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Creating a SharePoint Document Workspace via Word 2007 (Part 6): Working with the Document Updates Pane

Welcome to what may be the final part in what's become something of an epic-length series on the integration between Document Workspaces and Word 2007.  I say this "may" be the final part because if you've been reading along, you know that in the course of preparing today's blog, it's entirely possible that I'll either a) learn something new that merits yet another continuance of the series, b) discover that there's just too much more to say to wrap it up in a single post, or c) all of the above.  Let's find out together, shall we?

As promised, in today's dispatch I'll be taking a look at the Document Updates pane within Word 2007.  What is the Document Updates pane, you ask?  That's a very good question, and it's also a fine starting point, so let's get right to it.

When changes have been made to a document which exists within a Document Workspace (changes made either by you to the local copy while you were offline, or by someone else having made changes to the online version in the Document Workspace), and you then open the document in Word while connected to your SharePoint environment, you'll receive a helpful notification that the local copy and the online copies are out of sync.  When you open such an out of sync document in Word, you'll see the following Shared Workspace notice which will appear prominently between the document itself and the toolbar:

Shared Workspace notice to Resolve Conflict

Upon clicking the Resolve Conflict button, the Document Updates pane will render (in the same real estate where we've become accustomed to seeing the Document Management pane), and which will provide a series of options to resolve the conflict(s):

Document Updates pane in Word 2007

As you would expect, it is via this Document Updates pane that you will actually resolve the conflicts between the two versions of the document.  When I was first confronted by these available options, I selected the Keep My Copy link under the Replace heading.  After an interstitial "are you sure?" popup, I received the following confirmation message in the Document Updates pane:

Document Updates pane in Word 2007: Document is up to date message.

Returning to the options under the heading of Replace, there is one choice other than Keep My Copy and, naturally enough, it is Keep Workspace Copy.  Clicking this button will essentially ignore any changes made in your local copy and will certify the copy in the Document Workspace as the preferred version (after you've acted upon an "are you sure?" message).  In addition to the Replace options, there are two additional headings in terms of your available choices when resolving a conflict between conflicting versions of a document:  Merge, and Compare.

Clicking the Merge Copies button will automatically call out the differences between the two versions by changing the font color (from black to red by default in my document), and allowing you to accept or reject all changes or each change individually.  In my test case, I'd only made one change, so right-clicking that change surfaced the following menu items, including of course, Accept Change and Reject Change:

The final option available to resolve conflicting versions of a document falls under the Compare heading.  Clicking the Open Workspace Copy button in that space allows you to view both copies and make changes manually.  This is accomplished by (automaticall) opening each version and, as with the Merge Copies action, calling out the differences between the two documents and requiring you to act upon each change individually.

This concludes the methods by which you are able to resolve conflicts via the Document Updates pane within Word 2007.  And sure enough, I've still got more to say on the subject of Word and Document Workspace integration, so tune in next time when I think I really will be able to draw this series to a close.

Read the entire Creating a Document Workspace via Word 2007 series:

Posted Jun 22 2009, 05:03 PM by Anonymous | Edit this post

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