Word 2010 includes many features that enable to you work more effectively with others on documents. Some of these features include: Block Authors, Save and Refresh, and Conflict Resolution Mode. Here, we’ll look at these features in more detail.

Note: many of the co-authoring features in Word 2010 are only available when your documents are stored on a SharePoint Server 2010.

Block Authors

When you co-author a document that is stored on a SharePoint Server Foundation 2010 site that supports workspaces, you can prevent your co-authors from making changes to specific sections within your document. For example, you can prevent co-authors from making changes to the table of contents.

Using the Block Authors feature is simple. Select the part of the document that you want to prevent others from changing. Click the Review tab. Within the Protect group, click Block Authors. With the section now blocked, your co-authors are not able to make changes to the section.

Save and Refresh

One of the great features of Word 2010 is that you can work with others on the same document without interfering with one another’s work or locking each other out of a document. Again, if your document is stored on a SharePoint Server Foundation 2010, clicking the Save option does more than just update the document with your changes. Clicking the Save option does the following:

  • Saves any changes you have made to the file on the server
  • Updates the file you are viewing with any changes made by other authors
  • Stores the previous version

Furthermore, you have the ability to compare current versions of the document with previous versions. To compare versions, click the File tab, click Info, and then click the stored version of the document. You can use the Compare feature on the Review tab to compare that version with the current version of the document.

Note: Many of the co-authoring features are available in other Microsoft Office 2010 applications, including Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, Microsoft Word 2010, and Microsoft OneNote 2010 documents on SharePoint Server 2010. The new co-authoring functionality is also supported in Excel Web App and OneNote Web App.

Conflict Resolution Mode

Work at the Same Time in WordIf you’ve ever co-authored a document before, you’ve likely experienced some conflict; for example, when you and your co-author try to work on the document at the same time, one of you may get locked out while the other is editing. Conflict between co-authors can also occur when working offline; when you work on the document offline and the save it to the server. Furthermore, you can also run into co-authoring challenges when you and your co-author try to work on the same part of the document at the same time.

Conflict Resolution Mode in Word 2010 eliminates many of the challenges that occur when you co-author documents.

When there are editing conflicts, Word 2010 notifies you the next time you try to save the document. In fact, Word forces you to resolve the editing conflicts before it will let you save the document to the server. Any changes in the document are saved on your computer, even if there are editing conflicts, but the conflicts must be resolved before saving to the server.

When Word identifies conflicts due to co-authoring, a notification is displayed in the message bar and the status bar. You can click any of these notifications to switch to Conflict Resolution Mode and resolve the conflicts. When you switch to Conflict Resolution Mode, all conflicts are listed in a Resolution pane and the Conflict tab appears on the Ribbon.

To resolve a conflict, click the conflict within the Resolution pane. When you do, the conflicting portion of the document is highlighted. Any conflicting changes made by you are marked in pink.

To keep your change, click Accept on the Conflict tab. To remove your change, click Reject.