Easily Collaborate on Any File Type Using Box Apps

Go Paperless! IT Training can help!

This is part of a series of articles that will appear over the next few months as part of the Go Paperless initiative at Indiana University.

Two Box apps that can make your life easier

Using Box at IU along with two Box add-ins, you and your project group can work on a single file — without having to keep a local copy on your device and then sending your document around via hard copy or email.

In his article about Box, Tom Mason has extolled the merits of using Box Edit. Let’s talk about this Box App a little more. With Box Edit, you can simply open a file directly from the preview page on Box, make edits instantly, and save the new version back to Box automatically. Then, when you share your document with others, your collaborators can use Box Edit to work on the same document in the same way—without ever having to download and re-upload it! As long as you have the application on your computer, you don’t have to worry about the file type.  PSD files, presentations, images, CAD drawings, Illustrator files – any file you can edit on your computer’s desktop you can now edit without leaving Box. Install Box Edit once and it will work on all your browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer (Windows) and Safari (Mac).

Another app,  Box for Office, allows you to start up an Office Document such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel on your own computer–and when you choose Save As, you can save directly to your Box account without having to upload it. Once there, share it with others and they can use Box Edit to edit it.

How do we get these Box Apps?

Open your Box account and click the drop-down to the right of your name.

Click Apps:

Box Options Drop Down

On the resulting page, search for “Box Edit” and “Box for Office” — or, if you see the icons right away, click them:

Box Edit icon for download and also  Box for Office icon for downloading

They will be downloaded, and you can quickly install both of them.

Locking your shared document in Box

One important thing to remember as you share your document with others is to lock it for a limited period while you have it open, so your changes don’t conflict with others. When you lock a document in Box, no one can change it for the duration of the locked status. Therefore, it is best to assign your open document locked status for a limited time only–say, one hour–rather than lock it indefinitely and hope you remember to unlock it for others when you are done.

Here’s how you lock a document in Box:

Click the drop-down arrow to the far right of the file name:

screenshot of Box File Dropdown List expnded

Choose Lock File.

In the Lock File dialog, click the “Set an expiration time for the lock” checkbox:

Box Lock options.

and choose a time from the drop-down.

Edit and go– and enjoy the simplicity.

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