Boost Professional Services Co-Authoring with CtrlShare Steen Madsen March 3, 2023

Boost Professional Services Co-Authoring with CtrlShare

Venn diagram of Professional Services, Document Co-Authoring, M-Files and in the middle is the CtrlShare Logo

Professional services companies, such as those in the legal and accounting/auditing sectors, heavily rely on Microsoft Office for advanced tasks like macro programming, importing data from external sources, and creating intricate document layouts. Typically, users perform these tasks using Word and Excel desktop versions

Many professional services companies use M-Files, a document management solution, to manage their documents. However, when co-authoring is required, users face a dilemma. They must either create a copy of the document and manually move it to a co-authoring-enabled location or use M-Files’ native co-authoring feature, which only supports Office for the web via a browser.

Thankfully, CtrlShare, an M-Files add-on solution available on the M-Files Solution Catalog, provides a straightforward answer. With just one click, users can check out one or more documents for co-authoring in OneDrive, and manage user access permissions. All Office desktop functions are available, allowing users familiar with the desktop app to continue working as usual. While in OneDrive, the documents remain tightly controlled and locked from sharing with unauthorized individuals.

CtrlShare - The best Co-Authoring Tool for Professional Services

CtrlDocs develop CtrlShare, enabling co-authoring of Microsoft Office documents (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) in OneDrive for Business. By checking out a document on OneDrive, users can invite others to co-edit using their desktop app, including external users.


M-Files provides document and information management support for various industries and use cases. One key feature is the ability to prevent multiple users from editing a document simultaneously, eliminating version control issues commonly seen in traditional folder-based document management systems. However, in some scenarios, teams must simultaneously work on the same document. A dedicated and secure co-authoring solution is necessary, which enables users to continue working in the same Office desktop environment.

Differences between Office desktop and Office for Web

Microsoft Office for the web provides a different experience than the desktop app, particularly in Word and Excel. According to beeboom, some of the missing features in the web version are:

  • Microsoft Word: You cannot add captions, citations and bibliography. You cannot use advanced collaboration tools such as Track Changes, merge, compare and combine documents. You cannot insert online videos or audio files.
  • Microsoft Excel: You do not have access to advanced formula tools. You cannot create PivotCharts, but you can view them online. You cannot use data analysis tools such as Solver or Data Analysis Toolpak.

The web version does not support some file formats, such as .xlsb, .xlsm (Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook files), .xltm, etc. To learn more about the differences, refer to Microsoft’s support documentation on Word and Excel.


In conclusion, document co-authoring is an essential process in many professional services companies, but it can be challenging to manage in a secure and efficient manner. CtrlShare for M-Files offers a solution that enables teams to collaborate effectively on Office documents in a secure environment, with complete control over access and editing permissions. By using this add-on, users can seamlessly work on documents using their familiar desktop apps, without the need to switch to a web-based environment. This results in better efficiency, productivity, and accuracy, which are vital for the success of any professional services company.

If you want to learn more about how CtrlShare can benefit your organization, please visit our product catalog and start exploring today!