Best Practices For High Collaboration Items

Tags Box BoxDrive

High collaboration files are files that multiple people access and edit frequently. Problems arise when users access and edit the same file simultaneously without taking the necessary precautions. The most consistent and irritating of these problems is the accidental creation of duplicate files. As of now, the best solution to these problems is locking files before you edit them. Click here to learn more about locking files.

This article explains the best practices that will minimize these issues, especially the duplication of files. It will outline common scenarios users encounter and then explain how to ensure that files are not accidentally copied.


Working with files that are open in Office Online

Working with files that are locked

SCENARIO 1:

User A opens a file to edit in Office Online (this only applies to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), a hidden lock is automatically placed on that file.

  • In Box on the web, User B will not have the option to open the file using the apps installed on their machine (i.e. via Box Edit). The option to do so is either grayed out or missing altogether. The file will have a small icon indicating that it is open in Office Online.

  • In Box Drive (File Explorer), User B will see a red dot with a white-closed padlock next to the file indicating that the file is locked.
  • If User B opens the file it will open in "Read-Only". User B will not be able to directly save from here, they will have to "Save as" and rename the file to save. Attempting to save while the file is locked will result in the following error message. 

 

Current Best Practice for files that are automatically locked due to editing in Office Online:

In Box on the web:

  • If User B needs to edit the file, User B will need to open the file in Office Online to edit simultaneously with User A.
  • If User B needs to view the file only, User B can use the previewer available via Box in a web browser.
  • Office Online sometimes fails to unlock files although the Office Online edit tab is closed. In this case, User B will need to verify that the file is actually locked. The only way to know if the file should actually be locked is to open the file in Office Online and see if anyone else is currently working on it. If a name displays on the right hand side of the Office Online editor, that person may be working on the file.
    • However, if the file does not appear as though it is being edited, User B will have to contact the person whose name appears in the editor to see if they are still editing. If they are not working on the file, User B may unlock the file manually.

In Box Drive (File Explorer)

  • If User B needs to edit the file, User B will need to open the file using Office Online. Right-click the file, scroll to the “Box” option, select “View on Box.com” and then open in Office Online to edit simultaneously.

  • If User B needs to view the file only, open it like normal but DO NOT save.
    • User B may “Save as” if any changes were made but this will create a duplicate of the file and the new file will not contain changes made by User A.

 

SCENARIO 2: 

User A explicitly locks a file via Box on the web or in Box Drive because they do not want anyone else to be able to edit.

  • In Box on the web, User B will not be able to open the file in Office Online or via Box Edit. The file will have a red icon on the left side of the “Updated” column indicating that the file is locked. Hovering over the icon will display information regarding who locked the file and for how long.

  • In Box Drive (File Explorer), User B will see a red dot with a white-closed padlock next to the file indicating that the file is locked. If User B opens the file it will open without any indication that it was previously locked. Saving from here will result in an error, usually “Insufficient Permissions” and a copy of the file will be made.

Current Best Practice for working with locked files.

In Box on the web:

  • If User A does not want anyone to access the file at all, User A will have to lock the file and disable downloads. This prevents the file from being opened in Office Online and from being downloaded via Box on the web or in Box Drive. Without disabling downloads, other users will be able to open the file in Box Drive which can potentially create copies of the file.  
  • If User B needs to edit the file, User B will need to contact the person who locked it. Hover over the red icon on the left side of the “Updated” column to display who locked the file and for how long.
  • If User B needs to view the file only, User B can use the previewer available via Box in a web browser.

In Box Drive (File Explorer)

  • If User A does not want anyone to access the file at all, User A will have to lock the file and disable downloads in Box on the web. Files can be locked in Box Drive but the download cannot be disabled from there.

  • If User B needs to edit the file, User B will need to contact the person who locked it. Right-click the file, scroll to the “Box” option, select “View on Box.com.” Then, hover over the red icon located near the top of the page to display who locked the file and for how long.

  • If User B needs to view the file only, User B can use the previewer available via Box in a web browser. Right-click the file, scroll to the “Box” option, select “View on Box.com.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Details

Article ID: 50716
Created
Wed 3/21/18 11:36 AM
Modified
Mon 4/17/23 3:44 PM