Collaborate on Files

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to share the content you’ve uploaded to Box with colleagues
  • When to share a link to a file or folder vs. when to add a collaborator
  • Using file locks and version control

Now that you’ve uploaded files and folders to your account, it’s time to take advantage of one of Box’s core benefits: working seamlessly with others.

 

With Box, there are two primary ways to share content with colleagues and other associates:

  1. by inviting existing Box users to folders, or
  2. by sending shared links.

 

In this article, we’ll focus on the first of those two: adding collaborators. 

 

What’s a collaborator?

A collaborator is a Box user who has been given access to view or modify a particular folder on an ongoing basis. If you’re a collaborator, the folder will appear when you log in to your Box account.

 

To invite collaborators to a folder, click on the Share this Folder button to the right side of the folder, then select the Invite Collaborators option. Enter the email addresses of the individuals you’d like to add. 

Note:

This must be the same email address your collaborators have used to register for their Box accounts. Please verify this before you proceed. If a user does not yet have a Box account, they will receive an email inviting them to sign up for a free account. Once they sign up, they will have immediate access to the collaborative folder.

 

Once you have entered all the email addresses, selected the appropriate collaborator permissions, and an optional personal message, click Send Invites and emails will be sent to those contacts notifying them of your invitation. Once they log into their Box account, they will be able to accept or reject your invitation to collaborate on that folder.

 

When collaborators are invited to a folder, the folder icon will change from manila yellow to blue. All collaborative folders will automatically appear at the top of your files list within your account.

 

When should I invite someone in as a collaborator versus send them a shared link?

Collaborator: Invite someone into a folder as a collaborator if you're working with them on an ongoing basis, and they need persistent access to the content you're sharing.

 

Shared link: Send someone a shared link to a folder or file if you merely need to provide quick, read-only access (much in the way you'd send an email attachment). Your recipient ;can continue to reference that link for the most up-to-date version of the content.

 

File Locking and Version Control

You’ve seen how Box makes it easy to share your content with anyone, but you may be wondering what happens when two or more of those folks try to edit a file at the same time. Don’t fret: We’ve developed one tool called file locking to prevent this from happening, and another called version control to correct it if it does.

 

Download and Lock a File to Edit

When you need to make changes to a file and want to prevent other users from getting to it while you work:

  1. Mouse over the file and click the drop-down arrow to the right of the file name
  2. Click Lock File
  3. A pop-up window will appear in which you can check boxes to prevent other users from downloading the file while it is locked and/or set an expiration time for the lock. Click Continue, and the file will be locked
  4. All done? Save the file in the program you used to edit it – and be sure to use the same file name
  5. To get the updated file back in Box, mouse over the locked file and click the drop-down arrow to the right of the file name, then click Unlock File
  6. To upload your new version, click the drop-down arrow next to the folder and choose Upload New Version. A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to select the edited version. Click Select file, grab the file from your computer, then click Upload to upload and unlock the file.

Version Control

Once you’ve completed the upload, you’ll see a version icon next to the file name.

This icon shows you how many previous versions of the file are saved. If you click the icon, you’ll see the older versions, can download them or make an older version the most current one.

 

When you delete an older version of this file, the deleted version is retained as determined by the trash policy for your account. You cannot restore a deleted version after the trash policy's expiration date.

 

It’s your very own time machine to ensure that you never lose your work!

 

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