Dropbox Brings Real-Time Collaboration Across Word, Excel and PowerPoint with Project Harmony

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Dropbox has officially launched its Project Harmony, an online resource allowing users to collaborate in real time when working on Microsoft Office files stored in their Dropbox folders. The feature is available only as an early access program.
This feature activates as soon as you have opened a file and disappears when you close Dropbox or all MS Office applications. If you have closed all Office applications, you don’t have to launch Dropbox again to see the collaboration badge. Once you open another file, Dropbox will automatically add this collaboration bagde. You can also place the badge wherever you want on you document.

The desktop applications targeted are Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Thanks to this new feature, you can see who’s reading or editing a file. You can also see whether the file you’re working on has recently been updated and you can share it as well. Plus, you receive a notification when another person has accessed the file to view it or edit it.

The most important advantage is that you no longer have to waste time by sending emails to your coworkers with what you’ve edited on the file. They can see the changes that have been made in real time. However,  the Dropbox badge doesn’t support real-time editing.

“With the Dropbox badge, you can see important information right from within the image-rich PowerPoint files or function-filled Excel spreadsheets you already work in, so you can rest assured your team always works in sync.”, the Dropbox team inform us on their Dropbox for Business Blog.

And you don’t have to worry about the operating system you are using either. The Dropbox badge works on different Office version on different operating systems. This means that “Office 2007, Office 2010, and Office 2013 are supported on Windows 7 and Windows 8.x, while Office 2011 is supported on OS X 10.8, OS X 10.9, and OS X 10.10.”, informs VentureBeat.

And they also provide us the full specs list:

  • The badge: you have a blue Dropbox badge when you are the only one editing the file;
  • Initials or photo:  once a collaborator opens the file, their initials or photo will appear on the Dropbox badge;
  • Lock: The Dropbox badge will turn red and display a lock icon when someone else is editing the file so that you don’t create different versions of the same file.
  • Exclamation mark: the Dropbox badge will turn red with an exclamation mark icon when two different collaborators are editing the same file at the same time;
  • Download arrow: it appears when you haven’t accessed the latest version of the file;
  • Two files: you can choose to save two files, one with your changes and the other file with the changes made by another collaborator. To activate this feature, check the option “Save my changes as a separate version”.

As stated at the beginning of this post, a early access program is available enabling “any Dropbox for Business admin can turn on these features for their team”.


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