When you need to work with others on a project, you may need to use a specific tool. But did you know you can collaborate right in the Messages app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac? You can share files, work together, see activity updates, and more. This guide will show you how to collaborate on all of these platforms in the Messages app.
System and iCloud requirements for collaborating in Messages
Before you start using Messages to collaborate on a project, make sure you meet the following requirements:
You and your employees must use iMessage. You and your employees need iOS 16 or later, iPadOS 16 or later, or macOS Ventura or later. You need to save the file you want to share in an accessible location like iCloud Drive. You must have iCloud enabled for the app you want to use, e.g. B. Pages, Notes or Numbers.
To view, edit, or invite others to a shared iCloud document, you must meet one of the following minimum requirements:
An iPhone or iPad running iOS 15 or iPadOS 15 or later with Pages, Numbers, or Keynote 12.2 or later. A Mac running macOS Monterey or later with Pages, Numbers, or Keynote 12.2 or later. Features not available for collaborating on shared documents
The features below are not available when collaborating on a shared document in Pages, Numbers, and Keynote.
Create, delete, or rearrange styles Create or edit custom cell formats Drag columns and rows between table bodies and headers Edit with Ruby in Asian languages Replace all font occurrences Reduce file size
If you want to make any of the changes above, you can stop sharing the document, make the change, and then share it again.
For additional features not available for every application, visit the Apple Support site.
Tip: Use the Apple Freeform Whiteboard app to collect and visualize ideas.
How to collaborate in Messages on iPhone and iPad
To start collaborating on a project in Messages on iPhone or iPad, share the file from any of the Apple apps like Notes, Pages, Numbers, or Keynote. From there, you can discuss the project and view its activity in messages. Follow the steps below to get started.
How to share a file on iPhone and iPad
To share the file with Messages, open the app and then follow these simple steps.
Tap the “Share” button in the top right. From the drop-down box that appears at the top of the pop-up window, select the Collaborate button. Choosing the “Send a copy” option further down the list only shares a copy of the file and does not enable the collaboration features. Tap “Only invited people can edit” to customize document access and permissions. Below are the following access and permissions options. When you’re done toggling these settings, select Done in the top right. Who has access: Choose either “Invited people only” to limit access to people you choose, or “Everyone with link” to extend access to anyone who has a link. Permission: Choose either “Can make changes” to allow collaborators to edit the file, or “View only” to prevent edits and grant read-only permission. Allow others to invite: Activate this switch if you want to allow collaborators to invite others to the file. Select one of your recent message conversations or start a new one by selecting “Messages” in the row of sharing options. When the file appears in the text field of the Messages app, you can adjust access and permissions settings again, if needed, and add a message. Tap the blue “Send” button. How to View File Activity in Messages on iPhone and iPad
When a collaborator makes a change to the file you’re sharing, you’ll see that activity in the Messages app. This is a great way to keep track of changes without having to open the file and manually review it.
Open the project conversation in Messages to see if any changes were made to the file at the top of the conversation. You can also see who made the change and when they made it. Next to the activity, tap View or Review to see the changes. How to stop collaborating on iPhone and iPad
When the project comes to an end or you just want to stop collaborating, use the sharing options in the relevant app to remove access to the file. The exact steps vary by app, but are similar in those like notes, pages, and numbers. For example, see how you can collaborate with the Notes app.
Open the app and tap the Collaborate icon. When employees are active, the icon shows their contact photo, as shown below. Select the Manage Shared Note menu option. Select the Stop Sharing button below. How to collaborate in Messages on Mac
You can collaborate on shared files in Messages on Mac, similar to sharing on your mobile device. Add the file directly to the Messages app or share it to Messages from the app you use.
How to share a file in Messages on Mac
As a Mac user, you probably know how easy it is to drag and drop actions. You can even use it to share a file with Messages by following the steps below.
Open the folder containing the file you want to share along with the project conversation in the Messages app. You can do this by placing the windows side by side. Drag the file from its folder to the conversation in Messages and drop it. When the file appears in the text box, use the drop-down box to select Collaborate. If you choose Send a Copy, only one copy of the file will be shared. Optionally paste a message into the text box below the file, then press Enter to send the message. How to share a file from another app on Mac
If you’re actively working on the file, it might be easier to share it through the app you’re using.
Select the “Share” button at the top right or use “File -> Share” from the menu bar. Select Collaborate from the drop-down menu at the top of the pop-up window. Expand the drop-down menu below for “Only invited people can edit” to customize access and permissions settings. You’ll see the same settings for Who Can Access, Permissions, and Allow Others to Invite that were offered in the mobile app. Select the options you want. Select one of your recent message conversations or start a new one by selecting “Messages” from the list of sharing options. When the file appears in the Messages app text box, optionally add a message, then press Enter to send it. How to View File Activity in Messages on Mac
If a collaborator makes a change to the file you’re sharing, you’ll see it in the Messages app just as you would on your mobile device.
Open the project conversation in Messages and look for any changes made to the file at the top. You can see who made the change and when. Next to the activity description, choose View or Review to open the file and see the changes. How to stop collaborating on Mac
When it’s time to end the collaboration, use the sharing options in the relevant app to remove access to the file. Again, the exact steps vary by app. The following is an example of using the Pages app:
Open the app and tap the Collaborate icon. Select “Manage shared document”. Select Stop Sharing at the bottom. Frequently Asked Questions Can I add or remove collaborators in messages?
You can add or remove people in Messages the same way you add or remove them from a normal group conversation.
Select the details icon (lowercase “i”) and select “Add member” to add a new person, or select the person you want to remove and select “Remove from conversation”.
Visit the appropriate app to customize access and permissions as needed.
Can I customize access and permissions after sharing a file?
Open the appropriate app for the type of file you’re sharing. Select the Collaboration icon, then select Only invited people can edit. You’ll see the same options as when you first set up the file for sharing.
Can I use SharePlay to collaborate on projects in Messages?
SharePlay is a handy feature for watching videos and listening to music with friends and family in Messages and FaceTime on iPhone and iPad or FaceTime on Mac. You can use the SharePlay feature in apps like Music, TV, TikTok, and Spotify. However, there is currently no SharePlay option in apps like Pages, Notes or Numbers.
Photo credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Sandy Writtenhouse.
Sandy font house
With her BS in Information Technology, Sandy worked in the IT industry for many years as a project manager, department head and PMO leader. She wanted to help others learn how technology can enrich business and personal lives and has shared her suggestions and guidance in thousands of articles.
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