Office Desktop Co-editing is currently in limited availability
Find answers to frequently asked questions about the improvements with Editing and Co-Editing with Microsoft Office Integration.
Co-editing with Microsoft Office Integration connects Egnyte to Office 365 to allow multiple users to edit a document simultaneously using the Office desktop software. Collaborative editing can be used only with Microsoft Word™ (*.docx), Excel (*.xlsx, *.xlsm), and PowerPoint (*.pptx) documents.
FAQs regarding One-click collaborative editing with MS Office Online & Google WorkSpace Applications
Is Collaborative Authoring available for everyone?
Yes, it's available for all plans and open for everyone to set up and add. MS Office is the integration name, and your Egnyte admin will be able to add a domain by visiting the Apps & Integrations page.
Which Egnyte clients are supported?
These changes are available on Egnyte Web UI, Egnyte Desktop App (Windows & Mac), Egnyte for iOS (iPhone and iPad), and Egnyte for Android (Smartphone and Tablet).
Is co-editing supported for Hybrid connected users?
For Hybrid connected users, co-editing is supported when connected to Turbo 2.7.0 or higher.
Do these changes work with older versions of Microsoft 365?
- Microsoft Office 365 Tenant and Office Business license, including SharePoint Online.
- End-users must have an Office 365 account that includes Office Client application licenses (Business, Business Premium, E3, E4, or E5).
- Egnyte user email address must be the same as the email used in Azure AD for permission mappings.
Microsoft Home and Student editions for Office 365 are not supported for co-editing with Microsoft Office (Desktop) as they are intended for consumer usage and don't have a SharePoint license. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about compatibility.
Why do I get a "Lock" or "Read-only" message when I try to open a document with Microsoft Office (Desktop)?
If you encounter either message during a co-edit session, here are a few scenarios to verify:
- The file can be locked by another user, or if you locked the file while another user is attempting to access it for co-editing, then the previous co-editing session may not have closed properly.
- You may not have the proper permissions to access the file within Microsoft.
- The version of your Office desktop application may not support co-editing. This is more prevalent for Excel as you will need to be on the Microsoft 365 subscription version to support co-editing. For more details regarding Excel, please click here.
Why should I use Microsoft Office vs. Microsoft Office Online? What are the differences?
Microsoft Office co-editing allows you to use desktop Office applications. Microsoft Office Online, on the other hand, is limited to web browser-based Office applications.
Browser-based Office applications typically do not support the same set of features and functionality as desktop applications. For example, Microsoft Office supports large files (200 MB in XLSx, vs. 5 MB), advanced functions, and macros, while the Online version doesn't support the functions. If your users are working across different machines they should use Microsoft Office Online. If users would like a more native desktop experience, they can choose to work on Microsoft Office Desktop integration.
What level of permissions are needed to enable the Microsoft Office integration?
An admin needs to do the one-time setup by going through Apps & Integrations in the appropriate editing application by clicking "Start Configure" and following the wizard. We have two different flows supported.
- Automatic flow - Requires Global admin and Cloud Application admin privileges for O365.
- Manual flow - Requires only Cloud Application admin privileges and full permissions for the existing SharePoint site, which we will use for the integration.
Once the configuration is completed, the admin needs to choose the appropriate setting to enable this integration for the user's domain by choosing one of the three options: Added for groups, Allowed for users, and Add for all users. We recommend Add for all users.
Why am I not seeing the "Co-Edit" button in the Web UI?
The "Co-Edit" button in line with the list view is shown so users can have one-click access to their favorite or access to the default co-editing app.
Please ensure that the following pre-requisites have been completed:
- You must have one of the available editing applications. For example, Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office Online is configured and enabled by your admin and added to your Egnyte account at the domain level.
- If you have multiple co-editing applications added to your Egnyte account, your admin needs to set a default app. To do so, ask your admin to go to the App Control Center and toggle to turn on one application as a "default" for you to see the "Co-edit" button in the list view.
- The co-edit button is only shown for the supported file extensions (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx, .xlsm) for Microsoft Office Integration. For Microsoft Office online, the co-editing button is shown for supported file extensions only.
If you only have one co-editing application (Microsoft Office Online or Microsoft Office Desktop), the enabled application is automatically marked as the default co-editing app for you.
Why am I not seeing the "Co-Edit" button in the Mobile app?
The "Co-Edit" button is shown so users can have one-click access to their favorite or access to the default co-editing app. Please ensure that the following pre-requisites have been completed:
- You must have Microsoft Office for Mobile configured and enabled by your admin and added to your Egnyte account at the domain level.
- You need to have the latest Egnyte App installed on your device.
- The co-edit button is only shown for the supported file extensions.
- You need to have the latest Microsoft Apps (Word, Excel, Office, etc.) installed.
Are there any size limits?
Microsoft Office Integration on Web UI, Desktop, and Mobile has the following limits:
|MS Word - DOCx||200 MB|
|MS PowerPoint - PPTx||200 MB|
|MS Excel - XLSx||200 MB|
|MS Excel - XLSm||200 MB|
Microsoft also indicates that co-authoring is designed to work for small teams of about 5-10 users. However, our testing has shown that the performance of co-authoring varies with the number of users and the size of the document.
Co-authoring performs better with smaller files, for example, MS Word (less than 100 pages) and small teams (5-10 authors). However, if you are authoring very large files changes can lag when saving changes to Office and into Egnyte.
Does this integration work with the older Microsoft Office file formats?
For Microsoft, only modern formats .docx, .pptx, .xlsx, .xlsm file are supported. You can't co-author with Office 2007 or earlier format, .rtf, or other formats. In most cases, you can save the unsupported file format in the supported format first within current versions of Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. For Excel, if your file isn’t in this format, open the file and then click File > Save As > Browse > Save as type. Change the format to Excel Workbook (*.xlsx).
Collaborative editing on Microsoft Apps does not support older Microsoft file formats. To collaborate on those files on mobile, you need to change their format on the Desktop App.
How can I be sure that the latest changes are saved?
- Ensure Auto-SAVE is on, so you are not working on a local copy.
- Microsoft Office for Desktop displays the save status indicated in the top status bar. If the status bar reads Saved or Saved to <HOST NAME>, the edits have successfully made it to the server. However, if the status bar reads Saving…or Working…, then the edits have not yet been sent to the server and may be lost if the browser is closed or if you navigate away from the Office Online application. Do not close the laptop lid, log out, shut down, or put the machine to sleep during a Saving or Working status to ensure that your changes are saved.
- There will be a small delay when saving a new version back to Egnyte and finalizing the session which ranges between 2 to 35 minutes depending on the size of the file. This is due to changes being facilitated by SharePoint/Microsoft and results can vary by other variables (for example, network latency, internet performance, file size, and the number of people working on collaboration).
Users can only co-edit with the current session that the document was initiated with and it cannot be changed until the collaborative lock ( ) is released (for example, if a document started with a Microsoft Office session, then it cannot be changed to Microsoft Office Online until the current session is finished).
How is version control handled?
It will be the same as a collaboration platform. The version pruning algorithm can prune intermediate (not the latest) versions of the same file created from the same device by the same user within a short period of time (about 10 min) - see more details on this helpdesk guide Version Pruning.
When you end the co-editing session after all the contributors have completed their edits and have closed the file on their desktop, we will remove that version from the SharePoint side. That temporary version where it's being saved as people collaborate will then be removed from that server. The purpose is to remove access to multiple different versions and avoid end-user confusion.
How is track change information handled?
Track changes are when the user can hover over the tracked changes to see which user made the change. They will also see an avatar(s) of the user on the right side who joined and works with them on the document in real-time.
This is Microsoft native functionality, and at this time, integration doesn't play any role. Therefore, you would see some changes depending on what Microsoft O365 product you are using. If changes are not seen, check if you have "Track Changes on" in the Office Document.
Microsoft Word 2016 and 2019 can both work with Office 365, but the functionality of 2016 and 2019 will be different. Typically, a later version will have better functionality and features (e.g. auto-save may not be available or as good in earlier versions of Microsoft Word), so we recommend using the latest Office suite and ensuring that you have all patches applied by your IT department.
Can all collaborators see other users and their work in the documentation?
Yes, all collaborators can see other users' changes, which happens dynamically if auto-save is on.
Can users share documents using the Office "Share" native button?
They can, but we do not recommend it as a best practice. We provide a guide in the setup guide wizard to restrict it on SharePoint. Egnyte will capture audit trails and information if you use Egnyte's share and direct share features.
Can co-editing with Microsoft Office be disabled?
MS office integration, like all other Egnyte integrations, is not set up by default for your domain. Admins can disable "added for all users" settings. However, keep in mind that if you enabled Microsoft Office and collaboration is in progress, those changes are saved back to Egnyte before you remove the setup.
What happens when I am making changes, but my computer crashes or I am not able to save changes due to any other unforeseen event?
The version from Microsoft Sharepoint will be removed when a co-editing session for a file has been completed. If a user is not able to save changes due to situations such as losing access to the cloud or network connection, a dialog to save the file and merge changes will appear as soon as the user regains access. Afterward, the user can re-initiate a co-editing session on the latest version of the file.
What is required for external users to co-edit with Microsoft Office?
External users are required to have “edit” permission to the Document Library in SharePoint within their Azure AD and an Egnyte account to the respective Egnyte domain. For more details, refer to this guide.
I need to know more about SharePoint Permissions and Storage. What is the appropriate place within the SharePoint environment to set up the Shared Document Library?
For setup, you can choose to do automatic site collection for broader permissions and access or create an existing site from an existing collection with lesser access using the manual option in the Microsoft Office Setup Wizard, which is mentioned here. This will be dependent on your security requirements and ownership model. It is important to note that Egnyte users have write access to the site. Because we are creating a team site, the team site has a default document and live-shared document library, where we would put the temporary documents in. Lastly, we recommend keeping the team site for this purpose to avoid confusion with your users.
What more do I need to know about security regarding SharePoint and Shared Document Library?
In general, when you check out documents to Microsoft Office Co-editing, files are copied to Microsoft’s™ SharePoint Online server. These files don’t stay on Microsoft’s™ SharePoint Online server, but a cached version of the file can remain on their servers even after document check-in per SharePoint policies.
Microsoft Office integration uses permissions that are based on the least-permissions principle when using the manual setup option. All permissions are delegated permissions for the Egnyte service account user and with this delegated permission model, Egnyte does not have access to any files beyond them. Lastly, if you use a service account, we cannot perform any actions on behalf of an actual user. All operations we perform will be tied to our service account user.
Once you have connected Office 365 to Egnyte and used collaborative authoring, changing these settings on the SharePoint side could cause permissions errors. If you must change these settings, make sure the admin has Owner access to previous SharePoint drives, or re-apply the setup using step # 11 in this article using the "Change" option.