The challenges of collaborating on Microsoft Word documents

As the features and power of Microsoft Word (and other packages) increase it opens up ever more opportunities to do things in different ways. So documents with multiple authors can get in quite a mess.

It’s tempting to try to restrict what users can do – to limit their choices – but that risks getting users so frustrated that they just ignore the corporate way and do their own thing.

We build templates with a user ribbon that has the vast majority of tools that users need on a day-to-day basis. So it’s easier to use the bespoke table tool than it is to use the default Microsoft one; the key corporate text styles are available in a group, and any other company specific tasks are to hand too.

So if you can ensure all of the users in a group have the template loaded (in a common file location such as C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Templates) and it is set up so that users are offered the corporate template as default (as opposed to Normal.dotx) then you have a better chance of people working in the same way and your documents will be more consistent and look more professional.

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