Sharing a Version
There are often going to be times when you need to collaborate with someone who you don’t feel comfortable adding as a Member to the document in Simul. This could be:
- Opposing counsel on a legal document who you don’t want to see your full version history
- A client or prospective customer who you need to get feedback from but don’t feel comfortable inviting them into Simul and making them learn a new tool
- Another employe in your organisation that doesn’t have a paying Simul account (and it doesn’t make sense to give them one)
Fortunately, Simul makes it easy to collaborate on documents with people who don’t have a Simul account and still bring their changes back into Simul so you can see their changes in the overall version history.
Step 1: Create A Share Link
The easiest way to share a version with someone outside Simul for their feedback is to use the ‘Share This Version’ feature.
To get started, select the version you want to share with someone and then click the ‘Share This Version’ link from the Actions menu.
The ‘Create Share Link’ options will slide in on the right hand side and you’ll be able to setup the link.
On this page, you can select the settings that will apply to this specific link, including:
- Link Name – Give this link a name like ‘John’s Link’ or ‘Client Link’ to help you identify the link and the changes that come through it.
- Link Expiry – Set when this link should expire. This is useful for being able to say ‘I need your feedback by Wednesday’ and then preventing them from giving feedback after the date. For security purposes, the link expiry can be no longer than 30 days in the future.
- Allow Uploading – Untick this box if you don’t want people to be able to upload a new version of the document. This is useful in scenarios where you want someone to be able to access the version you share with them, but not upload changes that would go back into your version history.
Once you’ve have selected the appropriate settings, click the ‘Create Share Link’ button and you will be taken to the confirmation screen where you can get the link to share.
Step 2: Send the Share Link
Once you created and copied a Share Link, then you can send it to the people you want to collaborate with via email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.
When they click the link, they’ll be presented with a page that contains the version you shared with them. They do not need to create a Simul account to see this page.
On this page, they will be able to see the version of the document you shared with them as well as some copy in the left sidebar explaining what this page is and what they need to do.
Step 3: Collaborators Download, Make Changes & Upload
Your collaborators can use the ‘Download Document’ button in the left sidebar to download the version you sent them as a .docx file to their computer
Once on their computer, they can open it up in Word and make changes to it.
Once they have made their changes, they can come back to the link and select ‘Upload Changes’ to begin uploading their modified version of the document.
After clicking the Upload Changes button, a popup will appear where the collaborator can upload their document either from their computer or from a cloud storage service.
Once they’ve uploaded the document that contains their changes, they’ll then be asked to leave a comment. This can be a good opportunity for the collaborator to leave some information about the changes they made and why they made them.
Finally, once they’ve left their comment and clicked ‘Import Version’ they will be redirected to the confirmation screen that lets them know their changes have been uploaded and sent to you.
Step 4: Review Changes & Merge
Once a collaborator has uploaded a new version of the document, it will appear as a new version in the version history and the changes they made will be highlighted.
If they left a comment, that will also be displayed.
You”ll notice that this new version is in a seperate branch. In order to properly bring the version back into your version history, you first need to review the changes that were made using the Comparison view and then either Accept or Reject the new version.
If you reject the version, it will disappear from the version history.
If however you accept the version, you will then need to merge it with the latest version in the history by clicking the ‘Merge’ button.
Finally, once the merge has been completed you can open the merged version in Word and Simul will have highlighted the changes made by the collaborator using Word’s default Track Changes feature, so you can go through change by change and accept or reject them.
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