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Beginners Training Guide

Welcome to the Shared workspace Beginners Training Guide. The purpose of this guide is to
explain and demonstrate some of the most popular and useful features of the shared
This guide assumes the reader has no prior knowledge of SWS and is structured so that each
section builds upon instruction from previous sections. Therefore, it is recommended that this
guide be read in the order it was written.


A shared workspace is a secure, online collaborative tool primarily designed for project
management. It uses SharePoint 2010 software with some customised member management
functionality added. Participants are invited to join the workspace and minimal technical
knowledge is required to use the shared workspace.
The Department of Internal Affairs developed the shared workspace as a tool to provide a
common, secure platform to support online collaboration between government agencies and
their partners. Currently there are approximately 200 separate shared workspaces operating
with 5000 active users. Forty percent of users are non-government.

Shared workspace benefits

saves time for the agency by reducing number of separate email lists for different
classes of information, reducing level of communication required with each individual

reduces email clutter; members only need access information they require

retains security of information for non-Government distribution

restricts access to different levels of information for groups of users

controls versioning of information

increases collaboration


Document Libraries

Wiki pages


Contacts list

Events/Calendar List

Links List

Discussion Board

Custom permissions it is possible to restrict content to only certain users of a

workspace by creating custom groups and associated custom libraries. This is useful

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide

when a workspace has several vendors collaborating on a project and there is a need
for each to have their own private library for reasons of confidentiality.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


When a user logs in to a shared workspace they will first see the sites homepage. The
homepage is managed by the administrator (site owner) and it usually consists of 1) quick
links navigation, 2) announcements, 3) links, 4) calendar and 5) tasks.

Navigate-up button
The navigate up button helps a user
navigate up and down through a site and
is particularly useful when there is a deep
file and folder structure.
The navigate-up button features in the
main horizontal navigation menu and is
available on all pages of a shared
The example to the right shows the user
in the finance folder with a details
folder above this, and the Private Library
A library above this.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


A Shared workspace has three default permission levels.
Site Owner

The administrator of the SWS. They are

responsible for:

Determining who has access to the


A users level of permission to

access content

They can edit the homepage

They can create custom groups and



Can add and delete content and upload

and download files also known as a


Can only read content only and download

content also known as a reader

Custom permissions
It is also possible to create custom permissions where a user has access to a restricted library
based on their permissions. For example, a user may be a member of a finance group which
has exclusive access to a finance library.
When they login to their shared workspace, the finance library appears in the Quick Launch
navigation other users that are not members of the finance group will not see this library
when they login. Custom permissions are created and managed by the Shared workspace site

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


To access a shared workspace, users will need an internet connection and a modern web
browser. Note: users are not required to download any software to access a workspace.

Web browsers
Generally, a shared workspace operates best using the browser Internet Explorer as the
software used by the workspace (SharePoint 2010), is also produced by Microsoft and they
tend to be most compatible. However, it is possible to use modern browsers like Chrome,
Firefox and Safari if a user experiences reduced functionality, they should look to use
Internet Explorer.

Mobile devices
Mobile devices like smart phones and tablets can also be used to access a shared workspace
but users will need to select the request desktop site setting in their browser. Users should
note that the shared workspace is optimised for the desktop experience so when using a
mobile device, not all workspace functionality may be at their disposal.

The Shared Workspace uses the RealMe as its authentication service.
RealMe is an all-of-government solution to provide a private, secure and
convenient way for people to use government services over the internet. It
allows people, businesses and organisations to conveniently access
government online services by using a single logon.
All users are required to obtain a RealMe account before they can to access a Shared
workspace. New shared workspace users will be emailed a welcome invitation that is
authorised by the site owner - this email will contain a unique access code which is used to
register with the shared workspace registration is required only once. The welcome email
invitation will also detail information about how to get a RealMe account and who to contact if
a user has issues.
The access code is long and includes the shared workspace URL. It is important users copy
and paste the entire code including the URL into the logon field when registering. Below is
an example of an access code.

Remember: access to a shared workspace cannot be authorised unless the entire code is

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide

Document libraries are the most popular feature of a shared
workspace. They allow users from different organisations to share
and collaborate on files. The selection of libraries a user has access
to, is dependent on their specific permission level.
Document libraries are generally found in the Quick Launch
navigation on the left side of the site. Users select the link to the
appropriate document library they wish to navigate to.

Once inside a document library there are a variety of navigation options available along the
horizontal navigation ribbon. By default a user will be taken to the browse option. From here
they can add/upload a document.
Note: if sections of the navigation are shaded out, the user does not have permission to
access the functionality.

How to upload a file

1) Go to a library and select Add
document to upload a file into the
library 2) browse to the file on your
computer and select the file to be
Note: Some users may have the ability
to upload multiple files this is
dependent on the version of their
browser and is not determined by the
shared workspace software.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide

When uploading a document it is also possible to determine the destination of the intended
1) Select Add document 2) select Choose folder from the pop-up box 3) then select the
specific destination the file will be uploaded into.

Opening a document
To open a document, select the title of the document or the icon of the document. Note that
clicking on a folder will take a user to that subfolder in the document library and the list of all
the documents within that subfolder.

Deleting a document
If a user deletes a document, it can be it can be reinstated directly back into the library by
navigating to the recycle bin. This can be found at the bottom of the quick links navigation.
Check the box next to the document file name then select Restore Selection.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide

Note: the document will reside in the recycle bin for 30 days, after which, it will be deleted


Editing a document
To edit a document, a user will need to download the document onto a local drive of their
computer as they cannot edit documents whilst they are in the workspace - in other words, a
user will not be able to edit documents online.

Checking out documents

Checking out documents allows a user to lock a document so only they can edit it using the
original file name. Another user can download the same document and edit it, but because
the file has been checked out by the first user, the second user will not be able to upload the
document using the same file name. The document will remain checked out until the first user
decides to check it back in. This allows the user to modify a document without fear that
someone is making changes at the same time.

How to check out a document

1) Choose the file to be checked out and select the drop down arrow to the right of the file. 2)
Next, select the Check Out button.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide

The addition of a green/white arrow to the icon of the file indicates that it is checked out.

If a user decides they do not want to check the document out after all, they simply follow the
process above and Check In will have replaced Check Out in the drop down menu.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


To see who a file is checked out to, the user should hover their cursor over the icon of the
particular file. A tooltip will appear showing who the file is checked out to.

Checking in a file after editing

To check a file back in once a user has
made changes, they will need to upload
the file again from their local drive.
1) Select the Add document

2) Browse for the document in the local drive. 3) Make sure Overwrite existing files option is
ticked 4) the file name is the same as the existing file in the document library 5) Select OK.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


Next at the upload page, select the Check In button. The file will now be checked in, and the
icon of the file will return to normal. Finally, select Save.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


Working with versions

Version control is useful if a user wants to compare revisions in a file without creating a lot of
different files to clutter a document library. This will only apply if version control has been
enabled by the site owner.
To upload a new version of a file, a user should go through the same process of uploading a
file as outlined earlier.
However, a user will need to ensure the Add as a new version to existing files option is
ticked, and the file name is the same as the existing file in the document library. A user can
also enter version comments to create a summary of changes made to the file.

To see different versions of a file:

1) Go to the file name and select the drop-down arrow on the right side of the file name

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


2) Select the Version History option

3) This will show a user all versions of the document. To open a particular version, select the
highlighted modified date link.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


Quick sorting columns

To quick sort a column in a library or list, click on the down arrow to the right of the column
header, then select whether to sort the column either ascending or descending.

Creating and deleting a folder

If a user has the permission level of member/contributor to a document library, they can
create and delete folders to organise files in a hierarchical manner. Note: If the New Folder
button is shaded out in the horizontal navigation, the user does not have permission to create
a folder.
1) To create a new folder, navigate to the specific library then from the horizontal navigation
select the Documents tab.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


2) Next, select the New Folder icon from the horizontal navigation.

3) Give the new folder a name, and then select Save.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


Deleting a folder
Select the box positioned to the left of the folder name, then select Delete Document from
the horizontal navigation.

Change a folder name

1) Select the box positioned to the left of the folder name that is to be changed 2) Select the
drop-down arrow to the right of the folder name 3) Select Edit Properties. 4) Rename the

Note: If a user deletes a folder it will be moved (and all of the documents in it), to the Recycle

Planning a folder location

It is also import to plan where a folder is to be created in a workspace. Once created, a user
cannot move folders or documents i.e. there is no drag and drop functionality in the
Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


workspace. Therefore, a user must navigate to the correct folder first to upload documents
into that folder or if they wish to create a sub folder within a folder. If a user adds a document
to the wrong folder they will need to delete that document and upload it again to the correct

Just above the title of the document library is a trail of links known as a breadcrumb trail.
These links allow a user to navigate through the site. In the example below, the user is
currently in a folder called test folder K, but if the user selects Private Library B they will
be taken up to the library level. Alternatively if the user selects training, they will be taken
to the site homepage.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


Alerts allow a user to keep up-to-date with developments that are happening within a site they save a user from having to login to their site to manually check for updates. They work
by automatically sending a user an email if they have set up an alert. For example, a user
may get an alert about a library when a file has been added by another user.
Alerts cannot be set-up by a site owner on behalf of a user and alerts can only be set-up one
at a time - they must be done individually for each content area the user wants to be alerted
about. It is common (and highly recommended), that users setup alerts for the specific
libraries they have access to, the announcements page and the workspace calendar.
The screenshot below shows an example of an alert email sent to user. The green ticks
within the email depict functionality that allows the user to go straight to the site RealMe
login will be required. However, due to shared work security restrictions, the functionality
icons Connect to this Document Library and Preview this Document Library depicted with
red Xs will not work.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


How to set up alerts

1) To set up an alert a user should navigate to the list or library they want to be alerted about.
Then from the horizontal menu select Library.

2) Next select Alert Me, from the horizontal menu, then from the drop-down menu select
set alert on this library.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


3) Give the alert a title this is useful when you have multiple alerts and need to differentiate.

4) Change Type allows a user to specify what will cause an alert to happen, such as when
new files are added, if existing files are changed, or if any changes occur.

5) Send Alerts for These Changes allows a user to restrict alerts based on the various
categories listed below.

6) When to Send Alerts changes the frequency of alerts for documents a daily summary
should suffice. When finished, click the OK button. The user will be then returned to the

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


document library and they will receive an email confirming the alert has been created.

How to manage alerts

Using the Manage My Alerts functionality it is possible for a user to directly manage the
alerts they have set-up.
A user can:

Add an alert

Edit the settings of an existing alert

Delete an existing alert

1) Go to a library 2) then from the horizontal menu select Library 3) then Alert Me 4) then
Manage My Alerts.

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


On the next screen a user can 1) Add an Alert 2) Delete Selected Alerts first check the box to
the left of the alert title then select Delete Selected Alerts 3) Select an existing alert and
edit its settings- click on the alert title.


Users should contact their shared workspace site owner if they have a question or query
about their workspace - site owner contact details should be posted on the workspace
If a user has a Realme enquiry, they should contact the Realme team directly:

Phone (toll free): 0800 457 4357

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide


Helpdesk open 24 hours/7 days per week

Shared Workspace Beginners Guide