The Ins and Outs of Office Collaboration Tools

If you have a distributed workforce, one of your top challenges is figuring out how to support employees in different locations so that they can effectively and productively collaborate. It can be tough to get everyone on the same page when it comes to timelines, task assignments, document creation and review, revisions, follow up, and other common team processes.

While organizations used to have to rely on manual procedures to get collaborative work done, which was both cumbersome and costly, teams today are in the lucky position of having all-in-one office productivity suites to make the job much easier. WPS Office offers a wide range of built-in collaboration tools that make virtual communication for distributed teams potentially as smooth as when people are co-located.

It comes down to knowing which tools to use for what purpose—and then ensuring that everyone on your distributed teams has access to them. Here are some key features to help your teams navigate WPS Office’s wide range of collaborative resources that can help bridge the gap—and improve communication and productivity—between even the most distantly located employees:

Track Changes

The WPS Office platform includes a document collaboration function in Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets that supports the ability for users of both WPS Office and Microsoft Office to continuously track and review each other’s changes. The Track Changes function gives teams a way to “talk to each other” in their documents—including Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files—by making edits that others can see. Whenever you make a change to your document such as inserting/deleting words or adding formatting, the program will reveal your changes via “redlines,” which simply means red characters are used to indicate textual changes.

To mark up a document using Track Changes in WPS Office Writer so that other team members can see your comments, simply open the document that you want to modify, click on the Track Changes mode in the menu bar, and then begin to edit the document as you would normally. The difference is that the changes you make to the document will be marked on screen, so that it’s clear what has been modified. Your user name will also be attributed to your edits (along with the date and time that you made the changes), and if other users add edits to the same document, their names will be linked to their specific changes.

You can also view the document in different ways using the Display for Review drop-down menu under Track Changes. For example, you can select Final Show Markup to apply all changes and see the final version of your document with the changes incorporated. You can also select Original Show Markup if you want to see all of the changes made by each editor of the document.

Insert Comments

In addition to having the ability to make copy edits to your documents, you can also insert and delete comments at specific points in your documents that your team can read and review at their convenience. The comments appear in comment balloons in the right-hand margin of your document, with your user name, date, and time attached to each comment. However, the inserted comments don’t become a part of the document unless the document’s author accepts them.

To make an editorial comment to the team in a document, just place your mouse pointer to the spot in the document where you want the comment to be inserted. Then open the Review tab and click the icon called New Comment. A comment balloon will appear to the side, and you can type in your comment.

If you make a comment and then decide it’s not necessary, it’s also simple to delete comments. Just open the Review tab and click the icon labelled Delete. You’ll see a drop-down list that gives you the option to either delete just the current comment (Delete Comment), or to delete every comment in the full document (Delete All Comments).


Other Collaboration Tools

WPS Office offers many other handy functions as well that can help teams with document collaboration. These include:

  • Section Navigation. If you’re responsible for editing one part of a massive document while other team members tackle different sections, you’ll all appreciate the Section Navigation feature. It’s easy to use and allows users to easily navigate through documents to quickly get right where they need to go without cumbersome scrolling. In WPS Office Word, simply click the Section Navigation icon to open the task window. From there, you’ll be able to edit specific parts of your document including the Cover page, Table of Contents, and Sections listed there.
  • Highlight Duplicates. When working on group spreadsheets, one of the challenges is redundant data reporting from different team members. WPS Office Spreadsheets offers a way to prevent this using the Highlight Duplicates function. To use it, open your worksheet in Spreadsheets and click on the Duplicates icon in the Data tab. In the drop-down list, choose Highlight Duplicates. The Highlight Duplicate dialogue box will open, requesting your permission to reveal the cells containing duplicate data. If you confirm permission, then any duplicated data that appears in the row or column that you select will be highlighted in orange.
And remember—because WPS Office has full compatibility with Microsoft, it also allows your team to work with anyone else using MS Office, whether in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. This compatibility is just one more layer of support for distributed teams that you can get from the right office collaboration tools.

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