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Q. document libraries: what is one feature that makes a SharePoint document library more useful than simply a shared folder on the network?

A. versioning, check-in/check-out
Q. when version is turned on, how can one know what the differences are between versions?
A. sharepoint 2010 doesn't have a feature highlighting changes between versions of the document, but Word does.  For example, in Word for Mac 2011, Tools...Track Changes...Compare Documents
Q. When I click on 'Shared Documents' in the left nav, hover over a specific document, which reveals a dropdown menu that I click on, then choose 'Version History' from the dropdown, a Version History modal window opens.  When I choose 'View' from the dropdown for an older version of the document in the Version History window, it doesn't show me the document.  Instead, it shows a window mentioning who created the version and when, and it has buttons such as 'Delete Item Version' and 'Restore Item Version'.  How do I view the old document itself?
A. In the Version History window, click on the document name itself instead of clicking on its dropdown menu.
Q. How does one enable the checking out / checking in of a document?
A. In the dropdown menu for a specific shared document, click 'Check Out'. If you want to take it one step further and REQUIRE everyone to use check out / check in, do this:  in Library Settings / Versioning Settings, click 'Yes' for 'Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited?'
Q. In Word for Mac 2011, I see there's a menu option 'File / Share / Save to SharePoint...'.  So I select that, then click the plus sign to add the location of my shared documents folder.  An 'Add a SharePoint Location' window pops up, at which point I paste in the URL of my SharePoint shared documents library: Documents/
After a few seconds, I get the following error message:
'URL does not point to a document library or folder'
What's wrong?
A. I don't know, but perhaps Word can't access this folder because it's not enough that I'm logged into the Harvard network -- since it's a secured location, Word can't access it?

I then tried clicking the plus sign and pasting in the exact location of the document on the SharePoint site: Documents/test_document.docx

When I clicked 'Save', Word no longer gave me the 'URL does not point to a document library or folder' error, but either Word and/or the SharePoint site gave me the error 'there has been a network or file permission error.  The network connection may be lost.'  Perhaps, if I entered my network password in triplicate while placing my hand on the Bible, it might work.
Q. Can two people work on the same shared document at the same time?
A. Yes, as long as the document is not checked out.  When you check a document out, you're making yourself the only person allowed to edit it.  So, if checkout is not on, and someone else is already editing a document, SharePoint (if it's working correctly) will indicate where in the document the other person is currently working, and it will advise you to avoid that section until the other person is done.
Q. In my SharePoint calendar, I click on the 'Connect to Outlook' button, and Firefox gives me the following error:
'The address wasn't understood 
Firefox doesn't know how to open this address, because the protocol (stssync) isn't associated with any program.
You might need to install other software to open this address.'
What's going on?
A. Who knows.  One thing to try is clicking on the Connect to Outlook button from Windows IE and see if it behaves better.

According to some guy at
'Outlook for Mac simply does not support SharePoint connectivity.'

Maybe if Bill Gates had invited Steve Jobs over for tea a little more often, they would have gotten Mac support SharePoint a little farther along.


In two words, SharePoint is: collaboration software. Another example of a collaboration tool is BaseCamp. Installed on Server: SharePoint software is a platform installed on your company's server, and you connect to it. One exception is SharePoint Designer, which is installed on your computer if you want to use it. When Microsoft talks about SharePoint, it mentions these six areas: SharePoint lets you edit certain documents right in the web browser (IE). SharePoint roles: If you want to install your own SharePoint virtual machine, it's no easy task, and it's not something that the vast majority of people would ever do. Microsoft (as of 2010 anyway) offered a download of a SharePoint VM (Virtual Machine) and it's about 20GB and many files and not easy to configure, and last but not least, requires an actual server box, not any old desktop computer or laptop. So to learn Sharepoint, it's best to connect to your employer's Sharepoint installation, and if you're between jobs, you can subscribe to a Sharepoint hosting service. The 3 levels of SharePoint 2010 available to companies who want to install it are: SharePoint 2010 Foundation SharePoint Server 2010 Standard SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Team site: Many or most SharePoint websites are "team sites", where a group of people, typically a team within a company, share documents and information, keep track of tasks, milestones, meetings and discussions. The team site is a simple template that's available in the free version of SharePoint, SharePoint 2010 Foundation. Learning how to use a team site is good for your learning curve, because team sites have many of the classic SharePoint features. Team sites automatically are given a place for: -Site Pages -Shared Documents -Calendar -Tasks also Links, Announcements, and Discussions Lists and Libraries: all SharePoint sites are made up of a collection of Lists and Libraries. SharePoint considers each of the following a list: - Announcements - Calendar - Links - Tasks Calendar: Calendar Tools are broken down into two tabs: Events, and Calendar Quick Launch: The older version (2007?) of SharePoint had a section on the left called "Quick Launch", and so although the left nav on SharePoint sites no longer is labeled Quick Launch, many still refer to the SharePoint left nav as Quick Launch. It contains links to Site Pages, Shared Documents, etc. Ribbon: The area near the top of the SharePoint page, that is sometimes rather empty, but other times has many buttons, similar to the ribbon in Word, Excel, etc. Site Actions: the button on the left of the Ribbon, that has a dropdown menu. What's available in this dropdown will greatly vary, depending on your level of permissions. Navigate Up: immediately to the right of the Site Actions button is the Navigate Up button, which when clicked on displays the hierarchy of pages leading from the highest level page for your company's SharePoint installation, to whereever you are. For example, at HBS, clicking the Navigate Up button from within my first site that I created, I see: This page location is: myHBS ShareSites My First ShareSite Home Revert: if you're editing a page and change your mind or "screw up" and want to undo all changes since the last time you saved, click the arrow under the "Save & Close" button, choose "Stop Editing", at which point it will ask if you want to save your changes, at which point say "No". "Web Part": a self-contained piece of a web page.

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Last modified: 07/16/2014 8:48 PM