Remember when learning how to share meant taking turns with your Batman action figure during recess? Well in business we’re still learning the rules when it comes to sharing and collaborating with team members, because technology is constantly evolving. So occasionally you run into problems, like when you open a team report only to find your work inadvertently overwritten by a coauthor.
SharePoint—as the name implies—is all about sharing. The program’s check-out feature makes it easy to enforce taking turns. When you check out a document, everyone can see that you’ve got it, and the document remains locked until you check it back in.
To check out a document:
1. Hover your mouse pointer over the document, and click the list arrow that appears on the right.
2. From the menu, click Check Out .
3. A dialog box opens, notifying you that you’re about to check out this document. If you want to use your local drafts folder to store the document, you can select that box. Click OK to continue.
4. Now you can open the document as usual and edit it even when you’re offline. The document icon shows that this document is checked out, and when you hover your pointer over it, it shows that you are the one who has it.
With your team report checked out, you can feel comfortable making notes to yourself right in the document without worrying about how it looks—changes you make won’t be visible until you check the document back in. And because the document is locked, you never need to worry that others are working on the document simultaneously and overwriting your changes. They’ll just have to wait until you check the document in again.
So follow in Batman’s footsteps and take matters into your own hands—check out your documents in SharePoint and join the fight against lost changes.