A brief guide to using the Box for Office Online integration for online document editing and real-time collaboration.


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About Box at Penn State

Box is a secure, cloud-based, commercial file storage, sharing, and collaboration service provided by Penn State for faculty, staff, and students. Access your Box at Penn State account at http://box.psu.edu and find resources to help you get started on the training page.

About the Office Online Integration

Box is integration with Office Online lets you create Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files in Box, edit them using the Office Online web applications, and save them directly back to Box without downloading anything or leaving your browser. This integration also supports collaborative editing, so you and your collaborators can work on Office files together in real-time.

Create a New File from Box

You can use the Office Online integration to edit Office files you already have stored in your Box account, but you can also create new Office files directly within Box. Use the following steps to create a new Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file in your Box account using the Office Online integration:

  1. Go to http://box.psu.edu and log in to your account. You are now on All File.
  2. Click the New button and select Word, PowerPoint, or Excel.

Create a new document in Box using Box for Office Online

Figure 1: Create a new document in Box using Box for Office Online.

  1. In the dialog box that appears, enter the file name.

Edit a File Using Box for Office Online

When you would like to make changes to an Office file in Box, use the following steps to open the file using Office Online:

  1. Open the folder containing the Microsoft Office file you wish to edit.
  2. Locate your document, and click the document’s title to preview it.
  3. From the preview screen, select the Open button followed by PowerPoint Online, Word Online, or Excel Online, depending on the type of file you are editing.

Open a document in Box using Box for Office Online

Figure 2: Open a document in Box using Box for Office Online.

Saving Your Files

Office Online auto-saves any changes you make in your documents, so you don't need to manually save anything.

See the doument's auto-save status in the top menu bar

Figure 3: See the document’s auto-save status in the top menu bar.

Real-Time Collaboration with Office Online

Box for Office Online supports real-time co-authoring and co-editing, which means multiple people can edit a single document simultaneously, and all changes will be automatically saved back to Box. When multiple people are editing a document, their names will appear in the upper right corner of the screen. Your collaborator's text cursor will appear in a unique color, and their name will be displayed next to it.

See collaborators' name and locations within the document during real-time collaboration

Figure 4: See collaborators’ names and locations within the document during real-time collaboration.

Using Comments in Box for Office Online

Add a Comment to the Document

  1. When a document is open in Office Online, select the Review tab at the top of the page, and click the button to Show Comments.

Click show comments to view the comments sidebar

Figure 5: Click show comments to view the comments sidebar.

  1. Use your cursor to select the part of the document where you would like to insert a comment. This will cause the comments sidebar to appear on the right side of the screen.
  2. Click New Comment in the comment sidebar, type your comment in the text field, and click Post.

Highlight text and click new comment to add a comment to the document

Figure 6: Highlight text and click new comment to add a comment to the document.

Preview Comments in Box

  1. Navigate to the document in Box.
  2. Click on the document to open the preview screen. Comments will be visible in the document preview.

See how comments appear on the preview screen in Box

Figure 7: See how comments appear on the preview screen in Box.

Tracking Changes in Box for Office Online

If you would like to track all of the changes to a document, including contributions from other collaborators, you will need to enable the Track Changes option in the desktop version of Microsoft Word before uploading the document to Box. Follow the steps below to upload, edit, and view a document with Track Changes enabled:

Enable Track Changes in a Document

  1. Create a new Word document using your desktop version of Microsoft Word.
  2. Navigate to the Review tab and click the Track Changes.

Click the track changes button in Microsoft Word to enable track changes for a document

Figure 8: Click the track changes button in Microsoft Word to enable track changes for a document.

  1. Save the document to your computer.
  2. Upload the document to your Box account.

Edit the Document using Box for Office Online

Open and edit the document using Office Online (see instructions in the previous section of this guide). At the bottom of the page, you should now see a message stating that track changes is on.

See track changes message in the document's status bar

Figure 9: See the track changes message in the document’s status bar.

Preview Tracked Changes in Box

As you and your collaborators edit the document in Office Online, all changes will be tracked automatically. Use the following steps to view the tracked changes:

  1. Navigate to the document in Box.
  2. Click on the document to open the preview screen. Tracked changes will be visible in the document preview.

See how tracked changes appear on the preview screen in Box

Figure 10: See how tracked changes appear on the preview screen in Box.

NOTE: You can also view the tracked changes by downloading the document from Box and opening it in the desktop version of Microsoft Word.

Training for: 
Faculty
Staff
Students
Type of Training: 
DocumentationDocumentation
Training Topic: 
Collaboration
Teaching and Learning
Service or Technology: 
Box
Training Level: 
Introduction

Training for: 
Faculty
Staff
Students
Type of Training: 
DocumentationDocumentation
Training Topic: 
Collaboration
Teaching and Learning
Service or Technology: 
Box