Microsoft brings real-time collaboration to Office 2016 for Mac

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Share the workload with collaborative working in Microsoft Office.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Microsoft just rolled out a big update for Office 2016 on macOS, adding real-time collaboration that makes it easier to share the workload with colleagues. The feature is available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — and there are improvements for Outlook, too.

Microsoft has been slow to bring collaborative working to Office for macOS, giving a crucial edge to Google Docs. But the wait is finally over. The ability to work with others simultaneously is now rolling out with Office version 16.9.0 — available today.

Collaboration comes to Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Collaborative editing is available across Microsoft’s most popular Office apps.

When working together, users will see a thumbnail in the corner of their window that shows them who else is editing the same document. A flag will also be visible in the document where another person is editing, and you can watch the changes as they happen.

To make collaboration easier, Microsoft now auto-saves your work (finally!) at regular intervals. It also saves version history, so if someone happens to mess something up, you can view the version history for a list of changes and roll back to an earlier version of the document.

Other improvements

Microsoft has also introduced new logical functions to Excel, a useful QuickStarter feature to PowerPoint, and support for Google calendars and contacts to Outlook. The latter also lets you archive and delete messages in just one swipe now.

For a full list of changes in this update, see Microsoft’s support site. If you’re an Office 2016 user, you can download the latest release now from within one of your Office apps.