About co-editing in spreadsheets

You can use IBM® Docs to simultaneously edit a spreadsheet together with others through the Internet. It can greatly improve the simplicity and efficiency to build spreadsheets.


When creating a spreadsheet, sometimes you need input or information from coworkers or friends, and you have to edit the spreadsheet together. In traditional office productivity applications, you have to save your spreadsheet on your computer hard disk, and then send it to coworkers by email or exchange a USB flash drive. Moreover, they must install desktop clients, such as Lotus® Symphony™ or Microsoft Office on their computers. While they edit the spreadsheet, you cannot see their changes until they send the spreadsheet back to you. Much time is wasted in emailing attachments back and forth. Now co-editing can help you solve this issue. As long as there is Internet access, every one can edit the spreadsheet at the same time and you can see their changes immediately. The only requirement is that you have shared the file with them and set their access to the file as editors.

For many customers, Lotus Symphony is a smart choice. It is free of charge, supports Windows, Linux, and Mac OS operating systems, and provides a powerful and complete office productivity suite. IBM Docs supports user profiles and user scenarios that do not need all the power of a rich client. With IBM Docs, you can work in highly collaborative ways on more dynamic, informal documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

In co-editing, you can edit different cells or in the same cell, column, or row. You can easily tell who is in the co-editing mode by checking the editors list on the sidebar. Changes from different editors are highlighted in different colors, and IBM Docs saves the changes instantly and automatically. When you finish your co-editing work, any editor can save the spreadsheet to the server.


Linda is an assistant in the IT department, and she is required to hand in a computer status report to her manager. Linda creates a spreadsheet and needs data from IT representatives of the five teams. Before, Linda had to send email attaching the spreadsheet to each representative, and then merge the versions together that were sent back by each person. Now IBM Docs can help Linda to finish the report efficiently. Linda creates a spreadsheet, shares it with the five representatives and sets their access roles as editors, and then asks them to complete the required information. Linda can view the report by the five representatives immediately. Then when the co-editing is finished, Linda can share the spreadsheet with her manager and ask for review and comments.

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