Requires DRACOON for Windows/Mac version 4.0 or later
About file locking
DRACOON for Windows/Mac supports automatic file locking when editing Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, and Visio files. File locking prevents that a Word, Excel, Access, or Visio file is accidentally edited by multiple users at the same time.
File locking is off by default. If you want to use it, you must first enable it in the preferences of DRACOON for Windows/Mac (see below).
- File locking is currently only available for Word, Excel, Access, and Visio files. Other file types such as PowerPoint files are currently not supported.
- For Access files, file locking is supported only for the ACCDB file format (default file format since Access 2007), not for the MDB file format from older Access versions.
- File locking works across platforms on both Windows and Mac. For example, if a user opens a Word document on a DRACOON for Windows drive, the file will be locked for other users on DRACOON for Mac volumes as well.
Turn on file locking
File locking is disabled by default. To enable file locking with DRACOON for Windows/Mac, follow these steps:
- Click the DRACOON icon in the notification area of the taskbar (on Windows) or menu bar (on Mac), and then click Preferences.
- Click the Connection tab and select the Lock Files checkbox.
Important: For file locking to work, you need the Delete files/folders permission in the respective data room.
Example: Automatic locking of an Excel file on a DRACOON drive
- A user opens an Excel file with Microsoft Excel on a DRACOON drive (created with DRACOON for Windows or Mac).
- When opening a file, Excel always automatically creates an additional, hidden temporary lock file with the file name of the open file and prefixed with
~$. For example, if you open the Excel file
Example.xlsx, Excel automatically creates the hidden lock file
~$Example.xlsx. This file contains the Windows user name of the user who opened the file. The lock file is automatically uploaded by DRACOON for Windows/Mac to DRACOON.
- Another DRACOON user opens the same Excel file on his DRACOON drive. Excel finds the lock file and thus knows that the file is already being edited by another user. Therefore the Excel file is opened read-only and cannot be edited. The following yellow notification is displayed in Excel:
- As soon as the user who opened the file in the first place closes it (by exiting Excel, for example), the lock file is automatically deleted by Excel. The Excel file can then be opened again by other users for editing.
Possible solutions in the event of a lock message
If, when opening a Word, Excel, or Visio file, a message appears indicating that the file is locked for editing by another user, the following solutions are available:
- Wait a few minutes for the other user to finish editing the file, and then open it again. (You could have Excel create a copy of the file using "Save As", but then you would be editing a copy of the file and not the original).
- If the message still appears when you reopen the file, you can ask the other user to close the file so that you can edit it. To find out which user has opened the file, open the respective DRACOON data room or folder in the DRACOON Web App. Locate the lock file (For Word, Excel, and Visio files: original file name prefixed with
~$. For Access files: File name with extension
.laccdb). The Updated column then displays the name of the user who opened the file and whom you can ask to close the file:
- If the other user has no longer opened the Excel (or Word, Access, or Visio file), the temporary lock file might be orphaned on DRACOON—for example, because it could not be deleted from DRACOON due to Internet connection loss. In this special case, you can unlock the Excel file by deleting the associated lock file. For example, if you want to unlock the Excel file
Example.xlsx, locate the lock file
~$Example.xlsxin the DRACOON Web App and delete it: To unlock an Access database, locate the lock file with the
.laccdbfile extension and delete it.
File locking for Access files
- If you enable file locking in DRACOON for Windows/Mac, Microsoft Access databases cannot be opened by multiple users simultaneously even if database sharing is enabled in Access.
- Also, the use of split databases (where, for example, the user interface has been migrated to a separate "frontend" database) is only possible if the "frontend" database is not located on the DRACOON drive.