Microsoft 365: the key to collaboration
Microsoft 365 works seamlessly across platforms.
Microsoft 365 is available on the Mac App Store – and your 365 subscription gives you full access to all features across all platforms. To subscribe, just log in to any 365 app and upgrade. Here are some ways to create and collaborate using the desktop apps.
Working well means working together. Microsoft 365 shares the same code base across all platforms, allowing 365 users on Mac, iOS and Windows to seamlessly collaborate in real time.
Changes to documents in Word and PowerPoint on your Mac instantly update for all collaborators, while Excel spreadsheets refresh quickly after authors make changes. Edits autosave to the cloud, and you can easily review and revert to previous versions. There’s also a chat option right inside the desktop versions of the apps now for quick conversations.
“Microsoft loves the Mac,” says Rob Howard, Microsoft senior director of Microsoft 365 Marketing. “We’re committed to the Mac as a first-class end point and have made significant investments in the platform.” The upgraded code base also means Mac users will get the latest features more often. The team expects to release new ones every month for 365 subscribers.
Collaboration features are just one of the benefits of this revamped approach, with many more to come. To get started with co-authoring, make sure you have a Microsoft 365 subscription and that your document is saved to OneDrive or SharePoint. Then click the Share button in the upper right corner of your Word, PowerPoint or Excel document and invite others to collaborate. They’ll receive an email with a link to access the file on a desktop or mobile device.
Here’s a quick tour of the sharing features in the suite.
Write together in Word
When collaborators join your Word document, their portraits or initials will appear in the upper corner of the window. And in the document, you’ll see a little flag that shows their name and the location of their cursor, where their edits appear in real time as they type.
The chat window is the ideal way to dash off a quick question to the group. Just keep in mind that chat only supports desktop users for now and the history isn’t saved. If you need to make a more permanent note, just add it as a comment to the document.
Make a shared PowerPoint
In PowerPoint, it’s easy to see the latest changes when you open a document: slides that have been edited are highlighted in turquoise in the thumbnail pane. Clicking on one will open the full slide with specific changes clearly marked.
With autosave enabled on a shared PowerPoint document, all edits appear in real time. To avoid someone writing over another’s work, only one collaborator can make changes in an editable area at a time. If a box is being edited, a brightly coloured border around it lets you know it’s locked.
When you save a document, you’ll be alerted to any conflicting changes so that you can resolve them. Easily access earlier versions of the document by clicking on the Activity button, which looks like a clock with an anticlockwise arrow.
Excel at collaboration
As with Word and PowerPoint, each collaborator’s cursor is marked with a flag in the document, but Excel offers this handy feature: when you click on someone’s portrait in the upper corner of the window, you can then click in the menu to jump to the cell they’re in at the moment. This is particularly helpful in large documents or those with multiple tabs, where a highlighted box might be out of the area you’re viewing. If everyone working in the document has autosave enabled, changes appear in Excel within a matter of seconds. If for any reason you need a previous version of the document, go to File > Restore > Browse Version History.
Your Microsoft 365 subscription gives you full access to all Microsoft 365 apps and features across all platforms. To subscribe, just log in to any 365 app and upgrade.