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In any company there are almost always many documents that pertain to basically everything in a company. Most of these documents usually need to be edited by multiple people, but what is a good way to collaboratively work on documents through SharePoint? Document libraries in SharePoint allow documents to be in a centralized location where everyone can access them and from there they can be checked out, edited, and then checked back in. This system allows multiple people to edit a document without accidently overriding someone else's work which is good news for a SharePoint consultant!
When you are in Office and your system is connected to the Internet, you can open an existing document from a document library to work with it on your local computer, then save your changes in the library.
Figure 1: The Open Dialog Box
Figure 2: The Shared Documents Library Appears in the Open Dialog Box
Figure 3: The Opened Document
Note: If you try save without checking in, you'll get a warning bar to indicate that the document is not checked in.
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 many users are working on the same document, however, it is better to formally check the document out while making edits, to prevent other users from overwriting your changes. You also may be required to check out documents by a library's properties. 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.
Note: You may have to enter your login information when the file opens.
Figure 4: The Document Info Window
Figure 5: The Document Info Pane
Figure 6: The Check In Dialog Box
A new version of this post has been for Office 2013. Click here to see it.
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