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How can I enable simultaneous editing of files and avoid conflicted copies?

New member | Level 2

I have installed dropbox on 2 pc's, planning on adding to a 3rd soon.  I have set up one account and the intention was to use this account on all the devices so they are all seeing the same folders/files.

I have just tested out editing a document on one pc whilst having the same document open on another pc.  Both pc's allowed me to make changes to the document and save them independantly, I have just noticed that one has been saved as a copy with conflicted details in the filename.  

Is there a way that a user on one PC can see that a user on the other PC is currently editing it?  For example, when we were using windows shared documents via the network, a secondary user that opens a file being edited by the first user could see it was view only and they could not edit it at that time.  

Thanks

 

3 Replies

Re: Simultaneous editing

Dropboxer

Hey there @magfo - welcome to our Community!

Depending on the files you're editing, the Dropbox Badge might be suitable for you in this case. You can see how to enable it here:

https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/share/badge-on-off

When it comes to conflicted files, note that these are created as a safeguard to protect your files should changes occur to the same file at the same time.

When changes are made to the same file at the same time, the first computer to sync the change "wins." The other computer's changes are preserved and saved as a "conflicted copy." The conflicted copy is saved in the same directory as the original file and the file name is appended the name of the computer that made the change and the date the conflict occurred.

Conflicted copies can also occur when a file is left open on another computer, especially when using applications with an auto-save feature. Closing the file from within the application on either computer should prevent further conflicts.

For more information on conflicted copies, you can have a  look here:

https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/share/conflicted-copy

If you are sharing the data between computers you must NOT run the application on more than one computer at a time as you will generate file conflicts and other problems.

Thus, the pattern needs to be:

  1. Let files sync
  2. Start application
  3. Save files
  4. Quit application
  5. Repeat on different computers.

One workaround that can be used to prevent conflicted copies is to move the file out of the Dropbox folder while editing it. Doing this causes the file to appear as deleted and doesn't allow other users to edit the file. Once you're done editing, you can move the file back into its original location in the Dropbox folder. It will reappear with your edits for all users who have access to that file.

The other option would be to move it to a second folder designated for "In Use" files. Other members of the shared folder can still access it if they need to, but will know not to make changes.

I hope this information helps and please let me know if you have any additional questions; I'll be happy to follow up!

 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Simultaneous editing

New member | Level 2

That is really useful information, thank you for your reply Walter.  The idea of the seperate folder to edit files is genius and so simple.

Appreciate your help.

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Re: Simultaneous editing

Dropboxer

No worries @magfo - I'm glad I could help!

Should you come up with a Dropbox question in the future, do let us know. 

Have a great day!

 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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How can I enable simultaneous editing of files and avoid conflicted copies?
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