Microsoft has taken to its Office blog to announced an interesting new feature for Excel on Windows. The company says it is introducing real-time co-authoring to the app on Windows 10 desktops. The feature is currently available on the Office Insider Program on the Fast Ring.

In its post, Microsoft says the real-time co-authoring will leave preview and come to all Excel users soon.

The introduction of this ability will be welcome amongst Windows 10 users. If you are familiar with co-authoring on Word and PowerPoint then you will be good to go. Just share a file from OneDrive, SharePoint Online, or OneDrive for Business.

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Any file that has been shared with a co-authoring exception can be edited across the shared contacts. Any editing made to the file can then be seen in real time. Naturally, this has benefits for collaborating on spreadsheets across a team.

Here’s how it works:

  • On a Windows PC, use Excel to open an existing file stored on SharePoint Online, OneDrive or OneDrive for Business.
  • Share the file with others (must be others in the Insiders program to take advantage of Excel on Windows desktop) using the Share option in the top right and select the default “Edit” permissions. Alternatively, you can use a file on a shared file location such as a SharePoint Online document library (team site) which is already shared with your team if others on your team are also in the Insiders program.
  • Team up with one or more other Insiders and edit the file simultaneously with them.
  • When others join the file, you should be notified with an in-app notification and when you are using Excel on a Windows desktop, you will be able to see where they are working within the workbook.

As this is a preview, it is only possible to share across Office Insiders.

Other Office Announcements

In its blog post, the Office team also discussed some other changes to the platform this month. Microsoft has brought AutoSave to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on Windows PCs. This is for files stored in SharePoint Online, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business. The feature does what it says on the tin and allows users to now worry about saving files.

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