Co-Author PowerPoint Presentations Part IThis is the first part of a two-part post. The second part can be found here: Co-Author PowerPoint 2010 Presentations Part II.

Office 2010 makes it easier for you to co-author documents with multiple users. The new co-authoring functionality is available in PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010 and OneNote 2010 documents that are stored on a SharePoint Server 2010. In addition, you can use the co-authoring functionality in both Excel and OneNote Web Apps.

There are two caveats with the new co-authoring functionality. First, it requires SharePoint Foundation 2010 or a Windows Live SkyDrive account. Why? Because a server is required to maintain a central copy of the document and keep track of the edits made by multiple authors. Second, all co-authors must be running the latest version of Office. That is, to co-author a PowerPoint 2010 presentation, all co-authors must be running PowerPoint 2010.

By using the co-authoring functionality in PowerPoint 2010, you can see which author is editing the presentation, what part of the document they are editing. Furthermore, any changes made by your co-authors get merged into the presentation.

Now that you’ve got some background information about the new co-authoring functionality, let’s take a closer look at co-authoring in PowerPoint 2010.

To see how this all works, open a PowerPoint 2010 presentation that is stored on your SharePoint server. You can immediately tell if the presentation is currently being edited by other co-authors because a message appears in the status bar indicating the number of users currently working on the presentation.

If you switch to Normal View (On the View tab, within the Presentation Views group, click Normal), you can see who is editing a slide. Look in the left pane where the slide thumbnails appear. A small icon appears in the right hand corner of each slide currently being edited by another co-author. The icon indicates that a co-author is making changes.

There is more to the co-authoring functionality, as you’ll see in Part II.