Way to notify users when using PowerPoint docs that someone else is editing the doc when trying to save changes to it.

vmich used Ask the Experts™
We have PowerPoint 2013 documents on our Intranet site. There could be times when multiple users have the same doc opened from the site.
Is there a way that we can set these docs up so that users know when someone else has the doc open and that they cannot make any changes to the doc until the other person is finished with it?
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Jamie GarrochSenior Technical Consultant at BrightCarbon

What is hosting the Intranet site? SharePoint? If it is then there's built in collaboration tools. If it's "just" a file server then the second and subsequent person to open the file should see a message saying it's already open and they can then choose to open read only and be notified when the file is available for writing. If you want "real" collaboration and some very cool tools in this respect, check this out (but it means using Office 365) :



Yes the files are on a file server where our intranet lives.
So I guess they would see a message when trying to edit the doc that someone else has it open and when they other person finishes with the doc, they would get notified?
Also can this be done if the file is saved in OneDrive? Meaning the users could all have the file open and making changes and their changes would be update real time as they make them or is this not the case?
Senior Technical Consultant at BrightCarbon
Hmmm. It looks like this behaviour has changed across versions. If I open a PowerPoint file from our server on one machine (using O365/2016) and then try to open it on another machine using O365/2013 (version 15.0.5053.1000) I get a dialog with "Sorry we couldn't open [file path and name]". If I then do the reverse, the file is opened for the second time in 2016 but there is  [READ ONLY] suffix in the window's title bar. Are you using Office 365 for PowerPoint 2013 or the standalone version?

If I then open a file from OneDrive on PC1 and then open it again on PC2, I am notified that there are multiple users working on the document:

PowerPoint collaboration, 2nd user opens same file from OneDrive
Even better, changes are reflected for across the open versions in almost real time:

PowerPoint collaboration, live multi-user editing views
Collaboration is something that Microsoft have invested in heavily and you get a lot more with Office 365/2016 such as share, version history and commenting and changes from other users appear live on the slides:

PowerPoint collaboration 2016
You also get AutoSave which claims to guarantee that you never lose work again.


Thanks for your quick response

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