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Creating a Shared Repository or Workspace on the Cheap

 

Organizations frequently express the need for a repository of files that can be used over and over again within an organization.  Or your organization may have a need to create a shared workspace for persons working on a specific project or program.  There are several very nice commercial products out there, but if your budget is challenged you can use features that are already built-in to MS Office and Explorer.  The requirements are a shared storage space for your files, either a shared network drive or shared web space, and the My Network Places icon must appear in your Office Application’s dialog box.  Check by opening any Office Application and click on File, Open.  If you see a My Network Places icon on the bottom left of the dialog box, you’re all set.

How to Create Your Repository or Workspace

Set up your shared space.  This can be a web or shared network drive.  The important thing is that the space is accessible to everyone who needs to use it and access is set appropriately.  You’ll probably want to set access to read-only for a repository and read/write for a shared workspace.  This helps protect your resource files from being overwritten and allows project members to share files.  Consider accessibility when deciding on whether to use a web-based or network-based repository.  If staff frequently travel, a web-based repository might be more effective.

Create a Shared Repository

1.     Create a main Repository folder on your shared resource.

2.     Add folders under this main folder depending on your needs.

a.     Put some thought into your folder naming conventions and the security settings you’d like to place on the folders.

b.     For example, you could create a folder called Sales for your Sales Staff and a different folder called Marketing for your Marketing Staff.

3.     Make sure you also create a Main Template folder of your company templates.

a.     You can create templates for PowerPoint, Word and Excel since this method is effective for all the Office Applications.

4.     Create at least one folder that allows staff to contribute to the repository.

a.     This helps create a dynamic, knowledge repository for your organization.

5.     Use standard web or networking security features to restrict or allow access to these folders by appropriate staff.

a.     Make sure you restrict Write Access to the folders except for authorized persons.

b.     This will keep your templates from being overwritten.

c.     An Example of a web-based folder structure might look like this:

 

//www.companyweb.com

/        Repository

/        Templates

/        Images

/        Sounds

/        Movies

/        Staff

/        Marketing

/        Staff Contributions (read/write access)

 

6.     Copy the files into the appropriate folder(s).

a.     Make sure you name your files descriptively.

b.     You can use properties and previews to see the files, but descriptive names will be the most useful.

7.     You don’t have to limit yourself to PowerPoint presentations.

a.     You can also place image files, Word documents, etc. in your repository

b.     The idea is to provide access to shared resources.

 

Tip:  When creating your presentations, create several small presentations instead of one large presentation.  For example, if you have several products, create a ProductA.ppt, a ProductB.ppt, etc.  Smaller files will download quicker and allow users to more rapidly create their presentations with what they need.

 

Create a Shared Workspace

1.     Create a main Workspace folder on your shared resource.

2.     Use standard web or networking security features to allow read/write access to this folder by appropriate staff.

c.     An Example of a web-based folder structure might look like this:

 

//www.companyweb.com

/        ProjectA

 

3.     The idea is to provide access for persons to share project files and resources.

 

How to Use Your Repository or Workspace

Create a My Network Places Shortcut

1.     Open Windows Explorer

2.     Click on My Network Places icon

3.     Click on the Add Network Place icon

4.     Click Next in the Add Network Place Wizard

5.     Click on Choose another network location and click Next

6.     Enter the entire URL for your main repository or project workspace:

a.     Example: http://www.companyweb.com/Repository for a web-based repository

b.     Example: \\companyserver\sharename\Repository for a network-based repository

7.     Click on Next

a.     If prompted, enter your name and password

8.     Enter a name for your network shortcut and click Next

9.     Click Finish

Create a New Presentation/Document

1.     Open PowerPoint or Word

2.     Click on File, Open

3.     Click on My Network Places icon

4.     Click on the Repository shortcut that was created in the previous step

5.     Double click on the Templates folder

6.     Click on the desired template

7.     Click on Open

8.     A new presentation or document is created with the desired template

9.     Click on Save As

10. Save the file to an appropriate personal folder

a.     The default is the repository folder, make sure you change to your personal folder

Add Slides/Files to an Existing Presentation

1.     Open PowerPoint

2.     Open your presentation

3.     Click on Insert, Slides from Files

4.     Click on the Browse button in the dialog box

5.     Click on My Network Places

6.     Click on the Repository shortcut that was created in the previous step

7.     Click Open

a.     If prompted, enter your name and password

8.     Double click on the appropriate folder

9.     Click on the desired presentation to add

a.     You can also select a Word document or web page to add

10. Click Open

a.     If you use these slides frequently, you can add it to your favorites by clicking on the button

11. Select the desired slides

12. Click Insert or Insert All

13. Click Close when you’ve inserted all desired slides

14. Save your work to your personal folder

Add Files to an Document

1.     Open Word

2.     Open your document

3.     Click on Insert, Files

4.     Click on the Browse button in the dialog box

5.     Click on My Network Places

6.     Click on the Repository shortcut that was created in the previous step

7.     Click Open

a.     If prompted, enter your name and password

8.     Double click on the appropriate folder

9.     Click on the desired file to add

a.     If adding an Excel file, you can select the range of cells to add

10. Click Insert

11. Click Close when you’ve inserted all desired files

12. Save your work to your personal folder

Add Images/Sound/Movies to a Presentation/Document

1.     Open Word or PowerPoint

2.     Open your document or presentation

3.     Click on Insert, Pictures (or Movies and Sounds), From file

4.     Click on My Network Places

5.     Click on the Repository shortcut that was created in the previous step

6.     Click Open

a.     If prompted, enter your name and password

7.     Double click on the appropriate folder

8.     Click on the desired file to add

9.     Click Insert

10. Click Close when you’ve inserted all desired files

11. Save your work to your personal folder

Save Files to a Shared Workspace

1.     Create a Presentation or Document

2.     Click on File, Save As

3.     Click on My Network Places

4.     Click on the Project Workspace shortcut that was created in the previous step

5.     Click Open

a.     If prompted, enter your name and password

6.     Enter a presentation or document name

7.     Click Save

 

 

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