Microsoft Fluid is a framework developed by Microsoft to help developers with a platform for building low-latency collaborative experiences around documents – like workflows within Microsoft Office applications, however, with an open-source model that allows them to contribute to its development.
The idea behind Microsoft Fluid is the need to move away from the old, rigged, and non-collaborative options available with Microsoft Office. Compared with Google Docs, it allows for real-time collaboration on a document and allows multiple users to edit a document simultaneously, a trend in web-based applications. Now Microsoft is trying to meet Office users right where they are working on daily tasks. With Microsoft Fluid, users can create fluid components in the app and share it without switching to a dedicated app in the first place.
Microsoft has made the fluid app to be available on various browsers for different operating systems, including:
Windows: Microsoft Edge, Chrome, and Firefox
Android Mobile: Microsoft Edge and Chrome
iOS: Microsoft Edge, Chrome, and Safari
macOS: Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox
Chrome OS: Chrome
To start using Microsoft Fluid, here is a guide
- Go to the preview page and sign in using a work or school account with access to OneDrive for Business.
- If you are logging in for the first time, select Start Collaborating. Otherwise, select Create new on the left-hand side.
- Add a Title and choose whether you’d like to create the project as a file in OneDrive or a SharePoint location. If you want to create it in a SharePoint location that doesn’t exist in the list, go to your SharePoint page and create a new site, then return to Fluid to select it in the list.
- When done, click Create.
Invite Others to Collaborate
Due to the flexibility of using Fluid, the author can invite other users to collaborate and make changes to the real-time project. To achieve this,
- Select Share in the top right corner of the page to grant other users access
- You can also use the @mention feature to tag other users and grant them access. On the page, click to display the options. Select the @ Person option and type a few characters of the username to display their complete details
Components are the functions and features provided in the Microsoft Fluid, and more features are being added as new updates occur. Some of these functions include
- Action Items: Keep track of tasks, assignees, and timelines in a table
- Mentions: Type someone’s name and turn it into a mention so they can easily find relevant sections, or use the @ symbol followed by the person’s name
- Tables: Create a table that suits your needs
- Dates: Select a date and month in the calendar
- Checklists: Tick items off as you complete them
- Agendas: Build out a collaborative list of meeting agenda items
- Numbered lists: Add items in a number sequence
- Image: Select an image from the local PC
In conclusion, here are the ways people use Fluid:
- Track action items and their timelines
- Use it as a shared 1:1 meeting space
- Take meeting notes
- Manage projects with multiple users
- Crowd-source meeting agendas and minutes