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Understanding Discussions

Word 2000 and later versions include a collaborative feature that allows you and others in your office to easily develop documents together, over the network. You do this using what Word calls the Discussions feature. This feature allows you and your colleagues to insert remarks into the same document and to participate in an active online discussion.

In order for the Discussions feature to work, everyone needs to be using a version of Word that supports the feature, and you need to be connected to a network on which a copy of the Microsoft Office Server Extensions is available. These are add-on programs for the Internet Information Server, which is also available from Microsoft. If you have doubts whether the extensions are available on your network, you should talk to your network administrator.

When you are using the Discussion feature, Word allows you and your co-workers to view the same document on-screen. Each of you can then make written remarks about the document. Others can immediately view the remarks, and they can respond. The responses are threaded, which simply means that you can easily follow the course of a discussion through several layers of comments.

There are two types of discussions you can have in relation to a document: inline or general. An inline discussion is one that relates to a specific portion of a document, such as a paragraph, table, or graphic. A general discussion is one that relates to the document as a whole.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (765) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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