Collaboration is vital in many workspaces. Since most projects require you to have access to different user files, cooperative setups have become necessary. Microsoft Excel is just one of the many programs that companies use worldwide. When workers needed to share an Excel workbook with others in the past, they had to send it as an email attachment. While convenient and fast, the former method resulted in multiple versions of the same document. For this reason, the need for shared workbooks is crucial. In this post, you’ll learn how to share an Excel file online and use it to collaborate with your team effectively.
Guide on How to Share Excel File Online
Whether you are collaborating with others or need all-time access, these steps will allow you to share your Excel workbooks online.
1. Open the file you wish to share. With the workbook loaded in Excel, select the Review tab. In the Changes group, you will find the Share Workbook button.
2. Once you click this button, a Share Workbook dialog box will appear. In its Editing tab, you can set permissions for the shared Excel file. Allow editing is automatically checked. If you only want to give permission to view the file without editing, then uncheck this box.
3. You can select the desired settings for tracking changes, update changes, and conflict changes between users in the Advanced tab. For example, it allows you to set an automatic update for every x number of minutes.
4. After setting up your preferences, click OK.
5. Save your workbook to the network location where the authorized users will have access.
6. Enter the names or email addresses of those with whom you want to share the file. When done, select Send or Copy link to get a link to the file.
Now, together with your colleagues, you can work on the same Excel file simultaneously. You can see the names of all the users who are currently editing the file under the Share option. Colored cells show you precisely what each person is working in the workbook – click on it, and you will see who’s editing that cell. As an admin, you are free to accept or reject their changes and stop sharing the workbook at any moment.
When you share an Excel file online, all the users who have access can add, edit, delete, resolve, and show comments.
To add a comment, select the cell where you want to comment, and click Review. Under the Comments section, choose New Comment, type your comment, and then press CTRL+Enter. Cells that contain comments will have a small purple flag in the top-right corner. To reveal the comment, you need to point to the flag.
To edit a comment, select it and click Review. Under the Comments section, choose Edit Comment.
To delete a comment, under the same Comments section, choose Delete Comment.
If you wish to resolve a comment, select it, click the three dots in the top-right corner, and click Resolve thread.
You can also see all the recent comments in the file. For this, go to the Review, and in the Comments section, choose Show Comments.
Another handy feature in shared Excel files is chat boxes. If another user is editing the file at the same time, you can exchange messages with them. To do this, just select Chat, type your message, and press Enter.
However, it does not keep a record of your chats. Your conversations will automatically delete when you close the file.
Can’t Share an Excel File?
You might be on the right track in sharing Excel files online, but you get the notification that Microsoft Excel refuses to share a particular workbook. This error can happen for a couple of reasons:
- You cannot share workbooks that have tables or XML maps. However, you can solve this problem by converting your tables to ranges and removing the XML maps before sharing your Excel file.
- To be able to share a workbook, it’s mandatory to disable some privacy settings. You can do this by going to the File tab and selecting Excel Options. In the Trust, Center click the Trust Center Settings button and go to the Privacy Options category. There you will need to uncheck the Remove personal information from file properties on save box.
Unshare an Excel File
You might want to stop sharing the workbook once you complete the teamwork. You can do this by opening the Share Workbook dialog box. It is located in the Changes group of the Review tab, as we mentioned before. In the Editing tab, uncheck the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time box, and click OK.
Excel will display an alert that you are about to remove the file from shared use and erase the change History. If that’s what you want, click Yes, otherwise No.
Before you uncheck this box, make sure you are the only person listed under Who has this workbook open now. If there are other users, you will need to disconnect them first.
If you can’t uncheck the box, it’s likely that your shared workbook protection is on. To disable this, you’ll need to go back to the Changes group in the Review tab. There, you will select Unprotect Shared Workbook.
This step-by-step article should have you set on how to share an Excel file with other people. If you want numerous users to work in the same Excel workbook simultaneously, you can follow our guide and save the file as a shared workbook. Users will be able to enter data, insert rows and columns, add and change formulas, change formatting, etc.
Today, sharing files has become a necessity for many businesses. Now that you know the basics, you can explore the other sharing options and share files with ease and confidence. You might even want to upgrade and convert Excel to a web app. Even though Excel has many use cases, spreadsheets can easily cause inconveniences due to a few small mistakes. The best choice is to convert to a web app and enjoy secure, error-free data management with ease of use.