Co-Author PowerPoint PresentationsOffice 2010 makes it easier for you to co-author documents with multiple users. This 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.

Sometimes you need a helping hand when you’re creating a PowerPoint presentation (or someone might need a helping hand from you), so Microsoft allows you to have a co-author. When it comes to co-authoring a presentation, PowerPoint notifies you when another co-author saves their changes. This makes it easy for you to know when someone has made changes to your presentation. Furthermore, you can see exactly who has changed what slide. Within Normal View, an icon appears in the lower-right corner of the slide thumbnail alerting you that the slide was changed by another co-author.

You can also review changes made by other authors using the Review Changes option. Just click the File tab and then click Info. Next to Document Updates Available, click Save, and then click Save and Review. Click Review Changes to review the changes other authors made to your presentation.

Once you click Review Changes, PowerPoint opens a Revisions pane along with a new tab called Merge. You can use the Revisions pane to see a list of the slides that other authors have changed. You can also see detailed changes made to the current slide.

You can use the Merge tab to review each change made by another author and accept or reject the change. When you accept a change, it is merged into your presentation. Rejected changes are discarded. When you’re finished reviewing changes made by other authors, simply click Close Merge View.

In some cases, you may want to review all changes before they are merged into your presentation. If so, click the File tab and then click Options. Within the PowerPoint Options window, click Save. Under File Merge options for shared document collaboration server files, select the Show detailed merge changes when a merge occurs option.