Everyone who works on a computer has run into this problem at one point or another: you're working on a file and you need some help or input from another employee at your company. You email them the file only to find that the images haven't showed up and the formatting is all wrong because they're using a different program or a different version of the same program. It can take hours to iron it out before you can get the five-minute read through you wanted. The best way to solve this problem is by sharing software.

Many businesses share software as a matter of course. It is much easier and cheaper to purchase software licenses in bulk than it is to buy individual software programs according to what each person wants. Generally an information technology or IT employee is responsible for installing and updating all the software on the computers so that employees can focus on using the software to do their work instead of getting caught up in software issues.

If you're part of a small company or a company where each employee has control over the software on his or her own machine, consider suggesting to your boss or owner that you switch to bulk-licensing software to improve compatibility. If employees in your company have differing software needs, such as one person designing pump parts on AutoCAD for Abbaparts.com, another writing the manual for them in FrontPage and a third managing the finances in Quickbooks, it might be worthwhile to make sure everyone has one capability in common, such as the ability to create and read Adobe Acrobat files.

Before you start sharing software around the office, you need to make sure of two things. The first is that your boss approves of the software. The second thing is to read through your software license and find out if you're allowed to share the software within your business or if you need to buy more licenses, which can be done easily online.

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