Here’s how to share a Microsoft Office document that’s saved on a compatible cloud service like OneDrive or Dropbox. All you need is Office 365/2019 or 2016 for Windows or Mac.
Document collaboration works in Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Sharing a single file via cloud storage is a lot faster and less trouble than exchanging documents via email.
The Office for Mac options are the same, just presented in a slightly different way.
Step by Step
- Save the document to your OneDrive or Dropbox account.
- OneDrive works best with Office (both Microsoft products). Anyone can get a minimum of 5GB OneDrive space, free. That’s enough for many Office documents. Office 365 customers have a Terabyte to play with.
- Click the Share button on the right side of your toolbar in Windows. The Share button is relatively new, other Office releases have similar features at File | Share pane.
- The system displays an Invite people box. Go ahead and invite the people, you want to share the document with by typing the email addresses. In case you have the address saved in the Address box, you can source the name from the Address box next to the Invite box.
In my case I will type the email address. You need not limit yourself to 1 invitee, you can send it to as many invitees by typing their email addresses separating each with a semicolon.
Tip: you can use any valid email address but it’s easier for the receiver if you use the email address linked to their Microsoft account or account linked to your shared cloud storage.
- You can choose the permission rights by either asking them to edit or just view and not modify the contents of the document. Accordingly choose between can edit or view from the drop-down menu.
- You can also write a note and give instructions to the invitee and click share to share the link with them.
The link goes into the mailbox of the invitee and they can now easily view or edit, and once they are done, the latest document gets saved in the destination folder of the owner.
After sending the invite this is how your file appears with you as the owner and the list of invitees with the granted permission rights.
At any point of time, the owner can decide to revoke permissions by removing the user or can also change permission rights to view from edit and the likewise.
Suppose you want to change the permission rights of Audrey.hepburn from ‘view’ to ‘edit’. Simply right click on the name and select the option – Change permission to: Can edit.
Select ‘Remove user’ in case you changed your mind and do not want to share the documents anymore with a user.
Share Edits and Comments
Any edits or comments you add to the document, workbook or presentation will be shown automatically to others … even if they are editing the document at the same time.
Those updates happen faster and more streamlined in Office 365 because the software has been updated with more and better collaboration features.
Office 2019 and Office 2016 for Windows/Mac also do live collaboration. Maybe a little slower and less elegant but the end result is the same.