Microsoft collaboration software is the typical corporate tool of choice, which, by extension, means that the Windows version of Microsoft Office was the office productivity suite of choice. However, a recent update to Microsoft Office 2008 for the Mac now enables Mac users to access both Microsoft SharePoint sites and Office Live Workspace.
While many may consider SharePoint to be not exactly “Mac friendly” just yet, this is definitely a step in the right direction.
The Mac user must first be set up with access to the SharePoint site or Office Live Workspace by the local admin or site owner. They must also be running the latest updates to Microsoft Office 2008. Now, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel all include the “Open from Document Connection” feature, accessible from the File menu.
Access from Microsoft Office for the First Time
From the File menu, choose “Open from Document Connection.” The “Document Connection” dialog box appears for the first time. The following illustration shows no document connections have been setup.
From here, you can set up your document connections. For this post, I am going to connect to an Office Live Workspace, but the steps to connect to a SharePoint site are nearly identical. Choose “Add Location,” and then “Sign in to an Office Live Workspace.” An authentication dialog box appears:
Once you log in, the Office Live Work Space or SharePoint site file library appears:
Once you’ve opened the document connection, you have the following options:
- Add Location. You can access multiple locations from an open connection. Accessible locations for you then appear on the left side of the dialog.
- Add File. With the Add File option, you can upload additional files from your Mac’s local hard drive or other accessible file location.
- Edit. The Edit option opens the selected file in its native application.
- Read. The Read option enables you to read the selected file in its native application.
If you are logged into a SharePoint site, you’ll have options to Upload, Check Out, Check In, and Discard files.
Working On the Mac in a Microsoft Windows World
The addition of the Open Document Connection feature may not satisfy every Mac-using web worker who has to access files from an Office Live Workspace or SharePoint site, but at least now, Mac-using web workers aren’t quite as shut out as they once might have been.
Have you tried accessing SharePoint or Office Live Workspaces using Office 2008 Mac? Share your experiences below.