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What version of Excel (on Windows) is required to do co-authoring?

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Eric Davis
Contributor

I recently say this post: https://blogs.office.com/en-us/2017/08/31/new-to-office-365-in-august-enriching-teamwork/  That says Excel real time co-authoring is now generally available.  What version of excel (on Windows) is required to make this work?  

29 Replies
Solution

Eric,

 

co-authoring is available as of version 1707 build 8326.2058.

 

Yes, this is the right build, it also has to be O365 subscription.

I have a user that is running 1708 build 8431.2153 (and I'm running 1712 build 8827.2117) and I shared a workbook with him that is stored in my ODFB, but he doesn't see co-authoring (i.e. there is no AutoSave button for him.) Any idea why that would occur?

Thank you Detlef, all those requirements are being met, yet the user still can't co-author (the AutoSave button does not appear.)

I have no further ideas.

Maybe someone else has.

 

Both issues (AutoSave and Co-authoring) were fixed starting from the build 8431.2094, but only for Current channel. If the user is on semi-annual channel it is still not supported.

More details is here

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Fixes-or-workarounds-for-recent-issues-in-Excel-for-Windows...

 

Thanks for link. The user is running build 8431.2153 so neither of these issues should be a problem for him.

Yes, this build appeared a week ago https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/mt465751.aspx and Microsfoft mentions Autosave in list of fixes for it

  • Fix an issue where the AutoSave toggle isn't visible.
  • Fix an issue where, when opening a file saved in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint that is synced using a sync client, AutoSave is incorrectly disabled or grayed out.

When it is for the support ticket.

 

I have two users running Version 1708 Build 8431.2236 ...higher than the stated requirements for desktop Excel co-authoring. Neither of them can open an Excel that I shared with them from my OneDrive for Business. They can co-author in Excel online (i.e., the browser version) but they cannot co-author in Excel desktop (the file will not open for them if I already have it open.) If I'm not in the file, they can open it individually and save changes, which I see later after they've closed it and I re-open it.

 

They are on Office 365 semi-annual channel and I'm on Monthly targeted channel. They do not have the AutoSave button in the upper left corner of Excel (which I believe it supposed to provide a good visual indicator that the user has the correct version for co-authoring.)

 

How do I get them co-authoring in Excel desktop? What version is required?

Does anyone have an answer for this??

At one point, I found some code on a MS forum and it changed my update channel to the monthly channel and then I had co-authoring with AutoSave.  Then the admins did an update and I was back on the Semi-Annual Channel and the functionality went away.

 

So, as far as I can tell, those of us on the "Semi-annual Channel" don't have that feature enabled yet.  The next update is due July 2018.  

 

Ideally, there would be a document that would indicate which features, such as this one, is available in a given build/release.

Thanks Noel. That comment is relatively new, Microsoft never previously stipulated that semi-annual channel wouldn't have Excel desktop co-authoring, even if the user was on the correct (or higher) build.

 

I don't understand why the release channel is preventing the user from getting this functionality. I sure hope there isn't any other functionality that semi-annual channel doesn't have. I wish there was a list somewhere that summarized what user get/don't get.

Is there an update on this? My client really wants co-authoring in Excel but is currently on semi-annual. Does it work in semi-annual targeted? The targeted release must be hitting the semi-annual channel soon?

I had issues with co-authoring. I had to make two changes:

 

2. Disable "Refresh data when opening the file" on the pivot tables in the workbook.
 
To disable "Refresh data when opening the file":
1. Open the workbook.
2. Highlight a PivotChart.
3. In the Analyze ribbon click Options.
4. Go to the data tab and uncheck "Refresh data when opening the file".
You may need to repeat steps 2-4 on each PivotChart.

 


@John Gruber wrote:

semi-annual doesn't work at this time. 


Should it work now?

My work computer is using the semi-annual channel, current office version is 1803 build 9126.2282. But I'm still unable to do co-authoring.

No, you'll need to switch to the monthly release cycle.

Or semi-annual channel Targeted, it's here from September. All history is here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/semi-annual-channel-targeted-2018


@John Gruber wrote:

No, you'll need to switch to the monthly release cycle.


That's a bit difficult to understand,

Does that mean that for the *same* version numbers (1803), included features are *different* depending of the channel? 

I assumed that semi annual channel implies only delayed updates but that same version => same features.

Moreover, according to the timestamp of  the first answer in this thread (09-07-2017) co-authoring have been available more than one year ago (in the monthly channel I presume)

Using semi-annual channel I thought it would have it available not later than 6 month later. Or am I missing something here?

 

 


@Sergei Baklan wrote:

Or semi-annual channel Targeted, it's here from September. All history is here https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/semi-annual-channel-targeted-2018


I'm stuck with the non "targeted" (dont know the meaning of this attribute) channel and here's the version I'm using:

Is0vQ1O

Screenshot taken here : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/officeupdates/update-history-office365-proplus-by-date

There are different current build numbers on different channel, you may check the link

Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted) - Version 1808 (Build 10730.20155)

Semi-Annual Channel - Version 1803 (Build 9126.2295)

Monthly ChannelVersion 1809 (Build 10827.20150)

 

On the other hand Microsoft deploys new functionality gradually, that means people on the same channel and build could have different set of functionality - it takes time to deploy for all tenants.

 

For monthly channel co-authoring was introduced in July previous year, however feature was updated couple of times after that, perhaps that's the reason of the delay, I don't know. In general yes, that is 6 months cycle for semi-annual channel https://docs.microsoft.com/en-gb/DeployOffice/overview-of-update-channels-for-office-365-proplus

 


@Sergei Baklan wrote:

people on the same channel and build could have different set of functionality - it takes time to deploy for all tenants.

If I understand correctly  (even if I don't catch the meaning of "tenant" in this context: Google translate being been far from helpful here :-) )  this confirm that same build number doesn't implies same functionality.

That greatly reduce the reliability of release notes then!

 

  For monthly channel co-authoring was introduced in July previous year,


That's more than one year ago.

In my company we're stuck to semi-annual channel (thanks to our IT Team :-/ )

I conclude that we will have to wait *at least* 6 month to obtain this feature.

Bummer!

 

To be more specific, I do not exactly need "realtime live co editing".

I simply would like the option for multiple users to open read/write an Excel worksheet located in Microsoft cloud at the same time without being blocked by the "Excel file is locked for editing by another user" error and being able to synchronize modification when pressing the "save" button.

 

That tooltip seem to indicate that it could be possible:

 

I6gb4GH

But I've been unable to make it work

Is this feature a part of co-authoring too?

>even if I don't catch the meaning of "tenant" in this context

 

Tenant = customer/company. So https://company1.sharepoint.com is one tenant, https://company2.sharepoint.com is another tenant. Technically, each one is a subdomain on a webserver.

 

>In my company we're stuck to semi-annual channel (thanks to our IT Team :-/ )

 

Coming to the defence of the IT team :-) They do this to help you, not hinder. The closer you get to the release date, the more bugs you will encounter. So a semi-annual release schedule means that those dare devils on the monthly channel have found most of the bugs before you.

 

Large companies put stability way above new features.

 

If you want a shock, get yourself on the insiders channel - boy does Office look *very* different. I've got this running in a test virtual machine. Not sure I like it...

 

BTW - if you have admin rights on your work computer, you can switch channel yourself. But IT will quite rightly possibly not want to support you :-)

 

 

 

PS. wearing my developer head, adding co-authouring to a very well established product with millions of man hours of development by different people over many years will not have been a trivial change. So I do have some sympathy for delaying it's release. As I noted above, large companies value stability over new features. Considering most people use the features they learnt in Office 2000 eighteen years ago, most don't jump up and down when things change :-) Google, as in many things like Chrome, had the benefit of not having to support legacy systems so could incorporate co-authouring from the off.

@Helios Comms wrote:

 

If you want a shock, get yourself on the insiders channel - boy does Office look *very* different. I've got this running in a test virtual machine. Not sure I like it...

 

BTW - if you have admin rights on your work computer, you can switch channel yourself. But IT will quite rightly possibly not want to support you :-) 


I could (and I do) test monthly channel on my home computer too so that's not a problem. But here, we are speaking of a data sharing feature. It doesn't make much sense to test it *alone*.

 

My major grief is that I cannot understand why this, ability for several users opening the same excel workbook and have their edits merged using the "save" function, which I've been using for ages with previous Office versions with file located on shared network drives, is still not possible with cloud based storage yet.

Probably the differences between HTTP access using the notoriously flaky WebDAV (I think) and the incredibly well-established SMB/CIFS (Windows) or NFS protocol (Unix) protocols.

As for testing alone, that's what the monthly and targeted annual channels are for. IT can put/switch a few trusted users onto the newer versions for in place testing.

Although from this thread, I recall that co-authouring isn't coming until the next semi-annual release which is a shame. I'm pretty sure Microsoft want it out there as they are loosing customers to Google suite offering two key features late to Office: co-authouring and auto-save. Although there is a lot of resistance to say the least to auto-save from my clients but that's because change is *hard*. They complain when Office crashes and looses documents they haven't saved but then complain when Office automatically saves ones documents to OneDrive and SharePoint. Can't win ;-) Re-training is needed - most of them have no idea that "Version history" is there...

@Helios Comms wrote:
Although there is a lot of resistance to say the least to auto-save from my clients but that's because change is *hard*. 

The sad thing here is that me and my collègues do not need "auto-save" or live co-authoring neither: what we're waiting for is just the ability to synchronize change of edits made on a excel file, opened at the same time, when saving (as we did before switching to cloud).