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Make your files collaboration-friendly

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If your office collaborates on documents and data, inside and outside the organization, you may encounter collaborators using different office suites who need to work on the same file. “So that data file might pass between MS Office, LibreOffice, iWork, WPS—the list goes on and on,” says TechRepublic’s Jack Wallen.

Wallen offers some tips to help make your files easy to share.

•  Utilize open standard format. “Instead of opting for the proprietary Microsoft formats, switch to one that’s welcomed by nearly all office suites: ODF. You’ll find a much more seamless collaboration process.”

•  Use comments, not track changes. This tip works well between Google Docs and other suites. Google Docs does not support tracked changes, so keep editorial remarks and alterations as comments.

•  Keep an unedited backup, or a master file. Anything could happen to your original file.

•  Edit in color. It will be easier to see who made which change.

•  Take advantage of the cloud. Sharing documents via email is inefficient. If you set up a cloud-based system, everyone can access at their convenience without the hassle of emailing attachments back and forth. Be sure you don’t overwrite other users’ edits. To ensure everyone’s changes remain intact, everyone in­volved will need to communicate well while they’re working in the document.

— Adapted from “10 tips for easier collaboration between office suites,” Jack Wallen, TechRepublic.

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