The short version

Simul Documents is now a member of Microsoft’s Office Cloud Storage Partner Program. This allows you to conveniently edit your documents in Word Online while leveraging all of Simul’s version control features.

What is Word Online

Microsoft offers an online version of all its Office applications. Cloud Storage Partners can then integrate their services to allow users a convenient in browser editing experience.

For Simul, this allows you to edit your Word documents directly in the browser enabling you to make revisions from devices without Office installed. When editing your documents, you can now choose which editor best suits your needs at the time:

Selecting “Open in Word Online” will launch Microsoft’s Word Online in a new browser tab:

Any changes you make will be automatically saved and pushed back to Simul by Microsoft. When you close the tab, Simul will create the new revision and detect all changes:

Word vs Word Online

It’s up to you – Word Online offers an excellent, quick and convenient way to make changes to your documents. The biggest advantage is that you no longer need Office installed to make revisions. If you find yourself on a device without Office, you only need a web browser to make changes.

Word desktop is still a more powerful application in terms of its features set. Some review and mail merge functions are only available in the desktop version but the convenience of Word Online compliments this well.

Version Control – keeping track of your changes

Most other cloud storage partners offer a co-authoring experience which is inbuilt into Word Online. Whilst this is a useful feature which can make collaborating on a document faster, it can obscure the documents version history and make it hard to see who is responsible for certain changes.

Simul offers a more sophisticated system which includes “branches” and “merges” to help keep a clear audit trail. If two users edit the same document in Word Online concurrently, Simul will create separate branches like so:

Simul will show you exactly what each user has changed when compared to the previous version. Simul will then allow you to merge the branches and create a new version including both sets of the users changes like so:

This is a very similar experience to co-authoring, except that changes are kept separate until you decide it is appropriate to merge. We believe this helps you better understand the version history and keeps you in control of your documents.

Office Cloud Storage Partner Program

We are very excited to be a member of Microsoft’s Cloud Storage Partner Program. This program offers Simul’s users more benefits than just Word Online, we are already looking at integration with Microsoft’s Office Apps for IOS and Android devices. As we integrate with more of Microsoft’s Office suite, we’ll be sure to get in touch.

Office 365 Advantages

To take advantage of Microsoft’s complete offering, including Word Online, ensure you have an Office 365 Subscription.

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