Real-time Word document collaboration comes to everyone in Office 2016 Preview

Office desktop
Office desktop (Image credit: Windows Central)

Microsoft has announced that real-time co-authoring is now available for Word documents stored on OneDrive in the Office 2016 Preview. Previously, this was available only to SharePoint users, but it should now be available to anyone editing a Word document stored in OneDrive.

For the uninitiated, real-time co-authoring allows you to collaborate on a document, working simultaneously with anyone with whom you shared the document. When working on the same document with another person, you'll be able to see their cursor location and edits made by the other user.

Word Collaboration

To start using real-time co-authoring, both users need to be running the Office 2016 Preview. Both users must also have editing permissions and accept the prompt asking them to share changes with other users. The feature should be rolling out for everyone in an update today.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

28 Comments
  • Awesome. Took a while, but glad its there!
  • Release date?
  • Still no official date release for Office 2016?
  • I was thinking the same thing.
  • It has already been released...
    ... for Macs.
  • It's important to note that this feature exists already in Office Online apps. Just not the desktop apps.
  • Although AFAIK the online apps lock the entire paragraph a person is currently editing, this seems more like how google docs handles it.
  • What? This isn't new. I've literally been doing this with shared documents all quarter long.
  • I'm on the 2016 Preview - or I was. Couldn't get outlook to open in Win10 following my upgrade to that. Anyone else have that issue?  
  • ​ Open a Command Prompt as an Administrator (right click on the Start Menu to see that option) and type; sfc /scannow
     (note the space in the command above)   Executing it could take up to 20 minutes but sending emails should work again then.
  • Ice is back with his brand new invention ?
  • I knew something like this was coming soon. Microsoft are finally catching up on everything, and getting ahead.
  • Microsoft already had this... On office 2013, they are just improving that and making it more real time. So you can stalk every move the other person does. But anyone could do this before office 2016.
  • About bloody time. Google has been offering this for years now, and its become a most for many students (where I live that is)
  • But Google's suite is so laggy, even on my i7 SP3. I would much prefer it in Office.
  • Must be your connection. I've never had any lag worth mentioning.
  • Any lag worth mentioning? it means that it does lag slightly
  • Name me one thing that has never lagged just the slightest? That what I meant by not worth mentioning.
  • So does office anytime you say "open from onedrive"
  • Office 2013 has had this for awhile, as has office web apps. Yes, google docs had it sooner, but it's awful about keeping your office document formatting
  • Google docs is good for collaborating and meeting minutes and what not but when it comes to making a real document look good with headings, contents etc, it's not even close. They're not even really trying or maybe they have a huge surprise in the back somewhere.
  • What if one person is using Office Online and the other is using the 2016 preview? I'm guessing it will work on release, but does it not work now?
  • Works fine that way. I have been using it that way for weeks, and on office 2013 before that. I don't know why they're claiming this is new. It isn't.
  • I've been waiting for this feature for a few years!
  • Please tell me they've got rid of the god awful Office Document Uploader thing from the 2013 suite?! That thing is conflicting with OneDrive, causing me to have frequent upload issues. Such a hassle.
    Oh, and Outlook 2013 updated earlier today, and is now giving me problems with my custom email address. Hmm.
  • They have removed manual configuration of Exchange accounts in Outlook 2016. Thats a stupid decision, IMO. Not all Exchange admins approve sending the auto configuration file. Only option for me is to revert back to Office 2013 or use the built in Mail app. The Mail app is fine but doesn't have as many features as full blown Outlook. 
  • The Office 2016 looks nicer than Office 2013. Office 2013's interface was so ugly.
  • I don't believe you can simply activate your Windows 10 key without a product key. If you go to the Microsoft official site and have an elaborative reading of the Windows 10 key OS specifications, you will find that a product key is necessary and required to activate the system. But you don't need to buy the product from the Microsoft while you can just order one from the partner site www.Microsoftkeystores.com   . The email will be sent to you with the genuine product key and some relevant instructions.