How to share Excel file for multiple users and co-author a shared workbook

These days more and more people are using Microsoft Excel for team work. In the past, when you needed to share an Excel workbook with someone, you could send it as an email attachment or save your Excel data to PDF for printing. While fast and convenient, the former method created multiple versions of the same document, and the latter produced a secure though non-editable copy.

The recent versions of Excel 2010, 2013 and 2016 make it easy to share and collaborate on workbooks. By sharing an Excel file, you are giving other users access to the same document and allow them to make edits simultaneously, which saves you the trouble of keeping track of multiple versions.

How to share an Excel file

This section shows how to share an Excel workbook for multiple users by saving it to a local network location where other people can access it and make edits. You can keep track of those changes and accept or reject them.

With the workbook open, perform the following steps to share it:

  1. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

2. The Share Workbook dialog box will appear, and you select the Allow changes by more than one user at the same time. This also allows workbook merging check box on the Editing tab.

 

  1. Optionally, switch to the Advanced tab, select the desired settings for tracking changes, and click OK. For example, you may want to have changes updated automatically every n number of minutes (all the other settings on the screenshot below are the default ones).

 

  1. Save you Excel file to a network location where other people can access it (the fastest way is by using the Ctrl + S shortcut).If done correctly, the word [Shared] will appear to the right of the workbook’s name as shown in the screenshot below
  2.  

Now, you and your colleagues can work on the same Excel file at the same time. You are free to accept or reject their changes, and after the desired changes have been incorporated, you can stop sharing the workbook. 

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