incorporates Office customer licenses (Business, Business Premium, ProPlus, E3, E4, or E5) to change or edit their files. 
  • Microsoft Office Suite installed on your laptop /PC. 
  • Egnyte Desktop App Windows (3.11.1) and Mac (3.11.2)

Starting Co-Editing Session from Egnyte Web UI and Preview:

If a document is compatible with collaborative co-editing, and Microsoft Office Integration is set up and added for your domain as a default application by your admin, a Co-Edit button will appear in list view (or in the context menu with the "Edit in [Word] [Excel] [PowerPoint] Desktop"). Click Co-Edit to check out the document and start a collaboration session.   

 

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The Co-Edit button also shows up in File Preview:

 

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If you are starting from the Egnyte Web UI, the browser will prompt you to confirm that you want to open the document. The document opens in Microsoft Office [Word] [Excel] [PowerPoint] on your desktop if it's installed and if you have the right permissions and access.

 

User Email Mapping if you chose Manual while doing setup: 

 

1st Option:  If your organization uses Azure Active Directory and SSO mapping, you would not have to do anything at this moment.  You would be able to see email mapping in the right-end upper corner, also an option to unlink. 

Please follow the prompt to open the file in Microsoft [PowerPoint] Desktop to start co-editing. 

 

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2nd Option: If your organization is NOT using SSO, in that case as a user, the user would be asked one-time to authenticate with your O365 business user email - you can see on the right upper corner, there is no linking done at this time. Click "Continue". 

Please ensure that Microsoft Office Tenant, where your global admin has done the setup, as a user, will be required to same Microsoft Tenant. Example. Here, the admin who did the setup used XX@egnyteinc.onmicrosoft.com, and the User who would do mapping is using YY@egnyteinc.onmicrosoft.com as well, as they have to be in the same tenant. 

 

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After Accepting Permissions from the above dialog, below is the confirmation screen once the mapping is completed.  You would not see that the account is linked in the upper right corner, like with Option 1. 

 

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Now, the User setup is then complete.  You would also be able to see in the right-end upper corner that accounts are linked when you start working on Co-Editing documents and this screen, and you would not need to do this step again unless and until you remove linking.

 

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Starting Co-Editing Session from Egnyte Desktop App

If you are starting from the Egnyte Desktop App (3.11.1 Windows and 3.11.2 Mac), you can see the co-edit option in the context menu to start/join the collaboration session using Microsoft Office Desktop as shown here.

 

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From the Egnyte Desktop App (3.11.1 Windows), you can start a co-editing session by double-clicking a file.

Admin should set the default app for co-editing following the instruction. Setting such a default app is required for the user to see the prompt for co-editing while double-clicking a file. In Windows, the prompt for co-editing is not shown for private folders.

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Or join a co-editing session by double-clicking a file, which is currently being co-edited by someone.

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If you are joining or starting a co-editing session by double-clicking, you will be asked to close the [Word] [Excel] [PowerPoint] application that was opened in the background as it's in offline mode (auto-save is OFF) so we can open it again which is collaboration ready (Auto-save is ON).

 

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User has an option to set the default action for the co-edit prompt in the preferences as highlighted below:

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During Co-Editing Session & Saving Back to Egnyte

Finally, when you start a collaboration session to edit an Egnyte document, the file is stored in an Office 365 SharePoint drive which your admin has set up. Any user who joins the collaboration session is saved to SharePoint temporarily and is periodically saved to Egnyte. You would see other people joining and working with you &  Icons on the upper right corner and can see their information.  While doing document editing in Microsoft Office, you also will see users in the Microsoft Word menu bar on right. Click the icon to see where in the document the user is currently editing or to contact that user.

 

You must have the "Auto-Save" mode enabled and ensure that the document is indeed saved before closing the file, as highlighted below with the black box. 

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Once you are done making changes, please close the document. Your changes and version will get saved back to Egnyte. Keep in mind you would see a co-editing button in Web UI and Desktop should you want to jump back again to make some quick edits until there are no collaborators left.

 

Important: In the meantime, anyone else joining the co-editing session would have to work with the same editing application 1st user who initiated the session for the duration of the session.  E.g., If you start editing sessions in the "Microsoft Word" (Desktop) Application, other users would have to use the "Microsoft Word" until the document is closed and collaborate lock is released and opening other editing applications would be greyed out.  They would not be able to use other Editing applications like "Microsoft Office Online," and "Google Workspace" if you have it added to a workspace. Once the collaborate lock is released and you see the "Co-Edit" button and no "collaborator icon", you would be able to use any application of your choice as long as it's enabled and added to your domain by admin. This restriction is put in place so, your changes and data are prevented and ensured it's synced back, and to remove chances for any unintentional errors. 

 

Sharing Co-Editing Session 

Other users with correct permissions can also join your collaboration session to edit the document simultaneously by using Egnyte direct links.   

Sharing from Web UI:

You can copy the direct link from the Folder Listing view:

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From File Preview

 

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From Desktop App:

 

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When you copy the direct link, you can send it to other domain users having Editor permission to the folder where the file is located. When they open such a direct link, they will see in the File Preview the blue Co-Edit button and, upon clicking on it, will join the co-editing session.

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Limitations /Known issues: 

  • An option to start/join a co-editing session by double-clicking a Desktop App (Mac) file is not supported.
  • Co-editing with Microsoft Office Desktop in Desktop App for Hybrid connected users is supported with Turbo 2.7.0 and above.
  • Microsoft Word™ (*.docx), Excel™ (*.xlsx,*.xlsm), and PowerPoint™ (*.pptx) - newer formats are supported. Older formats of Office documents, co-edit would not show, but you can "SAVE as" these documents in newer office formats to enable this.  If you don't see the co-edit option with certain files, please double check list of supported extensions with each application. 

 

 

Admin Guide here 

MS Office (Desktop) FAQ here

MS Office Online and Google workspace FAQ here

Learn more about Co-Editing in Office Desktop Applications by watching a Quick Tip on Egnyte University  here