Office 2013, SkyDrive Integration Works Reliably for Casual, Pro Writers

By Jeff Cogswell  |  Posted 2013-03-19 Print this article Print

When Person 2 modifies the document, the same thing happens in reverse. In my case, Person 1 is using the desktop version and Person 2 is using the online version of Word. But they work basically the same way. (As a side note, if you haven't checked out the online version of Office, you might want to. It has come a long way compared with competing online office tools.)

Because updates happen only during saves, this brings up an interesting question: What if both people modify the same text at the same time?

I wanted to find out what would happen. I typed a paragraph at the end of the document both in the desktop and Web version. I saved both copies, and Word handled it just fine. It just put one sentence after the other as two separate paragraphs.

But what about single word changes? To try that I synchronized both documents and modified the same word in both. I first saved it from the Web version (Person 2). Then in the local version (Person 1). When I tried to save, I received a notification at the top that a conflict exists and the file can't be saved.

There was also a button labeled Resolve, which I clicked. From there a panel opened that's similar to the track changes feature, whereby I could choose whether to accept or reject my own change. The change that the other guy made, Person 1, was already in place and apparently couldn't be rejected. So I chose to accept my change. And both words appeared in the final document. By accepting my change, I was apparently only accepting whether to include it in the document. The other guy saved it first, and his change took effect regardless of what the other person did.

The original word was "modified." Person 1 changed it to "altered," and Person 2 changed it to "changed." The result was that "modified" and "altered" ran together as one word. So I still had to fix it. That's OK I guess. At least the software made it clear. After all was done, there was a rather casual message: "No more conflicts. You're good to go." As eWEEK previously noted, "Word 2013 Gets Colloquial," in reference to the statement "Typos? Not on our watch."

As I was wrapping up this article, I started to encounter some problems connecting with SkyDrive. For some reason Word was unable to connect to SkyDrive even though my Internet connection was fine. However, the good news is that I was still able to continue typing, and I could keep saving the file locally on my computer without losing my work. I did encounter this once before, and a few minutes later everything was back to normal.


In general, the whole collaborating experience is pretty smooth and works well. SkyDrive and its collaboration features are fully integrated into Office, and they work great. The online version of Office, while technically not part of Word 2013, also works well together in the whole scheme of things.

Even when problems occur such as a bad connection, the system seems to take care of the situation and keep you from losing files. I plan to continue using Word 2013 and SkyDrive for my professional work.


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