SharePoint Knowledge Base

Mar 13
Tips for SharePoint Document Management in Office 2013

Companies live and die by their document management. They're how almost all information is stored nowadays so if a company doesn't have a good way for its employees to collaboratively work on a document then a lot of time can be wasted. Fortunately SharePoint document libraries allow documents to be a centralized location so everyone can access them and those documents can be checked out, edited, and then checked back in. This allows multiple people to work on a document and not override someone else which is always good news to hear. As a SharePoint consultant, nothing is more frustrating than loosing work that a lot of time has been put into.

This post is an updated version of Tips for SharePoint Document Management in Office 2010. The main concepts of this post are the same as the former post, but the exact procedure has been updated for Office 2013.

Open and Save a Document

When you are in Office and your system is connected to the Internet, you can open a document out on the SharePoint site, work with it on your local computer, then save your changes to SharePoint.


  • Open an application in Microsoft Office. It can be Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.
  • Click the File tab and select Open from the menu. The Open screen will appear.


    Figure 1: The Open Screen

  • Click the Add a Place link. The Add a Place pane will appear.


    Figure 2: The Add a Place Pane

  • Click the Office 365 SharePoint link. If you have not connected to a SharePoint server before, Sign in to get started dialog box will appear.


    Figure 3: The Sign In To Get Started Dialog Box

  • Enter the e-mail address for your company Office 365 account and click Next. The Sign In dialog box will appear.


    Figure 4: The Sign In Dialog Box

  • In the Password field, type your login information, then click Sign In. Any SharePoint sites you have been connected to will be listed in the Open dialog box.


        Figure 5: The Connected SharePoint Sites

  • Click the SharePoint site. Recent folders will appear in the right pane.
  • Click the Browse button. The Open dialog box will appear.


    Figure 6: The Open Dialog Box

  • Click the desired document, then click Open. The document will open in the respective Office application.


    Figure 7: The Opened Document

  • Once the document editing is complete, click the File tab, then click Save. The new version of the document will be saved on the document workspace site, and the document will remain open in the Office application. If version control is activated for your workspace, you will be given a choice to save the document as a draft version or a published major version. For more information, see "Activate Version Control."

Note: If you try to save without checking in, you'll get a warning bar to indicate that the document is not checked in.


Checking Out and Checking In a Document

When a document is being edited from a document library, a user can quickly open the document, make changes, and then save the document back into the workspace. If there are many users who may be working on the same document at the same time and you intend to work on the document offline, it may be better to formally check the document out. After you have completed your edits on a checked out document, you will need to check it back in to the document workspace so others can edit the document.

Checking Out a Document Steps:

  • Follow the steps in the first part of this blog post on how to open a document.
  • Click the File tab and click Info from the menu. The Info window will appear.


    Figure 8: The Document Info Window

  • Click the Manage Versions button, then click the Check Out option. The document will be checked out to you, but will remain stored on the SharePoint system.

Checking In a Document Steps:

  • When your edits are complete in the checked out document, click the File tab and select Info from the menu. The Info pane will appear.


    Figure 9: The Document Info Pane

  • Click the Check In button. The Check In dialog box will appear.


    Figure 10: The Check In Dialog Box

  • In the Version Comments field, enter any notes.
  • Click OK. The document will be checked back in to the document workspace. Although the document has been checked in, the document will remain open, but read-only.


We love helping with SharePoint and it's all we do so feel free to contact us!

Mention this post and we'll send you a white paper on all of the ways to manage documents with SharePoint!


There are no comments for this post.