Web Discussions are a collaboration element new to Word 2000. They are a heavily marketed new feature, but I’ve found that they are really only useful to a select handful of users — and even then, only marginally useful. Web Discussions allow users to:
- Start a threaded discussion at a particular point within a Word document
These discussions work a lot like Word’s comment feature, but allow you to keep better track of who said what in a long, threaded discussion.
- Subscribe to a document
When you subscribe to a document, you basically ask to be emailed whenever a document changes.
To even use Web Discussions in the first place, you must have access to a discussion server, which is a Windows NT or Windows 2000 server that has the new Office Extensions installed on it. These extensions allow the server to keep track of certain types of collaborative elements included in the new Office 2000 suite. If you are not connected to a network with such a server, forget it.
To start a discussion or view existing discussions, first choose Tools → Online Collaboration → Web Discussions to open the Web Discussions toolbar (Figure 13-12). Designate a discussion server if you have not previously done so. Fortunately, Word automatically finds discussion servers if they are on a local network.
Figure 13-12. The Web Discussions toolbar
Discussions. The Discussions button opens a ...