New Dropbox features allow multiple users to collaborate on MS Office files

12 Dec 2014

Dropbox has begun rolling out its Project Harmony service, which allows multiple users to collaborate on Microsoft Office office documents via the file-hosting service.

Users of Word, Excel and PowerPoint can now simultaneously work on files in their Dropbox folders through the new Dropbox Badge that appears at the side of the screen.

Utilising the Dropbox Badge, it’s possible to keep track of who is editing a document and view any changes that are made, eliminating the need for long email threads between collaborators.

When another person is editing a file at the same time, the Dropbox Badge displays an exclamation mark icon. If that person saves their changes first, the badge turns blue with a download arrow, allowing the user to update to the latest version.

As pointed out by VentureBeat, the badge works across different versions of Office, with Office 2007, Office 2010, and Office 2013 supported on Windows 7 and Windows 8.x. Office 2011, meanwhile, is supported on OS X 10.8, OS X 10.9 and OS X 10.10.

Dropbox has released the a video to demonstrate the new features. Click below to watch.

Users won’t, however, be able to use Clip Art in the collaborative efforts, as Microsoft recently replaced the graphics with Bing’s newer Image Search. In a since-removed blog by Microsoft, plans were announced to make the shift amid a slump in interest.

“The Clip Art and image library has closed shop,” said Microsoft’s Doug Thomas on the blog post. “Usage of Office’s image library has been declining year-to-year as customers rely more on search engines.”

Collaboration image via Shutterstock

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Dean Van Nguyen was a contributor to Silicon Republic