Collaborating on a document in 2015

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Rusty33, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Rusty33 macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
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    Australia
    #1
    Hi folks,

    We're now halfway through the year, and a number of the big boys (Apple, Google, MS) are trumpeting their word processors, and in particular, 'sharing' and 'collaborative' features. I understand that the past year has seen some substantial improvements across the board in terms of collaborative offerings, and I am wondering if anyone can comment on the current state-of-play. Which platform do you use to collaborate, and why?

    All of course have their benefits and shortcomings, but I have found myself in the google docs camp for quite some time now. I have been using google docs largely for its track changes functionality, but also for its ease of use for other collaborators. This latter point is particularly important, as my collaborators use a myriad of operating systems, are often not tech savvy, are extremely resistant to using anything but traditional .doc files sent via email, and may, or may not have Office 365 or OneDrive (or even know what either is). If you work in a university, or with academics you'll know what I'm talking about here. Ease of use here is critical, or unfortunately it gets thrown in the 'too-hard' basket.

    Is google docs still the king in 2015? Has anyone used other platforms in academic environments with any success?

    Looking forward to your insights.
     
  2. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

    Joined:
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    Location:
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    #2
    Our school system has gone Office 365, and for collaboration - I love it! It's easy. It's user friendly. Even a teacher can use it without too much training!
     
  3. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
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    #3
    Thanks!

    But what if you wanted to collaborate with someone external to your school?? Particularly, an individual who does not have Office 365?
     
  4. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #4
    You should be able to share as a Word document in an email attachment. I haven't tried sharing with anyone other than my students and colleagues, so I can't say, for sure.
     
  5. 960design macrumors 68000

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    Destin, FL
    #5
    https://www.apple.com/iwork-for-icloud/

    Apple's iWork for the Cloud has been free for quite some time and has fantastic collaboration tools. Unfortunately, free never gets advertised as much as paid or licensed.
     
  6. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

    Joined:
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    #6
    Thanks for this - I am aware of pages for iCloud, and its sharing capabilities - although have not used it extensively. I was, however, wondering if anyone regularly uses it for collaborative purposes? And, in particular, whether it is better than google docs?
     
  7. 960design macrumors 68000

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    Destin, FL
    #7
    I think the 'better' is relative. I use it to live collaborate with several colleagues at the same time. We are in different countries, yet can edit and view changes immediately. Of course, most of our prototyping is done offline, but when we near the completion of a project, it helps to be able to quickly see everyone's ideas and easily revert them.
     
  8. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #8
    The big drawback of iWorks is that it's Apple only. So if any of your colleagues are PC users, you're stuck.
     
  9. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

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    #9
    From what I understand, PC users can now use pages for iCloud without an apple device...they simply need to register for an apple ID and they are away to the races.
     
  10. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #10
    In one of my previous roles we had Google Docs. It was very good at sharing simple stuff, spreadsheets for gathering information, and basic word processed documents. If however you want a complex document with loads of images, styles, links, references, etc, etc, etc. you will soon find the limits of Google Docs. I think Office 365 is your best bet these days and if your colleagues don't have it, I think the online version is free. This may be enough for them to add their bit.
     
  11. Significant1 macrumors 6502

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    Dec 20, 2014
    #11
    I think the free version, is just called Office online. www.office.com
     
  12. 960design macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #12
    Oops... that would be completely wrong.

    Open up your computer, be it a Chromebook, MacBook, Solaris, Ubuntu, Windows, ect. Start a modern browser ( Chrome or Safari recommended ) and navigate to icloud.com. Log in with your free AppleID and enjoy iWorks. Need to download the document to the local computer? Click the little wrench and download a copy as PDF, Pages, Word, ect. You can even drag and drop Office documents right into the appropriate browser application and it will convert it to a cloud based document and you'll be off and running.

    Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 2.47.25 PM.png

    Easy, peasy.
     
  13. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #13
    Tis true. But you'd be amazed at the number of people out there who hate Apple so much that they won't get a free Apple ID. I know, cause I'm married to one of those haters!

     
  14. ricosuave macrumors 6502

    ricosuave

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  15. Rusty33 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Rusty33

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    #15
    Going back to the original question, however, can you comment on how iCloud offers advantages over say google docs?
     
  16. 960design macrumors 68000

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    #16
    They both work very well. The only advantages are work flow. iCloud offers a better work flow for me, I'm familiar with the 'styling' of the tools and how they work. I find google's tools to be all there, but not very well thought out from a UX point of view. This is all just opinion. Someone, familiar with google will find apple's tools annoying and difficult to navigate.

    The only advantage to iCloud is that the online docs automatically migrate to the equivalent applications on my work macs, home macs and iPad. In that sense it's a bit easier to continue working from multiple devices.
     

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