Dropbox now helps avoid Office conflicts

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Dropbox now helps avoid Office conflicts

New features in the popular Dropbox file sync and share service reduce the risk of editing a shared file at the same time as a colleague, and provide a mechanism to ask people to send files to your Dropbox.

The new Dropbox badge appears when you open Word, PowerPoint or Excel files that are stored in Dropbox. It provides an alert when someone else views or edits the file, and in the latter case gives the option of switching to the changed version.

The badge also makes it easy to share files, view the file history, or add comments to files.

Dropbox badge works with .docx, .pptx and .xlsx files, and Office 2007, 2010 and 2013 (Windows) and 2011 (Mac).

The other new feature in Dropbox is file requests. When you need someone else to send you one or more files, this provides a way to get them straight into your Dropbox.

It works by sending a link to the other person. Dropbox will email it for you along with a covering message, or you can paste it into an instant message or other online communication.

The recipient of the request clicks the upload link, selects the appropriate file(s), clicks the Upload button, and the job's done.

Since the file is deposited into your Dropbox, you get an alert if that's how your Dropbox preferences are set. Dropbox also sends an email notification that the file have arrived, complete with a link so you can easily view them through Dropbox's web interface.

This system works with files up to 2GB, and the person from whom the files are requested does not need a Dropbox account and cannot see the contents of your Dropbox.

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